Patric Young is an NBA player. He was an NBA player during the pre-draft process. He was an NBA player after he went undrafted and after very good stint in Las Vegas he is definitely an NBA player now.
In fact the New Orleans Pelicans were reportedly so impressed that they have already offered Young a two-year contract based on his play in the Samsung NBA Summer League, though that rumor never gained much traction.
So far in the four games that the Pelicans have played in Vegas, Young has averaged 7.25 points, seven rebounds and one block in 24.5 minutes per game while shooting 52.2 percent from the floor and playing very solid pick-and-roll defense. Young didn’t get drafted because of a lack of potential, as he has essentially been the same player (a physical specimen who plays above average defense and a garbage pail type offensive role) since he arrived at the University of Florida as a freshman. With teams always trying to find the next diamond in the rough players like Young who clearly have a low ceiling and high floor often get pushed aside for the player who has more potential but hasn’t put things together yet.
With his showing in Vegas though Young showed that he belongs on some teams roster as a third or fourth big man in a rotation and that could cost the Pelicans a shot at another value signing. Young is sure to command interest from both teams around the league trying to fill out rotations on cheap deals and teams trying to find young pieces to grow with their teams going forward. Meanwhile the Pelicans have a basically set big man rotation with superstar Anthony Davis, defensive ace Omer Asik and marksman Ryan Anderson set to take up 96 minutes a night (48 minutes per game at both center and power forward). Taking a conservative guess those players should take up somewhere around 87 minutes a night (32 for Davis, 30 for Anderson and 25 for Asik who can struggle with conditioning due to being an actual giant). That minutes distribution would mean only about nine minutes a night were available for one of the three remaining big men the Pelicans could have on the roster come the start of the season– Young, Jeff Withey and Alexis Ajinca.
In that case it seems unlikely for Young to pass up a similar or greater payday to play for a team that could give him maybe 12 minutes a night if everything breaks the right way for him. Similarly it seems unlikely that the Pelicans would get into a bidding war with some team for the services of Young while still trying to find answers at the small forward spot. It is a tough spot for both sides and one that won’t give us an answer for a bit.
But it certainly seems possible that Patric Young may have been too good in Vegas to be a member of the team that gave him his shot at an NBA career.