After weeks of speculation surrounding an Anthony Bennett-for-Thaddeus Young swap, NBA media overlord Adrian Wojnarowski has spoken.
As @JerryZgoda 1st reported, Minny’s Luc Mbah a Moute, Alexey Shved and Heat ’15 1st-rounder go to 76ers for Thad Young. Deal done Saturday.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) August 22, 2014
So, not Bennett.
A natural reaction is to be underwhelmed. After spending time warming up to the idea of an undervalued Anthony Bennett working with the Sixers’ development staff, it’s a tough adjustment to cozy up to Luc Mbah a Moute doing Mbah a Moute things instead. But it’s a reasonable haul nonetheless.
Thad was never staying in Philadelphia beyond July 1. He was going to decline his option for 2015-16, (according to a Liberty Ballers source), presumably to sign with an actual basketball team. First-round picks don’t move often, and not a single one moved at the deadline last season. That the Sixers are getting one (likely in the high-teens) for a decent starter on an expiring contract is no small feat.
And there’s more to look forward to, sort of. With Embiid’s erstwhile mentor in Mbah a Moute changing hands in the form of a $4,382,575 contract, Embiid’s “#WeAllFromAfrica” hashtag on Twitter is sure to return full force.
The jury is mostly out on Alexey Shved (also an expiring deal – $3,282,057), who racked up negative offensive win shares last season. His shooting was the culprit; he was below 30 percent from everywhere on the floor last year except for the restricted area. He’s still only 25 and he shot the ball well and was a solid playmaker overseas, so there could be room to grow. And while he’s been a borderline disaster of an NBA player, he has (occasionally) played well, when given the opportunity.
One potentially interesting thing about Shved for Sixers: His numbers get way better the more minutes he plays. pic.twitter.com/lC8vnbD2E7
— Andrew Unterberger (@AUgetoffmygold) August 21, 2014
The usual causation/correlation warnings apply here, but there’s evidence — albeit in the form of a tiny sample size — that he’s capable of resembling a serviceable NBA point guard. There could be value here.
But this deal wasn’t made for Shved, or for Mbah a Moute. The prize here is Miami’s top-10 protected first-round pick. The Heat should make the Eastern Conference playoffs, though the pick has some upside; given how fragile Wade is, it’s possible it ends up being a mid-first-rounder. If the Sixers could have gotten more, it wouldn’t have been by much.
We’ll have more on this as details come in. It’s been real, Thad.