The Toronto Raptors are rumoured to be looking for power forward help ahead of Thursday’s NBA trade deadline, and one name that continually pops up is the Brooklyn Nets’ Thaddeus Young.
According to Fred Kerber of the New York Post, the Raptors and Nets talked “basic, non-specific terms” about a potential Young trade over NBA All-Star Weekend.
This report is buoyed by another from the New York Daily News’ Frank Isola, who says the Nets are willing to deal Young and lays out a scenario involving the Raptors’ Patrick Patterson, rookie Delon Wright and one of their four first-round picks over the next two drafts.
Young would be an intriguing addition for the Raptors. At six-foot-eight and 221 pounds, he’s a nice fit as a player who can man both forward positions, is enjoying a strong season (15.1 points per game, 9.1 rebounds per game, 51.3 per cent shooting), and is only 27 while under contract until at least the 2017-18 season, with a player option for 2018-19.
The downside to acquiring Young is he’s not accurate from deep, shooting a measly 21.7 per cent this season, with a career mark of 32 per cent. To his credit, however, Young is aware his game doesn’t extend out beyond the arc, as he’s only attempted 23 threes so far this season.
Patterson’s ability to stretch the floor with his three-point stroke has become an integral part of what the Raptors do, so giving him up in a deal would hurt their bench production a little — at least until Luis Scola gets re-adjusted to playing on the second unit if he were to be replaced as a starter.
There’s also the added problem of the money the Raptors would inherit in such a deal. Young is owed $11.2 million this season, a figure that will jump up to $12 million next season and $12.9 million in 2017-18. If the deal is Patterson and Wright for Young, there’s a good chance the Raptors will end up getting capped out next season and have to pay the luxury tax for the first time in franchise history.
Next season’s cap is projected to reach $89 million. Both DeMar DeRozan and Bismack Biyombo can opt out of their current deals this season, and if the Raptors want to keep both players they’ll likely have to hand a max contract to DeRozan (which would be for about $26.7 million for next season and will only go up as a max deal is tied to the cap) and give Biyombo a raise over the $2.8 million he’s making this season.
All this is to say, getting Young may be too pricey a proposition for the Raptors if they’re serious about keeping DeRozan and their core together.
The deadline is only three days away and Toronto has appeared too often in the rumour mill for something to not be cooking.
Buckle up. This should be fun.