Good morning, Sixers fans. I'm stressing the good in that sentence, for the time being. Here's why
ESPN is reporting that the Sixers are looking to send Rodney Carney and Calvin Booth to the Timberwolves for either cash considerations or draft picks, or both. Minnesota has a $5.2M trade exception it could use to swallow both contracts. What exactly would this mean? Well, depending on where the cap number comes in later tonight, the Sixers might just be able to offer Elton Brand a contract that starts at $15M in the first year. With the standard 8% yearly increase, that would put the entire deal at 5 years/$90M. In other words, they can just about match the money Golden State was offering and they can offer more than L.A. would be able to offer if they're still going to give Baron Davis $65M for 5 years.
That's only the beginning of the big news from the story. Here's the quote that got me writing at this ungodly hour:
Yet separate sources suggested Monday that Brand -- if he's ultimately
drawn away from his Face of the Franchise status with the Clippers --
would be more inclined to jump to Philadelphia than to Golden State,
given the Sixers' residence in a conference with far fewer contenders
than the West and the opportunity to join an emerging Philly nucleus (Andre Miller, Andre Iguodala, Thaddeus Young and the considerable wingspan of center Samuel Dalembert) that won many admirers as last season progressed.
Obviously, this is the same logic we've all been clinging too. I'd love to know who the sources are, and there's still a huge part of me who thinks Brand and his agent orchestrated the whole Baron Davis thing from the beginning and he's just keeping appearances up at this point. Still, this is the best-case scenario. Clear the cap space, get Brand, and go from there.
One question remaining, however, is this. If Brand is not an option, and Josh Smith is not an option, is it in the best interests of the Sixers to either give Carney and Booth away for nothing, or even worse, have to give something up to clear the salaries? Even if they can get Brand or Smith, Carney is the closest thing they have to a three-point shooter on the roster right now. Ed Stefanski has said a bunch of times that shooters are the final piece to the puzzle, so I doubt Carney would be a stumbling block to getting something done, but it should be a consideration if the Sixers clear all of this cap space and then have nowhere to spend it.
Following my "Dream Big" theory, if the Sixers are going to basically pay someone to take some salary off the books, and the trade exception Minnesota holds is or $5.2M, why not try to package Willie Green and Calvin Booth in the deal. Their combined salaries are about $4.5M. Or just send Reggie Evans outright, his salary is $4.6M. There's also talk that Memphis is interested in Carney, and they have the cap space to eat his salary as well.
If the Sixers get creative, they may be able to clear even more cap space. Let's just hope they have something to spend it on.