Thaddeus Young: Nets Player Preview


Who he is: A 6’8″, 220-lb forward playing his 9th season in the NBA. He played his first seven seasons in Philadelphia with the 76ers, before spending last year split between the Minnesota Timberwolves and Nets.

Follow him:

Big Stat: 32.3% In eight seasons, Young has attempted 762 three-point shots, making 246 — a 32.3% rate. He can score inside, but the outside shots aren’t a big part of his repertoire.

302 of his three-point attempts occurred in two seasons (2008-09 and 2009-10). Over the next three seasons and 221 games, Young attempted only 32(!) three-pointers. The following season, his last 79 games in Philadelphia, Young took a career-high 292(!!) threes. Last season, in 76 games, he took 115 threes.

So why the disparity? Inquiring minds want to know.

How the Nets got him: On February 19th, the Nets acquired Young from Minnesota in exchange for long-time Timberwolves’ great Kevin Garnett.

Strengths: Low-post/ Mid-range scoring, Euro-step, offense creativity, consistency, match-up difficulty.

Weaknesses: Defensive rebounding, shot-blocking, perimeter defense, three-point shooting, free-throw shooting.

2014-15 recap: While the loss of Garnett’s defensive presence was missed in Brooklyn after the trade deadline, the savvy, veteran Young’s offensive game was a welcome addition to the Nets. In 28 regular season games with the Nets, Young averaged 13.8 points and 5.9 rebounds highlighted by a season-high 29 points against rival Toronto on April 3rd.

While strategy and matchups led to skewed playing time in the playoffs, his 18-point, 11-rebound performance in Game 3 proved vital.

2015-16 outlook: After signing a four-year contract worth $50 million in the offseason, the Nets are sure to put Young in a key role. Young’s versatility and length should give Coach Hollins a few options with positioning, but his skills will play best at the power forward position despite his lack of rebounding prowess.

The Nets will look for consistent low-post scoring and mid-range points off pick-and-rolls and face-ups from the shifty veteran. If his offensive game is on point, the Nets will live with his shortcomings defensively and on the boards.

What a good season for him would look like: Young plays to the back of his playing card and gives the Nets consistent scoring throughout the season. Brook Lopez and Joe Johnson, on most nights, will be primary scoring options, but Young tapping into his versatile repertoire on the offensive end should be a solid complement.

What a bad season for him would look like: Poor shot selection and inability to mesh with the other starters could mean setbacks. If the team struggles in stretches due to a lack of rebounding and rim protection, Hollins may need to search for options elsewhere that provide the skillsets Young lacks.