Thaddeus Young is the longest-tenured Sixer no more. After seven seasons with the team, Young was officially traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves early Saturday afternoon.
While some aspects of the deal had been agreed upon in principle weeks ago, with the details crystalizing over the past twenty-four hours, it did not become official until the three teams involved; the Cavaliers, Timberwolves, and Sixers, participated in a conference call with the NBA office on Saturday.
The Sixers sent Young to the Timberwolves, who also received the past two number one overall picks, Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett, from the Cavaliers in exchange for prized power forward Kevin Love.
In exchange for Young, the Sixers received Luc Mbah a Moute, Alexey Shved, and Miami’s 2015 protected first-round pick from Minnesota.
Love, a three-time All-Star, will join the recently-returned LeBron James in Cleveland, together forming the East’s most formidable frontcourt. Minnesota did well for themselves also, especially considering that they would have lost Love for nothing in free agency had they not made a move. They add the ultra-athletic Wiggins, the still potential-laden Bennett, and the multi-faceted Young to an already-promising core highlighted by Ricky Rubio and 2014 lottery selection Zach LaVine.
The trade is a little less favorable from the Sixers side, however. While they did get a decent return for Young, contract considered, the organization lost a leader, both on and off the court. Young is a talented, team-first player, and his presence will surely be missed in the Sixers’ locker room this season.
Basketball is a business however. Young, still only 26 years old, is slated to make almost $10 million in 2014-15, and with the SIxers having no immediate intention to contend, it may well have been in their best interest to unload Young while they could get some value in return. If they had kept him for the duration of the upcoming season, they would have run the risk of him leaving Philadelphia in free agency, which all signs pointed to as very likely. By trading him now, the Sixers secured a first-round pick, and in Mbah a Moute, a player that could aid in Joel Embiid’s development. Considering the amount of money Young is slated to make, and his ability to spilt after a single season, the offers were not going to be enormous.
The Sixers also did a justice to Young by trading him away from their current re-construction. As a player in his prime that has done everything the organization has asked of him, it was unfortunate that Young was stuck in a situation where he couldn’t contend. It can no longer be said that he is being held hostage by the Sixers. Unfortunately for Young however, Minnesota might not be much better.
Sam Hinkie has cleared house quickly. Reigning Rookie of the Year Michael Carter-Williams is now the only remaining starter from opening night last season for the Sixers, and now no players remain from the 2011-12 team that pushed Boston to seven games in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
In another season that is sure to be a struggle, there will be one less familiar face on the court for the Sixers.