Bennett Trade: Just Say No

Posted by: Adam Gross
08/16/14 11:38 am EST

bennettAfter a year and countless transactions, the core of the team that once coasted down a long path of mediocrity is completely dismantled, except for Thaddeus Young.  The Sixers combo-forward has been a part of recent reports of a handshake agreement that will send Thad ti Minnesota and in return 2013 first overall pick, Anthony Bennett would be shipped to the 76ers.

Bennett had a historic season in his rookie year, as he had one of, if not the worst rookie season of a first overall pick in the history of the NBA and in my opinion this prposed trade would be detrimental to a growing team.  The Sixers, if this trade goes down, would be following their series of recent transactions by betting on pure potential, and gamble that could set the team back for many years to come.

Although adding a potential star seems awfully appealing, considering Young might opt out of his contract after the 2014-15 season, there is one main issue if Young gets dealt; leadership.  If the deal happens, the player with the most experience in a Sixers uniform would be Arnett Moultrie and to say he has some character issues is an understatement.  Jason Richardson has the most NBA experience on the team by a considerable margin, but after a year-long hiatus due to injury, he is probably not the leader the team is looking for in the locker room.

Considering player development is such an integral part of the Sixers’ upcoming years, lacking a bona-fide leader may very well stunt the growth of the young talent on the team.  Michael Carter-Williams seems to be on track to become the leader of this team, but gaining that role might require more than a single year of NBA experience.  Young is a devoted, hard-working player and model citizen off-the-court, who could influence the young players greatly.  If Young is dealt, Hinkie will have a very hard time finding a veteran with the leadership skills and dedication that Young owns.

Bennett’s season was historically bad, but his good showing in the Summer League leaves us with a curious mindset.  The main concern though is that his good showing came in the Summer League, rather than during true NBA action.  His lack of a solidified position is also a cause for concern.  The term “Stretch Forward” is a misused term when it comes to Bennett as he isn’t athletic enough to guard other 3’s in the NBA.   Through college, he often displayed his above-average outside game, including 3-point range, but that was partially due to UNLV’s lack of ball movement.  Bennett showed very little of those skills last season for Cleveland.  He also does not possess the passing tools that would allow him to efficiently run at the 3.

Additionally, Bennett lacks the dominant post skills and size for him to succeed as a prototypical 4.  Though several of the best power forwards in the League have a similar stature, their significantly more developed post skills allow them to pay effectively at the 4.  He is pretty solid at grabbing boards as he is not afraid to use his bigger frame to his advantage, so that should be to his benefit at the power forward spot.

Still, to succeed in the NBA, he will need to vastly improve his defense.  During the 2013-14 season, Bennett showed he didn’t have a clue on that end of the floor — on the ball or off.  Additionally he’ll have to work on his defensive positioning in the post as Bennett had a tendency to get pushed around last year.

Although what he displayed in the Summer League is hopeful, transferring that success to the real NBA brings a significant challenge to Bennett.  Obviously it’s a challenge he’ll have to meet if he wants to prove why he was the No. 1 overall selection in the 2013 NBA Draft.  But meeting that challenge and proving all the critics wrong will take years and that is why, in my opinion, trading Young for a 2nd year, unproven, out of shape player would damage the future of this team.

The talent on the team has great potential, but dealing leadership to add more rising talent to a potential-ridden frontcourt would prove disastrous.  Hinkie needs to take a step back and look at the current state of this team, and imagine the future without proper leadership to help develop the young players and lead them along the right path.  Potential is containing the capacity to be great, but exposing it takes help from coaches and veterans.  Hinkie really needs to think twice about trading Young, as it could delay the realization of a very bright future.

 

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18 Responses to “Bennett Trade: Just Say No”

  1. Bill
    16. August 2014 at 14:28

    Thad seems a perfect Bobby Jones type 6th man to compliment a fastbreak started with a pass from Joel Embid to MCW.

    Unless there is little hope of signing Thad; please don’t trade him now.

    If Hinkie has too, hope they can obtain Gorgi Dieng somehow instead.

