Thaddeus Young is a professional on and off the court.
He’s a reporter’s dream, consistently accessible and open to answering pretty much any question.
This context felt necessary for this day and age, where information sometimes can get misrepresented by the third or fourth iteration on social media.
NBC Sports Chicago asked Young three questions about Pacers general manager Chad Buchanan, who spent two seasons with Young in Indiana and has been identified as a candidate of interest for the Bulls’ expected offseason front-office additions. One league source described Buchanan as “a top target.”
These questions came in a vacuum. They were strictly about Young’s impressions of Buchanan and not presented with context about the Bulls’ intrigue with the executive. No questions were asked about Young’s impressions of the Bulls’ current management structure, so Young’s positive thoughts about Buchanan shouldn’t be read as negative thoughts about anyone else.
The Bulls, who have spent weeks gathering input from myriad sources on various candidates, surely have other executives on their list. But with Buchanan identified as the first actual name, Young’s time with him offered the opportunity for some insight.
NBC Sports Chicago: What’s Chad like?
Young: Chad’s great. He’s unbelievable with the players, unbelievable with culture and being involved with you. And it’s not just you but your family also. His kids used to always play with my kids. His wife and family would come to the games. He’s one of those guys you know you can go to and talk to and have conversations with. The biggest thing is he cares about building something great. He cares about the product. He cares about the franchise. And he cares about people.
Q: I know (Pacers president) Kevin Pritchard is big on establishing culture. Is Chad similar?
Young: Chad was very, very responsive to anything we wanted to do. Any time I went in there to have a conversation with him, he would say, ‘What can we do better? What can I do to help you? What can I do to help the team?’ A lot of times, my response would be, ‘We have to go out and play.’ But that shows how much he cares about the system and cares about what he’s putting on the court.
Q: Did you know him before he arrived in Indiana (in 2017)?
That was my first time meeting him. He was great from Day One. He walked in and helped set the culture and tried to build something special with those guys.