One of the better under-the-radar upcoming free agents this summer is Thaddeus Young, who has spent the past three seasons with the Indiana Pacers.
While Young struggled to find his niche in his early NBA years with the Philadelphia 76ers, he has developed into a very solid piece as the game has changed to prioritize defensive versatility, which Young possesses.
Young is not the kind of guy you are going to ask to be one of your top offensive options, but he can score some points when you need him to as well as spread the floor a little bit.
Obviously, most of Young’s value comes from his ability to guard multiple positions.
Here are three ideal free-agency destinations for the 30-year-old this offseason:
3. Philadelphia 76ers
Oddly enough, Young’s former Sixers squad could really use him right about now.
Now, of course, Philadelphia has a few big free agents of its own in Jimmy Butler, Tobias Harris, and J.J. Redick, so it would only have the cap room to sign Young if it strikes out on keeping its own players.
But let’s say Butler and Harris go elsewhere. The Sixers would then suddenly have a rather big need for a versatile defender (which they actually have a need for even if Butler and Harris do return), and Young would be the perfect fit.
The Sixers really don’t have many great individual defenders on their roster, so if they find themselves drowning if Butler and Harris both walk, they would be wise to pursue Young.
Don’t look now, but the Kings are on their way to become a legitimate threat in the Western Conference and are probably only two years away from being genuinely scary.
One thing they are missing, however, is defensive versatility, and Young would provide that for them.
Sacramento, which has plenty of cap space, could absolutely use someone who can guard both bigs and wings, as the Kings don’t really have that type of player on their offensive-minded roster.
Young could slot right in next to Marvin Bagley up front and provide Sacramento with a player who can switch everything on the perimeter and with someone who is great at playing the passing lanes.
1. Indiana Pacers
The best fit for Young is the team he has spent the last three seasons with.
The catch is that the Pacers will also be in the market for a max free agent like Kemba Walker, and with right around $50 million in cap space, they will be right on the border in terms of being able to afford both a max guy and Young.
But perhaps Young will take a discount (if he even needs to do so) to remain with his incumbent Indiana club that is probably the most underrated team in the league right now.
The Pacers rely heavily on their ability to switch everything defensively, and with Victor Oladipo on the mend and plenty of cap space, Indy could be an incredibly dangerous squad next year.
It would be nice to see Young be a part of that, and he would certainly be an integral piece.