The Toronto Raptors’ trade for Thad Young has been quite the roller coaster. While it initially looked like a steal after he reinvigorated the bench in the 2021-22 season, the fact that Toronto surrendered a first-round pick that became Malaki Branham to acquire someone who wasn’t even in the rotation last season looks less enviable by the day.
The Raptors were faced with a dilemma amid all of the chaos surrounding Fred VanVleet’s departure and Dennis Schroder’s arrival. They could have either eaten a nice $1 million if they cut Young, or guaranteed his salary for the 2023-24 season at around $8 million.
Masai Ujiri chose the latter, as Young is officially on the books for the 2023-24 season. However, given his status on this new-look roster, it has become clear that the Raptors and Young would be best served by parting ways via some sort of trade. It makes no sense to saddle a young roster with a player that isn’t going to play.
With Toronto still needing (perhaps) one more backcourt player, and the contracts of Chris Boucher and Otto Porter Jr. looking quite unsightly, the Raptors might be in a trading mood. If that is the case, Young might be yet another name thrown into the rumor mill by Masai Ujiri.
Will the Toronto Raptors trade Thad Young?
Young averaged just 5.1 points and 3.5 rebounds per game with the Raptors, but he played an important role on the 2021-22 squad as a bench connector and veteran glue guy. Young even earned some starts as a small-ball center early in the season before the Jakob Poeltl trade.
Young has bounced around the league quite frequently, but a championship has eluded him. Multiple teams across the NBA would likely be interested in filling up one of their bench spots with a proven veteran that can still play serviceable backup PF minutes.
The Raptors shouldn’t expect a huge haul in return for Young, as he is a negative asset due to his age and contractual demands, but recouping a second-round pick from a contender just a few months after Jae Crowder was flipped for five seconds could be worth trying to nail down.
The Raptors might need to say goodbye to Young if they want to field the deepest and most complete roster possible, as it could also help one of the oldest and most respected players in the league get a better shot at a ring while also building a deeper Raptors team.