Spencer Hawes, Thaddeus Young, and Evan Turner have been the center of most trade discussions involving the Philadelphia 76ers all week. The trade deadline is Thursday, which means GM Sam Hinkie is running out of time if he plans to trade some veteran players for future assets before they are out of Hinkie’s control.
Most reports out of All-Star Weekend foretell an underwhelming run up to this trade deadline. Selling teams are demanding future draft picks for the vets that buying teams seem unwilling to part with. Discussions are in action, but because Hinkie is so protective of his plans, it’s hard to say if a move will be made. If Hinkie doesn’t make a deal by Thursday, it definitely won’t be for lack of effort.
The Sixers can use the trade deadline in many ways to help set them up for the best possible future. One, they could target draft picks, and because next year’s draft is so deep, even second-rounders could hold significant value. Another option is to pursue a young player who is still developing, and with player development specialist Brett Brown as head coach, maximizing potential is a guarantee. Lastly, they could just get rid of as many of their contributing players as possible for minimal return. This will put the team in a better position to lose games and thus finish higher in the lottery standings.
Hawes, Turner, and Young have each been targeted by teams around the league. For teams that are looking to make a playoff run, Turner and Hawes are both on their final year of their contracts. Young, who unsurprisingly has received the most interest, still has two years on his contract, making him more of a long-term investment. So what will most likely happen to these three veterans?
The Sixers have time on their side. If no deals worth value arise for Turner or Hawes, then Hinkie might as well let them finish their year then maybe sign them to a team-friendly deal in the off-season. Hinkie won’t push to the stars for Turner and Hawes, but he won’t let them go for nothing either. Young, on the other hand, holds some value so it’ll be foolish for them to let him go without a great deal.
Overall, the Sixers are in good shape and are in no rush. In Hinkie’s eight months as GM, he has yet to make a predictable move, but it wouldn’t surprise me if all three vets stay put for right now. The Sixers will go into the summer with two likely top-12 picks, three second-round picks and about $30 million in cap space. This will give them more flexibility than any team in NBA history.
Let’s see what happens.
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