There isn't a more unnatural day on the NBA calendar than trade deadline day. On it, hundreds of players across the league wake up hours away from competing for their current team, yet a phone call away from having their lives uprooted.
"Yeah, obviously you sit by a TV, you watch everything that's going on, you see all the crazy stuff that happened," Thad Young said of how he spent the day. "You just sit back and watch everything, and whatever happens."
Not much happened for the Bulls, as the team stood pat through the window. No bags will be packed, no new teammates welcomed.
The fates of Young and Denzel Valentine, though, had hung in the balance for some time — via a combination of logic, speculation and sourced reports, external suitors had been linked to each in the buildup to the deadline.
So, was there a sense a deal was close?
"Your agent calls, and he tells you who has interest and stuff like that, but you know, at the end of the day it's just interest. Feelers and stuff like that. I didn’t think about it," Young said. "[My agent] conveyed there were some teams very, very interested. But, like I said, it was interest."
Asked which teams, Young declined to comment. He did, with a smile, let on that they were "of course" playoff teams.
"I mean, everybody wants to play for a contender," Young said when asked if he would have minded being traded. "But at the end of the day, like I said, I didn't think too much about it."
As a 13-year veteran of the league — who's played for five different teams — Young's been around the block enough times to know what to expect.
"It's been plenty of times where I've been talked about as far as being traded and it didn't happen. It's been a couple times where I have been traded and I talked about it," he said. "It doesn't change who I am as a person, it doesn't change what I'm out there to do."
In fact, Young said the only thing that surprised him from Thursday action was Andre Drummond being shipped to the Cleveland Cavaliers. He is all of us.
Valentine, for his part, is fast approaching the end of his rookie deal, and is set to hit restricted free agency this offseason. Given his fluctuating role with the team, it's fair to call his future in Chicago murky (at best).
"Yeah, I thought there was a chance, but you just can’t control that stuff. You don’t know what is going to happen," Valentine said. "I heard a few teams were interested. Things didn’t work out. I’m here. It is what it is."
Then, diplomatically: "I’m happy I’m a Chicago Bull. My family is here, I was drafted here, I love my teammates, I love playing in a Bulls uniform."
Both, at least, will be happy to have the rumors disperse, for now. But the offseason will, of course, bring more questions for both.
"We’ll see what happens at the end of the year," Valentine said. "But for now I’m just going to try to get back playing again and then get back to doing what I do.”
"You look at the interest, but that can change over the course of time," Young said when asked whether interest from other teams will stick with him moving forward. "Each and every team, they make different moves on different days. They look at situations on different days. I always go out there and try to treat it as a business.
"At the end of the day, if you're playing and there's a situation that you can change and have a change of scenery or anything like that, you also have to think about it as 29 other teams out there, you're playing for just one of them. So, we all gotta go out there and continue to just play, whatever team we're on, be professional and make sure that we're continuing to move on with the task at hand which is winning basketball games for the teams we're playing for."
Young maintained the eighth seed as a team goal.
"When [the deadline]'s over, the good thing is it’s over," he said. "And you can move on with the season and continue to try to get better and stay the course."