The Philadelphia 76ers have been rumored to be a part of trade talks for a while now, with numerous people reporting that Thaddeus Young will be dealt as part of a three-way deal with Cleveland and Minnesota that lands Kevin Love next to LeBron in C-Town.
Brian Windhorst reinforced that possibility on ESPN Radio today, saying that he believes “Thaddeus Young will end up in Minnesota.” He also mentioned that the Sixers could get 2013 No. 1 overall pick Anthony Bennett and draft picks as part of the deal, one that would also send this year’s top pick, Andrew Wiggins, to the T’Wolves.
Bennett, whom the Cavs, to nearly everyone’s surprise, over prospects like current Sixer Nerlens Noel, Victor Oladipo, and others, struggled in his rookie campaign. He did, however, show signs of stardom over the last few months of the regular season, averaging 5.7 points and 3.6 rebounds per game in 13.2 minutes after the All-Star Break. His scoring, rebounding, and assist numbers all increased at least 40% from the first half to the second. He also had an impressive showing at the Vegas Summer League this year, making people believe that he poised to rebound in his second professional season.
It is likely that he would be paired with Noel in the Sixers front court this season if he does indeed come to Philadelphia.
Young, who has been considered the most likely player on the roster to be traded since early last season, enjoyed career-highs in points (17.9 per game), assists (2.3 per game), and steals (2.1 per game) last year in an expanded role. He is a career 50% shooter from the field, and would be a solid stretch 4, wing, or 6th man for Minnesota.
This trade makes a lot of sense for Sam Hinkie and the Sixers. Young, a free agent after this season, would likely walk anyway, so getting any sort of value for him, especially a former first overall pick, is key. Adding Bennett gives the Sixers three talented, but unproven, big men, which will allow Brett Brown and Hinkie some flexibility going forward. If one does not pan out, the Sixers still have two starting big men, and if all three work out, then Hinkie will have even more trade pieces to work with. Regardless, the Sixers are giving themselves more chances to groom top talent in the frontcourt, an area where the team has lacked stability over the past decade.