The Toronto Raptors have a few holes to fill before the NBA Trade Deadline. Understandably, most of the chatter is surrounded around the Raptors finding a contributing center that can help their rebounding woes. There is also a need for a backup point guard behind Kyle Lowry.
A sneaky need for the Raptors right now is for some added skill, size and depth behind Pascal Siakam at the power forward position. One name that has been at the centre of trade buzz right now is Chicago Bulls forward Thaddeus Young. Word around NBA circles is that Thad is drawing tons of trade interest from contending teams.
This shouldn’t be a surprise as Young is currently playing some of the best basketball of his career for the Bulls. With Lauri Markkanen having only played 14 games this season, Thad has been seeing tons of minutes and has thrived in the increased role.
A force at both ends of the floor, Young is averaging 11.9 points, 5.9 rebounds, 4.4 assists, and 1.4 steals per game. He can play anywhere from a traditional small forward to a small ball center given his size and experience.
Young is a big and physical forward who affects the game at both ends. His work ethic and defensive mindset would fit in great with this Raptors team.
This trade gets Thad Young to the Toronto Raptors
C Aron Baynes
SF Stanley Johnson
2022 1st Round Pick
PF Thaddeus Young
It is tough to say what Thaddeus Young will command in the trade market – especially if a bidding war ensues.
First of all, the Bulls will have to decide if they even want to become sellers at the deadline currently being only 0.5 a game out of the Eastern Conference playoff race. Although the East has nowhere near the powerhouse teams of the West – it is still a competitive conference and the Bulls will have a hard road to make the dance.
Even if they do sneak in, it is hard to see them doing any sort of damage. The Bulls have some stud young players so it would only make sense for them to try and gain some more young assets in an attempt to build competitiveness in what should be the near future.
How does this Thad Young trade help the Chicago Bulls?
In this scenario, the Bulls get Aron Baynes for merely cap salary matching purposes and the faint chance he can rediscover his game in a new system. Odds are his team option would be declined this offseason.
Stanley Johnson is a great developmental piece that has shown great strides during his time in Toronto and could hopefully grow with a young Chicago team. The Bulls are thinnest at the small forward position, and Johnson can help that need.
The 2022 first is obviously the biggest get for a building team like the Bulls and would hopefully increase depth or is an asset they could move for a larger piece.
How does this Thad Young trade help the Toronto Raptors?
As stated earlier, Young is a big and physical presence who makes an impact on both ends. He would be a great 1-2 punch behind Siakam and is someone Nick Nurse would be comfortable putting on in a range of situations.
With Baynes gone, the Raptors would be going full-on small ball. In a small ball setup, Young is a big player who would welcome battles against the big boys.
One of the biggest selling features on Thad is the fact that he is not a rental with a cap hit of just over $14 million next season. Even if the Raptors were looking towards next year – this is a trade management makes as you’re not losing any impact assets that will impact a playoff run either this year or next.
Should Thaddeus Young or any PF be a priority for the Toronto Raptors via trade?
If the Raptors truly go all-in for a playoff chase this season, this is a no-brainer deal to make. If the Raptors don’t go all-in for a playoff chase this season, this is still a no-brainer deal to make.
Center and backup point guard at this point may be bigger priorities, but if you can acquire an asset of Young’s magnitude for that price you jump on it.
If the price for Thad gets increased exponentially in an event of a bidding war or just a seller’s market, Masai Ujiri and Bobby Webster will have to think long and hard about if the cost is worth the service that will be provided. Especially if they don’t see a clear path to the NBA Finals.
Talent behind Siakam at power forward will be something that has to be addressed either by the deadline or this offseason, but Young is a great veteran piece that is worth a look.