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Sixers can take part in Cavs-Timberwolves trade by sending Young to Minnesota

Timberwolves may want Young after Love is gone
Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

The Philadelphia 76ers have a healthy interest in being part of the forthcoming Cleveland Cavaliers and Minnesota Timberwolves trade for Kevin Love. Of course, the Sixers would someday like to be a team that can land a star like Love themselves -- but until then, they have to clear cap space and players. In this case, it looks like the main prize the Sixers can offer is Thaddeus Young, who ESPN claimed the Timberwolves have interest in on July 28.

According to ESPN's Marc Stein, the Timberwolves "have expressed interest" in Young being Love's successor, once he is shipped off to the Cavaliers, Chicago Bulls or Golden State Warriors. While the Sixers aren't the only third wheel being considered in this blockbuster trade, Young might be the x-factor that puts them over the top -- if Sam Hinkie is willing to pull the trigger.

Hinkie has time to get the right amount of assets from Minnesota, since Love likely won't be moved until the end of August. Since rookies and trade targets like the Cavaliers' Andrew Wiggins and the Bulls' Doug McDermott signed rookie contracts several days ago, they can't officially be traded away until late August. Although agreements can be made in principle before then, nothing can be made official until 30 days after the rookies signed their contracts, so there is still plenty of time left for wiggle room.

There likely isn't much wiggle room for the Sixers, as Young is the biggest name they can offer in any trade. Since Michael Carter-Williams doesn't seem likely to go anywhere, and since Nerlens Noel and Joel Embiid are still playing the waiting game for their first ever NBA games, Young is the most valuable player left other than those core youngsters. Quite frankly, the Sixers literally have no one else left that another team would want, at least as part of a deal like this.

If the Sixers are the Timberwolves' preferred partner in a three-team deal with the Cavaliers, it gives Hinkie some leverage. But if the Bulls or Warriors pull ahead, although it doesn't seem likely unless they make major concessions, it might be a different landscape.

Yet the most predictable ending remains the Cavaliers swapping Wiggins for Love -- and now it might include the Sixers and Young lending the final helping hand.

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