If the 76ers were to trade Thad Young, they'd be losing their only proven, consistently solid player. With Phoenix trading away their veteran in Gortat over the weekend, maybe Philadelphia feels they need to keep up in the race to the bottom. If they move Thad, the Sixers would almost certainly secure the worst record and the 25% chance at the 1st overall pick in 2014's draft. There is definitely interest around the league for the energetic forward. The Sixers could trade him to a contender for a pick or maybe some young, unproven pieces which the Sixers seem to be hoarding.
Trading Thad would also clear some room in the salary cap. As the highest paid player on the roster, Young is owed $28.2 million over the next three years. If the Sixers are hell-bent on tanking, why pay out that money when they could acquire a few inexpensive pieces? This would also clear up space for free agent pickups in future years when the Sixers actually hope to win.
No one can argue that Thaddeus Young has a strong ethic. Even during the disappointment of last season, Young worked his butt off every single game. What happens if he does the same this year and the Sixers accidentally win a game?! But in all seriousness, Thad Young is one of the hardest working players in the NBA, always fighting for rebounds and diving for loose balls. He's got heart and he deserves to win. So maybe for Thad's sake, they should trade him.
There are just as many reasons to keep Young as there are to trade him. Thad could provide an invaluable veteran presence and leadership to the Sixers' youngsters both on the floor and in the locker room. He is the perfect team captain. He's been with the team the longest and he's experienced both the ups and the downs. Hopefully, Thad's hustle and work ethic will rub off on these raw players.
If the Sixers were to trade Thad Young, would they really be able to get that much value in return? It is unlikely they would get a 1st round pick in exchange, and if they did it would be a late rounder; not worth the risk when you know what you'll get from Thad. If they traded him away for a young unproven player, the locker room wouldn't be the same. In a year, who would be here to lead a team made of 1st and 2nd year players? The Sixers would be more likely to get a better deal trading Evan Turner.
It is important to remember that Young is only 25 years old. He's only reaching the prime of his career as he had his best season last year. With a work ethic like his, I wouldn't be surprised if he was a solid player well into his 30's. If the Sixers aim to be contenders 3+ years down the road, Thad would only be in his late 20s or early 30's and should still be a very effective player. Its not as if he'll be useless and past his prime. He could still be an integral role player for Philadelphia as they set their eyes on a championship.
My verdict: Keep Him. I may be biased as he is my favorite Sixer, but he is much more valuable as a building block and leader on this team going forward. His intangibles make him the perfect role model for the inexperienced players on the roster. Also, as a fan favorite, keeping him will at least keep some fans interested as the rest of roster looks to be un-watchable for the upcoming season. The Sixers face off against the Heat in the season opener Wednesday and I can't wait to see Thad out on the court for Philly, hopefully for the rest of the foreseeable future.
By: Matt Ryan
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