There are two ways to look at the 2009-2010 Sixers right now. In one picture, Andre Miller is re-signed, they use a portion of the mid-level to get a shooter (hopefully more successful than Kareem Rush) and they hope that Elton Brand's return will catapult them to the top of the Eastern Conference. The second picture is far less clear, and possibly more realistic.
If the thought of a starting lineup of Miller, Iguodala, Thad, Brand and Dalembert doesn't float your boat, then I think the best option this team has to blow things up without throwing in the towel on either Iguodala or Thad is a sign-and-trade with Andre Miller. Here's a scenario:
- Sixers sign Andre Miller for 3 years, $27M and trade him to Portland.
- Portland sends Travis Outlaw and Steve Blake to Chicago.
- Chicago signs Ben Gordon for 4 years, $40M and trades him to Philly.
I'm not sure what's going on in Chicago. They've got Hinrich, Rose, Salmons and Deng under contract for a total of $28.2M. Can they really afford to bring Gordon back? I don't think so. Under this scenario they'd get Outlaw to provide some of the shooting they'd be losing in Gordon, Blake becomes the backup point with Hinrich sliding to the two. Outlaw and Blake both come off the books after next season (and neither contract is fully guartanteed).
Portland gets a real point to take the load off Brandon Roy. They don't really give up anything but superfluous pieces.
Philly gets its shooter and they go with a radical new lineup:
- PG: Iguodala
- SG: Gordon
- SF: Thad
- PF: Brand
- C: Dalembert
Before you laugh, hear me out. Obviously, we have to queston whether Andre Iguodala can play the point. Personally, I think he could and I think he'd excel at the position. Then we'd have to figure out if Gordon or Iguodala could handle defending opposing points. That's a much trickier proposition, but I kind of doubt either would be as bad as Miller/Green/Williams were this season.
If the Sixers could somehow get to this point, then they'd have to draft a point with #17: Lawson if he's available, maybe Calathes, who knows. You draft your point of the future and you mix him in liberally, utilizing the versatility of the starting line up to mix and match throughout the game. It's obviously a gamble, but it's a short-term gamble.
As soon as the playoffs end next season, three guys go from being anchors weighing down the Sixers' salary cap to assets. Day one after the playoffs next season, Sammy Dalembert, Reggie Evans and Willie Green suddenly become very valuable. All of their contracts expire after the 2011 season, and now there's suddenly room to maneuver for the Sixers.
If the Iggy at point experiment isn't working, then you can decide to package either Thad or Iguodala with an expiring deal to improve yourself somewhere else. Meanwhile, you've been grooming a young point to take over, if need be.
This is just one of many possible scenarios, but I think I like it. It's going to take something drastic to dramatically improve this team. It'll start with a new coach, but coaching alone isn't going to put the Sixers on the level with the Cavs. They need to make bold personnel moves as well. A move like this gives them a premier shooter and even if moving Iguodala to the point may backfire, there is hope on the horizon for moves to be made.
Let me know what you guys think in the comments.