After getting everyone’s hopes up by winning 4 straight games against the mighty Western Conference (and on the road, no less), the Sixers have returned to their normal losing ways. The team has been blown out their last two games, a 126-95 debacle against the Timberwolves and then a 111-93 loss against the Cavaliers that saw Michael Carter-Williams score a career high 33 points. Both losses came thanks to a ridiculously bad defensive effort and a lack of energy due to the previously mentioned western road trip.
Regardless if the team can put together another win streak or not, I think it’s time to just admit that the season is a loss and start to prepare for the 2014 NBA Draft. That’s the reality of the situation we as a franchise find ourselves in and I for one and ready to embrace it.
And unfortunately that means Thaddeus Young has to go.
Now don’t think I don’t like Young and what he brings to the Sixers because that’s not the case. I’m a huge fan of his and what he has added to the team in his six years here. If anything that’s why I think the time is right to move Young and let him play for an actual contender. If any member of the current roster deserves a chance to make the playoffs this year, it’s Thad Young.
It has been well documented that Young wants out of Philly (and no, I don’t believe him when he says he never asked for a trade. There was just no way he could admit he did ask about it and not have it blow up in his face) and the time may be right to make something happen.
And it’s all because another team that was supposed to be on the express train to the lottery got off at a different station.
Before the season started, most analysts figured it was going to be either the Sixers or the Phoenix Suns who were going to have the best chance to get the all important #1 pick in the draft. But not only were the Suns following the same “tanking the season” plan as the Sixers, they had the added benefit of possibly having as many as 4 first round picks on draft night. In addition to their own they have the Indiana Pacers’s pick that is top-14 protected, the Minnesota Timberwolves pick which is top-13 protected and Washington Wizards’ pick that is top-12 protected.
That’s a whole lot of picks in what may be one of the best drafts in NBA history.
But a funny thing happened as the season progressed. The Suns won. And won some more. And then won some more. To the point where they now find themselves with a record of 20-13 in the brutal Western Conference and currently sit at the 7th seed for the playoffs with a lot of season still left to play.
That’s not what a team does if they want to tank, last time I checked.
So the Suns have found themselves in a position where they figure, what the hell, let’s win now instead of later. And to help make that happen they have made it know they are wiling to part with one of their first round picks in order to get an impact player that can help them win.
An impact player like Thaddeus Young.
Young would be a good fit for the Suns as they are a team that likes to run the court and with the numbers Young is putting up this season (17.8 points and 6.8 rebounds per game) he would provide the immediate impact the Suns are looking for. And Young would have a legitimate opportunity to go to the playoffs and possibly make a run.
And the Sixers? We would get another pick to work with in the stacked 2014 NBA Draft and yet more cap room. Another young player that can help form the foundation of the championship 76ers team we all want so badly. Because, let’s be honest here, the Sixers are not going to the playoffs this year. And I have a sinking feeling the majority of the rest of the season is going to resemble those two most recent losses instead of those 4 wins that seem so long ago.
I would love nothing more than if the Sixers could keep Thad Young and he could be a part of the rebirth of the 76ers franchise. But for his sake and the teams, I think it’s time to pull the trigger and do a deal.
For the Sixers to get better, Thaddeus Young has to be traded to the Phoenix Suns.