THADDEUS YOUNG has always known how to keep his head down, play hard, say all the right things and let the chips fall where they may.
That was then, though. Times could be changing for the 6-9 forward, who just completed his seventh season with the 76ers. He's never been a "what about me" type of person, but the business side of the sport could very well have the 25-year-old veteran thinking about his future. He is due to make $9.16 million next season, then has a player option of $9.7 million.
"Very confident," Young said about how he felt about the team accommodating any demands he could make. "Just because of the simple fact that I stayed the course, I didn't get away from it, I didn't get mad or anything like that. I just continued to play and do the things I knew how to do, which is play basketball.
"I do have an opt-out next year. That's one of the cards that definitely could be played, if the situation is not right. I'm just going to continue to play, and things will play themselves out. Anything is a possibility. I can ask to be traded. I can say that I'm all for [the rebuild] and I want to stick around. I just want to see exactly how things are going to play out and have some time to sit back, relax and chill with my family a little bit, and talk about it later in June. There's a lot of different scenarios that could play out."
With such a young team expected to be here again next season, there is little doubt coach Brett Brown and general manager Sam Hinkie would love to have back Young, who averaged a career-high 17.9 points a game and made 90 three-pointers this season, only 28 fewer than he made in his first six seasons combined. But business is business, and keeping Young around if he doesn't want to be here isn't good for anyone.
"I just want to win, that's the only ting that I've ever always cared about," Young said. "It's the only thing I want to do, win basketball games. All I want to do is go out there and win every night, and just go out and hustle, whether I score six points or score 25 points. As long as I have a 'W' at the end of the night, that's all I care about."
It might be a while before gathering wins is a common occurrence here. It could be why Young might have played his last game as a Sixer.