3. Bulls might trade Thaddeus Young
In that same piece from Cowley of the Sun-Times that mentioned the possibility of the Bulls trading Markkanen, it also discussed the poor fit between him and power forward Thaddeus Young. While both Markkanen and Young would still command a good amount of value on the trade market, it seems like it’s only worth keeping one around.
The Bulls have less invested into Young than they do in Markkanen. And it would be good to let Young get out of the Windy City and admit defeat while there’s still some trade value left to his name. There’s less upside in general right now by keeping Young around than Markkanen. And the latter is cheaper for the next year or so.
So far this season, Young is registering the second worst box plus/minus rating (-1.1) and value over replacement player rating (0.4) of his career, and the third worst true shooting percentage (52.1). He still has a lot of value with his interior game, and his three-point shooting percentage improved this season. The defensive ability of Young still also stands out.
If the Bulls are going to choose between keeping Young and Markkanen this offseason, all else the same, then they should stay with the latter. Give Markkanen one more chance and see where it goes. He’s got a much higher ceiling and maybe better usage under a different front office and possibly coaching structure could do a lot for him.