Report: Suns have pursued Spurs F Thaddeus Young via trade

Aug 30, 2021, 8:36 AM
Thaddeus Young #21 of the Chicago Bulls and Mikal Bridges #25 of the Phoenix Suns battle for a rebo...
Thaddeus Young #21 of the Chicago Bulls and Mikal Bridges #25 of the Phoenix Suns battle for a rebound at the United Center on February 26, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois.(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Coming off an NBA Finals appearance, Suns general manager James Jones said he wanted to structure his roster like an index card, with three rotation players deep at five positions.

While additions of guard Landry Shamet and center JaVale McGee certainly mark added depth, those upgrades would not greatly shake up the rotations.

But the Suns have tried to make more aggressive moves.

The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported Monday in his Inside Pass notebook that Phoenix is “among the contenders who have pursued” forward Thaddeus Young, who is now with the San Antonio Spurs.

Whether the Suns continue to do so is not known.

Young was officially acquired by the Spurs earlier in August via a sign-and-trade that sent wing DeMar DeRozan to the Chicago Bulls. It could be assumed that the Suns attempted to become a part of that trade, which was not official for more than a week after it was first reportedly agreed upon.

For Chicago last year, Young averaged 12.1 points, 6.2 rebounds and 4.3 assists over 68 games. The 6-foot-8, 235-pound forward shot a career-high 55.9% from the field and from an analytical standpoint is widely regarded as a strong glue piece for contending team.

The 33-year-old Young is entering the final year of his contract and will make $14.2 million this year.

Of course, Phoenix somehow acquiring Young would shake up the roster in a more significant way compared to the additions of Shamet or McGee.

He would likely slot in as a ball-moving sixth man who could take some playmaking pressures off the bench unit, plus the staggering of ball-dominant guards Chris Paul and Devin Booker.

While it’s unclear if the Spurs want to retain Young, there are strong relationships between Phoenix head coach Monty Williams and the San Antonio leadership group that could work to get a deal done. Williams worked in the Spurs’ front office in 2016 and as a player was a member of the team under head coach Gregg Popovich from 1996-98.

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