It turns out that you and Thaddeus Young have something in common.
It’s not that you’re 6-foot-8 (unless you are?) or that you’re building an entire room dedicated to your shoe collection (yeah, he’s doing that). It’s that you’re both quite unhappy with the Bulls.
According to a report from the Sun-Times, Young has been frustrated with the minutes he’s received so far this season.
Here’s a snippet from Joe Cowley’s piece:
According to several sources, including a teammate, Young has been unhappy with his role with his new team, specifically the minutes he’s been given, and if things don’t improve the Bulls shouldn’t be surprised if Young’s camp asks for a trade now that he’s eligible to be moved after signing a three-year, $41 million deal back on July 6.
NBC Sports Chicago’s K.C. Johnson also refers to this in a recent mailbag, writing that Young “has shared his desire to play more with several in the organization.” Moreover, the Sun-Times story by Cowley reports that the team should not be surprised if Young requests a trade.
In any case, this isn’t the best news to hear from sources close to a player who is only a little more than one quarter of his way through the first year of a $41 million deal he signed last summer.
The idea of Young wanting more time on the court is understandable. After all, he is coming from a Pacers team where he was a starter and averaged 30.7 minutes per game. Now, Young is clocking only 21.6 minutes per game, which is the fewest since his rookie year in 2007-08. And with that in mind, it would be hard to blame the veteran for wanting to play on a better squad.
Even still … this feels like an uncharacteristic move based on what we know about Young’s reputation. He willingly came to Chicago knowing competitive basketball was a work in progress and even spoke about choosing the organization over others because he wanted to help build something.
Just re-read what he told reporters at Bulls Media Day:
“It was more about need than anything. I felt like this team needed me in the progress. I felt like this team would give me a chance to come and help lead and help build a culture … it puts me in the same potential place to where I was before, where I can come in help a team get better – quick, fast, in a hurry – and potentially, like I said, make the playoffs.”
Young says “potentially” make the playoffs, so it’s not like he wasn’t aware this team could very well miss the mark. I’m sure – just like many of us – Young expected a different record at this point in the season, but this was the risk he took in signing with the Bulls.
As for the rumored issues with his playing time, it’s not as if his stats have necessarily warranted more minutes on the court. He’s only shooting 41.1 percent from the field and hasn’t been one to take over games like some of his bench-mates. I suppose that might be a product of not having enough time to get into a rhythm. But again, he hasn’t been making a super-strong case for more playing time to find said rhythm.
In the end, it’s wild that these reports surfaced after he recorded a season-high 32:37 in playing time against the Atlanta Hawks. Perhaps some of it had to do with the game being a blowout, but he still found his way onto the court for significantly more time. Maybe the coaches heard his plea? If they did, then they should note he responded by playing well, scoring 15 points and grabbing 9 rebounds.
If season-long trends continue, Young will not get that type of time moving forward. But, who knows, maybe the Bulls will be inclined to bump his minutes now with this report out there. All in all, something to keep an eye on.