When mock drafts everywhere were updated, my e-mail, Twitter account and the comments here were flooded with questions about the number four pick. The Nets seem to be wavering on who they will pick at number three, meaning Derrick Favors may be available at number four. After the jump, I'll talk a bit about what this could mean for the Sixers.
If Evan Turner is really the guy the Sixers want, they should without a doubt draft him with the number two pick. If Derrick Favors is really the guy the Sixers want, they should without a doubt draft him with the number two pick. Take the guy you want, that's the luxury of picking this high, you don't have to cross your fingers and hope your guy falls.
If, however, Turner is your guy, you get him, and then an opportunity arises to get Favors also, well, then you have to act. Here's the scenario, John Wall gets picked first, the Sixers take Evan Turner, the Nets take either Wesley Johnson or DeMarcus Cousins. At this point, David Kahn is on the clock (and under the gun), this is when you make the call.
There are a few different directions you can go here. You can either try to swap picks with Minnesota, giving them the guy they covet the most, Evan Turner, and insisting they take Elton Brand's contract, giving you Favors in return. I'd be perfectly fine with that, but if the Sixers really believe Favors is the better pick, then they should just take him and not gamble on it. It's also unlikely that drafting Turner is worth the $50M+ owed to Brand over the next three seasons, and I absolutely would not take Al Jefferson back in the deal. It would have to be a deal that couldn't be finalized until July 1st with Minnesota using a combination of their cap space and one lesser contract to absorb Brand's contract. Love + Favors for Turner + Brand. That I'd do. This is the perfect world scenario, for me at least, but there's another avenue that I could definitely live with.
Again, Wall goes #1, we take Turner #2, then we call Minny and offer Andre Iguodala for the #4 pick. Again, no way Jefferson is coming to Philly, I want no part of him, nor his contract. I'd love to get Love in the deal, Ryan Gomes would probably be included, but Minnesota is using their cap space to make this deal happen. Iguodala for Favors + Gomes + Love (maybe). Minnesota gets the wing they desperately need, the Sixers get...
Well, the Sixers get to hit the reset button in an unbelievably meaningful way. They've already taken two steps back in their on-court production for this upcoming season through the Dalembert trade. Right now best (worst?) case is Collins can coach this roster up to a .500 record, get a low seed in the playoffs and get knocked out in the first round, leaving the Sixers with a middling #1 pick and essentially locking this roster until Brand's contract either expires or can be moved. If you trade Iguodala and get Favors in return, this team will be bad this season. There's no denying that. I think Collins could have them playing competitive basketball most nights, but they'd be relying solely on rookies and really, really young players for heavy minutes. I don't care what kind of magic Collins tries to work, odds are, the Sixers would be looking at a top ten pick again next season. So let's take a step back and look at the roster if the Sixers could pull this rabbit out of a hat on draft day.
(opening day age)
- Jrue Holiday (20)
- Derrick Favors (19)
- Evan Turner (22)
- Marreese Speights (23)
- Thad Young (22, his birthday was actually yesterday)
- Jodie Meeks (23)
FLOTSAM, JETSAM AND FUTURE EXPIRING CONTRACTS
- Elton Brand (31) - contract expires summer 2013
- Lou Williams (23) - contract expires summer 2013
- Willie Green (29) - contract expires next summer
- Andres Nocioni (31) - team option for 2012-2013, likely contract expires next summer
- Jason Kapono (29) - contract expires next summer
- Jason Smith (24) - restricted free agent, could expired next summer
- Spencer Hawes (22) - restricted free agent, could expire next summer
- Ryan Gomes (28) - team buyout, probably expiring next summer
I didn't include Love, but if he was obtained in the deal, you could probably add him to the bottom of the first category, or the top of the second. Essentially, the Sixers would have a core of a defensive big, a distributing PG who can play lockdown defense and a versatile scoring wing all on rookie contracts with every other contract on their roster set to expire before any of the core players need to be extended. They'd also probably have at least one more top-ten pick to augment that core with.
No one is a bigger fan of Iguodala than I am, but I would absolutely have to make this deal. That is a true rebuild, that is a true plan, a true path and the team would have every option available to them to add whatever is needed in the next three seasons. Free agency, trades, draft. This is truly a no-brainer. If Favors is off the board, though, I wouldn't make the same deal for Cousins.