The Suns Are Reportedly Interested In Trading For Thaddeus Young

After the initial wave of signings and trades to open the offseason in early August, things have slowed significantly in the last two weeks, but there are still conversations ongoing and deals being worked out as teams continue to try and shape their rosters prior to training camp in a month’s time.

One of the final big free agents has a new home in Lauri Markkanen, as the Bulls’ RFA was sent to Cleveland in a three-team sign-and-trade. Another former Bull who was part of a different sign-and-trade, Thaddeus Young who ended up in San Antonio in the DeMar DeRozan deal, has popped up in a new trade rumor and could be on the move again soon.

Young, who was one of the brightest spots for the Bulls in 2020-21 averaging 12.1 points, 6.2 rebounds and 4.3 assists, is garnering interest from last year’s title runner-up in the Phoenix Suns, per Shams Charania of The Athletic. Charania reports the Suns are “among the contenders” who have reached out to the Spurs about Young, indicating that they aren’t alone which isn’t surprising considering Young is the type of steady, veteran role-playing presence on both ends of the floor that just about every contender would like to have.

That said, with Dario Saric likely out for the season, even with JaVale McGee now in tow, the Suns could certainly use someone like Young to bolster their frontcourt rotation. Now, the difficulty lies in making a trade happen. Young can’t be dealt until early October because he has to be in San Antonio for two months before being dealt again, but the real issue is Phoenix figuring out how to match salary. The Suns have done a really good job of building this team with guys on rookie deals and smaller contracts, but the one problem with that is it becomes much more difficult to bring in a guy on a $14 million deal.

The only real option for Phoenix would be to trade Saric and Jalen Smith (and any draft assets) for Young, which would require them to once again address their backup center position in free agency next season. That’s not an unreasonable price for a player the caliber of Young, but they’d have to hope the Spurs have interest in Smith’s potential to make that happen, as Saric adds another year and $8.5 million to the San Antonio cap sheet. Still, for a Suns team looking to get back into the Finals picture this season, Young’s presence would be a big addition.