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Bulls’ Thaddeus Young willing to take more 3s, adjust to new era

Thaddeus Young, Bulls

Thaddeus Young has shown a willingness to tweak his game in hopes of seeing more time on the floor. The lefty wing has seen his playing time fluctuate through the course of his first year with the Chicago Bulls after inking a three-year, $43.6 million deal in the summer.

Part of it has been his style of play, more so the traditional power forward who will score, rebound, and make his share of defensive plays. Yet the Bulls received an injection of modern analytics this summer, one that came with a mandate to shoot more 3s and stay away from long 2s:

“Those are the things our staff encourages. They encourage us to take threes and layups, I think that’s the type of league that we’re in now, a 3 and layup-type game,” said Young, according to K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago. “No long twos and less on the post-ups and stuff like that because it slows down the game or it stagnates the offense.

“Just trying to be able to evolve. If I’m open, I’ll shoot it. If I’m not, I’ll drive it or move it so just being able to do a lot of different things and not staying on the wing, I think that’s one of the biggest things that I have to continue to get better at. And also with my teammates, just feeding and trying to figure out them a little bit better than I have in the past games that we’ve played so far.”

Young is a 32.8% career 3-point shooter, which pedestrian at best. Yet the Bulls are hoping to make everyone on the floor a threat from distance, even if his skills lend for other contributions:

“Yeah, I mean that’s not how I played pretty much my whole career. But like I said, its what’s being asked of me. I’m the type of guy my coach asks me to do something, if he asks me to run through a brick wall, I know it’s going to hurt but I’m going to try and run through that brick wall,” said Young. “So it is what it is. I’ve always been a team-first guy. I’ve always been a guy who listens to the coaching staff and what they’re trying to instill in us and what they’re trying to do and then try to go out there and accomplish the mission.”

Thaddeus Young is making 1.1 triples per game this season at a 32.1% clip. That’s below average, but it’s going with what the coaching staff has asked of him in order to find himself on the floor enough, even as the Bulls experiment with their three-guard lineup of Kris Dunn, Zach LaVine, and Tomas Satoransky.

The veteran forward did show off his acumen in the post against the Boston Celtics on Monday night, but it remains to be seen if that will be a more common occurrence as Jim Boylen tries to implement his preferred system in this new era.