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Cheap, Frugal Or Smart?

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The vast majority of comments on this blog, other blogs, columns from the MSM and message board banter has labeled the Sixers' front office as cheap. There's obviously some evidence to support that notion, but I don't think there's a simple answer to the question stated above. Let's discuss after the jump.

I'm not going to give my opinion in this piece, I'm simply going to lay out the evidence as I see it. Keep the overriding question in mind as you read: Has the Sixers' front office been cheap, frugal or smart in the moves they have and have not made this offseason?

Clearly A Cheap Move - Failing to send a team to the Las Vegas Summer League. Sending a split squad to play in Orlando. Not only do I think this was a pure cost-cutting move, I think it was a terrible move. There had to be better ways to watch the bottom line, but beyond that, I don't think the Sixers really got anything out of sending Jrue and Speights down to Orlando to play for that team. They would've been better off pocketing that money as well and having the young guys in the gym with the rest of the team in Philly.

Clearly A Smart Move - The first move of note this summer, for any team, was the Reggie Evans trade. The Sixers jetisoned an over-rated, superfluous piece for Jason Kapono, a guy who should be a big help to the team's biggest area of need. In no way, shape or form was this a cost-cutting move. They took back an additional $3M in salary in the deal. This was a move to improve the team, at a cost.

Some Say Frugal, Some Say Cheap, The Sixers Say Smart - The Sixers offered Andre Miller he would never accept, plain and simple. One year for MLE-level money was never something he was going to take to stay in Philly. Even if no one offered him a multi-year deal, he would've taken the MLE to play elsewhere just because he found the Sixers' offer to be an insult. Two ways to read this offer: (1) The Sixers didn't want Miller back, at any price. (2) Their hands were tied by finances and this was legitimately the best offer they could make. I'll leave it up to you to decide, but the team's line of thinking appears to be as follows. This team isn't defined by its veterans. They will only go as far as the youth on the team will take them in the long run. Bringing Andre Miller back would probably have meant a better team for this season, but it also would have meant one more season without fully exploring what they have in Lou Williams. So they made an offer at the level where if he accepted it, it would be too good of a deal to pass up, if he didn't, then they could get on with the youth movement full speed ahead.

Easy To Defend - Jarret Jack (4 years, $20M), Von Wafer (2 years, $10M), Brandon Bass (5 years, $34M), these among others are players the Sixers could possibly have signed, but didn't. I label them easy to defend for a simple reason, teams overpaid for them. The Sixers were smart to sit these out.

Harder To Defend - Anthony Parker, Jomario Moon. These are guys the Sixers may have been able to sign, had they been willing to overpay a little bit to get them. Both signed with the Cavs for a decent contracts. It's highly debatable that the Sixers could've gotten either without really offering too much money, but they seemed to either not be involved, or bow out extremely early on both. The actual signing of Primoz Brezec could probably fall here as well.

Tough To Defend - CJ Watson. This one still sticks in my craw (sorry, I put a little bit of my opinion in, couldn't resist). This guy would be a perfect fit for the team, but the Sixers are apparently unwilling to offer more than a one-year deal. Odds are, Golden State would match any reasonable offer for Watson so it may be a moot point, but this is the type of player that warrants more than a one-year deal for.

Neither Here Nor There - Royal Ivey. Brought back for the minimum. Pretty hard to argue against that move, or call them cheap for making it.

As I said above, this post is about what you guys think. Take all the evidence into account (including the fact that teams are basically giving players away for free, Rasual Butler being the latest) and give me an honest appraisal of the team's behavior this summer.
by Brian on Aug 13 2009
Tags: Basketball | Offseason | Sixers |