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Thaddeus Young talks about how he found out about Nets trade

NBA: Brooklyn Nets-Press Conference Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Thaddeus Young is happy in Indiana ... and why not? After playing for the 76ers, Timberwolves and Nets, he’s on a contender. Finally.

Young, who many thought would be a (re)building block forthe Nets, was dumped on Draft Day for the rights to the 20th pick, which became Caris LeVert, and a heavily protected second round pick that only gets used if the Pacers don’t make the playoffs.

Young was a bit surprised at the trade. At the press conference introducing Kenny Atkinson in May, the new head coach called Young, “my guy” and Young talked about how he and Brook Lopez had already started trying to recruit free agents.

In an interview with Basketball Insiders, Young described how he first began to hear rumors that he was being shopped, then on Draft Day, the rumors turned into reality.

He told Joel Brigham...

“Initially when the summer had started, I was told by Brooklyn that they were looking toward the future and that it was going to take some time, and I was going to be around for it. Then, all of a sudden you’re hearing that you’re being shopped.”

“I was working out and my agent called me like six times until I was like, ‘Who the hell is calling me? My trainer told me it was Jim Tanner, my agent, so I knew I needed to answer it. I really knew I needed to answer it because clearly something was going down. So I called him back and said, ‘Look, you’ve called me five times in five minutes. What is going on?’ He told me the move was going to happen, so I asked him where I was going. He said ‘Indiana.’ My first reaction was, ‘Okay. That’s cool, that’s cool.’ Some teams you don’t want to go, but Indiana, I was fine with that.”

The Nets went for the trade for a number of reasons. They really liked LeVert. Despite his record of foot injuries, LeVert come with a high recommendation from Dr. Michael O’Malley at the Hospital for Special Surgery, their foot and ankle specialist and the doctor who performed LeVert’s surgery.

The Nets also liked the idea of adding cap space. They saved $12.6 million in cap space this year, the net of Young and LeVert’s salaries and $13.4 million next year. They couldn’t have had made all the offers they made this summer without knowing they had all that cap space.

Also, there was a sense that Young, for all his positives, wasn’t going to help the Nets this season. Nor was he seen as a piece long-term. LeVert is.