Young’s Trade Haul is a Clear Miss by Hinkie

Posted by: Jeff McMenamin
08/24/14 4:32 pm EST

10520210_746239618765943_364556449_nI’ve had the privilege of covering Thaddeus Young’s rise in the NBA for the past seven seasons. During this time, Young has impressed me a great deal as both a player and a person.  He’s served as an example to the NBA of someone who’s not only dedicated his all to his craft on the court, but to everything that the NBA tries to stand for off of it as well.

Looking through the NBA’s values statement, it instills a few main points – to grow through teamwork, innovation, integrity and respect. Young is the epitome of those values.

That’s why Saturday’s trade haul for Young by general manager Sam Hinkie serves as a disservice and an insult to the Sixers’ longest-tenured player on its roster. Based on Hinkie’s press conference in late June, he can easily be accused of lying through his teeth as well.

Young was traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves for a 2015 top-10 protected first-round pick from the Miami Heat, shooting guard Alexey Shved, and forward Luc Mbah a Moute. The Sixers could potentially get value from the pick, which projects to be in the latter half of the first-round next season, but Shved and Moute are nothing more than expiring contracts. Once again, Hinkie has landed nothing of value that can contribute to the team in the upcoming season and has further shoved in the face of commissioner Adam Silver the great lengths he’ll take towards setting the standard for tanking in the NBA.

Even if Young may or may not have requested a trade, I’m positive that being sent to a team in another rebuilding situation wasn’t the type of opportunity he had in mind. If the Sixers really are heading towards greener pastures, what makes the Timberwolves that much better of a situation for Young? Don’t the Sixers have the 2013 Rookie of the Year in Michael Carter-Williams and potentially the 2014 as well in Nerlens Noel? Isn’t newly drafted Joel Embiid considered a once-in-a-decade type talent?

In Hinkie’s press conference in late June, he mentioned how Young holds great value to the team as both a player and a veteran presence. His work ethic was something that he admired and believed that he’d be a great addition to the rebuilding process and the development of the Sixers’ young core. The lone veterans on the team are Jason Richardson, 33, whose contract is set to expire after this season and Arnett Moultrie, 23, who now becomes the longest-tenured Sixer on the roster. So much for having role models for the team’s youth.

What kind of message is this sending to the rest of the team, or for that matter, a future free-agent who might be looking at Philadelphia as potentially their next career destination? If you work hard, serve as the best teammate and leader that you can and always respect the people around you, you’ll be sent out of town at the turn of a dime?

It was one thing when Spencer Hawes and Evan Turner were traded – any value for them, as little as it was, would’ve been looked at as a success. But, trading Young shows how bad things have gotten in Philadelphia. If Young requested a trade, it’s because he’d rather be looked at as an important piece of the puzzle in Minnesota rather than a valuable trade chip in the mind of Hinkie. The Timberwolves will have the same opportunity to ship Young out of town next season before the deadline in exchange for something of value, like the Sixers would’ve unquestionably done had the deal not been completed yesterday, but the difference is they won’t and by the end of the season he’ll likely have a new deal in place – as he deserves.

In any job, the harder you work and the relationships you build are what ultimately lands that big paycheck at the end of the day. Young did that and Hinkie in a sense just cut him for some temporary, bottom-of-the-barrel talent. Cheaper, yes, but not near to the quality or long-term value of Young.

The Sixers are now a team with no identity, they have a group of owners with no loyalty and they’re about to embark on yet another historically bad season. Good luck getting the Kevin Durant’s of the league to think highly of Philadelphia as their next landing destination, no matter how much money’s involved. For a team that uses the slogan ‘together we build’, there’s been a lot of separation going around lately.

Jeff McMenamin is a writer for Philadunkia. Follow him on Twitter @SixersBlog

Follow us on Twitter @Philadunkia


8 Responses to “Young’s Trade Haul is a Clear Miss by Hinkie”

  1. Alex
    24. August 2014 at 21:34

    Yung was my favorite Sixers ever since he arrived. But, I do not quite agree with your assessment given what Hinkie is planning for Sixers. I think Thad would opt out next season regardless of where he is, in Sixers Uniform or in Timberwolves. Second, Sixers need an opportunity to play younger kids like Grant, Sims, Moultrie, McDaniel’s etc. They have six draft pick next year and they need to know which of the current young players are in for the long haul. Thad would have taken 36-40 minutes of playing time and this time is needed to evaluate young talent.
    Therefore, if you agree with Hankie’s method, he did the correct thing, and if you do not, most of his decisions so far are questionable.
    What worries me a great deal is that I think Sixers are NOT going to be that bad this season. 35 win or more may not be out of question given a starting roster of Richardson, Noel, MCW , Sims, and McDaniel. So, what if they start winning decently. What will Hinkie do in that case? Trade Noel and MCW? Lets watch this drama!!!

  2. johnny w
    25. August 2014 at 01:31

    Apparently Thad Young did officially ask out of here. So the Hinkiemonster may not of done the popular thing but the correct thing. He was immensely respected in Philly and we may hold him in higher value than his true worth. In retrospect Coach Collins took care of him contract wise and the trade had more to do with the Sixer Team coming out of the cocoon at the right time. We wish Mr Young nothing but the best.

