On a day with one terrible bit of Florida basketball news, it's nice to also have a good thing to report: Only Gators' Adam Silverstein reports that Patric Young has officially signed a two-year contract with the New Orleans Pelicans.
Young, who signed with the Pelicans for NBA Summer League play after going undrafted in the 2014 NBA Draft, has impressed over the last two weeks in Las Vegas, averaging 7.4 points and 8.0 rebounds per game over five contests, and bookending his Summer League experience with an 11-point, 13-rebound double-double to open the schedule and an eight-point, 12-rebound performance to close it.
Young also significantly impacted most of the five games on the offensive glass, hauling in multiple offensive boards in four of the five games and averaging 3.4 offensive rebounds per contest.
Young getting a contract means he's poised to be an undrafted success story, but he'll still have to trek an uphill road to be a contributing NBA player. The Pelicans have Ryan Anderson, Omer Asik, Anthony Davis, and Jeff Withey in their frontcourt rotation, and it will be hard for Young to get minutes behind that quartet: Young is more mobile and a better defender than Anderson, but he's far less effective on offense, and he's much shorter than and not superior on defense to any of Asik, Davis, or Withey.
And then there's Alexis Ajinca, a 2008 first-round pick who has bounced around the NBA and French leagues. While he has never really made a mark on the NBA, he, too, possesses more height than Young, and would seem to fit better in an NBA front line.
Young does provide cheap insurance — he's likely signed for close to the NBA minimum for rookies, which is just more than $500,000 — to any of the Pelicans' big men. But, at least to begin his career, he may have to ride the pine and learn instead of playing an integral role for the team.