Thaddeus Young Commends Chicago Bulls Teammates During Podcast

Thaddeus Young (left) and Zach LaVine of the Chicago Bulls

Getty Thaddeus Young (left) and Zach LaVine of the Chicago Bulls

Thaddeus Young has played 14 seasons in the NBA. In that time, eight of those seasons included postseason play. But none of his playoff experience has come during his tenure with the Chicago Bulls. This season, the Bulls came close to making the playoffs but finished two games out of play-in contention in a competitive Eastern Conference.

During an appearance on the Road Trippin’ podcast, Young said there are “no excuses” for this season’s outcome.

“You take everything out of your hands when you don’t win games,” Young explained of his team, which completed the regular season with a 31-41 record. “I think that was the toughest part. We had the pieces. We had the team that can actually go out there and win. It’s just a matter of us gelling together.”

Despite missing the playoffs, Young still spoke highly of his team — notably two of his teammates.


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Young Thinks Patrick Williams was a Steal

On the podcast, the veteran forward detailed how his mindset has changed throughout his career. Young has gone from a budding player adamant about being a starter to an effective role player who realizes the value of being a part of the second unit.

As a member of the Bulls, he has also embraced the role of a true veteran, taking it upon himself to help out the young guys in Chicago. That role has especially meant helping Patrick Williams recognize his talent and potential.

“With the fourth pick, they stole them one,” Young said of the Bulls drafting Williams last year.

He also made sure to note that Williams was taken as a lottery pick after having played just one season, coming off the bench, at Florida State to further express just how impressed he is with the rookie.

Young brought up Williams when podcast co-hosts and former NBA players Channing Frye and Richard Jefferson were discussing the Golden State Warriors’ James Wiseman. Frye was explaining how, to be effective, Wiseman doesn’t always have to know what he’s doing because of how athletic he is. This prompted Young to enthusiastically mention Williams, saying the description Frye just used reminded him of the Bulls rookie.

Williams played and started in all but one game this season, so that alone is telling of his ability to hold his own in the NBA. His averages of 9.2 points and 4.6 assists per game weren’t anything spectacular, are still respectable, but could have been better given his potential.

Young admitted he thinks Williams will “be a stud,” but there’s still work to be done.

“He did a hell of a job this year, but he had games where he gets lost,” Young said of Williams. “So, at the end of the season, I spent a lot of time molding him and trying to tell him, ‘Look, when Zach and Vooch don’t play, this is your f****** team.’”

Williams had moments of passiveness throughout the season — particularly on the offensive end. His scoring game consisted mainly of solid midrange jumpers and an improved 3-point shot. Standing at 6-feet-7-inches, Williams has size but often failed to use it to his advantage by being an aggressive scorer. Not often would he drive and try to make plays in the paint, despite having shown success with it on the occasions he played in that manner.


Zach LaVine is the Best Scorer Young Has Played With

During the podcast, Frye also presented the following question to Young: “If you had to pick one guy to go one-on-one against the rest of the league that was your teammate, who would that be? Pure talent, that dude is just a bucket getter.”

Young’s answer? Zach LaVine, which he didn’t hesitate to say.

“Zach is a phenomenal scorer,” Young said. “He’s different. There’s no stopping him from scoring. He’s going to get his 20, 25 (points).”

LaVine was a rookie on the Minnesota Timberwolves during Young’s half-season there in 2014-15, so the two have known each other for years. But, back then, LaVine was not the elite scorer he is now.

Named an All-Star for the first time, LaVine had his best season this year. In 58 games, he put up averages of 27.4 points, 4.9 assists and 5.0 rebounds and shot 50.7 percent from the field. His scoring and assist averages led the Bulls.

But despite the scoring prowess, Young knows that LaVine still has improvements to make to become an even greater player.

“He’s got to become a two-way player,” Young added. “He’s working at it, becoming a two-way player. Billy (Donovan)’s pushing him. I’m pushing him.”

LaVine had shown some growth as a defender this season, and further improvement could help put the Bulls in a better position to make the playoffs next year.

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