Buy or sell Spencer Hawes and Evan Turner?
Thaddeus Young has missed the last three games for personal reasons, during which the Sixers have gone 1-2. (AP)
ORLANDO, Fla. -- The Sixers could get a double boost in the lineup tonight when they welcome Thaddeus Young and possibly Spencer Hawes back.
Young left the team last Wednesday to deal with a difficult family matter. He flew into Orlando this morning and is expecting to play when the Sixers battle the Magic on Wednesday night (see game notes).
“My biggest concern is his health,” Brett Brown said. “I want to respect his health. I don’t think you take that volume of time off and have the weight of what was going on with family situations and spin it into a 30-minute game.”
Young did not speak to the media after shootaround on Wednesday, but Brown shared a conversation he had with veteran starting power forward.
“I asked him, 'Do you want to play? How do you want to be used?'” Brown recalled. “I told him I will make the final decision but I want your opinion, and he said whatever you want but I definitely want to play and so now it is on me.”
During Young's three-game absence, the Sixers went 1-2.
“It is huge,” Hawes said about having Young back. “As great as our effort was playing in Indiana the other night, it is great to have a guy like Thad back because of the mismatches he can create on offense and his unique skill set for us on the defensive end.”
Young is averaging 14.3 points in 12 games, all starts, this year. He also started all 76 of the games in which he saw action last season.
But he can bring scoring and energy and be that same nightmare mismatch coming off the bench -- as he showed for two years when he finished in the top-six in Sixth Man of the Year voting twice.
Considering Young's rust and Tony Wroten (back spasms) being sidelined again, Young as a sixth man could be incredibly valuable to Brown while also easing Young back into playing at a high level. The Sixers' bench scoring has improved, but they still rank 23rd in the league.
Add to that, Daniel Orton has fared well playing alongside Hawes. Orton is coming off his first career double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds in Saturday's loss in Indiana.
“We are in a little bit of a rhythm,” Brown said.
But will he start Orton and Hawes up front against the Magic?
“My guess this morning is that’s what you are going to end up seeing," Brown said. "And if something changes, it will be well thought out and for a reason. But my guess is yes.”
Hawes (knee) is listed as a game-time decision, but he gave reason to believe he'll return tonight when he spoke after the shootaround.
“I am going to try it out,” Hawes said. “This is the best [my knee] has felt, so we are seeing how it feels rotating when putting a lot of pressure on it. We shall see. We will put a little more pressure on it in game situation and see how it responds.”