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3 best Thaddeus Young trade destinations

Robbie Stratakos

Thaddeus Young, 33, is the oldest player on a young San Antonio Spurs’ team. He’s a reserve in Gregg Popovich’s rotation and in the final season of a three-year, $44 million deal. Connect the dots, here: Young is a prime candidate to be dealt ahead of the NBA trade deadline.

San Antonio is 6-13 with an overall raw rotation. Young doesn’t have a substantial role in its offense in the long run and is a player who can boost a playoff team. He’s a sound offensive player who can put the ball on the floor and occasionally stretch the floor. Young is also a respectable defender.

Here are three ideal trade destinations for Thaddeus Young.

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3. San Antonio Spurs, Sacramento Kings make unique Thaddeus Young trade

thaddeus young trade to the sacramento kings
Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

Thaddeus Young trade proposal

  • Kings receive: Thaddeus Young and Spurs’ 2024 first-round draft pick
  • Spurs receive: Marvin Bagley III

At the moment, the Spurs and Kings are each out of the Western Conference Playoff picture, but they’re two teams with different set of circumstances. On one hand, the Spurs are a young team trying to become consistent. Meanwhile, the Kings are a team that can’t find its footing and are trying to finally make the playoffs with their young core. This trade does the trick for both teams.

From San Antonio’s point of view, they replace Young with a player who desperately needs a change of scenery in Bagley. The Duke product and former No. 2 overall draft pick is an athletic player who can score inside and hit the boards. Bagley enters the team’s rotation as a reserve, gradually working his way into a larger role. If all goes well, the Spurs re-sign Bagley at season’s end. The draft pick they give up is far off enough to the point where it could lose value if the Spurs make the playoffs within the next three years.

Related: Marvin Bagley III trade scenarios

From Sacramento’s perspective, they get a veteran frontcourt player who makes an impact on both ends of the floor. Young improves their chances of getting to the playoffs, and there’s no strings attached to his acquisition. Plus, if the Kings want to make a blockbuster move at the NBA trade deadline or in the offseason, they have another first-rounder to include in a trade.

  • Thaddeus Young stats (2021-22): 7.3 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game while shooting 59.6/00.0/35.7

All that being said, the two sides could view this trade as not moving the needle enough in the short term to pull the trigger.

2. Thaddeus Young pushes the Minnesota Timberwolves

thaddeus young trade, minnesota timberwolves
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Thaddeus Young trade proposal

  • Timberwolves receive: Thaddeus Young
  • Spurs receive: Taurean Prince

The Timberwolves are playing competitive basketball and should be on the lookout for rotation upgrades via trade to make the playoffs. Swapping Prince for Young makes sense for Minnesota.

Prince has been unable to gain traction this season, which could be a result of D’Angelo Russell and Karl-Anthony Towns finally being on the court together for a prolonged period of time. The T-Wolves can use Prince, who has found occasional success in years past as a wing scorer, to get a more established player who boosts their postseason aspirations in Young.

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In what would be his second stint with the team (Young played 48 games for the T-Wolves in the 2014-15 NBA season), Young would come off head coach Chris Finch’s bench, serving as a stabilizing force for the second unit. In time, Young could be a better option to have on the floor at the end of games than youngsters like Jaden McDaniels and Jarred Vanderbilt. Young doesn’t get in anyone’s way and could be someone who does all the little things with the threat of having a big scoring outing every once in a while.

What could ultimately stop this trade from taking place, however, is Minnesota not viewing Young as enough of an upgrade over Prince to make a change in the back end of their rotation.

1. Thaddeus Young gives the Portland Trail Blazers another scorer

NBA: San Antonio Spurs at Oklahoma City Thunder
Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

Thaddeus Young trade proposal

  • Trail Blazers receive: Thaddeus Young
  • Spurs receive: Robert Covington and Atlanta Hawks’ 2024 second-round draft pick

It feels like the Trail Blazers can only do so much given them producing the same playoff result on a yearly basis. That said, they’re clearly committed to rolling with their nucleus of players and are more likely to be buyers than sellers this season. Trading for Young would be right up their alley.

Covington’s minutes and efficiency have declined a bit this season, and the development of third-year forward Nassir Little isn’t helping the former’s case to be in head coach Chauncey Billups’ playoff rotation. Young gives Portland a lengthy forward who can contribute in multiple ways on the offensive end. From Young’s perspective, he gets to play for a competitive team in the West and at least have the chance to play meaningful basketball in the spring.

Larry Nance Jr. is an athletic finisher, and Little has made strides this season, which, in thought, makes Young a superfluous addition. On the other hand, he can be a more versatile scorer than Covington and serve as Portland’s big man at the end of games depending on the matchup.

Thaddeus Young isn’t taking the Portland Trail Blazers to new heights, but frankly no one on their roster is going to, either. Not even Damian Lillard. This team is what it is, so they might as well look to add differing skill sets and see what happens.