Sixers Acquire 2015 First-round Pick, Two Players
Ever since LeBron James announced his decision to return to Cleveland six weeks ago, rumors have swirled about the possibility of a blockbuster deal that would send three-time All-Star Kevin Love from the Timberwolves to the Cavaliers in return for a package centered around 2014 first-overall pick Andrew Wiggins. On Wednesday, that trade was finalized, with the Sixers agreeing to a concurrent deal with Minnesota.
Philadelphia sent veteran forward Thaddeus Young to the Timberwolves in return for forward Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, guard Alexey Shved, and Miami’s 2015 first-round (concurrently sent from Cleveland to Minnesota). The pick is protected 1-10 in both 2015 and 2016 and is unprotected in 2017 if not conveyed by that point.
In seven seasons with the Sixers, Young, 26, averaged 13.7 points (50.0 FG%), 5.5 rebounds, 1.4 assists, and 1.4 steals in 30.1 minutes per game. With his departure, Arnett Moultrie (drafted on June 28, 2012) becomes Philadelphia’s longest-tenured player. Hollis Thompson currently leads the team with 77 games played in a Sixers uniform, and Michael Carter-Williams is now the team’s leader in minutes played, with 2,414.
Mbah a Moute, 27, was drafted 37th overall in 2008 by the Bucks and spent five seasons in Milwaukee before splitting the 2013-14 season between the Sacramento Kings and Minnesota Timberwolves. In 399 career appearances, the 6’8” combo forward has posted averages of 6.3 points (45.9 FG%) and 4.9 rebounds in 23.6 minutes per game.
Coincidentally, Mbah a Moute was born in Yaounde, Cameroon, the birthplace of Sixers center Joel Embiid. It was at one of the six-year veteran’s basketball camps in Cameroon that a then 17-year-old Embiid was introduced to the game and discovered by coaches. Since then, Mbah a Moute has served as a mentor of sorts for the 20-year-old, helping him transition to life in the United States, first as a high school player in Florida, then as a freshman at Kansas, and now as a rookie with the Sixers.
Alexey Shved, 25, has been playing professionally since 2006, when he joined Euroleague powerhouse CSKA Moscow as an 18-year-old. After leading CSKA to four Russian League championships, as well as a Euroleague title in 2007-08, he was signed to a multi-year contract by the Timberwolves in 2012. In two seasons with Minnesota, the 6’6” Russian combo-guard averaged 6.5 points (35.8 FG%), 2.5 assists, and 1.8 rebounds in just under 18 minutes per game.
The Sixers now possess six draft picks in 2015: their own first-rounder (owed to Boston if it falls between 15-30), Miami’s first-rounder (1-10 protected), their own second-rounder (if their first-round pick is not surrendered to Boston), and unprotected second-round picks from Golden State, Orlando, and New Orleans.