New Orleans Pelicans Add Patric Young to Summer League Roster

Published: June 27, 2014

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)


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