Wolves Nation didn’t get through 24 hours of the Kevin Love to Cleveland news before another wrinkle to the story broke. Bob Cooney of the Philadelphia Daily News reported that the Wolves would then send Anthony Bennett and a 1st round pick to the Sixers in exchange for Thad Young.
Let’s just hope that this is posturing from the Sixers front office through the media. First, there is no reason for the Wolves to include a 1st round pick in the deal. The Wolves hold the advantage here and should not cave in. Repeat, there is absolutely no reason for the Wolves to be including a draft pick in the deal. Second, I sincerely hope that VPBO Flip Saunders and Coach Flip Saunders do not believe in the fact that Thad Young could be Kevin Love’s replacement.
Thaddeus just turned 26 years old and is coming off one of, if not his best seasons in the NBA where he averaged 17.9ppg and 6.0rpg. One could be quick to point out that these stats could be called into question given how bad the Sixers were last season. However, I choose to point out the misguided judgment of considering Young as Love’s replacement.
Young’s 6.0 rebounds per game average was tied for fourth on the team – behind Spencer Hawes, Henry Sims, and Michael Carter-Williams, while tied with Evan Turner (during his tenure with the club). Kevin Love averaged 12.5 rebounds per game, i.e. more than double Young’s production, in only ~2 minutes more time on the floor per game. Unequivocally, Thad Young is not replacing Kevin Love.
I do not believe Anthony Bennett is going to be Love’s replacement either, but I would rather wait and see what he becomes vs. flipping him over for two years of Thad Young. The added benefit is that Bennett is just in the infancy stages of his rookie contract and under team control through the 2016/17 season. The Wolves of course could simply not pick up his options or sign him to an extension prior to this, depending on how his career projects over the next two seasons.
As soon as the Wolves realize they are not competing in the Western Conference in 2014/15, the better. The hamster wheel approach of “rebuilding, but not really blowing things up” is the worst approach that the franchise could possibly take right now. The Western Conference is stacked. Let’s take the long term approach and do this the right way. With Andrew Wiggins and Zach LaVine on board, there is new life and blood in this franchise and the excitement of the product on the floor is going to be (relatively?) high. Build off of this with one or two more minor moves (JJ Barea & Kevin Martin specifically) and keep an eye on potential moves for Nikola Pekovic going into the trade deadline or next offseason.
Circling all the way back to the rumored trade with Philadelphia, there is reason to still believe that this deal won’t happen, per Jon Krawczynski:
I don’t foresee Bennett going to Philly to get Young, but I guess you never know. So far, Wolves seem to want to keep him.
— Jon Krawczynski (@APkrawczynski) August 7, 2014
Here is to hoping that Jon’s senses are correct and the Wolves do the right thing (to me at least) and hold onto Anthony Bennett. Lord help me if this deal happens and a 1st round pick is sent to Philadelphia.
Let’s go Wolves!