For the first time in more than five years, the Chicago Bulls are 3-0 to begin the regular season.
DeMar DeRozan has made a significant impact on the team as he led the squad in scoring with 21 in Chicago’s 97-82 win over the Detroit Pistons at the United Center on Saturday. While DeRozan is paying dividends, many Bulls fans likely hated seeing the team part ways with Thaddeus Young–even though it was a necessary sacrifice to acquire DeRozan in the sign-and-trade deal.
The sacrifice could be made easier if the Bulls were somehow able to re-acquire Young while still making strides toward the postseason with the new-look roster.
Could Thaddeus Young Return to the Bulls?
Young was only included in the deal with the Spurs to make the money work with the new DeRozan deal which pays the Bulls swingman $85 million over three years. Young is in the third year of a 3-year $43.6 million deal, but he’s not seeing much action in San Antonio.
Young has played in one of the team’s three games. His appearance lasted nine minutes and he scored two points. Meanwhile, the Spurs are 1-2 on the season. It sounds like the Spurs could be open to using Young as a trade chip around the deadline, or maybe he might even be granted a buyout which would make him a free agent if he clears waivers. Evan Sidery of Basketball News believes Young is a among five players who could be hot commodities on the buyout market. Sidery wrote:
With the Spurs looking more like a potential tanking team than realistic playoff contender, Young would be wise to get out of the Alamo City as soon as possible. There have already been rumors of the Spurs dangling Young in trades to contenders like the Phoenix Suns, who are in need of one more piece to fortify an already strong second unit. Whether it’s eventually in Phoenix or elsewhere, Young’s leadership, defensive versatility and all-around offensive game allow him to be a snug fit on any roster. Honestly, knowing Young’s value, it wouldn’t be a shock to see San Antonio trade him for a young prospect or a future pick at some point. However, if the Spurs decide to keep Young until the middle of the season — a realistic possibility with San Antonio seemingly believing that the team can make a playoff push with an extremely inexperienced roster — he instantly becomes one of the best buyout options to keep an eye on.
The Bulls’ roster is most thin at power forward. Adding a player like Young to the rotation could be huge for Chicago. He could plug into the reserves augmenting what’s already a strong defensive group and adding a bit of post scoring and playmaking from the block.
Also, it seems unlikely Young wants to spend the final few years of his NBA career riding the pine for a non-playoff team. The Bulls could essentially rescue him from that experience.
Then again, the Suns likely offer the same sort of getaway.
The Phoenix Suns are the Biggest Challenge to the Bulls for Young’s Services
There is a lot that would have to happen for the Bulls to have another shot at bringing Young to the roster. The Spurs will almost certainly try to trade him, and the Suns would probably be at the top of the list of teams looking to bring Young in.
If that doesn’t happen and Young agrees to a buyout with the Spurs, he’d still have to clear waivers before a team like the Bulls could sign him. Then, finally Young would have to want to come back to Chicago.
That would seemingly be the easiest part of the equation. Young seemed to enjoy himself with the Bulls last season, and it makes sense to assume he’d like to be a part of what the team is building this season.
Still. beware of the Suns as they will almost certainly make a run at Young.