With Evan Turner, Jrue Holiday and Andre Iguodala all gone, Thaddeus Young is the Philadelphia 76ers’ leader. Heck, he’s their best player with Michael Carter-Williams still developing. But that doesn’t mean he hasn’t given thought to life outside Philly.
How could he not?
The Sixers have lost 25 straight games, and there’s a real possibility they lose out to close the season. And with general manager Sam Hinkie having cleaned house in attempt to tank for a top-three draft pick, Young has to be feeling a bit cagey. He wants to win. The Sixers aren’t winning or going to win anytime soon. It’s that simple.
Sounds like he needs a little more Gregg Popovich in his life.
Per Spurs Nation’s Jabari Young, the Sixers swingman took notice of trade rumors that linked him to the San Antonio Spurs earlier this year, and he left the door open for a later arrival, specifically citing his ability to play with Kawhi Leonard:
At one point Young thought he might be Leonard’s teammate.
He said was aware of the rumors that had him being traded to the Spurs (Young and Duncan share the same agent). Young said he would have embraced the move, as winning is the only thing on his mind.
“You know, it’s a great opportunity,” Young said. “I’m one of those guys that just want to win. … We play the game and make a lot of money, but this is our career and me personally, I want to win. I want to play for a winning team, I want to win a championship. … At the end day, right now, the trade deadline is over and I’m just trying to develop guys and rebuild the culture.”
Asked if he’s thought about this offseason, and the possibility that he name will again surface in trade rumors, Young said he hasn’t thought about it.
But when he was asked again about joining Leonard in San Antonio, he smiled saying: “It can happen. Like I said, I can play with anybody.”
This isn’t an outright plea for the Spurs to strike a deal with the Sixers this summer. Think of it as a reminder that Young would likely be pleased going somewhere, anywhere he could win, or at the very least, not lose as much as he is in Philly.
Among potential suitors could be the Spurs, who would be an intriguing trade partner, if only because of fit. I couldn’t even tell you what the trade package would be, but the Spurs do have some cap flexibility moving forward, so making the deal match up financially wouldn’t be an issue.
As someone who, at his best, can defend on and off the ball and score on and off the ball, Young would stand to be a good fit in San Antonio’s two-way system. Yours truly was one of those advocating for the Spurs to make a run at Iguodala last summer. Young is cut from the same mold.
Although he’s not the facilitator Iggy is, he can score from anywhere on the floor when he’s on, and he can defend four of the five positions on the floor. The Spurs could work with that.
Pairing him in the frontcourt with Leonard, Tim Duncan and Tiago Splitter may seem like overkill, but he could be a valuable sixth man and inevitable starter once Timmy D retires.
Merely thinking aloud here, though. Young is a member of the Sixers right now, and a willing one to boot.
Something tells me, however—the 25-straight losses, infinite losing—he wouldn’t say no to leaving them behind for a better, more hopeful situation.
Dan Favale is a firm believer in the three-pointer as well as the notion that defense doesn’t always win championships. His musings can be found at Bleacherreport.com in addition to TheHoopDoctors.com.