After almost an entire season of Thaddeus Young’s name swirling around in trade rumors, it seems as if his departure has finally come. According to multiple sources, the Minnesota Timberwolves have agreed to terms in two separate deals that will allow Thad to join their team. In the big scheme of things, trading Thad is a very smart move for the 76ers.
With reportedly Thaddeus Young on his way out and 2013 no. 1 draft pick Anthony Bennett headed over to Philly in the deal, the best thing for Sixers fans to do is look to the future. If all of GM Sam Hinkie’s plans turn out the right way, the future will be bright.
The first thing Sixers fans will witness within the next few seasons is the growth of young players. Thaddeus Young was Philly’s leading scorer last season averaging just under 18 points per game. This year there will be a new scoring leader in town. Look for players like Michael Carter-Williams and Nerlens Noel to play a big role in the scoring department for the team next season. These very young players along with Tony Wroten and Anthony Bennett — who are both 21 years old — will become leaders and have their confidence boosted with extra minutes.
If Hinkie decides to keep Thad on the roster next season, the 6-8 forward would leave in free agency in 2015 and the 76ers would have received nothing in return. Despite Anthony Bennett’s dreadful rookie season, the former UNLV standout still has a lot of potential to prove to the NBA that he was worthy of being a no. 1 overall draft pick.
Being a tad bit overweight, and not used to coming off the bench, Bennett’s on court production suffered tremendously. Bennett was benched after averaging a measly 4.2 points per game to go along with three rebounds per game with the Cavaliers. During the season, he was also sent down to the NBA D-League.
It seems as if this motivated the 6-8 power forward to do anything he could to become a better basketball player. Coming into the 2014 NBA Summer League, Bennett looked much more in shape than he was at the end of last season. He lost 21 pounds, and has added some more bounce in his game.
If Bennett continues to work hard in the gym and be a quality teammate, he could be a key factor to the Sixers in the future.
Philly’s young core has shown they have potential to be the corner stone of an elite NBA team in a few years with Noel ready to take the court this season, and Joel Embiid waiting to make some noise down low in 2015-2016. Who knows, maybe Andrew Wiggins will want to come play with his college teammate, Embiid and his Canadian homeboy, Bennett to really put Philly basketball on the map. Far fetched? Possibly, but anything is possible, right KG?