Two of the biggest names in the rumor mill currently are J.R. Smith from the New York Knicks and Thaddeus Young from the Philadelphia 76ers. As of lately, there has been a bunch of rumors around potential trades around the two veterans but which of them are true and which are not?
The fact about Smith is that the New York Knicks are totally dissatisfied with his performance and his antics. But are they shopping him? Maybe. But on the other hand, maybe not. From a first point of view, the Knicks are mostly trying to motivate the Sixth Man of the previous season rather than trade him away.
Of course, New York wouldn’t say no to a GM who is willing to take Smith and his two more seasons on his side. J.R. Smith is in the books for about $12 million for the next two seasons, which considering his mediocre (at best) performance, is considered too high. The Knicks would be much happier if they could somehow force their 28-year old guard get serious and stay focused on the game.
Smith’s production has dropped significantly this season. Last season, he averaged 18.1 points per game and 42.2 percent shooting from the field. During the first months of the 2013-2014 season he is putting up just 11.4 points per contest and a career-low 35.7 percent shooting. On top of that, his five-game suspension at the beginning of the season and his recent $50,000 fine from the NBA for unsportsmanlike conduct clearly show that something is wrong with Smith.
The New York Knicks know that this is possibly the worst time to trade Smith away, as the exchange they would get, even if they managed to find a team to deal their problematic guard away, would be small.
On the contrary, the Philadelphia 76ers are happy to see Thaddeus Young putting up big performances. As recently reported, Young requested a trade and that only makes sense. He doesn’t want to be a part of a rebuilding franchise. He wants to try his luck in a better team, possibly a title contender. And he has all the rights to do so.
Young is arguably the best player on the market at the moment, after Luol Deng and Andrew Bynum got dealt. Maybe Pau Gasol could be considered with Young. Nonetheless, considering the production of the two this season and also keeping in mind that Young is just 25 while Gasol is a 33-year old fading star, one could fairly say that Young is certainly a better asset.
The 6’8” versatile forward is averaging 17.8 points per contest this season to go along with 6.6 rebounds and 1.8 steals. He is also shooting 49.9 percent from the floor and he has drastically improved his shooting from long range, 39.3 percent this season.
Several teams around the league would be interested in acquiring Thaddeus Young. Nonetheless, the 76ers will certainly set the price high for their emerging forward.