  2. RYN_JAY
    16. August 2014 at 15:54

    Ok. So your gonna say no to this trade because this team will lack a “true leader” for possibly at most just this next year. As much as I love Thad, I think your overvaluing his leadership. Thad is a great player on and off the court but to decline this trade just because of leadership alone is just downright silly.

  3. johnny w
    16. August 2014 at 16:43

    Yepper…maybe Thad see’s the potential and momentum the SIXERS organization in doing here. Would be a great story if he endured one more season of tank and was a part of the charge and winning times to come. I like the idea of leadership coming from our best player makes a big difference. Plus without Mr Young we may be God awful. lol It’s not like he’s 35 years old?

    A trade straight up Anthony Bennett for Thad Young makes no sense to me…they would have to sweetin the pot some.

    So I’m all in and agree with the article, didn’t take much to convince me. lol Thad finishes his career in Philly. jw

  4. Philadunkia
    16. August 2014 at 20:28

    RYN_JAY,

    Okay, so we’ll put that all important leadership factor aside for a second. Who puts up better numbers over the next 3-4 years, Thad or Bennett? If you say Bennett, you are assuming he will make a huge jump in development over the next 1-2 years and I don’t think that’s a safe bet at all.

    Thanks for reading & commenting.

    –C. Smith

  5. Jsimp40
    17. August 2014 at 14:20

    How can you say Thad is gonna put up better numbers than Bennett? Dude played one year in which he was out of shape and coming off an injury. Who knows what he will do. Thad is gonna leave as soon as he can, why would he stay in the prime of his career with a rebuilding team. I say get what you can and Bennett is no risk, higher reward. That being said I agree with you most of the time, just not this time lol.

  6. Bobbeh
    17. August 2014 at 16:39

    The thing is C. Smith, is that Thad won’t be on the team over the next 3-4 years, while Bennett would be. So the real question that you have to ask is “Over the next 3-4 years, who puts up better numbers during their time on the Sixers?” One year of Thad, or 3 years of Bennett? If you say a single year of Thad, you don’t know hoops.

  7. Berdj J. Rassam
    17. August 2014 at 21:25

    Bennett is not worthy of the #1 pick in last year’s draft. I wouldn’t trade for him by giving up much if any value for him.

  8. johnny w
    17. August 2014 at 22:25

    My pitch is what if Thad decided to stay? Like marriage in sickness and in health, thick or thin. lol Kevin Garnett stayed in Minnesota when the GM didn’t have a clue. Loyalty like Melo just demonstrated and he could get PAID!!!

    If I were him I’d rather stay on the east coast and be part of the surge, then go to the TIMBER WOLVES with Flip Saunders agenda.

    Remember what everybody was saying bout Evan Turner going into his second year…let him play, cut him loose, dudes a baller and Mr Turner never materialized. When we become so good Thad could lead the bench mob and could cement his legacy here as a fan favorite.

    Thad Young was third in the league last season in steals and was a borderline all-star…just not sold on Bennett yet might turn out to be disappointing. jw

  9. Skippy
    18. August 2014 at 01:14

    Tell Thaddeus Young to have fun guarding these bigger & way better power forwards:

    Tim Duncan
    Dirk Nowitski
    Zach Randolph
    Serge Ibaka
    Blake Griffin
    Lamarcus Aldridge
    David Lee
    Anthony Davis
    Kenneth Faried
    Julius Randle

  10. LarryM
    18. August 2014 at 06:52

    Yeah, it’s pretty clear that Thad is gone after this year. So the real question is which of the following do you prefer:

    (1) One year of leadership, no return.
    (2) Part of a year of leadership, likely small return.
    (3) No leadership, bigger return.

    Not saying it is a complete no brainer, but I would go with #3.

  11. Matt
    18. August 2014 at 07:38

    I love Thad Young. He’s a 6th man or maybe even fringe starter on any contending team.

    He is and probably will be a better player than Anthony Bennett. The problem is that he can opt out of his contract and there’s likely no chance that he’s coming back.

    He’s still pretty young and the Sixers are headed in the right direction but they won’t be contending until he’s over 30 and probably at the end of or past his prime.

