The Bulls signed Thaddeus Young on the first night of free agency, and it was a relatively-pleasant surprise!
Before you officially go ahead and decide whether you like this deal, let’s make sure you’re well versed in all things Young.
Player, Age (in 2019), Position, Measurements
Thaddeus Young, 31, forward, 6-8 and 221 pounds
- 3 years, $41 million
2018 Performance & Analysis
- Season stats and per-game averages: 81 games (81 starts), 12.6 points, 2.5 assists, 6.5 rebounds; 52.7 FG%, 34.9 3PT%, 64.4 FT%, 55.7 eFG%, 56.9 TS%
To be quite frank, it’s hard to find somebody as reliable as Thad Young. Once again, I’ll throw this tweet out there to help prove the point.
Thad Young's games played/started the last 4 years:
2015-16: 73/73 – 15.1ppg
2016-17: 74/74 – 11.0 ppg
2017-18: 81/81 – 11.8 ppg
2018-19: 81/81 – 12.6 ppg
Can't deny it, he has been an efficient and reliable forward over the years. #Bulls could have done worse.
— Elias Schuster (@Schuster_Elias) June 30, 2019
The Bulls wanted a veteran presence, and given Young’s 12-year career, that’s exactly what they got. When Young is on the court, you practically know what you’re going to get … and for the Bulls that’s not a bad thing at all.
He may not be the dominant scoring type some had hoped for, but he puts in work on both ends of the court and will check nearly every box on the stat sheet (he shoots at an efficient rate, has the ability to knock down the three ball, fights for rebounds and stays in front of his opponents on the defensive end). Not to mention, off the court, he’s viewed as one of the more professional NBA-talents with a strong work ethic.
In general, Young is pretty strong post scorer who uses his footwork and finesses around the basket to knock down shots. He plays stronger and larger than his natural size, being able to compete well against bigger opponents when driving toward the basket. He has the touch to knock down a floater off the pick and roll, but also the general ball-handling skills to get the right shot off the dribble.
If you aren’t sold on Young, you probably just haven’t watched enough of him. He is the type of player that every time he puts up 20+ points it feels quiet (even though it’s not any less meaningful). Linked below are two highlight packages from previous games this season, the first of which highlights his balanced skill set. I strongly suggest checking it out.
Young has pretty incredible court vision for a big man, demonstrated by some of his flashy assists in the videos below. And as The Athletic’s Stephen Noh points out, he also has a great knack for stealing the basketball. In fact, thanks to NBC Chicago Sports’ Mark Strotman, we know that Young leads all power forwards in steals since 2007 with 1315. We also know that he ranks third all-time for steals per game (1.46) behind George McGinnis (1.75) and Charles Barkley (1.46), that’s a useful skill.
Career Performance and Notable Accomplishments
- Career stats and averages: 901 (671 starts), 13.4 points, 1.7 assists, 6.0 rebounds; 50.0 FG%, 32.9 3PT%, 67.3 FT%, 52.1 eFG%, 53.8 TS%
- Notable career accomplishments: One of 12 finalists for the Twyman-Stokes Teammate of the Year Award for the 2018-19 season, also this…
The Nets had a good night… but we don't see KD or Kyrie on this graphic pic.twitter.com/fv4VKgwFRR
— Bulls Talk (@NBCSBulls) July 1, 2019
Young has been a traditional starter throughout most of career, but it’s time for him to take a step back. With the Bulls fully invested in Lauri Markkanen at the power forward position, and plenty of money tied up in Otto Porter Jr. at small forward, Young must become one of the first players off the bench, not one of the first players on the court. However, that’s a pretty solid problem to have. Young could have very well been given another starting role somewhere else in the league, so having an NBA-level starter available to come fresh off the bench should certainly help the Bulls maintain a competitive drive.
He’ll also be able to anchor the Bulls second-unit on the court (a unit that will most likely include Coby White for a decent amount of the season). Last year, the team struggled immensely with its depth, normally dropping well out of games after their starters checked out, so this is another way he’s a fairly obvious fit for this team at this moment in time.
Oh, and a lot Young’s game relies on him posting up players and making his way into the paint (as discussed previously), so you can only imagine how Jim Boylen is feeling right about now. Put simply, he makes the team more versatile, and that’s exactly what they set out to accomplish.
They Said It
- You should 100 percent read this breakdown from Noh. Great job digging even deeper into Young as a player, with brief video analysis included!
Thaddeus Young is an underrated player, have to watch a lot of his film to appreciate what he does. Here's a scouting report beyond his box score numbers + reasons why I liked the signing for the Bulls: https://t.co/FNY4LI50JM
— Stephen Noh (@StephNoh) July 1, 2019
— Ricky O'Donnell (@SBN_Ricky) June 30, 2019
Thad Young is #tough
— Jason Patt (@Bulls_Jay) June 30, 2019
Thad Young had 5 games last season in which he amassed 5 steals.
The Bulls' roster had 3 such games last season total.
— Mark Strotman (@markstrot) June 30, 2019
Also, I don't know if this means Young is a high effort player or teams really tried to take advantage of him defensively….but Young was second in the NBA in contesting 355 3-point attempts. Only Pascal Siakam (382) contested more.
— Mark Strotman (@markstrot) July 1, 2019
Six months ago, Bulls needed a solid young veteran PG, a promising lead guard of the future, a versatile power forward, a long term answer to the SF spot and a young big for the future.
Tomas Satoransky, Cody White, Thad Young, Otto Porter, Daniel Gafford…well then, fair play.
— Mark Deeks (@MarkDeeksNBA) July 1, 2019
I spoke with Thaddeus Young a few days ago and he seemed to realize that his days with the Indiana Pacers were numbered. Still, he praised the Pacers organization and raved about incoming forward T.J. Warren (who is essentially his replacement). Thad is a class act: pic.twitter.com/fq32wL1cmu
— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) July 1, 2019
What's up @chicagobulls ? Gar, Jim, and Pax thanks for opportunity to help build culture and get us back on track. Let's work.
— Thad Young (@yungsmoove21) July 1, 2019