Hold off the shock, the Minnesota Timberwolves are rumored to be looking for somewhere to trade forward Thaddeus Young. Young makes $9.4 million this season and has an Early Termination Option on $9.97 million for next year. The 26-year-old is in his 8th NBA season and has been a solid performer going back to his second year in the league. His stats are down currently, but that’s easily blamed on his situation. There will be a ton of rumors surrounding Young until a deal gets confirmed.
ESPN sources say Wolves are willing to move Thaddeus Young as part of ongoing rebuild and Young said to be high on list players BKN covets
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) January 16, 2015
Why this young veteran is even on the sad sack Wolves is something of a mystery, but the rumors of potential interest from Toronto shouldn’t be. The Raptors know this former Sixers forward well and he might just be the fix they are looking for to shore up their lineup.
Trade rumors have surfaced about a deal to send Thaddeus Young to the #Raptors. If Young wants out of a tanking situation, this could work.
— Jeff McMenamin (@SixersBlog) January 12, 2015
Young can play either forward position and was expected to play small forward coming out of college. At 6’5.75” tall without shoes and a 34.5” no step vertical jump, he is undersized to play with the big men, but quick and athletic enough to create matchup problems for power forwards. He has, however, always wanted to play small forward, but only intermittently has he been given the chance.
CBS Sports Matt Moore described Young’s desire to get back to his natural position.
Thaddeus Young has resisted playing power forward for years. Dating to 2008, he wanted to play what he feels is his more natural position at small forward for Philadelphia. He has size advantages at small forward and the athleticism to hang at that spot. But his coaches have always leaned toward dropping him at the 4.
Philly.com’s Michael Kaskey-Blomain describes Young’s versatility
Young can do a lot of it all, and his biggest value may be in his versatility. He has played small forward and power forward. He has been in a reserve role and has been a starter for the Sixers. This combination of skill, experience and versatility could be very valuable in today’s NBA, and the right team could really benefit from what he brings to the table.
In many ways Young is a version of the Raptors James Johnson with a better (not great) jump shot and range out to the three-point line. Where Johnson is going to get you more blocks, Young is adept at getting steals. Both players prefer to get their points close to the rim. The Raptors have little need for another power forward – especially an undersized athletic power forward, but with Terrence Ross’ play of late, a young veteran small forward like Young could get their attention – if they believe Young can play small forward.
Raptors President and General Manager, Basketball Operations Masai Ujiri has seen enough of Young to make an informed decision about his value to the Raptors and Head Coach Dwane Casey shouldn’t have any trouble forming an opinion about whether Young would fit on his roster or not.
It isn’t clear cut if Toronto would make a suitable landing spot for another combo forward, but Ujiri likes versatility. It just doesn’t seem like the Raptors are about to rush into anything and Young may not be on the market all that long.
“When you are winning everyone is having fun and when you are losing, it’s time to get back to the serious page of doing things the right way, staying locked-in in the locker room and just doing the little things right,” Johnson said.