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.
— Mark Perner (@MarkPerner) August 8, 2014
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.