The Brooklyn Nets acquired Thaddeus Young from the Minnesota Timberwolves at the 2015 NBA trade deadline for Kevin Garnett. The move seemed to be a win-win for both teams but more so a steal for the Nets. The Timberwolves, who were out of contention received Garnett, a future Hall of Famer, a former Timberwolve, and great asset to sell tickets. The Nets received a younger more talented combo forward in Young. Young came to the Nets with a year left on his deal valued at $10.2 million. However, that year was a player option and Young has decided to opt out.
The decision doesn’t come as a huge surprise. Young played well for the Nets down the stretch. He played in 28 games (20 starts) averaging 13.8 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 1.4 steals and assists. He showed improved range knocking down 38% of his 3 point attempts, a career high. Young played both the 3 and the 4 for the Nets and figures to be a great 4 when teams play small ball.
Young is ultimately looking to cash in on a long-term deal. The Nets hold his Bird Rights meaning they can offer him more than any other team. At age 27, Young should be able to get himself a deal in the neighborhood of 4-5 years. That would bring him to age 32 where he’ll most likely have 1 or 2 more NBA contracts left in him. The Nets will try not to overpay to keep Young but if the past is any indication, the Nets will ultimately look to break the piggy bank yet again. Bringing back talent the Nets have is one of few moves they can make in order to stay competitive. While over the salary cap by a wide margin, Bird Rights will be the Nets best friend moving forward. Bird Rights allow the Nets to continuously break the cap in order to bring back players they previously had under contract.