The Sixers are going to be one of the more heavily talked about teams leading up to the February 20th trade deadline. The reason for that is their three prime trade assets: Thaddeus Young, Evan Turner, and Spencer Hawes. The Sixers, though, won’t be willing to take back a “lesser player” in any deal without receiving a first-round pick, preferably from the upcoming 2014 draft, in return, tweeted Tom Moore of Philly Burbs.com. With the premium that most teams place on first-round picks, especially with the upcoming draft looking to be one of the strongest and deepest in years, this could have a negative effect on the Sixers chances to jump start their rebuilding process.
Young is obviously the most desirable asset for other teams, talent-wise. The 25 year-old forward is averaging 17.8 PPG and 6.6 RPG with a slash line of .499/.393/.719. He has expressed his desire not to be part of a rebuilding process and is the kind of player that could be a major factor on a contending team. He’s not a player that can carry a franchise, but paired with another star player or two, can be a difference maker. He has one more year on his contract after this one, with a player option for 2015/2016. His salary of $8,850,000 this season and $9,410,870 the next, is reasonable, but a difficult one to trade without having to take back similar dollars in return. With the Sixers looking to rebuild, they would most likely prefer an expiring deal, plus a first-round pick.
The other two players mentioned also have value, both being productive and just 25 years old. Turner is currently averaging 18.9 PPG, 6.3 RPG, and 3.9 APG. His slash line is: .438/.293/.816. He’s in the final year of his deal and earning $6,679,867. Hawes is contributing 14.3 PPG, 8.6 RPG, and 1.5 BPG, and a line of .485/.434/.775. He’s also on an expiring contract which pays him $6,500,000. Nice pieces for contending teams, but with expiring contracts not being deemed as valuable as in the past, they would fetch a lesser return than trading Young.
The Sixers desire for a first-round pick in return for trading these players for non-stars is a logical one. The team is in full-on rebuilding mode, and want to capitalize on the strength of the upcoming draft. They have two potential building blocks in Michael Carter-Williams and Nerlens Noel. Adding another young building block or two could put them into the weak Eastern Conference playoff picture next season. Even if they fall short next year, another lottery trip could set them up for a successful future run for years to come. Plus, by shedding more salaries, they could potentially be players for a free-agent score if they so chose. So any general managers should be prepared to sacrifice draft picks if they want to acquire one of the Sixers available players.