Thaddeus Is Still Young, but 76ers Have Him Coming Along

Mike ThomasContributor IOctober 23, 2008

With Thaddeus Young's second season blooming, there are big expectations for the 20-year-old, 6'8" phenom out of Memphis. Last year, Mo Cheeks had him shifting from the power forward to the small forward or vice-versa, but Young has earned the spot he wanted all last season—the small forward.

Coming out of high school, Young was a top-five player in the country and many expected him to be the best player out of the 2007 NBA draft when all is said and done. He slipped to No. 12 because a lot of general managers did not want to take the gamble of the then-19-year-old Georgia Tech freshman. The Sixers were confident in him and told everyone he was a project. Well, this project is almost done.

This past season, Young had to improve his ball-handling and his jump shot, so he did. Early in the summer league, he showed off his handling and shooting skills to everyone. He averaged 18 points and showed flashes of greatness. This season, with the addition of Elton Brand, he will be open for more shots, so he has to be able to knock them down.

A lot of fans want to see this kid come into his own, but with Andre Igoudala, Andre Miller, and Brand, there is not a lot of basketballs to go around. With potential and a tremendous upside, Young will come into his own, but Young is still Young.