The expiring contract of Bulls forward Thaddeus Young could be the club’s best non-All Star trade chip, posits Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times. Only $6MM of Young’s $14.2MM contract is guaranteed for the 2021/22 season. The Bulls front office has until August 1 to fully ratify the deal, which would make sense to do, as the veteran Young has proven to be a valuable role player in Chicago, and even the full $14.2MM deal is reasonable enough to make him desirable for a win-now franchise.
The 33-year-old Young has thrived with the Bulls as a multifaceted two-way reserve capable of playing both forward positions and, occasionally, small-ball center. He seemed to take significant steps during the 2020/21 season as a ball-handler and play-maker, averaging a career-best 4.3 assists.
There’s more out of the Central Division:
- Given that they have the third pick in what is considered to be a top-heavy draft, Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com wonders if the Cavaliers should consider trading down for a lower lottery selection and a future asset. In some order, the top four picks in the draft are expected to be Oklahoma State guard Cade Cunningham, USC center/power forward Evan Mobley, G League Ignite guard Jalen Green, and Gonzaga guard Jalen Suggs. The Cavaliers are also expected to assess the next batch of lottery prospects, including Florida State guard Scottie Barnes, G League Ignite forward Jonathan Kuminga, Duke forward Jalen Johnson, Adelaide 36ers guard Josh Giddey, Tennessee guard Keon Johnson and Gonzaga forward Corey Kispert. If Cleveland prefers one of these players, who should be available beyond the top four, it might make sense to trade down.
- Athletic Pistons rookie point guard Saben Lee enjoyed an impressive first NBA season, despite being drafted 31 spots behind fellow rookie Pistons point guard Killian Hayes, writes Keith Langlois of Pistons.com. Langlois projects that Lee’s aforementioned athleticism, his 6’9″ wingspan, and his strength will serve him well as a defense-first guard on the team next season.
- The Pistons will have their first No. 1 pick in quite a while, and standout Oklahoma State guard Cade Cunningham has widely been viewed as the top prospect in the upcoming draft. Omari Sankofa II of the Detroit Free Press details why the club could ultimately pass on selecting Cunningham, explaining why the ceilings of Jalen Green and Evan Mobley are enough to at least get them into the conversation of a top selection. Cunningham’s ball-handling, shooting, defense and positional fluidity make him perhaps the safest bet for a rebuilding team. Mobley’s unique offensive game and impressive size as a center and Green’s fit with the Pistons specifically make both players interesting possibilities.