I love his game, his versatility and what he provides off the bench. Thad is a tough match-up for opposing defenses because of his ability to play both forward positions. He’s great in transition and score at a high level for a player off the bench. For several years to come, Young will be amongst the 6th man of the year candidates each season.
With all that being said, the Sixers overpaid for his services.
Honoring Thaddeus Young with a five year $42-million contract was baffling to say the least. It’s not like Thad was an unrestricted free agent, where he can go anywhere without the Sixers organization having a say. As we all know, Thad was a restricted free agent, and we had the ability to match any contract that he’s offered from another franchise.
Yet Rod Thorn failed to let that CBA designed scenario play out.
Finally, consider that few teams, if any, we’re interested in signing the veteran forward. ESPN insider John Hollinger sums the Sixers conundrum up well:
“…my issue here is with the Sixers’ failure to take advantage of an opportunistic situation. Nobody is sitting on their cap space for three days in this environment, which means the Sixers had all the leverage and probably left about $10 million on the table … especially since a five-year deal from Philly could be trumped only by four years at much greater annual money from another team. If nobody wants to sign Marc Gasol or DeAndre Jordan to an offer sheet, they aren’t going to start piling in for Thaddeus Young”
To sum up Hollinger: The Sixers overpaid at minimum an extra $10 million and coughed up an extra player-option year. Sixers president Rod Thorn essentially forked over a chunk of cash without Thad even testing the free agent market. Why not let Thad go out into free agency, get the best offer and then bring it back to Philadelphia? As a restricted free agent, this would’ve allowed us to asses his value and pay him appropriately. We’d have the ability to match any contract offered his way. That’s the way the system is designed to work.
So how can anyone defend Thorn paying Thaddeus that much money before he’s even tendered an offer? This deal is simply unacceptable. I want Thaddeus Young to be donning a Sixers uni just as much as the next guy, but we overpaid him handsomely. And as Hollinger mentioned, it’s not like NBA teams were lining up at the door begging to sign Thad to a big contract. The other concerning matter is this scenario eerily resembles the contract that was awarded to Samuel Dalembert by the previous regime.
If you recall, former Sixers GM Billy King signed restricted free agent Samuel Dalembert to a similarly obnoxious contract prior to the 2005-06 season. It was a contract that would see Dalembert collect approximately 65 million dollars over six years (five with the Sixers, one with the Kings). Just like the Thaddeus Young deal, this was fairly excessive at the time. Also just like in the recent Thad signing, King never allowed “Big Sammy” to test the open market and find out his true value. At the time of the Dalembert signing, Billy King caught a lot of ridicule; whereas Thorn has caught very little heat for his premature move. As we all remember that Dalembert deal went from a bad signing to an albatross of a contract as Sammy’s 76ers career progressed. While I don’t believe Tha’ds career arc will plummet the way Dalembert’s did, I still have no idea why Thorn has be given a free pass here.
And The Thad signing is not the only questionable move of the Sixers shortened off-season. Remember Tony Battie? Yup, the same guy who sparingly played off the bench but looked completely inept offensively when he did. Well, the Sixers are bringing him back. Not necessarily an essential move, but in my opinion, Reggie Evans (played with Sixers from 2007-2009) would’ve been a better fit.
Battie will likely be warming the bench for the majority of the season. Evans on the other hand, could’ve been the third reserve off the bench right behind Thaddeus Young and Lou Williams. Evans would’ve greatly benefited our frontcourt with strong defensive play and as a premier rebounder. Last season, in an injury-plagued year, Evans averaged 11.5 rebounds per game as a Toronto Raptor.
Signing Battie and overpaying for Thad, is not a great start to the season. It’s not like these moves are devastating to our roster and a potential postseason slot, however, they’re neither encouraging. Battie is limited offensively with little upside as a player at the age of 35. Young had no offers around the league and likely could have been signed for 10 million dollars and a year less. And don’t get me started on the Hawes signing. Simply questionable moves on the president’s part.
Rod Thorn, I sure hope you know what you’re doing because none of these moves will garner much support from Philadunkia nation.