By Joe Perovich | KFAN.com
The line between fans of the NBA off-season and fans of the NBA is becoming increasingly blurred.
Before the Minnesota Timberwolves can officially acquire power forward Anthony Bennett, they have already decided to ship him off to Philadelphia, a source tells Mark Perner of the Philadelphia Daily News.
“A source informed the Daily News that the Sixers will be sending veteran forward Thaddeus Young to Minnesota for a package that will include [Anthony] Bennett, the No. 1 pick in the 2013 NBA draft.”
Without Kevin Love, the candidates to start at power forward for Minnesota might resemble something close to a glaring issue to Flip Saunders, the Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations.
The ‘Anthony Bennett stock’ has been downtrodden to the point that he’s now underrated, but the 21-year-old has zero career starts in 52 games.
To sum up his NBA sample size:
UNLV, 2012-13: 35 games, 950 minutes played.
Cleveland, 2013-14: 52 games, 663 minutes played.
Starting Bennett from the season’s onset would seem precarious, so what would the other options on-roster be?
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute.
He represents the only other power forward under contract for the Timberwolves in 2014-15.
And on Day 39 of NBA free agency, the unrestricted options are Shawn Marion (close to a deal with Cleveland), Elton Brand (5.7 ppg, 35-years-old), Charlie Villanueva (played 20 games last year), Michael Beasley, D.J. White, Ekpe Udoh, and Kenyon Martin. Have at it.
Thaddeus Young, 26, makes $9.1 million next season and $9.7 million in 2015-16 if he chooses to exercise his player option.
In 79 games last season, Young averaged 17.9 points, 6.0 rebounds 2.3 assists and 2.1 steals – points, assists and steals were all career-bests. He made 90 3-pointers in 2013-14, which shattered his previous record of 56 set back in 2008-09.
In the past, Young’s size has been a detriment when matching up against physical bigs – a cause for concern if his frontcourt mate is Nikola Pekovic, who has his own shortcomings on defense – but that doesn’t negate the fact that he’s a very intriguing, versatile, and high-motor player who’s still in his mid 20s.
If the trade happens, it can’t be completed until at least Aug. 23 – the first day Bennett can be dealt.