In another move no one saw coming, the Sixers have traded for another small forward. This time, though, it's a move that makes a lot of sense in terms of making the team better. Dorell Wright will join the Sixers. The cost? I believe it's some guy you've never heard of.
Also in the news, Lou Williams will apparently sign with the Atlanta Hawks for somewhere in the neighborhood of 4 years, $20M. No matter how maddening Lou could be, and he could be extremely maddening, he did more good than harm with the Sixers and his scoring off the bench pulled their bacon out of the fire a number of times over the past couple of seasons. Lou's scoring is going to be missed. I wish him well in Atlanta, and I hope he fires his agent when he realizes he lost money by opting out of the final year of his contract.
I really like the trade for Wright. If you recall, my plan for the team was to add pieces that fit and don't add long-term money to the payroll. Wright fits that mold perfectly. He's a legitimate shooter and not a complete sieve on the defensive end. He's a low-usage guy who doesn't need the ball in his hands, but will knock down the three when someone else sets him up. That's the good news. The bad news is that he's probably not going to wind up starting between Jrue and Iguodala, which would be his ideal role. Best case, he's a shooter off the bench (when the starting lineup desperately needs a shooter because JTI is starting), worst case, he's starting between Turner and Jrue, while Iguodala is playing elsewhere.
I honestly don't believe the Sixers have a larger plan at this point. When you take a step back and look at the moves this summer, this is my take. Collins is in control and making personnel decisions, but ownership has said he can't sign anyone to a contract for longer than two seasons. I believe if Collins had free reign, Lou would've signed here for more than 4 years/$20M and Hawes would've gotten a longer contract. It's hard to believe, but I kind of think using the amnesty on Brand was accidental. They backed themselves into it by signing Lavoy, Spencer and Nick Young. It didn't leak out until later that Lavoy's contract precluded them from giving Nick Young their full MLE. There's just something fishy about the timing of the Brand amnesty news. So if the mandate is, "Fine, do what you want with the roster...for the next two seasons," the moves make sense. Assuming, of course, that Collins has an affinity for Hawes, which he obviously does considering he was trotted out there to hamstring the Sixers for the past two seasons, most noticeably in the Celtics series when Kevin Garnett was dominating him, and Lavoy Allen was all over Garnett.
Anyway, conspiracy (of dunces) theories aside. I think Nick Young is their instant offense off the bench guy, basically taking Lou's role. You put him in the game, hope he gets really hot and carries the offense. Only he won't actually be able to do it as frequently as Lou, though he shouldn't hurt you as much on the defensive end. Wright's role is a little harder to peg.
Wright is literally a perfect fit for last season's team. Low usage rate, efficient scorer. He's exactly the guy they need to start between Jrue and Iguodala. Unfortunately, it looks like Turner is going to be the guy shoehorned in there (unless Iguodala is traded, which I guess is still pretty likely, though I still say I'll believe it when I see it.) If Iguodala and Turner are on the roster all season, then I see Wright playing the role Meeks did once Turner was moved into the starting lineup last season. Maybe 10-12 minutes/game. Irregular minutes, maybe more when teams are packing the lane or Turner is stinking up the joint. On the flip side, he's also the guy who will take Turner's starting job away from him if/when Turner's play leads to a bunch of losses in a row.
So we've got essentially eight personnel moves so far this summer.
- Lavoy Allen - The contract is fine. The fact that he isn't playing for the minimum because the front office dropped the ball is ridiculous. Add in the fact that his contract might've been the final domino in the Elton Brand amnesty decision and, well, I'm not laughing anymore
- Moe Harkless - A wing who can't shoot. Rod Thorn is banking on him growing a couple inches and playing the four. Don't get the pick at all, but whatever. It's the #15 pick.
- Arnett Moultrie - Traded away a protected first-rounder to get another big who can't defend, though it looks like he'll be able to rebound and possibly catch a pass and dunk the ball when he's set up. Neither here nor there, I guess. Though trading away first-rounders is never a good idea
- Spencer Hawes - Bidding against themselves for the services of a cancerous softie in the middle.
- Nick Young - $6M, 1 year for a Lou replacement
- Dorell Wright - Traded for the $4M/1 YR contract. Gave up nothing of import.
- Elton Brand - The cap space added by using the amnesty provision on Brand could've made the Sixers big players in this Dwight Howard sweepstakes, even if they weren't the final destination they may have been able to obtain a ton of valuable assets. Instead, they used the money on Nick Young, Spencer Hawes and Dorell Wright. They also jettisoned their only interior defender in the process, which is easy to gloss over, but really shouldn't be, considering the bigs rotation they're left with.
- Lou Williams - Pretty much a foregone conclusion when Nick Young was brought in. I won't miss him until the offense is dead in the water and Nick Young starts chucking to try to ignite it. On the bright side, maybe the Lou trolls around here will start trolling Hawks blogs instead.
I'd say one good move (Wright), one decent move with an asterisk (Allen), one it had to be done move (Lou), one borderline move which could go either way (Moultrie), one good move that becomes average when you look at the sum total of the move (Brand), one shuffling the deck chairs but saving money move (Young), one headscratcher (Harkless), and one absolute abortion (Hawes).
Yep, that sums up the summer so far.