Just for fun. John Smallwood on November 5, 2013:

HERE IS a question to ponder with the Sixers catching everyone off guard with their quick start this season.

Why can’t Spencer Hawes, Evan Turner and Thaddeus Young be part of the organization’s long-term plan for rebuilding?

With the Sixers looking to maximize their prospects for the 2014 draft, the assumption has been that at some point Hawes, Turner and Young would be traded for more draft picks and/or salary-cap space.

But why does that have to be the primary option, especially if the veteran trio continues to perform the way they have early in the season?

Unfortunately for Smallwood, they, um, didn’t. The Sixers dropped seven of their next nine. But worse than the notion that Hawes, Turner and Young were somehow remotely comparable to the core of a contender, Smallwood continued his and Marcus Hayes’ strange love for Thad Young:

The funny thing is that I am just getting around to Young. He is the veteran the Sixers need to hold on to the most. Simply put, Young is a professional’s professional. Everything about the way he conducts himself on and off the court shouts loudly that he is a guy who you want as a role model for youngsters like Carter-Williams, Noel, Tony Wroten and whomever the Sixers get in the next draft.

Although Young is starting his seventh NBA season, he had just turned 19 when the Sixers drafted him in 2007. At 25, he’s got plenty of mileage left.

I’m not sure how you put a value on a guy who literally does everything asked of him – every practice, every game, every season. Think of what Allen Iverson said the presence of Aaron McKie, another pro’s pro, did for him and you’ll understand what Young would mean to a team loaded with second-year players and rookies.

On the court, you can usually book Young for 13 to 15 points, five to seven rebounds and 30 to 35 minutes of gritty, lunch-box work every game.

That reads like a parody of a parody.

Perhaps calling this out is unfair. I’ve certainly been wrong on stuff (I liked Chip Kelly!). But even at the time, the notion that building around Hawes, Turner and Young would yield anything but a low playoff seed and second round ceiling was laughable. In hindsight, with the Sixers now possessing one of the most promising rookies in recent memory and the debut of Ben Simmons just weeks away, with a slew of lottery picks on the horizon and GOBS of available cap space, Smallwood’s simplistic-see only what’s in front of me style of writing seems even more absurd.