In his latest NBA Chatter column
, Marc Stein says the Sixers are one of three teams in the hunt for Memphis PF Hakim Warrick. Up until last week, Warrick was a restricted free agent, but Memphis cut ties with him, possibly because they're hoping to find 40 shots/game for Zach Randolph.
The other two teams mentioned were Cleveland and Milwaukee. Let's run with the rumor and break down the choices:
- Cleveland - They still have their bi-annual, they're kind of thin at PF (only Varejao and JJ Hickson) and they're a legit title contender. Warrick could see minutes there, although Cleveland played LeBron at the four quite often last season, and with the addition of Jamario Moon and Anthony Parker, I'd expect him to see even more minutes at PF this year. Warrick chooses Cleveland if he wants to the chance to play a limited role for a title contender for the bi-annual ($1.9M)
- Milwaukee - As far as I can tell, they still have their MLE, but I highly doubt they'd use it on Warrick. He's kind of like a Charlie Villanueva without the gaudy scoring numbers (mainly because he doesn't shoot enough to have them), the three-point range and with the ability to spell defense. If they were going to overpay for a PF, they would've just kept Charlie V. Warrick could choose the Bucks if he's most comfortable playing for a garbage team in a third-rate NBA city (no offense Wisonsinites), it would basically be Memphis North for Warrick, probably for similar money to what Cleveland can offer.
- Philadelphia - The Sixers have their full MLE, but they won't use it on Warrick. Maybe they'd use a portion, to offer a hair more than the bi-annual and technically outbid the Cavs, but I seriously doubt they offer more than one year. Warrick is from Philly (), and his game fits the Sixers style to a T. He's quick, athletic, he gets up and down the floor, he scores fairly efficiently (1.37 points per shot, 55.4% TS last season) and he can't shoot the three (I kid).
So if we're talking security, I'd expect both Milwaukee and Cleveland will offer multi-year deals. If it's winning, pure and simple, it has to be Cleveland. If it's playing time, and nothing more, Milwaukee. If it's a burning desire for the city he grew up in, the family and friends he loves, the undying loyalty of a city that loves home-grown talent no matter how talented they actually are and a style that fits him to a T, it's Philly.
When Steve first brought the rumor to my attention
in the comments, my reaction was pretty blah, but on second thought, I'd like to see this guy in a Sixers' jersey. I'm not sure how many minutes he'd get, but it would be good to inject some life into the backup PF battle. Jason Smith is basically being handed a rotation spot, make him fight for it. Push some of Speights' minutes to the five. If they're going to add another front court player, and there really aren't many, if any, worthwhile defensive bigs left on the market, why not bring a running four in. The guy probably played too many minutes in Memphis, without a lot of talent around him, with absolutely nothing on the line, who knows how he'd respond to playing in tight games that matter, in his home town.
What do you guys think, would you like to see Ed Stefanski bring this 27 year-old PF into the mix, and at what price?