If one were to look at the highest paid players in the NBA, a few things will be probably noticed. Yes, Joe Johnson has the 4th highest contract in the NBA, even though he his 44th in scoring (right behind Swaggy P).
Yes, Tim Duncan ($10.3 million this season) and Stephen Curry ($9.8 million) are woefully underpaid based on their impacts to their teams.
Yes, the 76ers are still paying Andreas Nocioni 6 million this year. A man who hasn’t played a game since the first Obama administration.
But what may not be as shocking is who is the current highest paid member of the Sixers, Thaddeus Young ($8.8 million this year). He has been with the team the longest, and has a very lucrative career as an off the bench swing man in his early years.
Now as a starter, he is putting up numbers that have put him on the national radar on a team that doesn’t seem to be going anywhere fast. The contract isn’t disabling the 76ers by any stretch. But with this type of draft and free agency coming up, a few extra bucks wouldn’t hurt. Cue the trade talks.
It feels like an inevitable trade is going to happen. Young, allegedly, did ask for a trade. Something that he denied after the rumors began to swirl. But its easy to see why he could be unhappy.
He is in his prime, and this team isn’t looking to do much this year or even the next. It seems appropriate to maximize his value for both sides. Let him get to a contender and play in the playoffs with purpose again, while the Sixers pick up more quality young assets to help speed up the turn around. Though I hate the term, its sounds like a “win-win.”
So which teams would make the perfect trade partners for the 76ers? Obviously some are better suited than others.
I am sure the Miami Heat would love him, but don’t really offer the Sixers that much in return. Most of the Miami roster is the best of version of the NBA circa 2007, and their only “young” talent is in the backcourt on the bench. I think the Sixers are set on a point guard for now.
On the flip side I am sure the Charlotte Bobcats could be bring many returns if the 76ers decided to send Young there. But I don’t think Thad would be too happy, even with the new/old Hornets logo. So who actually works out? I got a few.
Atlanta Hawks: Currently 3rd in East
The Hawks have always been an interesting study, when it comes to the Eastern Conference. They seem to be a consistently “good team.” But much like the San Diego Chargers, they can’t seem to elevate that status into a real contender.
Now I am not saying Thad makes this team challenge Indiana. But in a weak Eastern Conference, he could move them maintain that 3rd seed.
Atlanta is 24th in the NBA in salary, around $59 Million, so they could take his on without much issue. They also have a few young players that could be nice additions.
John Jenkins could be put in the backcourt with MCW and grow into a good shooter for this team. His 6-4 size would give the Sixers one of the largest backcourts in the NBA, and maybe the one with the biggest amount of upside.
Power forward Mike Scott would also look good in Philadelphia. He is having a decent sophomore season averaging 8 points and 3 rebounds a game, in limited minutes. He holds a lot of similar qualities to Young in length and athletic ability, they also happen to be the same age, though Scott has only played one year. Young came out of college at 19. Biggest difference, he is making $788,000 this year and is a free agent at the end of the year.
These are the guys the Sixers need to be trading for. Low-risk, high-reward guys.
Phoenix Suns: Currently 7th in West
It’s funny. Before the season began I expected the Suns to be in a much similar position as the 76ers. A lot of young talent that may not have been ready yet.
I assumed the lottery would be in their future as well. That scenario still is not out of the question, but seems like this team wants to compete this year. Philly could help that.
The Suns have the second lowest payroll in the NBA. Only team with a lower one is, you guessed it, the 76ers. So taking on his salary will be easy for them. They also could offer a some good talent in return.
Alex Len is a rookie out of Maryland I honestly wanted the Sixers to get in the draft. The 7’1 center would be great to have and a nice backup plan if they decide to move Spencer Hawes as well.
They also have both the Morris twins, who are Philly natives. Not sure you can get both but Marcus would be nice front court member to have.
If the Suns want to make a move out west adding more athleticism never hurt. Young could be what Phoenix had always hoped for in Channing Frye, and he comes a much cheaper price tag.
This all depends on if the Suns want to continue to complete. I feel it will be up till the deadline, weather they want to be buyers or sellers, even though this report says otherwise.
Dallas Mavericks: Currently 8th in West
The Mavs are only 15th in payroll right now, and could take on some Salary. I feel any team paying Sam Dalembert $3 million for this season, doesn’t care too much about fiances.
They are in basketball limbo out West of not being good enough, but not being bad enough either.Young could maybe put them in shouting distance of the Clippers or even OKC.
Dirk, Ellis, and Young with Carter and Marion on their last legs isn’t that bad of a squad.
DeJuan Blair and Wayne Ellington would be good returns on Young. Blair had a nice career in a bench role in San Antonio and knows Brett Brown well.
Ellington is a Mainline product and could add depth to the back court as well as bit of experience.
Both players come cheap as with Blair making a little under $900,000 and Ellington making $2.8 million for this season. Taking a flyer on Jae Crowder may not be a bad idea either.
Oklahoma City Thunder: Currently 3rd in West
The Thunder are paying too much for Kendrick Perkins. I think they will be the first to admit that. But there isn’t much you can do in the way of moving him. However you can mask his presence by adding Thad Young to your roster.
It would probably be the most athletic team in the NBA. Young can help with the scoring in the absence of Russell Westbrook, can defend decently well around the parameter, and can hit an outside shot. He could honestly be a great fit in that system.
The Sixers could get decent returns as well. I am a big fan of Perry Jones III. He is another one of these guys who doesn’t let his height dictate what type of player he is going to be. He is versatile and a match up headache of other coaches. He is also coming in cheap at a little over $1 million for his services.
Jeremy Lamb I feel would be the number one target in the deal for Philly. Not sure how easily he could be pried away from OKC, but I am sure any deal would have his name at least mentioned in it. He is a talent.
The chances of Thaddeus Young still being on the roster when the trade deadline passes, I feel, hover around unlikely. I don’t see a real reason why the 76ers would keep him, if indeed you are preparing for the long haul, and not a quick turnaround. It seems neither side would benefit form him staying here longer. However, trades are more difficult to make than they appear to the public.
Despite this, if the Sixers do move Young. They more than likely will be adding by subtracting. While allowing a talent in the NBA to finally be recognized. The deadline is coming.
Tags: Alex Len Andreas Nocioni Atlanta Hawks Brett Brown Charlotte Bobcats Dallas Mavericks DiJaun Blair Jeramy Lamb Joe Johnson John Jenkins Kendrick Perkins Miami Heat Mike Scott NBA Oklahoma City Thunder Philadelphia 76ers Phoenix Suns Russell Westbrook Sam Dalembert San Diego Chargers Stephen Curry Thaddeus Young Tim Duncan Wayne Ellington