We now return to your previously scheduled summer series, Early Predictions
. Today's episode features restricted-free-agent-to-be, Thaddeus Young.
Thad, Thad, Thad. What are we going to do with you? By all accounts, Thad is a great kid, a smart kid, a hard worker and a freakish athlete. I don't have any reason to doubt any of those attributes, I think he's had a rough situation since his rookie year, and I think it's almost unfair to judge him based on his development over the first three season when he was surrounded by such chaos. Unfortunately, a decision will have to be made after this season. Before we even get to next summer, though, Doug Collins is going to have to (a) figure out what position Thad is best suited to play and (b) How he's going to get him minutes at that position. Check out my predictions, and I'll have more thoughts below:
- Minutes: 1,500
- Points/game: 10.2
- Rebs/game: 4.3
- Ast/game: 0.7
- Steals/game: 1.1
- Blocks/game: 0.3
- TOV/game: 1.2
- FG%: 49.5%
- 3PT%: 36%
I have faith Collins will get through to Thad. I think we'll see efficient scoring and better rebounding from him this season than we have over the past two. I think his defense will improve as well. Collins is here, and I believe the players believe he's here to stay. I think that stability could do wonders for Thad. The problem is, I don't see where the minutes are going to come from. The trade and apparent promise of minutes to Nocioni cuts directly into Thad's share at both the three and the four. Maybe he plays his way into more minutes as the season wears on, but right now, I have him down for about 20/game, in 75 games played.
Where would a season like this leave us next summer? Tough to say. Maybe it becomes apparent that Thad is best suited to a role off the bench, swinging between the three and the four, but never really able to take the next step at either position. That could mean an extension, but not a contract that will completely kill the team's cap situation long term. Or, maybe he shows just enough to get Stefanski to write a big check. That's a discussion I'm sure we'll be having for the next 11 months or so, in the mean time, I do believe Thad will have a productive season, in less minutes than he's grown accustomed to.
Your thoughts in the comments.