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NBA News: Phoenix Suns Sign Thaddeus Young

Jan 9, 2024; Los Angeles, California, USA; Toronto Raptors forward Thaddeus Young (21) passes the ball during the third quarter against the Los Angeles Lakers at Crypto.com Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports

Per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Phoenix Suns will sign veteran forward Thaddeus Young for the remainder of the season.

At the 2024 NBA Trade Deadline, Young, alongside Dennis Schroder, was traded by the Toronto Raptors to the Brooklyn Nets. That same day, the Nets waived Young. As a 17-year NBA veteran, expectations were that Young would sign with a team ready to contend for a championship this season.

On the year, Young is averaging 5 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 2.2 assists per game. Additionally, the 35-year-old is shooting 62.1% from the field and 16.7% from the three-point line.

The 31-22 Suns currently own the No. 6 seed in the Western Conference. Furthermore, they are six games back from the No. 1 seed. After also adding wings Royce O’Neale and David Roddy at the Trade Deadline, Phoenix is in a good spot heading into the All-Star Break.

NBA News: Phoenix Suns Sign Thaddeus Young

What Thaddeus Young Brings to Phoenix

Young is a long-time NBA veteran who has a reputation for being a good teammate. A few weeks ago, Raptors head coach Darko Rajaković spoke about Young:

I can speak about Thad Young all night …. we are lucky to have Thad as a veteran on our team.

On the court, he may not be the same player he was before, but he can still be effective.

Young is a good scorer in the paint and can stretch the floor a bit. At 6’8″, Young is capable of playing either wing position and can play small ball center. Additionally, he is a solid defender who should work well in Phoenix’s scheme.

Currently, it is unlikely Young will have a large role in Phoenix. Even so, his presence now offers additional frontcourt depth for the team.

The Last Word

A couple of years ago, while with the San Antonio Spurs, Young talked about wanting to play for a contender at that stage in his career:

I don’t mind playing through rebuilds and stuff like that, but the one thing about it is I’m not getting any younger. I’m getting older and at some point, I want to start contending for championships. I haven’t been in any situation where I’ve been able to contend for a championship. I want that feeling. I want that aspect of being able to go out there and being able to compete for a championship every single night. That’s the part that I really want to get to.

All things considered, this seems like a good match for both parties. On one hand, the Suns get an extra wing who has been in the league for many years. As for Young, Phoenix may have been the perfect destination as this may be his best shot at a championship before it is all said and done.

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