The 33-year-old veteran is taking his pitstop in the Alamo City in stride, demonstrating why he's become one of the most likable players in the NBA despite being put in a tough situation. Young had one of the better seasons of his long career last season with the Chicago Bulls. Since the trade that sent him south, he's seen his playing time drop dramatically and several DNPs next to his name on box scores.
"It's super tough", Young said on The Alex Kennedy Podcast in late November. "It's very tough and frustrating at times but at the end of the day, I understand where this franchise is going. I understand what's happening. The young guys have to play."
After getting regular playing time in November, Young didn't play in eight of the Spurs' 15 games in December, further showing San Antonio doesn't see him as a long-term part of their future. The big question, then, lies in how the Spurs will handle the difficult situation. As you might expect, some outcomes would be better than others.
1. Best Case: Trade Thaddeus Young to Contender for Assets
Even though it isn't producing wins at a high rate this season, the Spurs' culture has been well-established for decades. They take care of their players and do right by them as much as any team in the league. There's no doubt Young wants to be playing for a championship at this stage of his career, and the Spurs would love to give him that chance.
There have been rumblings of several contenders being interested in Young's services since the summer, with the Phoenix Suns being the most frequently mentioned of them. Names like Jalen Smith and Dario Saric and a possible 1st-round pick have been mentioned as possible returns for San Antonio. So far, nothing has come out of those talks.
At this point, even netting back just a future 1st-rounder should be enough of a win for the Spurs to pull the trigger. Everyone knows Young isn't part of this team's timeline, so getting at least something back for him while also giving him what he wants and deserves is the best-case scenario for all involved.