Thaddeus Young's reported request to be traded by the Sixers, as first publicized by SB Nation's Jake Fischer, doesn't come as a big surprise, except for maybe in the fact that Evan Turner didn't do it first.
Young's reported request is reasonable, and will more than likely be obliged by the organization, as it should be.
I keep saying 'reported request' because Young denied the report Friday morning at Sixers shootaround.
"I just think how it's all funny that it's 'sources' said I asked to be traded," Young stated.
When pressed further about the initial report from Fischer, and if he had indeed asked to be traded, Young replied, "no."
Regardless of whether or not he did in fact ask to be traded, Young deserves better than the current Sixers' situation.
Young, the longest tenured Sixer, has been nothing short of a consummate professional in his seven seasons, all the way down to the way he reportedly asked out; behind closed doors, rather than mentioning it to the media.
Young has had five different coaches in his seven seasons as a Sixer; five! A new coach and a new system almost every single season would be enough to make most players pop their top, but never did you see Young appear in the news for anything negative.
Instead, Young has played small forward for the Sixers, and he has played power forward. He started, then came off the bench, then started again. He shot three's and then he didn't shoot three's; pretty much anything the organization and it's array of short-tenured coaches asked of him, he did, without a public complaint, in the hopes of helping turn the team into a true contender. The team appeared to be well on its way a couple years ago, and many thought the addition of Andrew Bynum two summers ago would push the Sixers over the hump and into the East's elite. As we all know, that didn't work out so well.
As currently structured, the Sixers sit several seasons away from true contention, and Young isn't getting any well, younger.
Considering the Sixers obvious intention to use this season as a developing ground for the future of the franchise, and the fact that Young's place in said future is far from crystal clear, it is only logical that he would like to land elsewhere. He would be an excellent addition to a contending team as a utility player, as his versatility and selflessness would allow him to adapt almost anywhere.
Often players catch flack for requesting a permanent trip out of town, but in this situation Young's reported wish would be warranted. This is not a malcontent giving up on his team because of turbulence, which he has endured for the majority of his seven professional seasons. Young has sacrificed a lot (stats and recognition namely) for the Sixers over the course of those seven seasons, and now realizing that he may not fit into the franchise's future, he simply wants an opportunity to contend while he can still contribute at a high level.
"I'm still only 25 years old, but I'm going into my seventh season," Young joked with me at Meek Mill's Dreamchasers Summit over the offseason, alluding to the fact that despite still being young in age, he has a lot of miles on him, and NBA careers are not infinite.
The losing this season has taken its toll on Young, and understandably so. Young has never gotten past the second round of the playoffs, and instead of building off of their semi-finals success of two seasons ago, the team went in the exact opposite direction. The current Sixers situation is no place for a versatile veteran during his prime playing years, and Young knows it.
"I'm used to playing with guys who are four- or five-year veterans in this league," he told the Inquirer's Keith Pompey. "And they can play. Then you have one or two good guys who come in here fresh and are trying to make a name for themselves."
Many of the guys playing alongside Young on the Sixers this year will consider the season a success if they are still in the league come next fall. Young's success scale is slightly different after establishing himself over the course of seven seasons, and his efforts could be better spent elsewhere than on a team that is basically holding tryouts for the future.
The truth is, Young was likely to be traded this season regardless of a request. When the right deal presents itself, expect Hinkie and his team to take it. There is no clear spot for Young in the franchise's future, and his versatility should net him some value, which the Sixers are stockpiling.
At this point, Young's tenure with the Sixers appears to be approaching its conclusion. Hopefully a deal gets done sooner than later, because Young deserves a different place to play, away from this season's Sixers.