In today’s deal of the day, the Washington Wizards Get Young(er). Let me explain.
I got another request from the Bullets Forever community to make a deal involving Chicago Bulls forward Thaddeus Young. This feels like an Ernie Special because the name Thaddeus Young carries a lot of good will from a production standpoint. He’s a career 13-6 over 13 seasons. Thirteen years man!
Much respect to anyone in any line of work who can be that consistent be they a NBA player or a professional killer. But how does he fit this Wizards group? First, the deal:
The Chicago Bulls trade center Wendell Carter Jr. (PPA 104), forward Thaddeus Young (PPA 87), and forward Chandler Hutchison (PPA 68) to the Washington Wizards in exchange for center Thomas Bryant, guard Ish Smith, guard Jerome Robinson.
Why do the Bulls make the deal?
Under new leadership in Arturas Karnisovas, the Bulls could go in any number of directions. Do they plan on extending Lauri Markkanen? I think they will, while also committing to changing the front court around him dramatically.
What the Bulls do with the No. 4 pick sets the stage. In one scenario they think James Wiseman has the floor game to be special and take him at 4. That signals the end of Wendell Carter Jr’s run in the Windy City. He’s been solid but unspectacular averaging 10-8 in his career after being selected 7th in 2018. They could certainly keep him around this season before having to think hard about his extension. Or they could pull the band-aid off now and attack their vision.
A realistic part of any makeover in Chicago is going to include finding someone to take Young’s remaining contract. Thad makes $13,545,000 next season and is scheduled for $14,190,000 in 21-22 however only $6 million is guaranteed. Bulls fans are hopeful for bounce back years from more than a few guys following Jim Boylan’s exit and Billy Donovan’s entrance. Even if Young’s numbers rebound, its hard to stomach the overall cost involved. Usually the sweetener would come in the form of a pick but here it comes from the addition of Carter.
In Bryant they get the young three point shooting center at a decent salary that I’ve written up several times. That’s what he brings that Carter doesn’t. They love that he can spread the floor and handle starter minutes as they work Wiseman into the mix. JW hasn’t played much in a good long while. They don’t plan to just hand him a starting position. Its a marathon not a sprint with him. Getting a center of Bryant’s caliber that can start or come in off the bench and shoot it is a nice return for Carter and clearing Young’s salary.
Ish is a stabilizing force for the new in flux Bulls and we know Donovan likes to play 3 point guard lineups. Robinson’s salary makes it work and they’re hopeful he can be a two-way presence as a reserve seeing how defensive stud Kris Dunn (PPA 93) and reserve defensive presence Shaquille Harrison (PPA 134) are Restricted Free Agents.
Chandler Hutchison is a 6’7 small forward also going into his third year after being selected 22nd in 2018. New GM means no more allegiance to these recent picks. He hasn’t shot well enough yet but there was improvement in his second year. At 24 years old, it’s easier for AK to include him in the “Haven’t unlocked his NBA niche just yet” portion of the deal opposite of Robinson.
Why do the Wizards make the deal?
If you’re of the opinion that Tommy Sheppard has been the shadow-GM for years, the true brains behind Ernie’s maneuvers, then this deal is for you. The Wizards acquire the oldest player in the deal as Young is 32 (check). Wait there’s more. He’s also a bit undersized (check), something he’s played through his whole career but the concern is that its harder to overcome later in his career. Father time in undefeated.
That’s a CHUNK of salary coming back for what they hope is 12-6, maybe 13-8 as a ceiling? So the sweetener better be worth it.
Luckily Wendell Carter Jr. is right out of Ernie’s sweet spot too at 6’9+ in shoes, 7’4.5” around 260. That’s Nene and Emeka Okafor territory (rare double check).
Also near identical to board favorite Mfiondu Kabengele. Everybody wins.
His game is pretty old school too (check) with 80% of his shots coming within 10ft of the rim. The Wizards only do this if they think his interior presence rebounding and defending is worth it. Both are areas he improved in his second year. Let me add screen-setting to that list. Oh did I mention WCJr hasn’t played more than 44 games in an NBA season? He should be plenty fresh! (dreaded check)
Hutchison hasn’t figured it out so much as he has played a little better. Raised his 3pt percentage from 28% to 32%. One more progression like that and he’s league average (check?). Worth a flyer on him as he only makes $2.4 million this year before a $4 million team option in 2021.
The Wizards still need to address the wing and the interior defense with their two draft picks and available exceptions, MLE and BAE.
- John Wall - Troy Brown Jr. - Shabazz Napier (UFA)
- Bradley Beal - ________ - Garrison Mathews (RFA)
- Rui Hachimura - Isaac Bonga - Chandler Hutchison
- Davis Bertans (UFA) - Thaddeus Young - Admiral Schofield
- Wendell Carter Jr. - ________ - Moritz Wagner - Anzejs Pasecniks (camp guarantee)
While this was a fun challenge to put together, the result is worse spacing all all around and more pressure to re-sign Bertans, potentially increasing his price (check). The era for this kind of swap has mostly passed us by so its highly unlikely but I can see how a fan base raised by the dealings of Ernie Grunfeld would like it from a certain angle.
Carter/Young/Hutch for Bryant/Ish/Robinson?
This poll is closed
Yes, this is how you revamp the front court to stop people.
No, we shouldn’t shrink the space created for Wall and Beal to work by dealing for Carter and Young.
-Want to request a trade target or send a challenge? Email me at Jheiser3 at gmail.com and include your Bullets Forever screen name.