By Thomas Gibbons
One veteran down with likely more to come.
The Chicago Bulls wasted no time Sunday night when free agency opened to check a box off their summer list, adding a veteran big-man. As first reported by Chris Haynes of Yahoo! Sports, the Bulls and forward Thaddeus Young have agreed to a three-year, $41 million deal.
Young, entering his 13th year in the league, averaged 12.6 points and 6.5 rebounds per game in 81 regular season games with the Indiana Pacers last season along with shooting 34.9% from three-point range. Young joins the big-man rotation with Lauri Markkanen and Wendell Carter Jr., which could shape up to be very effective.
John Paxson said after the season ended that they would be looking for a few veterans to bring in with their young core. Young brings a versatile game and finish around the rim. He shot 65.2% in the restricted area last season.
When you watch Young, you see an aggressive rebounder and like the stats prove, will finish around the rim. While his three point shooting percentage is average, he displays his range and will knock it down. He had a strong game at both ends of the floor and the Bulls needed that with Robin Lopez departing. With his range, Young can stretch the floor and will attack the basket.
It’s not a big time signing but he’s effective and durable. He has played in at least 73 games in each of his 12 seasons in the league. The Bulls need that with their recent injury history.
Along with his on the court performance, Young is spoken highly of off the court. A tweet from the Pacers president of basketball operations stands out.
In addition, Young is known as a great teammate.
It’s not always about the stats but what a player is doing to help the team chemistry and others improve their game. Right away, Young looks to be a solid addition to a young Bulls team working to get back to the playoffs.
What does the Bulls cap room look like now? They have about $10 million left along with an exception of $4.76M they can also dip into. This is enough to sign a veteran point guard and likely a shooter for their bench.