Click here for link to Indiana Pacers Trade Grades
Pacers get: SF/PF Thaddeus Young
Nets get: 20th overall pick (SG Caris LeVert, Senior, Michigan), Future second-rounder
Stuff needed to change in Brooklyn, that much was clear. The team went an abysmal 21-61 this season, and worst of all, didn’t even have their own number three overall draft pick to show for it (*Danny Ainge laughs evilly in the distance*). The Nets finally cut ties with the overpaid backcourt duo of PG Deron Williams and SG Joe Johnson during last season, and finally seemed to get things in order by extending the promising frontcourt duo of 28-year-olds Young and C Brook Lopez to reasonable contracts last season -- Young at 4 years/$50 million and Lopez at 3 years/$60 million. Both big men played very well for the Nets last season, and seemed to be the only pieces that new GM Sean Marks was interested in keeping around beyond rookie SF Rondae Hollis-Jefferson.
Thus trading away Young comes as a bit of a surprise for the Nets. They also already had close to $40 million in available cap space this summer -- with Young and Lopez being the only major contracts on the books -- thus it’s not like the team had to pull the trigger on Young in order to clear the payroll to go after free agents.
But they did. And no, it’s not such an awful move. I might have been saying something else, however, had the Nets not used their new draft pick smartly. But Marks took the right guy. With little draft picks in the foreseeable future, Marks did the right thing by gambling on the high-risk, high-reward LeVert. LeVert’s talent and potential cannot be denied, but the health of his metatarsals can. LeVert’s senior season ended in injury, and many scouts have labeled him an injury risk heading into the draft, causing him to slide down draft boards until the Nets scooped him at number 20. If LeVert can stay on the floor, then he’s an absolute steal at number 20, and Brooklyn at this point needs to take risks. Thus Marks did alright on this one.