Now that most of the dust has settled from the free agent bonanza, several teams are left with cap space and really nothing of value to spend it on. A smart GM with an asset or two they'd be willing to part with could find a way to take advantage of the situation. The question is, will Ed Stefanski be able to?
It's been very hard to read the signals from the Sixers front office for me this summer. On the one hand, they took the most NBA-ready prospect with the number two pick in Evan Turner (or it appeared so at the time). On the other hand, they traded away Dalembert, a move that certainly will make them worse on the floor this season, but they spun it to say they were looking to the future. They seem unwilling to spend in free agency, yet take on extra salary for next season in Nocioni and shell out for a big time coaching contract to Doug Collins (while still paying Eddie Jordan to lick his braces from home).
If the Sixers were fully committed to rebuilding -- and you can make a very strong argument that they should be -- I think you'd be able to find a robust market for Andre Iguodala's services among the teams who were left holding the bag in free agency. If they're merely interested in trimming some fat and possibly setting themselves up as players in free agency next summer, possibly they could find a taker for Lou Williams or Nocioni.
The pie-in-the-sky scenario has them putting together some kind of package including Brand, but that's an unbelievably long shot at this point.
As far as I'm concerned, any trade has to serve a purpose, and before they make any moves, they absolutely have to figure out what the hell they're doing. If they're trying to win now, or maybe even just improve this team enough to make the playoffs this season, any trade would have to bring back a defensive presence in the front court. If they're going into full rebuild mode, then they need to stockpile picks, bring back a really solid player on his rookie contract or clear out salary in the hopes that they'll be far enough under the cap to land a difference-making player either via trade or free agency. If the plan is to simply bide their time until Brand comes off the books, well, then I'm not really sure what moves there are to be made. If that's the plan, then they're essentially just shuffling the deck chairs and spinning their wheels for the time being. Maybe a few minor moves would be made to give Collins some role players to help squeeze a few more wins out of the team, but beyond that, they have the guys they're going to battle with.
Again, I'm left asking myself (a) do they really have a plan and (b) what is it?
Anyway, let's assume there is a plan in place for the sake of argument. Take a look around, and see if you can come up with a trade or two that sends a player or players out to teams left with cap space, and somehow moves the ball forward for the Sixers in some way.