We have another rumor!
This coming from Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer in his weekly power rankings where the Bulls have made his top 30:
- “Bulls executive vice president of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas is telling teams that Thaddeus Young isn’t available for trade, according to multiple league sources.”
- Otto Porter is believed to be a buyout candidate by “league executives”. And the Warriors have interest (I assume he means only after a buyout not in a trade, but that’s not explicit)
O’Connor isn’t Woj or anything, but more reliable than Sam Amico and several degrees more reliable than NBA L3GI0N C#NTRAL Twitter feed on the rumormonger scale.
At first glance, taking such a definitive position on Thaddeus Young (in addition to a reportedly similar one with Garrett Temple) would be pretty frustrating if true. Obviously you’d prefer to keep options open rather than closed, and supposedly Young’s trade value is skyrocketing to where theoretically the asset gained would be worth more than whatever facilitation of development and playoff contention he provides for da young core.
O’Connor does the right thing and provides context saying “Executives wonder whether Karnisovas is just posturing”. And we have to, for our own sanity, assume that is the case.
Especially because nearly all Karnisovas has done so far in his tenure is posture. I’m calling him “Danny Ainge with an accent but without the fun media leaks” until proven otherwise! If you want your basketball executives to “do stuff”, Karnisovas has been a gigantic disappointment. I’m holding out hope for him to put the “trade” in “trade deadline”, but am (admittedly unfairly) getting preemptively upset that nothing will happen and all these rumors are making it look that way.
Maybe Karnisovas just feels an immense lack of pressure to do his job. Perhaps, and I’m speculating, it’s due to ownership saying this year is a financial waste so don’t add payroll. Or because a lot of the fanbase and media are giving an extended honeymoon to anybody who’s non-GarPax. I’d like to think he feels internal pressure to try and build his team his way, as soon as possible, but going a whole NBA calendar without making a trade would suggest otherwise.
But that’s being unfair, we have a couple weeks until the deadline. The inactivity in the offseason did mean that trade value went down for the mentioned Otto Porter and Lauri Markkanen. But it went way up for Thad Young. Here’s hoping this rumor just means the great offers aren’t out there yet, not that it’s truly a forgone conclusion that Karnisovas won’t cash in the veteran.