By Ray Boyd
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — On Saturday, the deal that we have been speculating about for quite some time was finalized. Kevin Love will head to Cleveland to join forces with LeBron James and Kyrie Irving and the last two number one overall picks, Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett, will go to Minnesota.
The Timberwolves also shipped two players and a first round pick (2015 Miami pick) to the Sixers for Thaddeus Young.
The writing has been on the wall for quite some time when it comes to Young’s future with the Sixers. He was the last piece of the past regime and the Sixers appeared poised to completely turn the page. They closed the last chapter over the weekend.
The two players heading back to Philadelphia are not exactly house hold names. With that said, here is an introduction to your newest Sixers, Alexey Shved and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute.
Mbah a Moute has been in the league since 2008 when he was selected 37th overall by the Bucks. As a swing forward, Mbah a Moute is somewhat similar to Young in terms of size. At 6’8 he can play either forward spot.
Mbah a Moute has not quite found the same level of offensive success that Young achieved. For his career, he has averaged 6.3 points per game to go along with 4.9 rebounds. He has averaged just north of 23 minutes per game in his time between the Bucks, Kings and Timberwolves.
There should be more minutes to go around in Philadelphia’s rotation.
The greatest impact that Mbah a Moute brings to the Sixers may come off the court. As a native of Cameroon, Mbah a Moute has returned to the country to host basketball camps. It was at one of these camps when Mbah a Moute and coaches discovered a young Joel Embiid. They instantly recognized the talent in the young 17-year old.
To this day, Mbah a Moute has served as a bit of a mentor for Embiid and he should help with the transition to NBA life for the Sixers’ newest top pick.
The team also acquired Russian point guard, Alexey Shved. At 6’6, Shved gives the Sixers another long point guard who can give them a mismatch on most nights much like Michael Carter-Williams.
Shved underwhelmed last season in his second season in the NBA. He averaged just four points and just over 1 assist per game. However, Shved only played 10.5 minutes per contest in his second season.
He showed some promise in 2012-13 as a rookie when he played 23.9 minutes per game and averaged 8.6 points per game to go along with 3.7 assists per game. At 25 years old, there is still a lot of room for Shved to develop.
The Sixers also stayed true to their philosophy of hoarding assets in the form of draft selections. The pick that they acquired is set to be a first round selection in next year’s draft and is top ten protected for the Miami Heat.
It is not a lock because anything can happen, but it is safe to assume that the Heat will perform better than a bottom ten team so it is likely the Sixers will once again have multiple picks in the first round of the NBA Draft.
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