I’ve been calling for a Thaddeus Young trade all summer. It makes the Philadelphia 76ers worse (which if you’ve missed the narrative, is the aim, as strange as that sounds) while also allowing Young to really fulfill and put his potential to good use.
In a recent interview with the Delaware County Daily Times, Young admitted that he knows trade rumors surrounding him will be rife all season long and revealed it would really impact on him and his family.
“I’d definitely be heartbroken, by the simple fact that this is the team that drafted me, this is the team I’ve been with, and this is the family I’ve always been with. I’ve been through the ups and downs, the goods and bads.”
The quote really gives some insight into the character and mindset of the former Georgia Tech forward. Young totally invests physically and mentally into the cause. He may have the best jump shot; be the best passer, or be the greatest athlete, but he won’t let you down and as cliched as it sounds — he always gives 110 percent. And that’s probably underselling just how good Young is. A change of pace forward, Thad crashes the boards, can finish well and his outside touch has looked a lot better in preseason. He’s a great option to lead a contender’s bench unit. Just imagine him and Reggie Jackson on the fast break for the Thunder’s much maligned second string five, for one example.
A trade has been the most logical option for the Sixers for a while, but maybe it isn’t the way to go. Look, Young makes the 76ers better, but they are already the worst team in the NBA. By some distance. Is it worth really losing a talented player on a decent contract to lose a couple more games? Especially when being the worst team doesn’t guarantee the No. 1 pick.
Additionally, when the Sixers go through a couple of years as perennial losers and pick up some really talented pieces in the draft (HEY, ANDREW WIGGINS!), Young is good enough to not only be a role-player on a title contender, but to be a mentor for the young emerging players. By that time, he’ll have spent nearly 10 years in Philadelphia. He can show the young players the ropes. Show them what is expected. Show them how to dress and how to conduct themselves, whilst also being an ultra-competitive and productive player on the court.
To conclude, the Sixers are probably still going to trade Young. And I’m fine with that. All I’m saying is that not trading him might not be the worst move Sam Hinkie ever makes. Whatever he decides to do with Thad, it’s justifiable. A win-win situation. Having said that, the Sixers can turn a win-win situation into a loss, so who knows what to expect?