Could Thaddeus Young be the next casualty of the Riggin' for Wiggins sweepstakes?
On Friday, the Suns sent Marcin Gortat to the Wizards, ridding them of a solid, veteran player that would have taken minutes from Phoenix's young big men and likely made the Suns more competitive in 2013-14 than they would have liked.
Philadelphia appears to be in a similar situation with Young. It's abundantly clear that the Sixers, much like the Suns, are playing for next season. They traded away their best player, Jrue Holiday, this offseason, they've already admitted they might not play their top pick, Nerlens Noel, at all this season and they hired a first-time NBA head coach and general manager this summer.
So it would come as little surprise that Philly might unload its remaining veteran assets in an attempt to accelerate its rebuilding efforts even further. In fact, it wouldn't surprise its remaining veteran assets, either.
Thaddeus Young recently told the Delaware County Times that he wouldn't be caught off guard by being traded this season, although he's hoping to stay put:
“Right now, this is my family and this is my home for the past seven years. If that day comes, it comes. I can’t worry about it. I can’t stress myself out about it. You pack up. You have a family and have to go to the next city. 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. It’ll be tough, but at the end of the day it’s a business.”
Young, a 6-foot-8 forward who can contribute on both ends, averaged 14.8 points, 7.5 rebounds and 1.8 steals last season while shooting 53.1 percent from the field. At 25, he still has plenty of room for improvement, but he doesn't appear to be a part of the Sixers' future plans, possibly due to the $28.2 million he's owed over the next three years.
Outside of Evan Turner, he might be the Sixers' best commodity on the trade market and should be able to help a number of teams thanks to his versatility and knack for hustle plays.
But despite the Sixers' bleak hopes for 2013-14, Young doesn't sound like a man who wants out of Philly.
“It is hard, but it requires a lot of patience,” he said. “Me personally, I’ve been here the past seven years and loved every bit of the seven years I’ve been here. I hope it continues … but you still have that in your mind that you could get traded.”The Sixers open their season on Oct. 30 against the Heat -- with Young, for now.