Philadelphia, Pa. – October 13, 2008 – Philadelphia 76ers President and General Manager Ed Stefanski announced today that the team has exercised the third-year options on the contracts of Jason Smith and Thaddeus Young.
This isn't surprising news or anything, but it's still good. The suddenly emerging stud, Thad had his salary of 2.9 milion picked up for the 2010-2011 and the injured Jason Smith also had his 2.1 million dollar option picked up.
Obviously, I love it. Chalk it up as another beautiful move by "The Greatest GM on the Planet", but I hate to say it, even Billy *gulp* King would've gotten this done. Thad is quickly becoming a stud. The dude just turned 20 years old and already has a very impressive season under his belt, including some quality minutes against a championship team in the playoffs. Then there's this pre-season, where he's playing with a new sense of confidence and showing us that he's ready to take that "next step". This pre-season Thad is averaging 14 ppg on 46% shooting, which is solid, but the key stat is 50% from downtown. If he can consistently stretch the defense, the problem all the "experts" say we have, isn't much of a problem anymore.
And Jason Smith. It's a shame he got hurt because I was really starting to expect him to be a contributer this season. Unlike Thad or our first-rounder this year, Speights, Smith really doesn't have the potential be an all-star. That's fine though; not everyone can be an all-star. What Smith can be, is a very good role player on a championship caliber team and that's exactly what I think he'll be when he returns.