Dec 20, 2013, 11:45 AM EDT
The 76ers have lost seven straight, 11 of 12 and 15 of 17.
After a 3-0 start threatened Sam Hinkie’s plans – and kept Philadelphia in the heart of the playoff race far too long in the downtrodden Eastern Conference – the 76ers are right back on track. They’re losing and losing often, putting themselves in prime position for a top draft back.
Believe it or not, though, Philadelphia’s veterans don’t want to be part of such a plan.
Young and his agent, Jim Tanner, submitted a formal trade request to Hinkie and the Sixers weeks ago, according to a source close to Young.
“Thad is ready to leave Philly,” the source said. “He isn’t with the whole tanking thing.”
Young has two years remaining on his contract after the current season, $9,410,869 in 2014-15 and an early-termination option of $9,971,739 for 2015-16, fairly reasonable salaries. Just 25, Young is young enough to remain a quality player once the 76ers get good again.
He can request a trade, but the team definitely has control in this situation.
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However, Hinkie might be best off appeasing Young.
Young would bring value in a trade, and Philadelphia could seek a draft pick, one it would to get a player whose career arc better fits the team’s. Young might remain strong when the 76ers next get good, but he’s entering his peak now, and it’s wasted in Philadelphia.
The timing could be tricky, though.
Young is having a down season compared to the last couple. The forward’s production has slipped just a little in nearly every area, a sign that perhaps tanking has gotten to him. It might be better to trade Young before his value slips further.
And if Young reverts to his previous levels of play, that might be even more harmful to the 76ers. That could cause them to win more games.