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Never Doubt the Legend: Bird swaps 20th pick for Thad Young

I was a little lukewarm about the Pacers’ trade of George Hill for Jeff Teague as I mentioned in my post yesterday. That was a bit of a lateral move with some potential for improvement on the offensive end, but also a certain dip on defense. But on draft day, Larry Bird worked his magic and landed Thaddeus Young from the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for the 20th pick (and a future protected second round pick). I love this move.

Young, 28, is entering his prime and offers solid interior scoring. At the very least, he is an upgrade on Jordan Hill. If the Pacers plan to play super sophomore Myles Turner at center as they say, then Young can slide in right next to him to provide rebounding, length, and finishes at the rim. The former 12th overall pick, listed at a slightly undersized 6-8 and 221 pounds, averaged 15.1 points and 9 rebounds on 51.4% shooting last season for the Nets.

So now the Pacers have a potential starting lineup of:

PG: Jeff Teague
SG: Monta Ellis
SF: George Hill
PF: Thaddeus Young
C: Myles Turner

On paper, at least, that looks better than what we had last season. What it does mean is that we may have seen the last of Ian Mahinmi in a Pacers uniform.

According to reports, including Mahinmi’s cap hold, they still have around $15 million to play around with in free agency. Can’t wait to see what they do with it.