The Philadelphia 76ers are in the mix as the third team involved in the trade that will see Minnesota Timberwolves power forward Kevin Love get dealt to the Cleveland Cavaliers for rookie Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett and a 2015 protected first-round draft pick. Instead of the Timberwolves keeping Bennett, they will send him to the 76ers in a packaged deal for power forward Thaddeus Young.
Young has stepped his game up the last two seasons, including a career-high 17.9 points per contest in 2013-14. The big reason why Minnesota wants him is because they believe he has what it takes to successfully step in the role that Love had. Clearly, Young cannot replace Love’s stellar production, but there is no denying that he should be able to provide quality performances on any given night. Also, Young is the proven player between Bennett and him, which is another reason why the Timberwolves prefer him.
Even though Bennett struggled mightily in his rookie season after being taken No. 1 overall in the 2013 NBA Draft, there is still plenty of potential to believe he is capable of turning into a solid player down the road. That reason alone is why it is a bit of a head scratcher to see Minnesota part ways with him, especially when Young can become a free agent after next season.
The Timberwolves would be much better off keeping Bennett and hoping he can turn into the promising player that he is expected to be. Not to mention, the combination of Wiggins, rookie Zach LaVine, Bennett and other young players could make for a competitive roster in the next couple of years. Instead, Minnesota is taking a huge gamble by acquiring Young, who could very well opt out of his contract a year from now if he does not believe the team can win.
The trade cannot be official until Aug. 23, which means the deal may never go through. However, if it does, one has to assume the Timberwolves are getting the raw end of the deal in the long run.