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Nets plan on keeping Thaddeus Young

Brooklyn Nets GM Billy King intends to try to keep recently acquired power forward Thaddeus Young beyond this season.

Young can opt out of the final year of his contract -- worth nearly $10 million -- and become a free agent over the summer.

“I know he can opt out but we’re going to do our best to try to keep him here,” King said before Friday night’s game against the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center.

Young was in uniform and available to make his Brooklyn debut.

“It’s been hectic,” said Young, who was traded from Minnesota to the Nets in exchange for future Hall of Famer Kevin Garnett just prior to Thursday’s 3 p.m. trade deadline. “It’s been crazy from start to finish. People texting me, trying to get things closed out in Minnesota and trying to get all packed up. It’s just been crazy but I’m here, ready to go and ready to play.”

Young, 26, brings youth and athleticism to a team in desperate need of it. At 6-8, he also can allow the Nets to match up easier when opposing squads go small.

The seven-year pro owns career averages of 13.8 points and 5.5 rebounds on 49.5 percent shooting. His dunk count has gone down over the past three seasons, however, from 82 to 57 to 14.

“I definitely feel like I’m starting to get back to myself,” Young said. “It’s just been a rough and difficult time the past couple of years and players have those types of years where they start off bad and then pick it up towards the middle or the end of the season so hopefully 2015 came in and I can start playing.”

Young acknowledged that the Nets have been after his services for some time.

“You hear the rumors and you hear the talk and I’m always prepared for anything. I know the business and understand the business. I’ve been playing going on eight years so I understand,” Young said.

Young is thrilled to go from a rebuilding situation to a team trying to claim one of the final two playoff spots in the Eastern Conference.

“I think we have a lot of good players and we can make a run and potentially get into the playoffs,” he said. “We just have to go out there and play and I hope me coming here to this team I can help this team get back there.”

Young explained what it was like to be in limbo while he waited to see if KG would waive his no-trade clause.

“My future was laying in his hands. It’s only right to bring the legend back home,” Young said. “They told me we have a trade, but he has a no-trade clause. I did watch KG growing up and I definitely looked up to him. I understand what he’s done for that franchise and the things he’s done for this league. He’s a legend.”

Said King: “We probably felt this deal was going to happen as of [Thursday] morning in talking to KG. We were content if this was the only deal we were going to make. Overall, I think we’re still competitive and we have a chance at the playoffs. I do believe with this group and adding Thaddeus we got better.”

King will miss Garnett’s work ethic and veteran presence.

“It was tough because I got to know Kevin and I like Kevin a lot. When you start practice at 11, he’s there at 8 and your young guys look at him and say if he’s there, I have to be there, but at this point it was a deal I think we had to make.”

ESPNLosAngeles.com’s Arash Markazi contributed to this report.