Aug 08 2014

Anthony Bennett to the Sixers?

The Thad Young-Anthony Bennett rumor had been floating around for a few days (as part of the T-Wolves-Cavs blockbuster centered around Kevin Love and Andrew Wiggins) but it looked dead yesterday when Adrian Wojnarowski reported that there wasn’t a third team involved.

Reportedly, it’s back on.

This could be a three-team trade, or a side-trade, or it might not happen at all. For now, it looks like Bennett — 2013 No. 1 overall pick, who might’ve had the worst rookie season of any No. 1 overall pick — is headed to Philly. And Thad — the Sixers’ best player, who might’ve had the worst season of any team’s ‘best player’ — is going to Minnesota. This one’s interesting.

Bennett was a disaster last season (6.95 PER!), and we’re not quite sure why; maybe it was his asthma, maybe it was because he was out of shape, maybe it was because of the shitty Cavs environment, or maybe he’s just terrible. It’s likely that last year is the worst-case scenario, making this a good buy-low opp. It would’ve been an even better buy-low opp if they acquired him before summer league, where he was arguably the better of Cleveland’s No. 1 overall picks. The hope for the Sixers is that the Brett Brown system (and a tonsillectemy) can get the 6-foot-8 combo forward back in shape and playing to his potential.

This trade isn’t a no-brainer, and that’s because Thad is a good basketball player on a fair contract ($9.16 million this season with a $9.72 player option next season), without any injury or character red flags. He’s been an efficient two-way player over his seven-year career; an eFG% of .517 while shooting 50 percent from the field. And though last season wasn’t his best, he’s added a 3-point shot to his arsenal. He’s also only 26 years old. And there’s no one better at turning garbage into gold. If this is for real, he’ll be missed.

If you’re craving more Bennett-Thad content, I direct you to this post from Liberty Ballers editor Derek Bodner on his personal blog. We’ll have more on this as details come in.

  • SallyForth

    Can someone please explain to me why Minnesota would make this trade w/o assurances that Young would sign an extension with them? W/o that, it doesn’t appear to make sense from the T’wolves perspective.

    Also, the “free Thad Young” sentiment – getting him off a rebuilding team and on to a contender – rings kind of shallow if that “contender” is Minnesota. One could fairly argue that they’re not a heckuva lot closer to the playoffs than Philly at this point.

    • robbybonfire23

      We agree that Minny, picking up Wiggins and Thad Young, in the process of dispatching Love, renders them a “has been and never was” franchise for the next decade. We may be “tanking,” as of now, but with this trade we get better. At some point we will have made too many positive near-term, as well as long-term changes, to be a “tanking team.”

    • Wesley Share

      I don’t know what the total appeal of this is to Minnesota, but I guess I could see the angle of “ok, we’ll try to talk him into staying long-term, and if he doesn’t want to, it’s essentially a salary dump”. (Related: Minnesota owes Phoenix it’s first-round pick next year, top-12 protected, so it may not be in their best interest to *totally* bottom out. Thad over Bennett could be a five or six win difference for them).

      All in all, I’d rather have Bennett as well, who they could probably keep under team control for another 7, 8 years if they want, while also keeping expectations as low as possible. But I guess I can see the angle. (Then again, their GM doubles as their coach, so maybe he just wants to coach a more talented player next year, which would be dumb.)

  • hk99

    It looks like Anthony Bennett is not coming to Philly. Instead, apparently he’s going to Minnesota with Wiggins and Thad while the Sixers will get Miami’s 1st round pick (from Cleveland) plus Luc Mbah a Moute and Alexy Shved, both of whom have one year remaining on their deals. Give Hinkie credit. He held out until he could get a 1st round pick for Thad.