Marc Stein is reporting there are talks ongoing between the Sixers, Kings and Celtics regarding a three-team deal that would send Sam Dalembert packing. We'll take a look at the specifics and break the trade down after the jump.
Here's a look at the proposed players, where they'd be headed and their contracts:
- Tony Allen - $2.5M (expiring)
- Brian Scalabrine - $3.4M (expiring)
- Kenny Thomas - $8.775M (expiring>
- Sam Dalembert - $12M + trade kicker ($12.9M next season)
- Andres Nocioni - $7.5M ($6.85M, $6.65M, $7.5M Team Option for the next three seasons)
- This season's current cap number: $63,376,460
- Cap number if trade went through: $66,039,559
- Next year's cap number without trade: $66,363,607 (plus first-round pick)
- Next year's cap number w/ the trade: $53,450,784 (plus first-round pick)
So there you go. This move would leave the Sixers would cost the Sixers a little more than $2.6M this season, prorated, so roughly $2.4M. It would save them $12.9M next season and drop their cap number down to about $53M with 10 players under contract, plus their first round pick. Most likely, they'll still be up against the salary cap at that figure, possibly over it, but they would have enough wiggle room to use the full MLE without going over the luxury tax threshold.
If you think the idea of having the bloated Brian Scalabrine suddenly become a huge part of the rotation in Philly because he "gets after it" and "can really shoot the ball" and "just gets the Princeton offense" would be the funniest part of this deal, you'd be wrong. The funniest thing about this deal would be the worst contract Billy King handed out as the Sixers GM coming home to roost in Kenny Thomas, and what would the Sixers trade for it? The second-worst contract King doled out. You just don't get the opportunity to see things come full circle like that very often.
On The Floor
The Sixers would immediately go from a team that should at least be passable on defense (I think they should be much better than that, but whatever), to a team that simply can't compete defensively. The ruse of defense actually mattering on an Eddie Jordan team will finally be abandoned and Jordan will finally have the personnel to match his philosophy. No more minutes for guys who don't prefer to shoot 20-footers early in the shot clock.
Allen is out indefinitely with ankle surgery, Scalabrine is recovering from an ankle sprain and Kenny Thomas has played a total of 67 minutes in 5 games of action so far this season.
Sacto seems pretty desperate for a shot-blocking center, they've also been rumored to have interest in Emeka Okafor. Dalembert carries less risk, and most likely less reward than Okafor, and they could also get out from under Nocioni's contract. Boston has been rumored to be interested in Nocioni for some time now. Adding Nocioni will also have the added benefit of immediately filling the "gritty white guy" quota, since Scalabrine will be on his way out. I assume Nocioni would immediately start shooting 40% from three with the second unit.
This deal hinges on Sacramento being willing to take a chance on Dalembert. If they really want him, I don't see any reason why the deal wouldn't happen.
Should It Happen?
If I was Ed Stefanski would I pull the trigger on this deal? Well, that depends on what he thinks of this year's team. If he believes this season is toast, sure, you pull the trigger immediately. Even if you aren't going to use the cap space next summer, saving $12.6M and change over the next two seasons is meaningful when your team is last in the league in attendance. Dumping Sammy may also lead to a few more losses and a higher draft pick. You can probably rationalize the move by saying Sammy would've never fit into Eddie Jordan's system, plus he asked for a trade next year. In short, you can cover your ass.
If, on the other hand, you want to win games, you don't make this trade. In no way would the Sixers be better off, talent-wise, if this trade were to go through. The Sixers are already extremely thin in the front court, and you're trading your only bonafide post defender and shot blocker for nothing.
There is a third option which could make the move palatable. You're dismantling the roster. As soon as you're done making this move, you're on the phone shopping everyone and anyone with the hopes of getting far enough under the cap this summer to make a move for LeBron/Wade/Bosh. This path has two added benefits, (1) You can entirely rebuild the roster to fit the "Jump shooters who can't defend" Eddie Jordan prototype. (2) You can position yourself for a high lottery pick. Of course, with a decimated roster and a coach who successfully turned a good defense into one of the worst, the odds of landing one of the premier free agents are somewhere between none and not a chance in hell.
Couple this deal with a deal sending Thad Young, Lou Williams and Elton Brand to Houston for Tracy McGrady and you might be in decent shape heading into next summer. A core of Iguodala and Speights in place (Jordan is still here, so Jrue is still buried on the bench), plus a high draft pick, plus roughly $20M in cap space. Looks good on paper, not so great when you wind up with a consolation prize in free agency.
I'm still trying to figure out how we went from a team on the rise to a joke considering a fire sale, but here we are. Thoughts in the comments, as usual.