Previous reports have suggested that the Chicago Bulls will not trade veteran leader Thaddeus Young at the trade deadline, but that has not stopped teams from trying. Really hard.
According to ESPN’s Zach Lowe, while the Bulls are still signaling that Young is off the table, sources have indicated to him that the Bulls would likely receive a first-round pick in return.
Young is almost 33, with a partially guaranteed deal next season. The Bulls could get a lot for him now; a first-round pick seems likely, sources said. But Chicago is signaling Young is not available right now, league sources said — that he is too valuable to both their on-court play and their locker room.
All things considered, this has become Young’s expected value over the past couple of months due to his consistently productive play on both ends of the floor. He is currently averaging a career-high in assists (4.4) and is shooting at his most efficient clip yet (60.1 eFG%). We first learned that teams were very interested in Young services in early February when the Sun-Times’ Joe Cowley reported that Young had drawn “the most interest” out of any Bulls player potentially on the market. Then, the story grew legs when ESPN’s Bobby Marks shared that executives around the league viewed Young as the player who could have the greatest impact on the playoff race (behind only Bradley Beal). We talked more about that here.
I have little doubt Arturas Karnisovas and Marc Eversley have known for quite some time that Young could earn them a future first-rounder. The question is just whether or not they view that as enough to move on from arguably their most important locker room presence. So far the answer appears to be no, but this also could be one of the front office’s negotiation tactics. If Young is this desirable, then desperate teams may start to offer increasingly significant packages as the deadline inches closer.
We also have to question what kind of first-rounder a team would offer the Bulls. Yes, this upcoming 2021 draft is deep, but is it deep enough where a pick potentially in the late-teens to early-20s feels worth it for Young? That is probably what the Bulls would get their hands on since contending teams are likely the ones picking up the phone. I guess there is a possibility Chicago can grab compensation in a future draft, but there is also no way to ensure that pick is anything special.
There is just something to keeping a player that (1) everyone loves and (2) helps establish the winning culture you’re trying to build, and we touched on this in one of our first posts about a potential Young trade.
Here is a snippet:
It’s simple to say that since Young isn’t going to play a substantial role on a vastly improved playoff Bulls team three years down the road that you should trade him for the best return offered. I get that. But I also can’t help but wonder if simply winning more games right now can prove to be more valuable than a late first-round pick or another young player with which some contending team is comfortable parting ways. For years, the Bulls have tried to develop their young talent while winning no more than 22 games. I don’t know about you, but I think it can be hard to teach winning ways when there is no winning happening.
Anyway, I feel pretty confident that this will not be the last time we hear about Young this week. The deadline is at 2:00 p.m. CT on Thursday, and while the Bulls may not have seen a deal they like quite yet, we all know that can change real quick.