New Orleans Pelicans Add Patric Young to Summer League Roster

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Published: June 27, 2014
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Sometimes, if you ask for something, you will get it.

Today, Patric Young agreed to join the Pelicans Summer League team, giving New Orleans a chance to work with him for those two weeks and potentially sign him if they like what they see. Young, like second round pick Russ Smith, is a four year college player who has played at a high level for a title contending team for multiple years. Like Smith, he is extremely tough (the definitive Patric Young video) and will make his mark on the defensive end. And also like Smith, his lack of height (and perhaps his reach more specifically) caused him to fall past guys who have more “potential” but far less production.

Not only is Young the strongest guy in this draft, he might have been the strongest guy in May’s NFL draft. He is a chiseled beast, weighing in at 247 pounds with just 5.5% body fat. His strength allows him to keep guys from getting position in the post and also helps him to push guys under the rim on the other end, allowing him to dominate the offensive boards. But his lack of height and standing reach have led to some abysmal rebounding numbers on the defensive end. Despite playing exclusively at center at UF for the last three years, Young has never averaged 4 defensive rebounds per game. He averages just 5.7 per 40 Pace adjusted; For comparison, Embiid averaged 9.7 and Mitch McGary averaged 9.3.

And while he deters shots at the rim because of his foot quickness and strength in the paint, he is not exactly a shot blocker. He is basically equivalent to Mitch McGary when it comes to blocking shots, which is to say that we should not expect him to excel in that area either. His defensive rebounding and lack of shot blocking likely won’t be fixed because it is a physical issue. His standing reach is the on par with most small forwards at just 8’7.5″ – a half inch shorter than James Young, who is considered a SG/SF tweener.

With all that said, Patric Young belongs in the NBA because he is an excellent pick and roll defender for a big man. In a league that sees so much pick and roll, having a big man who is not only serviceable in that role, but exceptional, can be extremely valuable. How much he plays will depend on how productive he can be on the offensive end. He is a terrific offensive rebounder and can finish well in transition and on put backs, but that is about all you can rely on when he is on that end. Some people compare him to Udonis Haslem, and if he can ever develop that mid-range shot, he can have a 10 to 12 year career in the NBA.

Other Notes and Observations

Can I go on a small rant here? Okay, thanks. I hear all this noise about the Pelicans trading their picks and  selling the future to win now. Well, lets talk about draft picks first. Why are they considered so valuable? Well, it is because you get young players on good contracts that help you control your costs while getting production from them. Brian Roberts, Gustavo Ayon, Luke Babbitt, and Alexis Ajinca – they all do/did the same thing, no? All young, all cost controlled, all produced.

And Jeff Withey was a draft pick last year, was he not? Russ Smith was a pick this year, and Patric Young should have been. Point is that Dell finds numerous ways to get young guys on this roster on great contracts to produce. Yes, first round picks are the most conventional way to do it, but there are multiple ways to skin a cat. Oh, and as far as the “win now” thing and mortgaging the future. They will go into this season, most likely, as one of the five youngest teams in the NBA. So there’s that.

Okay, back to Young. Doesn’t foul much despite how physical he is and almost never turns the ball over despite having a very high usage last year. The anti-Stiemsma.

The main reason I liked Young prior to his draft was because of his intangibles. I wanted some toughness on this team that was sorely lacking last year, and I knew it would be necessary as teams starting to try to bully AD to combat his exceptional ability. In a lot of ways, the Pelicans added that when they agreed to trade for Omer Asik so that is not as needed as it was 72 hours ago.

What I still do love about Young’s game and his fit on this roster is what he can do on both ends with Anthony Davis. It would be hard to play him with Anderson because of the rebounding and it would be hard to play him with Asik because of the way he clogs up the paint, but he and AD would fit perfectly together on both sides. You would have a fantastic pick and roll defending duo on one end that would be able to rebound because of AD, and a glass swallowing pair on offense that can really get down court in transition as well.

