THE FLATS – Thaddeus Young plays his 1000th game in the NBA, Bulls insert former Tech star in starting lineup … Minnesota Timberwolves finding new ways to involve Josh Okogie in offense … Reasons why Chris Bosh should be in the Basketball Hall of Fame … more in this week’s #ProJackets Report.
YOUNG PLAYS 1,000TH GAME IN THE NBA
Thaddeus Young became the 145th player in NBA history to appear in 1,000 games Wednesday night against the San Antonio Spurs. That total includes those who played games in the defunct American Basketball Association.
It’s a select group. It speaks to longevity, durability and accountability.
Talk to people who have played with or coached Young and you’ll hear them gush just like LaVine did. NBC Sports Chicago talked to Doug Collins and Nate McMillan, two coaches who spent three seasons with Young with the Philadelphia 76ers and Indiana Pacers, respectively.
YOUNG GETS INTO BULLS’ STARTING LINEUP, KEEPS ROLLING
Thaddeus Young has started the last two games for the Chicago Bulls and continues to put forth strong play. Getting his second straight start over Wendell Carter, Young accumulated 17 points (8-11 FG, 1-1 FT), nine rebounds, six assists and two steals across 22 minutes during Tuesday’s 123-102 win over the Thunder.
Across the past two games, Young has recorded 27 points, 16 rebounds, 13 assists and two steals in 45 total minutes. Young’s passing has been a revelation for the veteran’s fantasy value. He’s on pace to average a career-high 4.4 assists per game — his previous high being 2.5 assists per game in 2018-19.
The Bulls remain in ninth place in the Eastern Conference, having won six of their last 10, and are 2-2 since the All-Star break.
YOUNG TRADE RUMORS QUIETING
The Chicago Bulls reportedly have been telling teams that veteran forward Thaddeus Young “isn’t available for trade” ahead of the March 25 deadline, per Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer.
Young, who is in the midst of the most efficient season of his 14-year career, reportedly has been “highly sought after” by teams looking to upgrade their rosters while not breaking the bank in terms of draft picks and young players.
YOUNG ALSO ASSISTING IN INVESTMENT WORLD
The 32-year-old Young enters the second half of the 2020-21 season with 4.4 assists per game after handing out only 1.8 per game in his first season in Chicago and averaging 1.7 for his career.
Young isn’t just handing out assists on the court, though. He continues to lend a helping hand in the business world as an angel investor, providing funding to Trufan in its recent $2.3 million seed round. Young joins Los Angeles Lakers youngster Kyle Kuzma and Utah Jazz big man Derrick Favors as investors in Trufan, which has now raised $4.1 million in total funding.
WOLVES FINDING NEW WAYS TO USE OKOGIE ON OFFENSE
A better game script for Okogie is the one that played out in Minnesota’s win Sunday over Portland. Okogie’s stat line: 0 for 2 from the field, 0 for 1 from deep, and 10 for 11 from the free-throw line for 10 points. With that, the guard became only the second player in Timberwolves history to score in double figures without making a shot from the field, joining Scott Roth.
“He was driving the ball hard. We found him in good space, and he did a good job of getting into the paint and playing off the catch, like we asked him to do,” Finch said, “and his decision-making offensively was extremely efficient.”
Finch and Co. have moved Okogie around in the offense, moving him in at times to play from the elbow, where it’s more difficult for teams to simply sag off him.
The Timberwolves are 2-2 since the All-Star break, but remain in last place in the West.
SIX REASONS WHY CHRIS BOSH DESERVES A SPOT IN THE BASKETBALL HALL OF FAME
Chris Bosh might be a Hall of Famer soon. He was selected as a Hall of Fame finalist for 2021 along with Paul Pierce, Lakers star Michael Cooper, 3-time WNBA MVP Lauren Jackson, and a slew of other worthy names.
The Miami Heat start felt like he was snubbed last year. He thought he should’ve made the hall last season along with Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan.
Look, it’s hard to call any Hall of Fame selection a snub. These names are all worthy of being selected — it’s the pinnacle of basketball. They’re there for a reason.
We’ll find out whether Bosh makes the cut this time later in May. But whether he makes it or not this year, Bosh totally deserves to go in despite his career being cut short due to blood clot issues. Here’s why.
IGNITE GRAB LAST SPOT FOR G LEAGUE PLAYOFFS, FALL IN OPENING ROUND
Jarrett Jack and the G League Ignite team tied for eighth place in the final regular season standings with an 8-7 record, and got the final spot in the league playoffs, where they fell to the Raptors 905 team, 127-102. Jack scored eight points in the game. The 37-year-old guard averaged 8.9 points and 4.2 assists for the 15-game regular season.