    Hinkie has been trying to trade him for more than a year now and based on the fact that it hasn’t happened, it seems like a great deal just isn’t out there. I’ve seen that a first rounder could be involved in this deal, and if that’s the case, I pull the trigger.

    A recent number one overall pick who may or may not have some potential, a first rounder, and maybe some filler contracts sounds like a solid haul to me.

    That trade helps the tank this year and unloads a guy who’s all but gone after this season.

  12. Philadunkia
    18. August 2014 at 08:16

    Bobbeh & Matt,

    Obviously my comment is based on the idea that Thad opts in and stays here in Philly. If he is not traded,I think the odds of Thad staying are better than most of the commenters believe. Having interviewed Thad a number of times, I think from a personal standpoint he and his family really are attached to this city. Additionally, in 2015-16 the Sixers featuring the current roster + Embiid + 2015 Lottery pick, will be a very attratcive team to be on and I could see Thad after sufffering through the double tank wanting to be part of the resurrection of the franchise here in Philly.

    Thanks for reading and commenting.

    –C. Smith

  13. Joe
    18. August 2014 at 10:07

    I think the Sixers should try to hang on to Thad. In the right system, and in the right position (and we could argue both of them were wrong for him last season) he’s an above-average player. In 2015, with Embiid and Noel on the court Thad could lead the night shift or slot in at the 3. I’d be intrigued to see him back at the 3 if only to space the floor, and given that he was one of the worst rim protectors in the league last season it might be more his natural position.

    I know that Hinkie’s plan is to acquire young assets and potentially sacrifice known quantities for players who may or may not pan out, but there are diminishing marginal returns to this approach. If he completely strips the team of all its assets, where do we get that playoff experience from? Or the veteran locker room presence? Thad will still only be 27 at the start of the 2015-16 season; the Sixers would do well to hang on to him for his leadership. You don’t have to roll the dice on young, unproven, high-variance players at every single opportunity.

  14. Chris H.
    19. August 2014 at 09:26

    If Thad were locked in for 2 or more years I say don’t make this trade. However, in this day and age of free agency you can’t go off of hoping that a player wants to come back (to a bad team at that). Since he could be gone next year, I say continue to roll the dice and see what you get from Bennett and potentially a first rounder (that could be from pick 12-25 from what I hear). I LOVED Thad in a Sixers uniform, but you know what you have with him. He’s a great complimentary player, not a make-you-better player. Bennett still has potential to become something decent, or maybe another trade chip down the line. Obviously no one has been beating down the door for Thad, so to lock someone up for multiple years and acquire another first rounder, I say go for it. We already missed the Houston trade boat (still hurts thinking about it), let’s not miss this one.

  15. Matt
    19. August 2014 at 14:25

    C. Smith,

    I’m not sure I agree that the 2015-16 Sixers featuring the current roster + Embiid + 2015 Lottery pick will be attractive at all. That team will still be 2-3 years at least away from contending to make even the conference finals, and that’s if they can bring in a big time free agent or two. Though Thad is in his prime, he’s not getting any younger.

    But if you’re hunch is good and he would re-sign on a family/loyalty-type deal, I concede that I probably wouldn’t trade him for Bennett.

  16. RYN_JAY
    19. August 2014 at 19:31

    “where do we get that playoff experience from? Or the veteran locker room presence? – Joe

    That’s what all our cap room is for.

  17. Al H
    20. August 2014 at 18:06

    If Thad has a good year he is gone for more money. If he does not on the team we have this year then we don’t want him back and he has no trade value. Either way he is not here for the long haul. Let’s give Anthony Bennett a chance. Now that he is over his shoulder injury and had his tonsils removed he should be improved. He has upside, Thad does not. Bennett looked great in summer league. As for leadership and experience, there have been stories that Thad is sick of all the losing. I’m sure that is upsetting but the players need to focus on their own game. The team goals are to lose now so we can build a contender not a 45 win team. Thad = mediocre AB = upside

  18. Joe
    21. August 2014 at 04:26

    RYN_JAY,

    Wouldn’t it be better to have that player be someone who has been with the team throughout the growth of our young players and been part of the organic development from tanking specialists to legit contender? There’s no data on this so any answer is subjective but I think that it would be.

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