Thaddeus Young has quietly become a key cog for the Toronto Raptors, and he was instrumental in helping them advance to their second consecutive Eastern Conference Finals. He fills out the team’s rotation nicely as an all-around player who can contribute on offense and defense.,

Thaddeus Young is the under-the-radar acquisition who immediately bolsters the Raptors’ contender status. The 32 year old forward has been a consistent scorer for the past decade, averaging 13 points per game in his career. He’s also an above average rebounder and defender, which will make him a great fit with Toronto. Read more in detail here: thaddeus young team.

Thaddeus Young Is the Under-the-Radar Acquisition Who Immediately Bolsters the Raptors' Contender Status

At the NBA trade deadline, Toronto Raptors supporters had cause to rejoice. While the Raptors did not acquire a top player, they did gain value from Goran Dragic’s expiring deal and acquired Thaddeus Young, who covered various roster gaps.

Shams Charania of The Athletic reported that the Raptors acquired Young, Drew Eubanks, and a second-round pick in exchange for Dragic and a protected first-round pick. It’s a deal that makes sense for the win-now Raptors and a Spurs team looking for future assets. San Antonio is likely to buy Dragic out.

Young seemed to be a viable trade piece for the San Antonio Spurs at first. However, after slipping out of the Spurs’ rotation, it looked that the Spurs were more inclined to buy him out. Similarly, the Raptors were confronted with the potential of arranging a buyout with Dragic rather than obtaining value in a trade. Instead, the teams reached an agreement.

The Raptors needed more rebounding and playmaking in the frontcourt. Young meets both criteria, and he’s the kind of off-the-radar addition who might turn Toronto into a dangerous playoff opponent.

Thaddeus Young brings a wealth of experience and a diversified skill set to the Raptors.

Sources: The whole Spurs-Raptors agreement:

Thad Young, Drew Eubanks, and a 2022 second-round pick from the Pistons

Spurs: Goran Dragic, Toronto first-round pick in 2022 (protected 1-14, protected 1-13 in 2023, turning into future seconds)

— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) February 10, 2022

Thaddeus Young has played in the NBA for more than 14 years. He’s also modified his game to match a more contemporary basketball approach.

Young is unable to shoot from beyond the arc. But he’s at ease on the perimeter, where he can make plays off the dribble.

Young appeared in just 26 games with the Spurs. Despite this, he had some good moments, averaging 15.4 points, 9.0 rebounds, 5.7 assists, and 2.7 steals per 36 minutes. Consider what Young accomplished as a member of the Chicago Bulls last season for those who desire a bigger sample size.

Young averaged 12.1 points, 6.2 rebounds, 4.3 assists, and 1.1 steals in 68 games during the 2020-21 season. He was a scavenger on the offensive boards, averaging 2.5 offensive rebounds per game. According to, the former Georgia Tech star was also a great screener, ranking near the top of the NBA in screen assists.

Young’s significance, though, isn’t restricted to the attacking side of the ball. On the inside, he makes charges and contests. His length also aids him in making plays in the passing channel.

The Spurs did well to get a first-round selection for Young at the NBA trade deadline, a pick that is certain to return to San Antonio since it is the only lottery-protected pick in the league. Nonetheless, the Raptors get a good score for obtaining a guy who fits their style and can help them win right away.

Toronto fills a need in the frontcourt.

Former San Antonio Spurs forward and now Toronto Raptors big man Thaddeus Young warms up before an NBA game in December 2021

Former San Antonio Spurs forward and now Toronto Raptors big man Thaddeus Young warms up before an NBA game in December 2021 On December 20, 2021, Thaddeus Young warms up before an NBA game | John McCoy/Icon Sportswire

Thaddeus Young possesses the sort of two-way talent that might have aided numerous contenders, including the Phoenix Suns, at the NBA trade deadline. He’ll instead take his skills to “The 6ix.”

Some could argue that the Raptors needed a genuine center more than they did, given that no one on the roster is taller than 6-foot-9 and they are last in defensive rebounding. Young, on the other hand, can play as an undersized big and provides something that Toronto’s other bigs don’t.

As playmakers, Precious Achiuwa, Chris Boucher, and Khem Birch don’t have much to give the Raptors. It puts more emphasis on Fred VanVleet and Pascal Siakam to create, especially because Gary Trent Jr. is more of a pure scorer and OG Anunoby is still learning how to play the game. In fact, the Raptors are 28th in the NBA in terms of assists.

Young can come in right away and offer Toronto’s second unit more creativity. He has the patience to let sets develop, seeing baseline cutters coming off pin-down screens, and unleashes men loose with rub screens off dribble hand-off actions.

Furthermore, Young’s eagerness to compete and mess things up down low distinguishes him from Achiuwa and Boucher, both of whom have negative defensive box-plus-minus numbers.

The most important aspect of the youthful addition, though, might be how it completely releases VanVleet and Trent.

Getting the most out of Fred VanVleet and Gary Trent Jr.

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VanVleet’s two-way prowess won him his first All-Star appearance and a spot as Toronto’s new Kyle Lowry. Trent is coming off a 21.2 point per possession average in January and a 62.2 percent true shooting percentage in February.

Young has the potential to improve both of them.

Young’s ability to generate space as a screener with dribble-handoffs is one of his greatest assets. Given how effectively VanVleet and Trent shoot from beyond the arc, both players have more opportunity to pull from beyond the arc and produce offense off screens, with VanVleet also having the potential to make plays in the painted area.

It’s just as exciting to imagine Young-Siakam screen-and-rolls. Young’s ability to handle the ball and barrel to the basket may make short-roll settings a bonanza for the Raptors. Siakam has showed greater comfort as a screener, while Young’s ability to handle the ball and barrel to the bucket might make short-roll setups a windfall for the Raptors.

Thaddeus Young isn’t exactly a household name. Still, he fills in some gaps for the Raptors, making them more competitive in a crowded Eastern Conference.

Unless otherwise stated, all stats are courtesy of Basketball Reference.

Scottie Barnes might win Rookie of the Year, and Toronto Raptors fans should thank Masai Ujiri for it.

The “why didn’t thaddeus young play” is a question that has been asked for a while. Thaddeus Young was acquired by the Raptors in an under-the-radar move and he immediately bolsters the team’s contender status.

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