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Pacers send Joe Young to play with Fort Wayne Mad Ants

Indiana's rookie will join Rakeem Christmas and Shayne Whittington in Fort Wayne to further his development.

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The Indiana Pacers announced Friday that they have assigned rookie Joe Young to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants of the NBA D-League.

The University of Oregon alum has appeared in only seven games for the Pacers this season, averaging 1.3 points in approximately six minutes per game.

With George Hill, Monta Ellis, and Rodney Stuckey playing 92 of the team's 96 possible backcourt minutes per game, playing time has been a rare commodity for the team's rookie. Indiana's November 18 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers, which George Hill missed due to illness, is the only game this season in which Young has played more than 20 minutes. Rakeem Christmas and Shayne Whittington are each averaging over 30 minutes per game with the Mad Ants.

Despite his lack of defined role, Young, who routinely mentions hitting the gym on social media, has remained steadfastly committed to improving. Nevertheless, sporadic practice time is no substitute for playing time, which he will earn far more steadily in Fort Wayne (even if only for the weekend).

The Mad Ants face the Iowa Energy at home on Saturday, before hitting the road on Sunday for a matinee game against the Grand Rapids Drive.

Averaging 22.5 points, 3.2 assists, and 2.5 rebounds on 50.8 percent shooting, Young was named to the Orlando All-Summer League team by NBA-TV. He was also pegged as the biggest steal of the draft, via's annual Rookie Survery.