When the San Antonio Spurs flipped DeMar DeRozan for Thaddeus Young, Al-Farouq Aminu, and picks, I was ecstatic. DeMar could have simply signed elsewhere, bringing zero return to the Spurs. Instead, the Spurs got a veteran leader and some picks to help build with in the future.
There was a point early on in the season when I thought Young could fill a Rudy Gay type role. He would get a solid amount of minutes and be a productive piece that would help the Spurs win but also stop some younger guys from getting minutes.
As the season progressed and Young racked up several DNPs, it became very clear his time in the Silver and Black would be very short-lived. There were mentions of him being flipped to the Suns for Jalen Smith and picks, which would have been an amazing move for the front office.
Since Christmas, Jalen Smith has shown he is worth a lot more than Thaddeus Young. He is averaging almost ten points and eight rebounds and has been solid on defense. During the same stretch, Thad Young has played in two games and missed ten. He averages half an assist, 1.5 points, and two turnovers per game. Sadly, he's been a negative asset on the court.
The Spurs aren't doing themselves favors playing Young
The Thad Young era in San Antonio is over. As badly as I don't want the Spurs to buy him out, it looks like that’s the direction he will be heading. He is a pro and a positive force on the bench and locker room, but he can’t transition his positive energy into production on the court. He has made it clear he should not receive any more minutes with San Antonio.
The Spurs should be desperate to move him. They should have taken the first good trade that was offered, but I fear that any good offer has been rescinded if one was offered in the first place. At this point, San Antonio should take the first offer they hear, because there’s no guarantee a better one will ever come.
The more he plays, the worse his value gets. He has not had a good game since November, when he dropped double digits six times, although he still had trouble taking care of the ball. A playoff team like the Lakers, Suns, Nets, or 76ers might want him and offer a young player with a high ceiling and low floor, or a heavily protected pick. The Spurs should take that offer.
Thaddeus Young has not proven his worth on the court and should not suit up for San Antonio anymore. Otherwise, a buyout is 100% happening down the road.