Tampering Week: Thaddeus Young

After a 24-58 season, the New Jersey Nets will have to make some changes heading into 2012. This week, Nets are Scorching takes a closer look at some soon-to-be-available names.

Stats: 82 G, 1 GS, 26.0 MPG, 12.7 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 1.0 APG, 1.1 SPG, 0.3 BPG, .541 FG%, .273 3P%, .707 FT%, 110 ORtg, 18.4 PER

Why Billy King Should Be Texting Him Now: Give Young the rock and watch what happens. Hint: it’s usually good things. Coming out of Georgia Tech four years ago at the tender age of 19 (born 6.21.88), Young was raw, but generally considered in having unlimited potential thanks to his long wingspan and off-the-charts athleticism. Why the Philadelpia 76ers haven’t unleashed the beast by giving Young all the burn on the deck that he wants, I’ll never know. Damn the depth chart!

Young has the physical tools and skill to play both forward positions, although his jumper still needs a bit of consistency and more accuracy for him to play the three on the regular. He shot 33.3% from 10-15 feet, 34.0% from 16-23 feet, and his shot from beyond the arc is negligible.

However, Young can finish at the rim, shooting an amazing 73.4% by the basket. And it’s not just off of alley-oops or putbacks. Young has enough handle to drive from the top of the key and go down the middle on a break with the pill. He has a multitude of ways to finish, which is where his athleticism comes in, and has great touch to kiss the ball off the board.

Young also has the ability and physical tools (length, foot speed, lateral quickness) to be a very good defender. Most importantly, he’s a hard and intelligent worker. Oh, and he’s only going to be 23-years-old this upcoming season.

Don’t Risk The Fine: Young is still not as polished as he could be, which just means there’s more upside. However, that also means he’ll get paid for that huge upside, which the Sixers seem to be willing to pay for. So, this can all be one big tease. Besides that, Young still needs to work on that J and his ball handling is only average. Young’s ability to penetrate to the rack would be so much more better and pleasing if he had better handle.

And the Winner Is… Tamper: There’s a lot of potential here as Young’s 18.4 PER this past season attests to. The youngster only averaged 26.0 minutes per game this season and still averaged 13 and 5. Imagine the potential and production if you add 10 more minutes per. Sweetness.