NBA Rumors: Latest Buzz on Thaddeus Young, Bulls, Knicks' Future

Jake RillSenior Analyst IIIJuly 27, 2020

Chicago Bulls' Thaddeus Young during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Brooklyn Nets Friday, Jan. 31, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Frank Franklin II/Associated Press

The Chicago Bulls are entering a new era with Arturas Karnisovas now serving as the team's vice president of basketball operations. But there are still questions about what other moves could be coming for the organization.

Will Jim Boylen remain the Bulls' head coach? Could they trade Zach LaVine? According to Ian Begley of SNY, the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets have already done "background work" on LaVine and been monitoring his situation.

However, it's possible that Chicago could be more likely to trade another one of its key players.

K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago recently wrote that forward Thaddeus Young is "the player considered most readily available," per executives from two other teams, rather than LaVine.

"That's largely based on Young's displeasure with his role and usage last season, his team-friendly deal that carries only a partial guarantee in 2021-22 and his dependability and professionalism," Johnson wrote.

In 64 games this season, Young averaged 10.3 points per contest, his lowest since his rookie season with the Philadelphia 76ers in 2007-08. He made only 16 starts in 64 games after primarily being a starter over the previous seven seasons with the 76ers, Minnesota Timberwolves, Nets and Indiana Pacers.

Young has already been traded three times in his 13-year NBA career. He was dealt from Philadelphia to Minnesota in August 2014, from Minnesota to Brooklyn in February 2015 and from Brooklyn to Indiana in July 2016. He signed a three-year, $43.6 million deal with Chicago last offseason, so he's not set to become a free agent until after the 2021-22 season.

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Although Young shot a career-worst 44.8 percent from the field this season and is now 32, he's had productive years in recent memory, so perhaps a potential change in scenery could help him bounce back in the near future.


Knicks aiming to contend in 2020-21?

Over the weekend, several have reported that Tom Thibodeau will soon officially become the next head coach of the New York Knicks, including The Athletic's Mike Vorkunov. The team has conducted a thorough interview with nearly a dozen rumored interviewees, but it appears it's decided on the former Bulls and Timberwolves head coach.

This season, the Knicks missed the playoffs for the seventh straight year. Despite that, they might be looking to turn things around quickly under Thibodeau, according to Vorkunov.

"The perception among some league executives and agents is that a Thibodeau hire means the Knicks are not in the long, slow rebuild business," Vorkunov wrote. "Thibodeau has no history as the maestro behind a franchise's gradual incline, and the Knicks might not have any interest in taking that route after trying the slow-and-grow approach under presidents Phil Jackson and Steve Mills."

New York likely will continue to construct its lineup around shooting guard RJ Barrett, who was its first-round pick in the 2019 NBA draft. But there could be plenty of changes to the Knicks' roster during the upcoming offseason, and they might be some necessary ones if they truly expect to compete as soon as the 2020-21 season.

Thibodeau has been successful getting his teams into the playoffs in the past. He reached the postseason all five seasons he led the Bulls, including making an Eastern Conference Finals appearance in his first season in 2011. Thibodeau also guided the Timberwolves to the playoffs in 2018, his sixth postseason appearance in his first seven seasons as an NBA head coach.

At this point, it's hard to judge whether the Knicks will be a serious postseason contender next season because of how much their lineup could change before then. But it sounds like Thibodeau may not be coming in expecting to endure some losing seasons.