With 5 days left until the NBA Trade Deadline, the Liberty Ballers crew will provide you one trade each day to bandy about. Since there are no actual games being played, we've got to keep occupied somehow.
As Jordan mentioned yesterday, Thaddeus Young has the Sixers in quite the predicament. On the one hand, his play off the bench has been a key in the Sixers becoming a legitimate playoff contender in the east, providing the team with a skill set it otherwise sorely lacks. His improved play under Collins, youth, and work ethic provide some semblance of hope for the future.
On the other hand, he's:
1) A legitimate trade asset
2) Has a very real chance of being overpaid. While I love Thad's work ethic and think he still has some untapped potential, he's playing on a team where his role will be limited by Iguodala and Turner, and who may never be a good enough defender to be a legitimate starter at the 4. Some team, a team who has a better opportunity for Thad to contend for a starting spot, may overpay Thad for his upside.
As such, I'm going to use Thad to try to gain the Sixers assets. Unlike Jordan, I'm going to go with less tangible assets. In other words, use Thad for future gain rather than immediate contributions.
Check after the jump for the trade.
Thaddeus Young: 1 year, $2,901,241 remaining
Andres Nocioni: 2 years, $6,850,000 this year
Marcus Banks: 1 year, $4,847,586
D.J. Mbenga: 1 year, $854,389 remaining
$6,850,000 from a trade exception for Stojakovic
Why for the Hornets:
The Hornets are fighting for a playoff spot, currently 1.5 games up on the 9th spot. With the desire to make a run and appease Chris Paul, Young can provide the offensively challenged Hornets with a spark. Young's transition game and ability to finish near the basket would fit in well with Chris Paul, and with a rotation that currently has heavy minutes coming from Willie Green, Jason Smith, and Aaron Gray, Thad should see minutes, if not contend for a starting spot. They do this without going into the luxury tax this year, and without giving up any picks.
Why for the Sixers:
Getting rid of Nocioni (and getting rid of the possibility of overpaying Thad, plus his cap hold) brings the Sixers committed salary down to ~$42.4 million (once they renounce Spencer Hawes' bird rights). That gives the Sixers about $14 million to play with next offseason (assuming the salary cap and rules stay exactly the same, which obviously they won't).
Obviously, we all keep looking towards the summer of Elton Brand's contract as the time when we hit in free agency, but if we can get towards a max contract before that time hits, our chances are better to significantly improve the team. By the time Elton Brand expires, Jrue Holiday will have a significant cap hold and be up an extension, Iguodala's salary will have escalated to $15 million, Turner will be on the books for nearly $7 million, and Thaddeus Young very well could have been overpaid by that point.
The Sixers will have taken a step back this year, but if they can be setup to go into next offseason with room for a near-max contract without having lost Holiday, Turner, or Iguodala, they could be sitting in a good spot to make a move while Andre Iguodala and Elton Brand are still on this team and productive.