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Here's a quick excerpt from Bill Simmons' latest 30,000-word pseudo mailbag over on ESPN.
I believe this will eventually end up being considered a good draft because of three potential franchise guys (the top-three ... and, yes, Horford is that good), two more potential All-Stars (Conley and, surprisingly, Thaddeus Young) and a slew of potential starters and quality role players. We will see. I'm just excited that we have a guy named "Thaddeus" in the NBA who might be really good.

This follows closely on the heels of John Hollinger's praise of Thad. My only problem with Hollinger is that he bases everything on PER, the stat he made up. Seriously, the guy never talks about anything but PER, and honestly I think it's a misleading stat in a lot of cases. Anyway, here's the quote:
But allow me to bring two other names to your attention. At the very least, these guys deserve to be named first-team All-Rookie, instead of the usual pattern of voting for players who played a lot of minutes but didn't necessarily play them well. (Somewhere, Adam Morrison is quietly taking a bow).

The first is Philadelphia's Thaddeus Young. He's the same age as Durant and has a better PER at 16.33. In fact, his ascension into the starting lineup has been one of the catalysts behind the Sixers' playoff push. Philly is 20-16 when he plays at least 12 minutes, and 11-6 when he plays at least 24. The 6-foot-8 teenager ranks second among all NBA small forwards in both shooting percentage (52.6 percent, second only to Atlanta's Josh Childress) and rebound rate (surpassed only by fellow rook Jared Dudley of Charlotte). Better yet, his closet is skeleton-free. In talking to some Sixers people before a recent game, they seem as impressed by his character as they were by his game.

He still has to improve his jumper and see the floor better, but he has superstar potential and nobody's talking about him.

It's good to see Thad getting some national ink, he's earned it. Obviously, I'd go a step further in my praise of him, but he does need to do a lot of work this Summer. He needs to develop his right hand, both on the dribble and his finishes at the hoop. He's young, so there isn't really a book on him yet, but eventually the other teams in the league are going to realize he always finishes with his left, no matter where he is in relation to the hoop.

One more article of note (especially to Andre Iguodala's number 1 fan from the comments, Tray). Phil Jasner chose the off day to revisit Andre Iguodala's contract situation. The theme of the article seems to be that Iguodala is a fine #2 on most teams, but not a #1 so the Sixers shouldn't pay him #1 money. Here's a question for you, though, what is #2 money? Iguodala reportedly turned down $57M for 5 years, an average of $11.5M/year.

Let's take a look
  • San Antonio's #2, Tony Parker, will make $48.5M over the next 4 years. An average of $12.2M.
  • Detroit's #2, arguably Rasheed Wallace, will make $26.2M over the next 2 years. An average of $13.1M.
  • Boston's #2, Paul Pierce, will make $75.6M over the next 4 years. An average of $18.9M.
  • The Lakers' #2, Pau Gasol, will make $62.9M over the next 4 years. An average of $15.7M.
  • The Suns' #2, Amare Stoudemire, will make $62.7M over the next 4 years. An average of $15.6M.
  • The Mavericks' #2, Jason Kidd, will make $41.1M over the next 2 years. An average of $20.5M.
  • The Cavs' #2, Ben Wallace, will make $44M over the next 3 seasons. An average of $14.7M.
  • The Jazz's #2, Carlos Boozer, will make $35.9M over the next 3 seasons. An average of $11.9M.
  • The Nuggets' #2, Carmelo Anthony, will make $78.8M over the next 5 seasons. An average of $15.76M.
  • The Warriors' #2, Al Harrington, will make $27.7M over the next 3 seasons. An average of $9.2M.
  • The Rockets really don't have a number two. Yao and McGrady are 1A and 1B.
  • The Nets' #2, Richard Jefferson, will make $54.6M over the next 4 years. An average of $13.65M.
  • The Hornets' #2, Peja Stojakovic, will make $54.4M over the next 4 years. An average of $13.6M.
  • The Magic's #2, Rashard Lewis, will make $118M over the next 6 years. An average of $19.7M.
  • The Wizards' #2, Caron Butler, will make $37.6M over the next 4 years. An average of $9.4M.
  • The Raptors' #2, T.J. Ford, will make $33M over the next 4 years. An average of $8.25M.
As of today, those are the playoff teams (plus Denver, who is battling out West for a spot). The average salary of their "number two" guys is $14.41M, or about $3M per year more than the offer Iguodala turned down, reportedly. I don't know if Iguodala is ever going to be good enough to be a contender's #1 guy, I have my doubts. When I look at the list above, however, there are only two or three names who I think you can safely say are a notch above him. Anything less than $70M over 5 years is fair price for Iguodala this Summer. Honestly, that's below-market value for a #2 guy on a playoff team, and I doubt he's going to be looking for more than that.
by Brian on Mar 5 2008
Tags: Andre Iguodala | Basketball | Sixers | Thaddeus Young |