Sixers trade Thaddeus Young to Minnesota

76ers forward Thaddeus Young. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)

The 76ers are about to end their relationship with their longest-tenured player.

An NBA executive confirmed multiple reports Friday that Thaddeus Young will be dealt to the Minnesota Timberwolves as part of a deal that will also include LeBron James' Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Sixers would receive two players on expiring contracts, guard Alexey Shved and forward Luc Mbah a Moute, and a 2015 top-10-protected first-round draft choice that is owned by Cleveland, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.

The deals could be announced as early as Saturday.

Minneapolis forward Kevin Love, who can opt out of his contract after the 2014-15 season, would be sent to Cleveland for this year's No. 1 overall draft pick, Andrew Wiggins; last year's overall top choice, Anthony Bennett; and Miami's first-round pick, which was traded to Cleveland. (That is the pick that would be sent to the Sixers.)

The moves technically may be a two-team deal between the Cavs and Timberwolves and then a two-team trade between the T'wolves and Sixers because there is a trade exception involved, an NBA source told The Inquirer.

The value of the trade exception differs due to a team's salary cap in a two-team deal versus a three-team trade.

Minnesota also would receive a trade exception worth more than $4 million.

Because of a seldom-used NBA rule, the deal between Cleveland and Minnesota cannot be announced until Saturday at the earliest. A rookie (Wiggins) cannot be traded until 30 days after signing his contract, which would be Saturday.

The deals have been rumored for weeks, and on Thursday a fourth team entered the picture, proposing a trade for Love, reported Friday.

The Phoenix Suns offered Minnesota guard Eric Bledsoe in a sign-and-trade, sources told the website.

The original rumors of the deals had the Sixers acquiring Bennett, but that apparently has changed.

"We have heard for weeks Young was going to Minnesota, and, at first, the word was that Bennett would be headed to Philadelphia," an NBA executive who requested anonymity told The Inquirer. "Now it's apparently these two other players and the draft choice."

The executive said it's difficult to figure the Sixers' strategy in acquiring two more players on expiring contracts.

"They are getting rid of a lot of salary but have to eventually pay somebody," the executive said.

Shved is slated to earn $3.2 million this season, while Mbah a Moute, is scheduled to earn $4.4 million. Young will earn $9.2 million this season and has a player option for $9.7 million next season.

Mbah a Moute, a defensive specialist, averaged 3.5 points and 2.3 rebounds in 15.3 minutes while playing for Sacramento and the Timberwolves. He, like Sixers first-round pick Joel Embiid, is a native of Cameroon, and the two have forged a close relationship. That could factor into the trade.

Shved averaged 4 points and 1.1 assists in 10.5 minutes.

Young, 26, averaged 17.9 points and 6 rebounds last season. During his seven seasons with the Sixers, he averaged 13.7 points and 5.5 rebounds.

Young was the team's first-round draft choice (No. 12 overall) in 2007 from Georgia Tech.


Inquirer sports columnist Mike Sielski contributed to this article.