Pacers take Oregon’s Joseph Young at 43

The Pacers didn’t expect for him to see be on the board, but they were delighted. With their second and final pick at Thursday’s NBA Draft, the Pacers drafted 6-foot-2 combo guard Joseph Young. This came after addressing their frontcourt with 7-footer Myles Turner at 11.

“Well Joe is going to push the ball and make shots,” said Pacers President Larry Bird. “He’s 6-2, he’s quick, he’s active. We liked Joe all year so we were surprised he’d be there but he’s there and we got him and now we got to get him integrated with what we’re going to do and hopefully he can get the ball up and down the court a little bit faster.”

Young averaged 20.7 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 3.7 assists per game in his final collegiate season. He played his first two seasons at the University of Houston, the alma mater of his father, Michael Young, and then he transferred to the University of Oregon for his final two years.

Named Pac-12 Player of the Year, Young led the league in scoring, his 775 points tied Oregon’s school record for points in a single-season, and he had the second-best free throw percentage in the nation (92.5). He can play both guard positions, though at just 6-2 he’d be an undersized two guard.

“He’s a shooter, he’s a scorer, he’s an attacker,” Bird added. “It’s fun to watch him play. He played very well when he was here, he played well in Chicago, and he had a great year at Oregon. I looking forward to see how he competes against the big boys.”

Young attended the Pacers’ first pre-draft workout on May 18th while in the Midwest to participate in the Draft Combine. He went against Cameron Payne, who was drafted 14th by Oklahoma City, and Notre Dame product Jerian Grant, who was taken 19th by Washington for Atlanta and then sent to New York. (Complicated, I know.)

One thing that made Young stand out was how he was dressed. He was sharply dressed, looking the part as it was a job interview.

“Seriously Joe is one of the best. Such a good kid,” a friend who covers Pac-12 sports regularly told me after the Pacers’ selection.

George Hill, a starter, is the only Pacers point guard under contract for next year. The team will not bring back C.J. Watson and Donald Sloan will consider opportunities around the league for a larger role and more money.

Second-round players do not receive guarantee contracts so Young will have to earn it, and Bird hopes that he does.

“I really like him and I think he has a really good opportunity to make our team,” he said.

One Response to Pacers take Oregon’s Joseph Young at 43
    October 23, 2015 | 12:52 am

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