The Sixers traded just about all of their veteran pieces as part of the team’s tanking rebuilding process, but Thaddeus Young remains on the roster — at least for the next few days.
Young is expected to be dealt as part of the Kevin Love trade from the Timberwolves to the Cavaliers, with Philadelphia receiving Anthony Bennett in return. That would leave only Jason Richardson as a veteran voice in the locker room, but he missed all of last season due to injury, and has an expiring contract worth just over $6 million for next season that would make him a desirable asset in a trade of his own.
The Sixers are choosing to go with a full-fledged youth movement, essentially starting from scratch. The leadership on the roster needs to come from somewhere as the team continues to grow, and Michael Carter-Williams says he’s up for the challenge.
The 22-year-old also believes he’s ready to be the Sixers’ leader if a rumored trade of veteran power forward Thaddeus Young to the Timberwolves occurs on or after Saturday.
“Definitely,” he said. “I think regardless who is on the team, I have to be a leader out there, give direction to the new guys and really bring the team together.”
Asked about Young’s impact on his development, the 2013-14 NBA Rookie of the Year spoke in the past tense, though he said he’s not sure if Young “will be here with us.”
“Thad was very important,” Carter-Williams said. “He taught me a lot.”
Carter-Williams took home Rookie of the Year honors last season, and as the team’s starting point guard, leading from that position would make plenty of sense.
He’s not yet 100 percent after undergoing shoulder surgery this offseason, but expects to be ready to go once training camp opens at the end of next month.