Thaddeus Young was in a jovial mood at the conclusion of the Sixers' shootaround. He knew the media wanted to talk to him, and he knew why.
On Thursday, a report suggested Young and his agent had requested a trade (see story).
“I just think it is funny that it is 'sources' that say I asked to be traded,” Young said. “I am here, ready to give 110 percent each and every game. I am ready to just play and try to win basketball games.”
There was no yes or no in his answer, so Young was asked point blank: Did he ask to be traded?
“No,” Young said. “My agent has talked to [general manager Sam Hinkie] about different situations and options. I know there have been talks about me being traded and me having a lot of frustrations, but that comes with losing basketball games. People have to realize that when you are in a losing situation like we are now, we are going to get frustrated and everyone is going to tense up a little bit. That is what has been happening.”
Young certainly has trade value. He averages 15.8 points and 6.6 rebounds. He shoots 48.7 percent from the field and 34.9 percent from behind the arc. He has two years remaining on his contract, this season and next, and a player-option for the 2015-16 season. Young gets $8.6 million this season and the final two years of the contract, assuming he picks up his option, are worth just under $19 million.
Young was drafted 12th overall by the Sixers in 2007, but numerous general managers and coaches have been in place since then. The Sixers are in a rebuilding stage. Is Young part of their future plans? It sounds like that is an ongoing discussion between Young’s agent and Hinkie.
“A lot of things have been discussed about situations and rumors, but the biggest thing is we want to be sure what it is we are doing here,” Young said. “And as of right now, I am here 110 percent. You saw me getting up shots and having fun with my teammates. I am ready to play and go about things the way I am supposed to, and that is be professional. That is all I have been for the seven years I have been here -- that and what I think is a very likable guy who is true to the fans and plays hard regardless.”
The more Young talked, the more he sounded as if he is preparing for change in his future. But between now and then, he remains focused on playing the game that is right in front of him, for the team that drafted him.
“If they see fit to trade me I can’t dwell on it,” Young said. “I have to pack up my family and be ready to go. But today I am here, ready to go, 110 percent. You are going to get all the hustle I have each and every night. I am going to play for my teammates. That is the way I have been taught to play the game.”