This coming season will be Thaddeus Young’s seventh in Philadelphia. It will be his fifth coach in that time… once the Sixers get around to picking a coach.
That’s not exactly consistency of leadership. New GM Sam Hinkie will certainly want to address that leadership issue, but in the short term Young wants to take on more of the veteran leader role on what will be a young team, he told Dei Lynam of CSNPhilly.com.
That is going to start with helping rookie and likely starting point guard Michael Carter-Williams.
“The first text message I sent to MCW was ‘The ball is going to be in your hands with you being the point guard and floor general. You are going to take the blame for a lot of stuff. I am going to try and help you. I’ll say it was my fault because that is what veterans do.’
“They try and keep the young guys’ bad thoughts out of their head. You say it was my fault and then go to them and say, ‘Try and do it this way and that will be the right way.’ I am going to try and help him as much as possible.”
At least he will provide leadership as long as he is on the roster.
With the way Philly is shaking this up — going for high draft picks and cap space — Young and his three years, $27.5 million could be on the trade block. Teams around the league know he can play — 14.8 points and 7.5 rebounds a game last season — so there might well be interest.
“Anybody can be traded in the NBA,” Young said. “Any given day, someone can get traded and have to move to the next city. This is the NBA. It is the life we live in and the job we chose. I don’t have any worries about getting traded. If I get traded, it was a business decision, a move that had to be made. If I am not, then you know what you are going to get out of me. I am going to be here each and every day, 24/7, ready to go hard for my team.”
It’s going to be a tough year in Philadelphia. It’s going to be a tough sell to fans (even with the great draft next year) and it’s going to be hard in the locker room. A steady veteran voice like Young’s certainly would help mitigate that some.
So would a strong coach. Which they may eventually have.