For Sixers, Young-for-Bennett hard to comprehend

For Sixers, Young-for-Bennett hard to comprehend
August 5, 2014, 2:45 pm
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Thad Young averaged a career-high 17.9 points last season for a depleted Sixers team. (USA Today Images)

The departure of Kevin Love from Minnesota to Cleveland is imminent.

Thaddeus Young's taking his talents from Philadelphia to Minnesota appears equally likely.

If, when Young gets traded, the headline reads, "Young dealt for No. 1 pick," Sixers fans will be ecstatic ... until they read the fine print and realize that pick is Anthony Bennett.

Monday on ESPN radio, Brian Windhorst, a former Cavaliers beat writer, said Cleveland and Minnesota have a "handshake deal" in place.

Kevin Love, according to Windhorst, will join the Cavaliers. Andrew Wiggins will be traded to Minnesota, but because league rules prevent the rookie from being dealt before Aug. 23, nothing officially can be said by anyone involved prior to that date.

The Sixers' involvement is not precise, but Windhorst mentioned that Young could end up in Minnesota and Bennett in Philadelphia.

Whether the Sixers are part of a three-team trade or the Timberwolves make a separate move from the Love deal is unclear.

What is clear is that if Young is moved this summer, Sixers president Sam Hinkie will successfully have cleaned house in a little more than one year.

Jrue Holiday, Evan Turner, Spencer Hawes and Young — all Sixers starters prior to Hinkie's arrival in the spring of 2013 — will be gone.

In return, Nerlens Noel, Henry Sims and Bennett will be the players on the upcoming roster. Acquiring draft picks and shedding salaries have also occurred for the Sixers.

Statistically, the quartet from the previous regime is superior to Noel, Sims and Bennett.

A five-year veteran, Holiday is coming off an injury, but he was an all-star during his fourth NBA season.

Turner never found a place with the Pacers last spring, but he is a capable double-figure scorer who can rebound and handle the ball.

Hawes proved he was a coveted NBA center when the Clippers inked him to a four-year deal early in the free agency signing period.

And Young averaged 17.9 points along with 6.0 rebounds last year. He shot a career-low 45.4 percent but previously he shot 50 percent or higher in four of his six seasons.

What exists now for the Sixers is potential and cap space.

Noel impressed people with his play in the NBA summer leagues. He is active defensively, but the physicality of the NBA game and his lack of offensive skills will leave the Sixers' big man challenged nightly this upcoming season.

As a rookie, Bennett averaged 4.2 points and 3.0 rebounds for a Cleveland team that won just 33 games. Additionally, because Bennett carries the tag of No. 1 overall pick, expectations are extremely high.

Turner was one slot lower in a different draft and far more productive than Bennett, and fans still considered Turner a disappointment.

To think the Sixers will give up Young for Bennett's below average numbers is hard to comprehend.

Yes, draft picks and other contracts are reportedly involved in the deal, but less appears to be more in Hinkie's eyes.

Young is the highest paid player on the Sixers' roster for 2014-15 at $9.4 million, and he has a player option for $9.7 million the following season.

Bennett is in the second year of a rookie contract.

Young-for-Bennett gives the Sixers less talent and less team salary.

Finally, Sims is an undrafted center who, in two NBA seasons, has played a total of 48 games.

The theme is familiar. The Sixers will field a team this fall that is young, inexperienced and inexpensive.

Last year that formula equaled 19 wins.

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