Thad Young well aware of possibility Sixers could trade him this season

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Sixers head coach Brett Brown said earlier this week that his team — the guys who are actually healthy enough to play this season — consists of just six NBA players.

Three of those are veterans, and all are possible candidates to be traded before the season is through.

Thaddeus Young, Spencer Hawes, and Evan Turner are all players who could bring back further pieces for the franchise to use to rebuild. Since the team isn’t going anywhere this season, veteran leadership — even on a team with so many young players — is only valued to a certain point.

Young is well aware of the situation he’s in, and although he doesn’t want to leave Philadelphia, he’s prepared for the possibility that he may be traded before the end of the year.

From Christopher A. Vito of the Delaware County Daily Times:

Young and the Sixers are about to embark on their seventh season together. While nothing would please him more than to stay with the team that drafted him 12th overall in 2007, Young said a trade — whether it be before, during or after this season — wouldn’t surprise him.

“Right now, this is my family and this is my home for the past seven years. If that day comes, it comes,” Young said, following the Sixers’ practice at PCOM. “I can’t worry about it. I can’t stress myself out about it. You pack up. You have a family and have to go to the next city.

“I’d definitely be heartbroken, by the simple fact that this is the team that drafted me, this is the team I’ve been with, and this is the family I’ve always been with. I’ve been through the ups and downs, the goods and bads. It’ll be tough, but at the end of the day it’s a business.”

Young has three years and $28 million remaining on his contract, although he has an early termination option in year three that could allow him to opt out and become an unrestricted free agent.

It’s not exactly a bargain of a deal, but it is worth noting that Young had his best all-around statistical season last year. He started in all 76 of his appearances, and averaged 14.8 points and 7.5 rebounds while shooting over 53 percent from the field.

Young is also a two-way player who’s proven capable of being an above-average defender at times. There are teams out there that would love to add a player of his caliber, and there’s no question he might be made available this season — for the right combination of cap relief, draft picks, and young assets.

John Wall scores 37 as Wizards down LeBron James, Cavs 127-115

Associated Press
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CLEVELAND (AP) John Wall scored 37 points, Bradley Beal added 27 and the Washington Wizards began a challenging road trip by beating LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers 127-115 on Saturday night.

Wall scored 18 in the first quarter, when the Wizards shot 82 percent, and Washington held on down the stretch to avenge an overtime loss to the NBA champions last month.

James, who briefly wore goggles to protect an eye injury sustained Friday night, scored 24 and added 11 rebounds and eight assists. Kyrie Irving added 23 points and Kevin Love 17 for Cleveland, playing at home for the only time in a seven-game stretch.

Washington’s victory cut Cleveland’s lead in the Eastern Conference to a half-game over idle Boston.

Rudy Gobert calls out Jazz teammates after loss: “We’ve just got to compete. We’re too nice.”

Associated Press
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Utah and the L.A. Clippers are almost locked into a first round, four vs. five battle in the Western Conference. The only question is which team will have home court, and the Clippers took a big step towards that beating the Jazz at home Saturday. While the Jazz still has a half-game lead, the Clippers have a much softer schedule the rest of the way.

After that loss, Jazz center Rudy Gobert was ticked off and called out his teammates. Via Tim MacMahon of ESPN.

“We’ve got guys that compete, but some of us don’t compete. Some of us just think about scoring. That’s what it is. … Coach keeps repeating it: We’ve just got to compete. We’re too nice. Those guys, we know they’re going to get calls. We’ve just got to come out aggressive and ready to fight.”

Interesting comments for a team that is third in the NBA in defensive rating and 13th in offense.

Gobert is frustrated as Utah has dropped four of its last five, and the slump has been on both ends of the court. The defense has struggled, but if guys are looking to score too much they aren’t doing it efficiently because the offense has been worse.

This slide likely costs Utah home court in the first round, which could matter in what will be a tight matchup with Los Angeles. Utah needs to find its grinding rhythm again heading into the playoffs, at their best they can knock off the Clippers in the first round. Just not like they are playing now.

One thing to watch, Utah’s Gordon Hayward asked out of the game in the fourth quarter due to what is being called a bruised muscle in his leg. If he misses any time or if this lingers, it could be trouble for the Jazz in the postseason.

 

LeBron James starts game with protective goggles. That lasts about a minute.

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LeBron James suffered a scratched cornea Friday night when he went up for a layup late in the third quarter and Jeremy Lamb tried to contest and caught him clean across the face. LeBron got the and-1, but had trouble keeping his eye open in postgame interviews Friday.

Saturday he did play — wearing protective goggles. As you can see above.

That lasted about a minute.

LeBron was likely frustrated as the Cavaliers defensive woes had the Wizards up double digits much of the first half.

Kobe Bryant says he’s “only a phone call away” if organization needs his advice

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For the first time since he walked off the court in his final game, Kobe Bryant was back at Staples Center Friday night.

The reason was Shaquille O’Neal was getting a statue out in front of Staples Center (a building that may not have gotten built without the two of them). The two famed feuders sat next to each other and joked around through the ceremony. Time heals all wounds.

With the new management of the Lakers — specifically Kobe’s former agent Rob Pelinka as GM — there has been speculation Kobe could take on a role. He’s not looking for something formal, according to reports, but he didn’t say no, either, when asked.

I picture Kobe as a guy who someday buys a team, not a guy who wants to haggle with agents over the details of a contract. He’s not going to take on a day-to-day role, he likes the retired life and what he is building with the Kobe brand.

That said, the Lakers front office can use all the smart voices it can get as they try speed up a rebuild. They should give him a call every once in a while.