With free agency well underway, and the summer leagues halfway complete, fans have sent e-mails regarding how veteran Thaddeus Young fits in with the Sixers' future.
What do you think [Sam] Hinkie will do with Thad [Young]? I know he wants some veteran presence on the team, but you know Thad will opt out after this year because no one wants to go into the final year of a contract. Could you see Thad getting a [Trevor] Ariza-type deal next summer?
- John from Delaware
Young is an interesting piece to the Sixers' puzzle. In addition to being a very good player, he is also a person of great character. His appearance at the Orlando Summer League, while vacationing at Disney World with his family, is one example of his commitment to the team.
Young and Jason Richardson are the two veteran players on the current roster.
In a recent conversation with Hinkie, I asked if signing other veterans is a priority.
"It is definitely something we consider and something we talk a lot about, and it wouldn't surprise me if opportunities come our way that you will see more of that," Hinkie explained. "That said, we are also quite comfortable that we have good players on this team that can provide that type of leadership for us and our staff at large is strong in that area.
"In today's NBA, you see a lot of players leaning on veterans but you also see them leaning on larger and larger coaching staffs."
Nerlens Noel leans heavily on assistant coach Greg Foster. Michael Carter-Williams is always seen doing drills with Lloyd Pierce, and Hollis Thompson is never far from Billy Lange in the practice gym.
Young may again find himself surrounded by youth and youth alone.
Heading into his eighth season, Young wants to win now. The Sixers are still a couple years away from doing that. Trading Young is not the equivalent of moving an expiring contract because the 2015-16 season is his option.
Young makes $9.1 million this upcoming season and $9.7 million the following. He averaged 17.9 points last year shooting 45.4 percent from the floor, and he grabbed 6.0 rebounds per game.
If he chooses to opt out, he is likely to make less than the $9.7 million owed for one season, but he will get a lengthier contract.
Would a team trade for him not knowing his decision on the final year of his deal?
Ariza signed with Houston for $32 million over four years. It was a sign-and-trade. I agree players like Ariza and Young, after big-name free agents sign, become real commodities for good teams who missed out.
The Rockets lost out on Chris Bosh, and Chandler Parsons became too expensive. After LeBron James had departed Miami, the Heat landed free-agent Luol Deng.
Young should get comfortable being on the trading block.