And how about off the court? Patric Young used to just bully AD when they matched up but they had mutual respect for one another. Imagine Young being AD’s workout partner these next few years? AD could get absolutely shredded.

As a reminder, this does not mean Patric Young is on our official roster. He has just agreed to play for us for Summer League. Any team can offer him a contract after summer league, including us. This gets our foot in the door with him, but unlike a draft pick, we do not in any way own his rights.

And now, your DX video (again a year or so old)

22 comments
Caffeinedisaster
Caffeinedisaster

Love this kid with the hustle plays, hard screens  and Grandmama physique.  Like some have said before, I hope he gets our other players into the gym.  Seems like the ultimate teammate.  May have to change my avatar.  I think I've found my new favorite bench player if we sign him.

CoReMeGa
CoReMeGa

Thank you ... About the whole draft pick myth. Dell has done a fantastic job of getting great value guys that should have been drafted or drafted earlier!

Lebron2Pels2014
Lebron2Pels2014

For those who are worried about Roberts on this team next season he will be a free agent via hoops hype.com

LateNite504FC
LateNite504FC

I like this guy.  Pels desperately need a tough guy.  Plus, he brings something different in terms of a beefy defensive 4 who can still move.

I like Russ's toughness too.

Pretty good for not having any picks.  Nice "drafting" Demps.

Also to MM and most of the rest of you posters, thank you for pointing out the lunacy of whining about trading picks for young proven players.  I was beginning to think I was in the minority on this one.  I don't know about you other fans, but I'm pretty sure at least AD agrees with me:  It ain't fun to watch or play alongside of "Future Draft Pick" or "Cap Space."  

Again, for me it all goes back to doing whatever gives us the best chance of getting AD to stay and sign the longest deal possible.  By the time AD has a real chance to leave, the guys we could have gotten with the picks from 2013-15 are still not likely to be regular contributors.  Other than the Gordon match - which one could say he had not better choice -- Dell's moves seem perfectly designed to create a young core of near all star players that fit in around AD and give him the support he needs to experience success now while still being young enough to develop into a contending squad.

In a way, I see pick ups like Russ and hopefully Young as the first steps of a transition.  Within a week or so, I think we will see that core pretty much complete.  (Depending on how well Dell does filling the 3 spot.) Then, with stability finally achieved at the top of the roster,  I think Dell and Monty will be able to focus on what they do best -- uncovering hidden gems in Europe, small $ free agency, 2d round picks, or even the bottom of other NBA rosters.  If just a few of those type of guys work out, Pels would have an excellent bench to go with the talent at the top of the roster.

Sorry, I just don't find myself fretting about the loss of Future Draft Pick from the roster.


thouse
thouse

Re: Small Rant 

I can not begin to understand the amount of nonsense you see on your Twitter feed on a daily basis, so I get the frustration with the yahoos who think this is an AWFUL move. However, there is a fair discussion about Demps moving future firsts that tends to get lost due to the hysteria.  

(To be clear- I like the Asik move. He fits perfectly with Davis and Anderson. Not thrilled about the pick protection, but it's not a dealbreaker or anything for me.)

It's a bit of a stretch calling Roberts and Ayon young. They were NBA rookies at 27. There is also a difference between minimum value contracts for after thoughts (Babbitt and Ajinca) and cost controlled rookies who are entering the league at 20, 21 with development to come, with teams that maybe wanted to draft them, and with contracts that allow for more freedom to make moves. Even busts like Johnny Flynn and Hasheem Thabeet were moveable. Is Roberts/Ajinca bringing back a Marcus Camby? One problem they have is most of their contracts are either 8 figures or minimum. That's tough to work around if you want to keep your core guys. 

I think it's also fair to like the move yet wonder why Demps didn't get lottery protection. Smart NBA writers like Zach Lowe and Mark Deeks have stated they aren't sure if this team makes the playoffs- not because they don't like the move but because the West is just incredibly competitive.  Anything can happen, but I have no desire to see the Pelicans have a good season yet come up short of the playoffs and have no draft pick; even a late lottery pick. We're doing this all over again and what's the play now? Hope Gordon opts out? Send out another future 1st?

