Minnesota Timberwolves Mid-Season Awards

5 of 5

Jan 17, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves forward Thaddeus Young (33) shoots the ball over Denver Nuggets forward Darrell Arthur (00) during the second half at Pepsi Center. The Timberwolves won 113-105. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Biggest Disappointment: Thaddeus Young

The Wolves gave up a first-round pick to acquire Thaddeus Young from Philadelphia as part of the Kevin Love-Andrew Wiggins trade. It was a bit curious at the time, but understandable given the lack of veteran leadership on Saunders’ roster and the absence of a power forward on the roster, save for the undersized Hummel and the newly-acquired Anthony Bennett.

The playoffs were always less than a pipe dream, but Saunders defended his move under the guise of making a run at the post-season. It was silly, but he spun it anyways. And in the meantime, a rash of injuries have covered any blow-back from the lip service he’d given the Wolves’ playoff odds.

At any rate, Young cost the Minnesota Timberwolves a first-round pick. He has a player option for more than $9 million for the 2015-16 season, and while it seemed likely he’d opt-out and land a larger deal elsewhere next summer, a very poor opening two-and-a-half months of his Wolves career has made it all but certain that he’ll refrain from exercising his early termination option.

Our own Victor Barbosa broke down Young’s per-game numbers in great depth, but Young’s had a rough year with the Timberwolves no matter how you slice it — he’s on pace for career-worst field goal percentage, a free throw percentage almost ten points below his career average, and his worst rebounding season since his rookie year. His Win Shares per 48 minutes stands at a hideous .020, which would be far worse than his previous lowest number of .047 from back in 2009-10. Young’s career WS/48 is a good .104, and it was up to a borderline All-Star level of .171 during the 2011-12 campaign.

Young has struggled mightily this year, but it will be interesting to see how his play improves when sharing the court with a point guard that can get him the ball in more efficient spots on the floor and in the fast break (Rubio) and a low-post presence (Pekovic). He still has time to turn things around, and there always remains a good chance that he could be traded at the deadline in February.

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