The Toronto Raptors made a very risky maneuver when they gave up a first-round pick for a 33-year-old player having his worst season in Thad Young. It took all of a few weeks for the Raptors to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that they got one over on the San Antonio Spurs.
Young averaged 6.3 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 1.7 assists per game. While that doesn’t sound like eye-popping production, the value he brought to the team as a connector and glue guy on the bench was one of the main reasons that Toronto was able to stay hot amid a host of injuries.
Young has accomplished a ton in his career, but a ring has escaped him. He will prioritize getting that elusive first ring when picking his next destination. If Toronto’s pitch to Young that features him as the greybeard switchblade off of the bench doesn’t win him over, he’s as good as gone.
The Raptors not only need to worry about Chris Boucher leaving them at the altar, but they need to be aware of Young potentially deciding to join a ready-made winner. These three teams might give Toronto the most friction and competition when it comes time to fight for Young’s services.
3 teams who could steal Thad Young from the Toronto Raptors
3. Dallas Mavericks
Dallas needs to get Luka Doncic some more support before they reload and attempt another run at the title next year. While Jalen Brunson is a fantastic talent, letting him leave in free agency and paying two other players with the savings might be a prudent option.
Young could be an immediate upgrade over most of Dallas’ poor collection of supporting players outside of Doncic. The frontcourt is the biggest issue right now on that roster, as names like Dwight Powell shouldn’t be preferred offensive options for a contender.
The Dallas Mavericks could grab Toronto Raptors veteran Thad Young.
Even with the Doncic megadeal starting to kick in, Mark Cuban and Nico Harrison have shown that they are always willing to bend the salary cap to its absolute limit if it means that they can bring in another big name. Young would be more versatile than Maxi Kleber and a better defender than Davis Bertans.
Young needs to go somewhere willing to fit his skillset into their plans, and a coach like Jason Kidd who has had some impressive adaptability in the playoffs could help integrate him. If Doncic keeps getting better, Young could coast to a Finals appearance as one of the first guys off of the bench while Toronto struggles to replace him.