Sixers player evaulation: Thaddeus Young

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Sixers player evaulation: Thaddeus Young

Thaddeus Young

Position: Forward

Status: Signed through 2015-16 for an average yearly salary of $9.4 million

Signature game of 2012-13
Young’s best game of the season was on Nov. 24, 2012 at Wells Fargo Center against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Matched against Thunder big man Serge Ibaka and perennial MVP candidate Kevin Durant, Young poured in 29 points on 13-for-23 shooting to go with 15 rebounds.

But every game of the season from Young was a “signature” game. Young’s game is all about heart and hustle. He’s the first one out on the break on offense and the first player back on defense. Moreover, Young was often guarding the opposing team’s best scorer, no matter what position he played.

From Dec. 3 ...
Young has taken on an impressive list of offensive players without a drop-off in production in other aspects of his game. While taking on more responsibility as a team leader -- a role he relishes -- and becoming point man on defense, Young has moved into the starting lineup, added more minutes and picked up his scoring, rebounding and all-around activity.
 
Young has been Doug Collins’ Swiss Army knife that he can turn to in any situation.
 
“We’re asking him to get up the floor and hit on the ball. We’re asking him to blow up pick-and-rolls, which comes from his activity,” Collins said. “And now we’re asking him to get down in the post and play those guys.”

Young in 2012-13
Young established career bests in minutes per game (34.6), field goals (509), rebounds per game (7.5), assists (125), steals (133) and blocked shots (55). Though he might not be the Sixers’ best player, he was the team’s most important player. Better yet, no player on the team took the losing season to heart more than Young.

Prospectus
Young signed a five-year, $43 million deal prior to the 2011-12 season and will be the Sixers’ main building block along with Jrue Holiday. However, there is no other Sixers player that has higher trade value right now than Young. If the Sixers are rebuilding, they could deal Young, but it seems as if he’s set in Philly for the long haul.

On Thad Young …
“Thaddeus Young, and I’ve said this before, is one of the most special young men I’ve ever been around. I used to say that about [assistant coach] Michael Curry when I coached him. The epitome of a guy is a great husband, a great father and a great teammate and that’s what Thad Young is. That’s why he gives us a chance to win every night and he is absolutely critical to our success.”

--Doug Collins

Orthopedist on Sixers' Ben Simmons' injury: 'The prognosis is good'

Orthopedist on Sixers' Ben Simmons' injury: 'The prognosis is good'

On Friday, Sixers fans got some bad news when the team revealed that No. 1 overall pick Ben Simmons fractured the fifth metatarsal in his right foot.

The Sixers didn't give a timetable for his return, saying that they were reviewing treatment options for the 6-foot-10 point-forward.

As a guest on CSNPhilly's Sportsnet Central, orthopedic surgeon Dr. Mark Schwartz gave a little insight into Simmons' injury. Schwartz is not treating Simmons, but has dealt with similar injuries. Schwartz believes the prognosis is good for the Sixers' rookie.

"The big question is where the exact location of this fracture is," Schwartz said. "That will dictate the prognosis and the treatment. If it's at the base of the fifth metatarsal, it's usually a non-surgical treatment. It's usually a cast/boot for six to eight weeks and return to play somewhere around eight weeks."

That would be great news considering Sixers fans didn't get to see Nerlens Noel the year he was drafted and are still awaiting the debut of 2014 draft pick Joel Embiid. 

Schwartz warns that the injury could be something known as a Jones fracture, which would likely require surgery and the recovery could be three to four months. The prognosis would still be good, according to Schwartz, but other NBA players have had lengthy recoveries with a similar injury.

"The prognosis is still good, but we know that Kevin Durant had a Jones fracture and he was out for an entire season because of it not healing," Schwartz said. "But the prognosis is good, however, the question is whether it's going to require surgery or not."

For more from Schwartz on Simmons' injury and possible timetable, check out the video above.

Ben Simmons suffers fractured bone in right foot

Ben Simmons suffers fractured bone in right foot

As the Sixers get two bigs back from injury, another goes down.

First overall pick Ben Simmons suffered a fracture of the fifth metatarsal bone of his right foot on Friday. Simmons rolled his right ankle during the team’s final training camp scrimmage at Stockton University.

Simmons underwent an X-ray and MRI on his right foot and ankle. Sixers head physician Dr. Christopher Dodson and Sixers chief medical officer and co-chief of sports medicine orthopedics at New York's Mount Sinai Medical Center Dr. Jonathan Glashow reviewed the images.

Simmons’ timetable to return is to be determined. The Sixers are considering further medical evaluation and treatment options. 

Landing the No. 1 pick and selecting Simmons was the highlight of the Sixers’ next chapter. They were supposed to be healthy this time around as they entered a new phase following a 10-72 season. 

The news of the fracture adds to years of injury-related setbacks. Nerlens Noel missed his entire rookie season rehabbing from an ACL injury. After undergoing two foot injuries in as many years, the 2014 third overall pick Joel Embiid is slated to make his NBA debut Oct. 4 against the Celtics in preseason action. Jahlil Okafor is also expected to play next Tuesday for the first time since his season-ending knee surgery in March. 

The Sixers drafted Simmons to become a focal point of their system. At 6-foot-10, 250 pounds, he is a point-forward with the potential to change the look of a lineup. During training camp Brown experimented with multiple combinations, including playing Simmons at the point, shooting guard and small forward. 

Brown called the two-three combination of Simmons and Dario Saric “6-10, do-alls” (see story)

Simmons, 20, impressed his teammates during camp. In just four days of practices, it was easy for them to see how Simmons would improve the Sixers. 

“He’s really physical,” Joel Embiid said. “He’s just a big presence. When he pushes the ball, you can feel it. He makes you want to go with him. … He’s so fast and he’s so big.” 

Said Nerlens Noel, “He just plays basketball the right way. When your big man does that, it makes it a lot easier because he is very versatile being a point-forward type. That opens up a lot of things for him to be able to open up for his teammates."

The Sixers will be faced with filling a role they haven’t actually had yet. They had gameplans of how to utilize Simmons, but they were implemented only in training camp. The Sixers have a frontcourt logjam which will allow them to plug in other players at the power forward spot. They also can fill his experimented role on the wings with traditional shooters. But his absence will eliminate versatile lineups in which players are essentially “positionless,” a Warriors-style of play that causes mismatches of size and skills. 

Even though the Sixers have an abundance of bigs, Embiid and Okafor will be monitored for minutes at the start of the season. Throw in Simmons’ injury and this creates opportunities for other frontcourt players such as Richaun Holmes and Elton Brand. With Simmons absence, there also could be more minutes for Saric to play his natural position at power forward. 

Simmons wasn’t letting himself get too far ahead as he entered his first NBA season. He has been taking each day one at a time with an excitement of the newness of his rookie year.

“I think it’s still surreal for me,” Simmons said on Media Day. “I think it’ll finally hit me once I step on the court matched up against OKC the first game.”

Now it remains to be seen when Simmons will play his first game.