THE FLATS – Thaddeus Young has found a new and more impactful role this season with the Bulls, which has made him the subject of hot trade rumors … Derrick Favors and the Jazz head into the All-Star break in first place in the West … Josh Okogie getting more minutes with suspension of teammate … more in this week’s #ProJackets Report.
HOW PASSING IS INCREASING THE VALUE OF NBA VETERAN YOUNG
From Forbes.com: The absence of Wendell Carter Jr. earlier in the season gave [Thaddeus] Young some more opportunity to make an impact. That offensive role has come in the way of passing. He’s been empowered as a point forward, free to operate from the high post to slashing cutters and spaced out shooters. That’s resulted in an assist percentage of 24 — a mark that currently ranks as the 7th highest among big men in the NBA.
The new role has rejuvenated Young’s career and has made him the team’s most important player, according to Zach LaVine. That has resulted in the Chicago Bulls playing like a 57 win team with Young on the court while playing like a 24 win team while off of it, according to Cleaning The Glass. This has made him an incredibly valuable trade asset as Jason Patt noted last month.
The Bulls are tied for ninth place in the Eastern Conference, having won six of their last 10.
YOUNG CONTINUES TO BE THE SUBJECT OT TRADE RUMORS
From Pippen Ain’t Easy: Young is our single most important veteran player to this point in the season. Not just because his veteran leadership but because of his impact on the court every single night. This man is the second most important piece on our roster behind All-Star shooting guard Zach LaVine. Young is averaging 11.9 points, 5.9 rebounds and 4.4 assists in limited minutes this season. Most importantly he plays his best with the most impact when the game is on the line. Read more
Young has reacted to the rumors and a poll labeling him the most likely player to change a playoff race. Read more from ClutchPoints
FAVORS AND JAZZ HOLD FIRST INTO ALL-STAR BREAK
Derrick Favors compiled six points (3-3 FG), one rebound and one block over 11 minutes in last Friday’s 124-116 loss to the Heat. Favors didn’t get many looks from the floor Friday, but he was perfect in his limited opportunities in the loss. After posting his second-highest scoring total of the season Wednesday against the Lakers, he reverted to the mean on the scoreboard Friday and was unable to generate much production in other areas.
The Jazz (27-9) hold a three-game lead in the Western Conference despite having lost their last two.
— utahjazz (@utahjazz) February 28, 2021
OKOGIE RETURNS TO STARTING LINEUP
Josh Okogie stood to benefit from the suspension of the Timberwolves’ Malik Beasley. According to Dunking with Wolves: “Okogie has played 12 and 16 minutes, respectively, in Finch’s first two games as coach. It appears as though Okogie is more likely to receive minutes as the 2 and the 3 instead of the 4 moving forward, given the emergence of both Jarred Vanderbilt and Jaden McDaniels. He’s more likely to be paired with McDaniels, as the outside shooting deficiencies of both Vanderbilt and Okogie make playing them together tenuous.”
Okogie returned to the starting lineup for last Saturday’s game against the Wizards, starting for the first time since Feb. 12. He scored 12 points and went 5-of-7 from the floor in a losing cause, then scored just two points (0-5 G) in 18 minutes against Phoenix Sunday.
The Timberwolves remain in last place in the Western Conference, having lost nine straight.
SHUMPERT RETURNS TO NETS
The Brooklyn Nets signed guard/forward Andre Roberson and guard Iman Shumpert to 10-day contracts on Feb. 26. Shumpert previously signed with the Nets on Jan. 30 and made his season debut on Feb. 23 vs. Sacramento, logging six minutes of action. He also appeared in 13 games last season with the Nets after signing with Brooklyn on Nov. 13, 2019, recording averages of 4.2 points and 2.6 rebounds in 18.5 minutes per contest prior to being waived by the Nets on Dec. 12, 2019.
Nets are streaking into the All-Star break with a 9-1 record in their last 10 games, sitting in second place in the Eastern Conference, just a half-game behind Philadelphia.
NBA LEGEND CHRIS BOSH DISCUSSES NEW RECORD LABEL
Georgia Tech Hall of Famer and NBA legend Chris Bosh is now based in Austin, where he’s embracing his inner artist with a new record label (Daddy Jack Records) and his first-ever book. Bosh joined Austin Monthly senior editor David Leffler via Instagram Live to discuss the parallels between sports and music, his personal journey after overcoming his life-threatening health issues, and much more.
IGNITE RELY ON JACK FOR EXPERIENCE IN G LEAGUE
When the NBA G League Ignite has needed a play to be made this season, head coach Brian Shaw has relied on the experience of Jarrett Jack, and the veteran once again came through in a recent game.
Jack produced a game-high 22 points, including eight in the final period, to help the Ignite hold off the Memphis Hustle and walk away with a 104-101 victory at AdventHealth Arena. He went 9-of-18 from the field, including 2-of-5 from 3-point range.
#ProJackets on Social Media
— Kenny Anderson (@chibbs_1) March 3, 2021
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) March 3, 2021
Thad Young goes deep on his admiration for Zach LaVine.
Why Bulls' Thad Young is happy for 'his rook' Zach LaVine making All-Star
— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) February 24, 2021
#ProJackets in the NBA/G League 2020-21
Team: Utah Jazz
NBA Experience: 10 seasons
Years at Georgia Tech: 2009-10
Hometown: Atlanta, Ga.
|6-9, 265 lbs|
Standing: 1st / +2.5 GB
Last 10: 9-1
Team: G League Ignite
NBA Experience: 15 seasons
Years at Georgia Tech: 2002-05
Hometown: Fort Washington, Md.
Status: Active/G League
|6-3, 197 lbs|
Standing: 8th / 4.0 GB
Last 10: 4-6
Team: Minnesota Timberwolves
NBA Experience: 2 seasons
Years at Georgia Tech: 2016-18
Hometown: Snellville, Ga.
|6-4, 213 lbs|
Standing: 15th / 25.5 GB
Last 10: 3-7
Team: Brooklyn Nets
NBA Experience: 9 seasons
Years at Georgia Tech: 2008-11
Hometown: Oak Park, Ill.
|6-5, 212 lbs|
Standing: T1st / +2.5 GB
Last 10: 7-3
Team: Chicago Bulls
NBA Experience: 13 seasons
Years at Georgia Tech: 2006-07
Hometown: Memphis, Tenn.
|6-8, 235 lbs|
Standing: 10th / 13 GB
Last 10: 3-7