I think an overlooked part of the first hysteria is also all of the moves last summer. Holiday trade is fine by itself. Evans trade is fine by itself. But both of those moves in one summer while not being able to unload Gordon? That is problematic. Especially when your coach is not fully comfortable with the 3 guard, small ball roster you've created.

Lastly, there has to be some consideration for how to operate once Davis gets his supermax. They are able to add all these players because Davis is wildly underpaid. Once his new deal goes into effect, they will need to shift gears and find guys who can offer value and flexibility. You can't hamstring yourself for guys while an in his prime Davis is playing at MVP level. They will need value, depth, and flexibility; draft picks are an easy way to accomplish all three.

Maybe the new CBA has created more flexibility than I can imagine and Demps understands the new playing field perfectly. I just don't think it's ludicrous to question his moves in a fair manner.

TL;DR- Picks aren't the be all, end all. But they aren't as worthless as some would say

NOEngineer
NOEngineer

Also need to fix his free throw %.....

mateor
mateor

Maybe I am just crotchety because Dell and I believe opposite things when it comes to team building. I would like the GM of the team I cheer for:

1) Don't trade future draft picks

2) Don't get in bidding wars for RFAs

3) Don't pay injured guys full-price.

4) Don't hope that the last two years were a fluke (positive or negative) 

5) Break any of these rules (except 4) if you can get a true superstar

No one wants me running a team, though. Go pels.

mateor
mateor

If anything, it seems to me the boards here are overwhelmingly in favor of the trades.

I can appreciate that you think that Dell is doing the right thing. It is going to be hard for the Pels to be a bad team for long. I honestly wouldn't trade AD for anyone, Lebron included. Signing Ryan Andersen when the entire league thought he was a Dwight Howard by-product was great. I fully supported the overpay to Tyreke Evans, that is what you have to do as a small market with a bad record. This team has the look of a fun and unique squad, should they stay healthy.

But I do wonder why people on this site are arguing that the Pels aren't at least taking a large gamble. Even if you think the trades are exactly the right move, is there no argument that this is a rare approach? Not to mention our recent health problems. What if more starters than Eric Gordon never return to being the players they were? How to replace these players? The draft seems to be skewing younger and younger at the top, our next pick is in 2016 and may not be ready to start until 2019.

I hear it said here that the focus on building from the draft is overblown, only the Thunder recently made it work, what about the Kings, the Wiz, the Cavs, etc. But do you have any examples of teams trading their first round picks three years in a row and then being successful?

I want the same as you, for the Pels championship window be as wide and as long as possible. The Pels have already done the part that all the other teams we say fail to build through the draft haven't done- we got a bona-fide Hall of Fame talent. Once you have that piece, all the math changes.

Once last point- I have heard everyone talk about we are so young, and we need older players. We have a lot of vets, basically our top 7 players are vets now. A chunk of our youth is the second rounders that should be glued to the bench or in D-League. But if you want to have an older team- no fear. As long as our only draft picks are flyers from the second round- older we will get.

xman20002000
xman20002000

If he sticks.. we just got tougher.... They brought in several guys so let's see... Amundson and Arinze... and Babbitt to some extent..

jmbell7
jmbell7

If nothing else, maybe he can get Withey in the weight room!

Jokes aside though, he was the main fringe-second round pick I wanted in the draft. I believe he and Russ will both make careers for themselves.

PelicanSaints
PelicanSaints

Hope he sticks....high character guy with a motor that's coming from a good college program...

TristanBisnezzWilliams
TristanBisnezzWilliams

Da last three players we have added our Monty type players. Tough, physical, and defensive minded. I like where we are headed

DGaines22
DGaines22

I like him as a tough guy on our team like a Reggie Evans or Quincy Acy

TristanBisnezzWilliams
TristanBisnezzWilliams

I completely agree about the mortgaging the future crap. Asik is probably the oldest player on the team right now. We need veteran guys who know how to win

Lebron2Pels2014
Lebron2Pels2014

Charles Oakley 2.0 if he fix his defensive rebounding man this guy will be a true steal.

