Thaddeus Young is a class act. Somehow, the longest tenured Sixer made it through a tumultuous season, after losing three close friends at the trade deadline in Evan Turner, LaVoy Allen and Spencer Hawes. No matter the game, or the score, Young was diving on the floor for loose balls and leaving his heart on the court. Hustle is a word that is synonymous with the name Thaddeus Young and it’s been that way during his seven years with the Sixers. Unfortunately, Thaddeus Young has to sit on the couch and watch the NBA Playoffs this off-season, whereas Turner and Allen will be taking part in those playoffs. Just a season and some change ago, the Sixers made a trade that sent shock waves through the NBA, acquiring All-Star Andrew Bynum and shipping away another All-Star in Andre Iguodala. The Sixers appeared to be vying for an NBA Championship, a season after being one game away from the Eastern Conference Finals. These thoughts still haunt Young, as he told Jason Wolf of The News Journal:
“I think about the Bynum situation all the time,” Young said Thursday. “I think that could have been a great year for us, if he could have played at least 20 games. That could have been the deciding factor of us making it to the playoffs and us keeping the team we had together. But like I said, at the end of the day, that happened, that’s gone, and we’re in this situation today.”
Fast forward a season later and the Sixers finish with the second worst-record in the NBA at 19-63, while missing the playoffs for the second-straight season. With the Sixers still a few years away from contention, Thaddeus Young is in a tough situation. Does he want to stay with this team and build, or try to win a championship? The future could be bright — Nerlens Noel and Michael Carter-Williams are two strong building blocks for this franchise. Could the addition of Jabari Parker or Andrew Wiggins make Young want to stay around for the ride? He’s a versatile and lethal player — his set of skills is hard to come by in the NBA.
“It’s one of those things that has to be talked about,” Young said about his end-of-season meeting with general manager Sam Hinkie and coach Brett Brown. “It just depends on where we’re going, what we’re trying to do, and me just sit down with my family and talking about it. I think that’s the biggest thing. I’m a family man. I have a wife and kids … and I have to think about it from a business aspect, also.” I’ll be 26 this summer, and going into next year. After next season I’ll be 27. … People are supposed to hit their prime at certain points of their career.”
As the 2014 NBA Draft looms on the Sixers, that could hold a lot of information about the future of Thaddeus Young with the
Philadelphia 76ers. If it goes right and the Sixers land two possible future All-Stars, will Young want to stay with the Sixers after this season? Thaddeus Young is hooked onto the Sixers for next season, but has a player option in 2015-216. Will he opt-in?
“I think the biggest thing right now is me, I just want to kind of see how this draft plays out,” Young said, “and then get back into the room and talk with them a little bit more after the draft. … Anything is a possibility. I have a player option next year, that could be played. I could ask to be traded. I can say, ‘Hey, I’m all for it. I want to stick around.’ Or, like I said, I just want to see exactly how things are going to play out, and just have some time to just sit back, relax and chill with my family a little bit, and then talk about it later in June.”
All fans of the Philadelphia 76ers should want the best for Thaddeus Young. He’s been a class act and the biggest example of a professional this season. Lets be frank, he doesn’t want to be here. He wants to go win — especially since he’s hitting the prime of his career. If he stays, if he goes, Sixers fans should be thankful for everything he did/does for this city.
All quotes from Jason Wolf of The News Journal
Love you, Thad.