Chicago Bulls Player Grades: Thaddeus Young

Thaddeus Young, Chicago Bulls Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
Thaddeus Young, Chicago Bulls Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports /

It goes without saying at this point, but this past season didn’t exactly go as planned for the Chicago Bulls. Despite an All-Star season from Zach LaVine and the midseason acquisition of Nikola Vucevic, Chicago fell short of making the expanded playoff field, finishing eleventh in the Eastern Conference.

Despite missing out on their main goal of postseason play, the season wasn’t without its bright spots. Enter: Thaddeus Young. The 14-season NBA veteran was a key member of the Bulls this season, with his 5.1 Win Shares trailing only LaVine (5.9 WS) on the Bulls according to Basketball-Reference.

The gritty power forward/center continued his strong defense, consistent scoring and solid rebounding presence this season by averaging 12.1 points, 6.2 rebounds and 1.1 steals per game.

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Most importantly though, Young had a late-career renaissance in the way he played. Suddenly, Thad was a passer. And arguably the most important one on the Bulls roster at that.

Many began to call him “Thadgic Johnson” in reference to Hall of Famer Magic Johnson’s legendary court vision.

Young averaged a career-high 4.3 assists per game in his age-32 season. That’s something you don’t see too often in the NBA. It is also part of the reason the team received calls about potentially trading him from championship-contending teams.

His transformation into point-forward became a fulcrum for the Bulls bench unit, finishing second on the team with a 27.1 assist percentage. That makes him responsible for assisting on over one-fourth of the baskets scored by teammates when he was on the court. Quite impressive.

With Thad on the court, the Bulls offense scored an absurdly high 10.8 points more per 100 possessions than with him off the court. Additionally, the Bulls were +146 in point differential with Young on the court, the highest total for any player on the team.

All three of the Bulls best 2-man duos in net points included Thaddeus Young as one of the two players, according to Stathead.  Young was amazing this season, no doubt about it.

Thaddeus Young’s Season Grade: A+

In every single metric, Thaddeus Young was as good a role player as you can get. He wasn’t just the solid veteran he was expected to be; he became even more.

Young expanded his game, becoming one of the most underrated passers in the NBA and an instrumental part of the team’s offense. The Bulls may not have appeased fans with their record this season, but if one thing is clear it’s that it was not due to the play of Thaddeus Young.

In every single metric, Thaddeus Young was as good of a role player as the Chicago Bulls could ask for. From scoring to playmaking, Young did it all.

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