    I think if you read between lines bringing in Moute from Cameroon Africa will really aid in the keeping the real blue chipper Joel Embiid happy,

    Is it just me or did the Minnesota Timberwolves make out like fat rats? Young, Bennett and Wiggins… jw

  3. Matt
    25. August 2014 at 13:34

    Why are we all of a sudden worried about the 2014-2015 Sixers?

    This team’s fate was sealed this year when Hinkie drafted Embiid. This year’s team will win less games than last year’s team. It’ll resemble the post trade deadline team that lost 26 in a row plus the addition of a raw center. And even with say Thad and Wiggins it wouldn’t make the playoffs. Nor would they want to because they’d lose the pick.

    If Thad opts out of his contract, which I still assume he would, I don’t buy that his leadership this year is worth more than a mid first round pick. Who cares if they win 12 games or 15 games?

    In addition, keeping or trading Thad is going to make literally no difference in getting Kevin Durant or any other top free agent to “think highly of Philadelphia as their next landing destination.” If MCW, Noel and Embiid blossom into stars and the team starts winning, that’s how you draw free agents. Looking at it as an opportunity to win.

    Also suggesting that the haul would be bigger at the deadline is uncertain at best. No rebuilding team would pick up a guy who can opt out of his contract. And no contending team would ship anything of value other than a first round pick for Thad. We got that first round pick and seeing that Miami won’t be a top tier team next year, it easily could be top 20. Hinkie has been trying to trade him ever since he got to Philly. The great haul for him just doesn’t seem like it’s there.

  4. Philadunkia
    25. August 2014 at 15:04


    There is no worry here for the 2014-15 Sixers. I want and expect them to lose as many games as possible as well.

    I also want them to eventually win as many games as possible in the future. Young should’ve been part of the long-term plan. A deal could’ve gotten done to keep Thad around for another four years if Hinkie truly valued him.

    What free-agent in their right mind would come to Philly where they stand? When do you think MCW/Noel/Embiid will start winning? That’s at least (and a big if at the same time) three years and it will take the Sixers two more years to potentially land an All-Star level player in FA if that’s the case. MCW/Noel/Embiid aren’t known for their offense, they might develop into a strong defensive team like Chicago, but they desperately need scorers and they just lost their top one for a bag of peanuts.

    The best haul the Sixers could’ve gotten, was keeping Young long-term. Hinkie is short-sighted if he doesn’t see that.


  5. johnny w
    25. August 2014 at 18:39

    What are you going to do when a SLAPPIE or player just doesn’t want to stay here any longer? Thad strikes me as a man who knows what he wants, after all he was a straight A student at Georgia Tech. We got a first rounder for him so it’s all good. No bigger Thad Young fan than me, but what can you do his mind is made up.

    Oh yeah the Sixers start winning when we drop $ money on worthy free agents…but the team is not ready to come out of the cocoon just yet. One more year and these long armed, shot blocking, athletic type, hand picked warriors start kicking butt! lol jw

  6. Chris H.
    26. August 2014 at 12:15

    I always agreed with you from what you write up about the Sixers, but in this case I have to respectfully disagree. Look, we all LOVED Thad for his professionalism and athleticism, but oftentimes he was both overvalued and undervalued. Overvalued in the aspect that he is a nice player, but nothing more really than a “tweener” sixth man on a decent team. Undervalued in the aspect that he had immeasurable heart and brought it every night…unlike a lot of other NBA players. So the choices that Hinkie had was try to keep a guy who probably wanted out by overpaying him, or trade him away now for a 1st rounder and not get a late 2nd rounder like last year.
    Also, in this age of most NBA players having a “me-first” mentality, I really don’t think that anyone will look at the Thad trade as a cautionary tale. He is not a superstar that was given a raw deal. From what I have read in a lot of different publications, he wanted out, so he wasn’t shafted. And if you start paying some FAs soon (which will start happening next summer), no one is going to give 2 bleeps about Thad’s trade.
    Is Thad Young better than the 16 to 30 pick that would probably be yeilded from this trade? Absolutely. Does his last year with this team in which he wouldn’t resign trump getting said pick? Absolutely not.

  7. Matt
    26. August 2014 at 14:45


    That’s fair. I think the biggest hangup between the “trade Thad” and “keep Thad” people is whether he’d be willing to re-sign after this year. If I’m him (just like any other talented free agent right now) I’m looking elsewhere. Like you said (and I agree) it’s probably 3 years before the young guys blossom. He’s 29 before they start to maybe contend and he’s almost out of his prime by then. There would be demand for his services on the open market, and he can probably get the kind of money he wants from a contender. He’s a very good player who could help any team

    If I sit Thad down yesterday and he’s agreeable to signing an extension then you’re right. I keep him. I just don’t see it. FWIW I’m a huge fan of Thad and think he’ll be successful anywhere. For me, it’s about asset management and getting something over nothing

  8. steve toll
    26. August 2014 at 22:56

    Cleveland, Toronto, Chicago, Washington, Charlotte, Atlanta are all clearly better than MIAMI

    That means the pick will likely end up as 15th or 16th pick in the 2015 draft, which is actually great value for an expiring contract on a team looking to lose.

    The fact remains, just as it did for the Jrue trade, that this wasn’t the genius of Sam Hinkie it was the stupidity of another teams GM. Hinkie has been extremely lucky so far in his time as the GM, the clock is ticking for him to capitalize on that luck

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