Unfortunately for the 76ers, one of the names that is going to be bandied about when the never-ending trade rumors start to fly this summer is going to be that of 24-year-old Thaddeus Young.
Think about it.
If there is one player on the roster that the Sixers are committed to it’s Jrue Holiday. An all-star, Holiday, though he has shown some signs of wear and tear as of late, is the closest thing to an untouchable on this roster.
And if you’re looking at the Sixers roster, of the eight players signed through next season, Young is easily the most enticing to any team looking to do business with the Sixers.
In his first full season as a starter, Young is averaging 15.2 points on 52.6 percent shooting, and he’s averaging 7.8 rebounds per game. After notching just one double-double coming off the bench last season, Young has 18 this season. The one area of his game where he’s slipped is at the free-throw line, where Young has made just 55.3 percent of his free throws after making 77.1 percent in 2011-12.
Compare those numbers to Atlanta’s Josh Smith. Smith, who believes he’s a max contract player (another reason why the Sixers were smart in not pursuing him), is averaging 15.8 points a game and shooting 45.7 percent from the field. He’s a better rebounder (8.5) than Young, but he’s one of the worst free-throw shooter in the league (45.7).
Young is one of the hardest-working players in the league, and he’s one of the guys in the league that every coach knows plays hard every single game.
In the last five games, not long after coming back from a hamstring injury, Young has averaged 20.6 points on 69.4 percent shooting (50 of 72). In the last three games Young has pulled down 12, 10 and 15 rebounds per game.
So get a good look at him now. The Sixers don’t want to trade him, but no one is going to be calling them this summer and not bring up his name.