Thaddeus Young of Indiana Pacers may decline option for free agency

NBA


Despite a narrowing marketplace of salary cap space, one more formidable candidate could join the summer free agent class: Indiana Pacers forward Thaddeus Young.

Young, 29, is seriously contemplating declining his $13.7 million player option for the 2018-19 season and becoming an unrestricted free agent, league sources told ESPN.

He has until June 29 to make a decision on the option.

Young’s decision on whether to exercise his player option is rooted in searching out a longer-term contract in the prime of his career this summer. Young’s value with the Pacers and elsewhere has been buoyed by his ability to guard multiple positions, a benefit in the evolving NBA game.

The Pacers could choose to negotiate a contract extension with Young, who plays alongside center Myles Turner for a resurgent Indiana franchise.

Turner will be eligible for a rookie contract extension later this year.

Young played a leadership role for the young Pacers this season, who earned the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs and pushed the Cleveland Cavaliers to a seven-game series in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. Young averaged 11.3 points, 7.7 rebounds and 1.7 steals against the Cavaliers.

For the season, Young averaged 11.8 points and 6.4 rebounds with Indiana. In a decade in the NBA with Philadelphia, Minnesota, Brooklyn and Indiana, Young has averaged 13.4 points and 5.9 rebounds.



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