Monday, November 24, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Thaddeus Young exits 76ers with class

Thaddeus Young is extremely happy about his new home in Minnesota while also being appreciative of his time at his old one.

Thaddeus Young exits 76ers with class

Former 76ers forward Thaddeus Young. (David Zalubowski/AP)
Former 76ers forward Thaddeus Young. (David Zalubowski/AP)

Thaddeus Young is extremely happy about his new home in Minnesota while also being appreciative of his time at his old one.

The former 76ers forward, who was traded last week to the Timberwolves, is joining a team that hasn't been to the postseason since the 2003-2004 season.

Yet with young acquisitions such as Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett, along with first-round pick Zach LaVine of UCLA, plus established center Nikola Pekovic and point guard Ricky Rubio, the Wolves have potential.

Then again to make the playoffs in the Western Conference, it takes more than potential. Last year the Wolves were 40-42, the No. 10 team in the conference. (By comparison, Atlanta went 38-44 and was the eighth and final Eastern Conference playoff seed).

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Still, the Wolves are at the moment clearly ahead of the Sixers, a team that might be hard-pressed to match last year's 19-63 record.

So Young, who will earn $9.1 million this season and has a $9.7 million player option for the 2015-2016 season, can't wait to get started in his new setting.

"It feels great," Young said. "They came after me and they sent two guys and a pick over to get me so that says a lot about what the organization wanted and they went and got me. I'm very happy, very excited."

Young, who averaged 17.9 points and 6.0 rebounds, is expected to be one of the Wolves leaders. He is just 26 years old but is entering his eighth NBA season.

"It's a great thing for the younger guys, it's a great thing for me," Young said. "I can step into a situation were I already kind of know some of the concepts and I can help the young guys get better."

Young admits the last two years were difficult in Philadelphia, when the Sixers had a combined 53-111 record.

"It was definitely tough and frustrating at times, but I've always made the best out of situations by just going out there and playing the game that I love so dearly," Young said. "I still hold Philadelphia close to my heart. Those fans have been close to me ever since Day 1, they were the ones that actually picked my first jersey number in the NBA."

So even though he's headed to a better team, it isn't easy to leave Philadelphia.

"I've gotten closer and closer to Philadelphia and for me to just leave and go it was definitely hard and it was saddening, but at the end of the day it's a business and I know I have to start a new chapter of my life and a new journey."

About this blog

Keith Pompey has been an Inquirer reporter since September 2004 and took over the Sixers beat in the summer of 2013 after covering Temple basketball and football for the previous three years.

Marc Narducci has served in a variety of roles with the Inquirer since beginning in 1983. He has covered the 76ers as a backup and a beat writer. In addition, Narducci has covered everything from the Super Bowl to the World Series and a lot in between.

Keith Pompey Inquirer Staff Writer
Marc Narducci Inquirer Columnist
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