Brooklyn Nets forward Thaddeus Young will opt out of the final year of his contract and become a free agent, Nets general manager Billy King confirmed Monday morning.
“It’s nothing that we weren’t expecting,” King said, adding that he still wants to re-sign Young. “Come July 1st, we’ll start that process of trying to retain him.”
The news was first reported from Chris Haynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer:
Nets F Thaddeus Young has opted out and will become an unrestricted free agent, a league source tells @Clevelanddotcom.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) June 22, 2015
Young opting out is not a surprise, nor does it mean he’s leaving the Nets. Young’s option for next season was worth under $10 million, and with the Nets both owning his full Bird rights[note]Owning Young’s full Bird rights means they can sign him for any amount up to the max, regardless of their salary cap situation.[/note] & making it abundantly clear that they want to bring him back, he should have no problem securing a more comfortable contract.
King has made it clear since day one that re-signing both Young and Brook Lopez are his top priorities this offseason, and the news of Young’s opt out — as well as Lopez’s possibly coming next week — didn’t deter that.
“I’m pretty confident (that we can re-sign them), one, because we have some tools in our favor to keep them,” King said, likely referring to the team owning Bird rights.
Young averaged 13.8 points and 5.9 rebounds in 29.6 minutes per game in a Nets uniform, playing well off Lopez — the Nets’ starting lineup of Deron Williams, Markel Brown, Joe Johnson, Young, and Lopez outscored opponents by 4.9 points per 100 possessions during the team’s late-season playoff scramble.[note]In fairness: it came in a small sample size of 256 minutes, and against mostly non-playoff teams.[/note]