There are certain guys you just have to feel bad for.
Thaddeus Young is now one of them after the Philadelphia 76ers traded away both Spencer Hawes and Evan Turner just prior to the Feb. 20 deadline. The duo had been on the block throughout the entire 2013-14 season, but it wasn't just a duo; it was a trio, because Young was supposed to be moved as well.
Even though Young is now getting paid millions of dollars and only has a couple dozen games left to get through before he's eligible to be dealt at the 2014 draft, he's still become a sympathetic figure.
And he knows it.
First he told Philly.com's Bob Cooney, "This situation, I don't know how much worse it can get, but there's a lot of great guys in this locker room who can play. Hopefully, we can just go out there and get better as a team and continue to play hard."
He wasn't done.
"I am not going to lie, a little bit," Young told the reporter about how he felt excluded at the deadline. "Certain things don't always happen in your favor or it doesn't happen the way everybody else thinks it should play out. It's been a very tough year so far, but you try to make the best of the situation."
Truth be told, this is a tough situation to make the best of. Seriously, this is Philadelphia's depth chart now, courtesy of Rotoworld:
- Point guard: Michael Carter-Williams, Eric Maynor, Lorenzo Brown
- Shooting guard: Tony Wroten, Elliott Williams, Jason Richardson (injured)
- Small forward: James Anderson, Hollis Thompson, Danny Granger (likely to be bought out)
- Power forward: Thaddeus Young, Brandon Davies (injured), Arsalan Kazemi
- Center: Byron Mullens, Arnett Moultrie, Henry Sims, Nerlens Noel (injured)
How many of those guys are actually quality NBA players? Four?
That may be generous, since Wroten isn't exactly the most consistent player in the Association.
As The News Journal's Jason Wolf describes the situation, "He's a consummate pro, and provides a valuable veteran presence for a Sixers roster that has largely been reduced to a couple of talented rookies and a pile of expiring contracts thanks to a flurry of activity before Thursday's NBA trade deadline."
How long can he keep being the consummate pro, though?
Based on Young's history, he'll make it through the rest of the season. But based on the remnants of the Philadelphia roster, things could get ugly.
On the bright side, the versatile forward will put up some monstrous numbers. Maybe that can keep him satisfied for the time being. Then everything starts back over during the offseason.
Will things get any better next year? Will he even be around to see what happens, or will he be dealt to another squad? Would he even want to stay around after enduring the misery of the 2013-14 campaign?
There's too much uncertainty swirling around Philadelphia to answer those questions with any degree of certainty, though it feels safe to assume that the Sixers will be much improved after adding more marquee rookies and using some of their cap space.
Young's future is up in the air.