Feel free to ignore the rumors about the Knicks’ and Nets’ interest in Zach LaVine. It’s not that the New York teams wouldn’t be interested if the 25-point-a-game wing became available, it’s that the new Bulls front office is figuring out what direction it wants to go and LaVine (with two years left on his contract) may be part of that future. Chicago has no plans to trade LaVine.
The Bull who could be available in a trade? Thaddeus Young.
That according to K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago.
In fact, according to executives from two other teams, Thad Young, not LaVine, is the player considered most readily available. That’s largely based on Young’s displeasure with his role and usage last season, his team-friendly deal that carries only a partial guarantee in 2021-22 and his dependability and professionalism.
Young, 32, is a rock-solid 13-year NBA veteran who gave the Bulls nearly 25 minutes and 10.3 points a game, while shooing 35.3% from three. He gets his points without needing plays run for him. More importantly, he’s a quality defender who can disrupt passing lanes with his 7’1″ wingspan. A number of teams could use him at the four to stretch the floor and give them quality minutes every night.
Young has two years, $27.7 million left on his contract, a very reasonable number for the production. That makes him very tradeable.
All this will depend on what direction the new front office of Arturas Karnisovas and Marc Eversley decide to take the franchise. If Jim Boylen is out as coach, Young may want to stay and play for the new head man, getting a role he likes better. If Boylen stays (which feels more and more likely, it saves money in down economic times for the league and lets the new front office save the “change the coach” card for after another down year) Young will want out.
Look for Young’s name to come up in trade talk as we move into the offseason.