Lebron2Pels2014
Lebron2Pels2014

@thouse Spare me a violin the 2015 draft class is weak it's not like the 2014 draft class.NBA draft picks don't have the glamour like the NFL.You must remember the NBA well all pro drafts are a crapshoot.If you think you're getting an gem in every draft well someone told you wrong in reality.Of course I started think what if the Pels didn't match for Gordon contract, started Rivers and sign some poor sap SG in free agency 2 years ago?The Pel;s would be in the lottery top 5 of the 2013 draft which was a bad draft class.They traded the 2014 pick for Holiday where's the downside? People like you look for quality than quantity.A team like the Pels don't need no more one and done kids on this team waiting years for development. Only a few will achieve that level quicker but people need to stop thinking that a draft pick will lead to destiny because if that was the case every lottery team would contending for a title every year.The Pels have an 2nd rd gem and UDFA gem if these guys make the roster most of us can say maybe not have an 1st rd pick is not that bad than we all thought.

504ever
504ever

@mateor

To me, the best part of this article is the "small rant".  Please reread it.  I basically says Dell gets players as good as draft picks from overseas, the 2nd round players as trade 'throw ins', and players not drafted.   (And of course he could have bought picks, too, if he wanted.)  So we don't need draft picks entering draft night to get young, cheap, quality players

As far as Dell's moves for big pieces, which one(s) do you not like: Anderson, Holiday, Evans, and/or Asik. I like them all.  It sounds like you don't like the Holiday trade and the Asik trade.

Maybe its time for Ryan S. to repost his value of a 1st round draft pick article again.  It shows that any pick outside the top 9 is suspect, historically, and those are the very picks you are complaining about Dell trading.  (There is also a drop off after the top 5 picks, too.  But let's be realistic, you don't get an All Star very often without including at least one top 5 pick.  Oh wait, we did!)  

Ryan can you repost, please?

Lebron2Pels2014
Lebron2Pels2014

@jmbell7 We don't have to worry about Withey in the weight because he's there everyday. Our front court will be bigger and better.

mateor
mateor

@504ever @mateor I disagreed with the EG match, the Jrue trade and (given the Jrue trade) the Asik trade. I also hated the first CP trade, but that was a hard spot for anyone to be in. Dell just really likes vets, I would rather go young and be patient as they grow. 

I do like Asik as a player, and could perhaps have been behind this trade in a vacuum, if we hadn't just traded away a pick we were sure wasn't going in the top ten. But losing our last two picks makes this last move hard for me to support.

I also disagreed with the Austin Rivers pick, but have decided I was wrong. There isn't anyone available at that spot I think he credibly should have chosen. I was mostly mad because, like everyone else, I was pissed Drummond got snatched at 9!

I am willing to see what happens, I just wanted to see if anyone else was concerned. Doesn't really seem like they are. AD is so great, Pelicans are going to improve, no matter what.

bucklezzzman
bucklezzzman

@504ever @mateor For whatever reason people think NBA 1st round picks are treasured like NFL 1st rounders lol the "bust" rate as far as guys selected in the 1st round of the NBA draft, especially outside of the Top 10 (aka a two-thirds of the players selected in Round 1), are astronomically high. That's not even to mention guys who were picked in the Top 10 who've turned out to be terrible.

Heck, picks in the 20s of an NBA draft may not even be considered "busts" because of how little they're normally valued. Lol


The thought of a future pick is always more enticing than the actual pick itself. I remember drooling at getting Minnesota's 1st round pick in the CP3 deal.. until a year later after that pick had become Austin Rivers and he had just completed one of the worst rookie seasons.. EVER smh


Ryan definitely needs to re-post that piece 504ever!

mateor
mateor

@504ever To be clear, signing Andersen was a absolutely great move, especially at the cost of Ayon, whom we got for basically nothing. Lots of other GMs were wrong there, when only Dell was right.