The Philadelphia 76ers find themselves in a perfect situation. For starters, the team has found the light at the end of tunnel many fans figured they would never escape. By doing so, they managed to win a playoff series last season and entered the 2018-19 season with hopes of an NBA title.
As the season draws closer to the NBA trade deadline, many are wondering if the 76ers will make any more moves.
The addition of Jimmy Butler from the Minnesota Timberwolves should have been enough but the truth is, they need another big one. Pairing Butler with Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid has given the 76ers the closer they need, now they must still find a suitable PF.
It’s clear that Wilson Chandler, Mike Muscala or Jonah Bolden are not the answer at the position. As far as bench production goes, they can fill a void but in terms of providing starter minutes and production, the team must add some serious firepower. To date, the 76ers are 2nd in offense, top 5 in rebounding, assists, and FT attempts but near the bottom of the league in defense. There has to be some changes made.
The big question is, who do they go after and why?
What the Philadelphia 76ers need is someone to take pressure off Embiid in the post. Yes, he’s arguably the best scoring Center in the NBA with averages of 26.9 points to go along with 13.5 rebounds per contest. But what happens if you pair him with Thaddeus Young of the Indiana Pacers?
Young is not Draymond Green or Kevin Love but he will provide the 76ers with experience, a leader in the locker room, and still has the legs to provide the team with 12.5 points and 5.9 rebounds while shooting .533 percent fro the floor in 30.3 minutes per night.
What makes Young a great addition is that he’s a former Sixer, and he will give Simmons, Butler, and J.J Redick the room they need to operate on the perimeter. He’s a crafty veteran who understands his role is not to outshoot the leading guys. He plays defense and has a decent mid-range game to boot. Unlike the majority of the post players these days, Young doesn’t settle for the three-point shot.
Another reason for the Philadelphia 76ers to make this move is money. Young will be a free agent at the end of this season. If the deal doesn’t work out, then all they may lose is a bench player and a possible 2nd round pick. It’s time for the team to go all in. While the Boston Celtics are dealing with injuries and question marks surrounding their roster and the Toronto Raptors are doing their best to shake the “choker” stigma off them, the 76ers are in a position to make a small, yet bold move here.
The objective is to find a way to match up with teams they will face in the playoffs. With their current core, the regular season will be a breeze. However, when the playoffs arrive defense becomes the name of the game. Brett Brown will need reliable players. While Chandler has served his purpose, he’s better suited coming off the bench. The same goes for Muscala and Bolden.
What GM Elton Brand must envision is a lineup that features Simmons, J.J Redick, Butler, Young, and Embiid. This core will rival any lineup that Boston or Toronto puts on the floor.
With Young on board, Brown’s offense will be able to flourish. He has the handle to create his own shot, the toughness to draw fouls and the basketball IQ to put his teammates and himself in a great position to maximize the offense. While he’s still earning valuable minutes with the Pacers, it may be time for them to move on and give Domantas Sabonis the play he deserves.
The Philadelphia 76ers have the necessary talent to win the East but the addition of Thaddeus Young will take them much further.