Philadelphia 76ers forward Thaddeus Young is the unofficial loser of the 2014 NBA trade deadline. Leading up to the deadline, it was assumed Philadelphia would find a way to trade Young, swingman Evan Turner and big man Spencer Hawes. On Thursday morning, the Sixers sent Hawes to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Right at the 3 p.m. ET deadline, they sent Turner to the Indiana Pacers. Young, however, will remain in Philadelphia, playing out the string on a tanking team that owns a 15-40 record.
The Sixers did not let media members talk to Young or Turner at practice on Thursday afternoon, but Young addressed the trade rumors for the last time on Tuesday.
"The trade deadline is almost upon us and whatever happens, happens," Young told reporters, via CSN Philly. "Like I've been saying, if they see fit to trade me, Spence or Evan, we have to move on like anybody else. It's one of those deals where, hey, it's an unfortunate situation. You just have to play it out and be a business-like professional."
This final stretch of the season will be the toughest test yet of Young's professionalism. The 25-year-old is approaching his prime, playing the best basketball of his career under head coach Brett Brown, but he knows there is zero chance that Philadelphia will make the playoffs. That was never the plan this year.
Back in December, Liberty Ballers reported that Young and his agent had requested a trade. At that point, he was involved in speculation involving Houston Rockets center Omer Asik. As recently as Tuesday, Young said publicly he would like to stay, via Chris Vito of the Delaware County Daily Times, but you can't imagine him being upset with being traded to a team that has meaningful games to play.
Recent reports indicated the Sixers general manager Sam Hinkie wanted a first-round pick in exchange for Young's services, and it was logical to think the Phoenix Suns, dangling Emeka Okafor's insured and expiring deal, could be a suitor. It appears no one stepped up with an offer Hinkie deemed satisfactory. Young's long-term future in Philadelphia remains up in the air, though, and you can expect his name to come up in more rumors leading up to draft day.
If there's an upside of this situation for Young, it's that his numbers could get even better with Turner and Hawes out of the picture. Young's already averaging 17.1 points and 6.2 rebounds, shooting 48 percent from the field and 32 percent from the three-point line. He's taking a career-high 14.9 field goals per game and now the Sixers might need him to carry an even bigger load. If he can finish the season strong individually, he might play his way out of Philadelphia. It's just a shame that hasn't happened already.