In yet another move to disassemble the current roster and build for the future, the Philadelphia 76ers have traded Thaddeus Young to the Timberwolves in a blockbuster three-team trade involving Kevin Love, Andrew Wiggins and more. ESPN's Brian Windhorst provides details on the move:
Cavs, Wolves, 76ers have completed Kevin Love trade officially. As part of deal Wolves will receive 6.3M trade exception.— Brian Windhorst (@WindhorstESPN) August 23, 2014
In summary: Kevin Love to Cavs, Wiggins, Bennett, Young to Wolves; Barea, Shved, Heat 2015 1st to Philly.— Brian Windhorst (@WindhorstESPN) August 23, 2014
Correction: Luc Mbah a Moute to Sixers as part of three-way trade not JJ Barea. My mistake.— Brian Windhorst (@WindhorstESPN) August 23, 2014
The Timberwolves confirm the deal and provide reaction from head coach Flip Saunders:
"We are excited to add 3 young, talented & athletic players to our team in Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett & Thaddeus Young" @Flip_Saunders— MN Timberwolves (@MNTimberwolves) August 23, 2014
Wiggins, Bennett, Young, LaVine represent the new age of the Minnesota Timberwolves #EyesOnTheRise— MN Timberwolves (@MNTimberwolves) August 23, 2014
General manager Sam Hinkie has siphoned off almost all the succulent assets from the Sixers' talent pool this last season. Starters Evan Turner and Spencer Hawes were traded, and Young becomes the latest lineup fixture to leave Philadelphia.
After adding Joel Embiid, Dario Saric and several others in the 2014 NBA draft, it's clear Hinkie is keen on building from the ground up. The top prospects don't get to choose where they go, but prior to the draft, Hinkie said he believes they will be pleased to begin their careers in the City of Brotherly Love, per CSNPhilly.com's Dei Lyman:
Most of the top players in this draft find Philadelphia a really attractive place because they want to be in a place where they have opportunity. They want to play in a big market and they recognize what a platform it is in Philadelphia. They want to get better and they realize that Philadelphia, with our coaching staff and with our roster, you can come and play and get better.
As Philly continues to build for the future, there's a lot for the Timberwolves to like about Young's game. His ability to thrive and put forth exceptional effort as a savvy, hybrid forward amid extremely unfavorable circumstances in 2013-14 stands out.
Even the NBA's official Twitter account could appreciate Young's hustle:
Someone had to put the ball in the hoop for Philly, and Young was counted on to do that, succeeding on the stat sheet in spite of the Sixers' sordid supporting cast. Young averaged a team-high 17.9 points and 2.1 steals per contest despite being one of the few who could be reasonably counted on for a team that went 19-63.
What works to Young's advantage in this instance is that he gets to prove himself on a superior squad as more of a complementary player, with better talent flanking him. A fresh start is beneficial for Young since he's endured a lot of losing and inconsistent roles during his seven seasons with the Sixers.
Young's athleticism and versatile offensive arsenal can cause problems against other power forwards, while his size and strength when deployed at the 3 is difficult to match. Still just 26 years old, the best seems yet to come for Young entering his prime.
But this trade is also a win for the Sixers. They part ways with a player who had an early termination option following the 2014-15 campaign—and Young likely would have used it. Hinkie made sure to get some sort of return on Young and saved over $9.4 million in cap space for the upcoming season, per Spotrac.com.
That makes room for the big additions through the draft, along with the financial flexibility to add a marquee, proven All-Star or two through free agency in the coming years.