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The Open Spots

On Friday, we talked about the Sixers assumed plan to play Iguodala, Thad and Brand at the three, four and five, respectively. That leaves two open slots. Coach Jordan made it clear there need not be a point and a shooting guard, the Princeton offense runs with just a pair of guards, regardless of designation. After the jump, we'll take a look at the situation, and possible solutions.

Again, we're basing the conversation on the Sixer plan as it's been laid out over the past week. The front court seems to be set, I'm against this particular lineup, but we're going to have to run with it anyway.

The big problem we're left to solve is who are the two guards in the offense. Right now, here are the options the Sixers currently have under contract:
  • Lou Williams
  • Willie Green
  • Royal Ivery

That's all, folks. They have bird rights on Andre Miller, but he's an unrestricted free agent, he can walk on July 1st and never look back, if someone's willing to meet his asking price. So what are the options? Let's try to figure it out:

  1. Go with what you've got - Two of the trio of Lou, Willie and Ivey in the starting lineup.
  2. Re-sign Miller and go with what you've got - Miller and either Lou, Willie or Ivey in the starting lineup.
  3. Pick #17 - Take a guard with the #17 pick, combine him with either Lou, Willie or Ivey as your starting back court. Let's say Lawson and Lou, for argument's sake
  4. Miller + pick #17 - Miller and whatever guard you can get at #17. Miller and Lawson.
  5. Pick #17 and a free agent -  Let's say Anthony Parker and Lawson.
  6. Miller, Pick #17 and a free agent - A rotation of Miller, Lawson, Korver and Lou at the guard positions. I find this highly unlikely, considering it would put the Sixers over the cap.
  7. Trade up, and re-sign Miller - Stephen Curry and Andre Miller.
  8. Trade up, and a free agent - Stephen Curry and Anthony Parker.
  9. Pick #17, buy a later pick - Lawson and Jodie Meeks, or Lawson and Wayne Ellington.
  10. Major trade and re-sign Miller - Jason Richardson and Andre Miller.
  11. Major trade and pick #17 - Joe Johnson and Ty Lawson
  12. Major trade/trade up - Mike Miller and Stephen Curry
  13. Major trade up, re-sign Miller - Ricky Rubio and Andre Miller
  14. Unexpected trade up, free agent - Jrue Holiday, Kyle Korver
  15. Pick #17, unexpected free agent - Lawson and Jason Kidd
  16. Miracle Miller S&T, Pick #17 - Hinrich and Lawson
The posibilities are literally endless. You can check out the available free agent guards here.

Of the options listed above, I think I'd probably prefer #8 the most. You add two shooters to spread the floor, and Parker can defend. I'm assuming you'd have to trade Speights to move up, so this would be the lineup/rotation:

PG: Curry, Ivey
SG: Parker, Lou, Willie
SF: Iguodala
PF: Thad, Evans
C: Brand, Dalembert, Smith

When we start talking about trades, things get complicated. You could probably package Sammy with Thad and get a guy like Jason Richardson, possibly Joe Johnson, but then you're down a PF and Speights moves into the starting lineup. If they go that route, and trade for a veteran two, I think it's a no-brainer that Miller comes back and this team's window shrinks considerably. Does a rotation like this excite you?

PG: Miller, Lawson, Ivey
SG: Richardson, Lou, Willie
SF: Iguodala
PF: Brand, Evans
C: Speights, Smith

Another possibility if you were willing to move Thad in a deal might make more sense. Dalembert, Thad and #17 to Minnesota for Mike Miller, Brian Cardinal and the #6 pick. Minnesota gets a defensive presence on their front line in Dalembert, and a legit scorer on the wing, something they don't have in any way shape or form right now. The Sixers get their shooter, the #6 pick to use on either Curry or Holiday, whichever is left, and they get $15M off their books next Summer. The added benefit of this deal is that the Sixers could still use the MLE, preferably on a guy like Gortat, a sign-and-trade of Miller would also still be on the table.

PG: Curry/Holiday, Ivey
SG: Miller, Lou, Willie
SF: Iguodala
PF: Brand, Evans
C: Speights, Smith

Honestly, I'm still partial to my idea from a few weeks ago, which would've netted us this rotation:

PG: Curry, Maynor, Ivey
SG: Iguodala, Lou, Willie
SF: Thad, Udoka
PF: Brand, Smith, Evans
C: Gortat, Sammy

Here's what the harsh reality of where we stand today is:

PG: Lou, Ivey
SG: Willie, Ivey
SF: Iguodala
PF: Thad, Evans
C: Brand, Speights, Smith

Leave your ideal solution to this flawed problem in the comments, and feel free to tear mine apart while you're at it.

by Brian on Jun 6 2009
Tags: Basketball | Lou Williams | Offseason | Sixers | Willie Green |