When the news broke that the Spurs were acquiring Thaddeus Young along with Al-Farouq Aminu (as well as some picks) for DeMar DeRozan in a sign-and-trade transaction with the Bulls, it was fair to wonder if the veteran forward would even set foot in San Antonio. Aminu wasn’t expected to draw much interest after a two-year decline, but Young should have intrigued other teams.
The original transaction is now done, and there hasn’t been any rumors about potential trades, so it seems like both players are here to stay. Which could actually be a good thing, since Young in particular actually has a lot to offer that other players in the team can’t provide.
It’s too early to tell who the Spurs will start next to Keldon Johnson at the other forward spot. Young is probably the least exciting option, since he doesn’t offer the spacing Doug McDermott could bring to the table or the upside of either Luka Samanic or Devin Vassell. The veteran is a 33 percent career shooter from behind the arc on only 1.5 attempts per game, so expecting him to suddenly turn into a marksman would be foolish. It certainly didn’t work out for Jim Boylen in Chicago. He’s also on a one-year deal and is six years older than the oldest core “young” player, Derrick White, so molding the starting lineup to fit his strengths would not be wise. Maybe Young will start, but it feels more likely that he’ll come off the bench. And in that role, he could be extremely valuable.