Zach LaVine is the star player for the Chicago Bulls. He proved it again Monday night with 30 points in a 120-112 victory in overtime over arch-rivals Indiana Pacers.
The Bulls’ win ended the Pacers’ 10-game losing streak.
As good as LaVine was on Monday, he put his success on the back burner during an after-hours discussion with the media to recognize a teammate and constant target of commercial rumors as the team’s MVP.
Zach LaVine calls #Bulls’ teammate, Ted Young, the team MVP.
– Cody Westerlund (@CodyWesterlund) February 16, 2021
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Thad Yang with again a good performance
While LaVine led the Bulls to 30 points and hit some big shots, including a three-pointer against Pacers’ top scorer Domantas Sabonis, Young showed once again why he has been so valuable to the Bulls this season.
Young played 30 minutes as a substitute. He scored 13 points, grabbed 11 rebounds, gave four assists and made two steals. His poise, stability and overall impact on the Flyers’ game was one of the positives of the year, while Chicago went from bad to worse.
In February, Young averaged 13.4 points, 5.7 rebounds, 4.6 assists and hit 63.8% from the field. Throughout the year, he has been the most reliable bull, facing the biggest players on the field every night and holding his own.
One wonders if the Bulls can keep Young past the next commercial deadline.
Advantages and disadvantages of youth exchanges
According to multiple sources, Young’s name is in vogue as the 25 deadline approaches. March is approaching. The Bulls are currently in the playoffs and the higher teams in the postseason hierarchy will likely look to veterans like Young to help them through.
Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times wrote…
According to an NBA source, teams hoping to acquire the talent before the preliminary deadline of the 25th are exploring the possibility. The Bulls are increasingly being seen as a potential business partner in March, with veteran striker Thad Young suddenly attracting the most interest. Young’s contract is a salary cap of sorts – he’s making $13.5 million this season and $14.1 million next season – and he’s perfect for a key position on the bench of a rival team. However, according to the source, Arturas Karnisovas, executive vice president of basketball operations for the Bulls, has given no indication that he was willing to give up a player.
Young is popular with his teammates. If there’s anything the Bulls have in their favor, it’s team spirit. Young’s move sets apart a valuable part of the veteran group (which also includes Thomas Satoransky, Otto Porter Jr. and Garrett Temple).
However, if the Bulls were to sell Young and bring in a true defender like London from the New Orleans Pelicans, fans would likely be won over to the idea quickly. The Bulls have been rumored to have the ball on their radar all season, and there are reports linking Young to the Pelicans in a possible trade for the popular but underperforming top guard.
The Pelicans would like to get more in front of the ball, but that could happen in the second round. We’ll have to wait and see, but Young’s value to the Bulls could ultimately be reflected not only in his performance on the field and in the locker room, but also in what Chicago could get after a deal that fills a significant void.