Ep. 86: Joe Young is headed to China

Joe Young, Pacers, Nate McMillan, Myles Turner

Joe Young, the Pacers’ second-round pick in 2015, has found a new team. The 26-year-old guard has agreed to a one-year deal with the Nanjing Tongxi Monkey King of the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA), Young told VigilantSports.com.

“Got things finalized and just truly honored about this opportunity,” Young said.

“Great team, great coach. I heard a lot of great things about the organization. Me and my team came together and decided what was best for me at this particularly time. … I know it’s a different pace. At the end of the day, basketball is basketball and I just have to adjust to it.”

Another former Pacer, Al Jefferson, will be playing in the same league. After the Pacers waived the veteran center in early July, he weighed his options, including returning to the Pacers, but decided to sign with the Xinjiang Flying Tigers. Young said he spoke to his former locker neighbor before making his decision.

“I had a great conversation with Al. He basically gave me good advice. He told me you got to do what’s best for you and the family, and how the NBA works – if there’s no roster spots, you have to find you a job. Until then, that’s what I’m doing [in China].

“I really have to mature even more. And that’s not even a bad thing to even go over there; I know people might say it is. It’s a great deal and I’m truly honored about this opportunity. And I’m blessed, I just want to thank God for keeping me with a positive mindset to go out there every day and put my best step forward.”

Joe Young, Pacers

Joe Young appeared in 53 games during the 2017-18 season. [Frank McGrath/PS&E]

Young, a Houston native, was drafted 43rd overall in the 2015 NBA Draft, joining fellow rookie Myles Turner in Indianapolis.

He appeared in 53 games last season with the Pacers, averaging 3.9 points and 1.2 rebounds per game. He shot 43 percent from the field and 37.9 percent from three-point land, and said it was made clear during his exit interview that he wasn’t part of the team’s future.

The Pacers declined to pick up their option on the fourth year of Young’s deal, making him a free agent.

“I really thank them for everything they did for me, drafting me. It’s truly an honor to get an opportunity that every kid dreams for. I will always thank the Pacers for drafting me,” he said.”

Young will spend the next few weeks at home. He’s expecting his second child, Joseph Jr., to arrive on Aug. 10. Soon after, he will go to Chicago for workouts with guard Patrick Beverley of the Los Angeles Clippers. The two share an agent (Kevin Bradbury of BDA Sports Management) and Beverley played overseas from 2008-2012 before securing a roster spot with the Houston Rockets in 2013.

Young will then fly to China on September 8th.

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Topics Discussed:

  • Why going to China is best for him
  • Free agency and how it was not a robust market
  • Expecting his second child and first son, and passing down his name
  • How Myles is the last remaining Pacer from when he was drafted in 2015
  • Whether he considered a two-way contract or playing in the G League
  • Working out at P3 Sports Science in Santa Barbara and how he’s determined to improve defensively

[Photo: Frank McGrath/PS&E]

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