The Chicago Bulls might be wary to part ways with Zach LaVine, but they should be open to dealing Thaddeus Young. Here are six teams that could trade for him.
In a season dominated by COVID-19, NBA teams may be hesitant to shake up their rosters too much. The unprecedented variance of player performance (and availability) has increased parity, giving more teams hope that they can make noise in the playoffs.
The Chicago Bulls are a good example of this, right on the edge of the playoff picture thanks to a stellar season from Zach LaVine. The seventh-year guard has broken out this year to the tune of 28.7 points, 5.2 rebounds and 5.0 assists on a scorching hot true shooting percentage of 65.3. Considering that he’s the main reason they’re hovering around .500, it’s unlikely they will sell him with a playoff berth on the line.
Chicago could be sellers on a smaller scale, though. They have a few spare parts on their roster who could recoup some value, and trading one of them wouldn’t completely crater the team’s playoff aspirations — especially if the return includes a promising young player.
According to The Chicago Sun-Times, several teams have asked the Bulls about Thaddeus Young’s availability. In the second season of his three-year deal with Chicago, Young is averaging 11.9 points, 5.9 rebounds and 4.4 assists in a backup role. The 32-year-old has been a versatile member of the Bulls’ frontcourt so far and could be a vital cog in a contender’s playoff rotation later this year.
Teams can ask about a player all they want, but Chicago holds all the cards. Young is owed $14.1 million next season and helps the team win games now. Chicago could feasibly be in attack mode this season, make a playoff run with Young, and re-evaluate after the season when he’s an expiring contract and much easier to move.
At the same time, he may also have maximum appeal right now. No one knows how well he will play next season, so this may be Chicago’s best chance to strike while the iron’s hot. In addition, this front office group did not sign Young; a clean slate may be just what Arturas Karnisovas is looking for.
Should the Bulls choose to move him, several contenders should be in play for the combo big.