Buried half-way down Marc Narducci's latest piece
on the Sixers is a blurb about Ed Stefanski's wandering eye:
After seeing the Sixers against Utah and the Lakers, it's not
surprising that president and general manager Ed Stefanski said he was
looking for a low-post option from the power-forward spot.
OK, that's a pretty vague statement, but let's run with it. Stefanski didn't waste much time in making his first move, shipping Kyle Korver to Utah
for cap relief and a pick (uh, and Gordan Giricek's ugly jumper). I don't think he'll hesitate to pull the trigger on any other deal that comes down the pipe, if he thinks it will help the team in the long run. That being said, the snippet doesn't really say trade. It just says he's looking for a low-post option. There are a couple of different ways to read that, the most favorable interpretation would be that he's pushing Mo Cheeks to move Reggie Evans out of the starting lineup. I like Evans, he's a hard worker and he's a monster on the boards. He just isn't a starter.
He should be getting 10-20 minutes/game off the bench, and plays should never be run for him. NEVER. I'd like to see Stefanski send word down to Cheeks that it's time to get Jason Smith more minutes and see how he plays down on the blocks. Right now, when Smith is in there he's a perimeter option off the pick and pop. They never look to get him the ball with his back to the basket. Maybe they know something I don't, but I'd like to at least see him try posting up a couple of times before they dismiss him as a valid option in the post. He's an athletic 7-footer with quick feet and a soft touch. He should be able to work down there with some efficiency. Another internal option which needs to be explored is Herbert Hill. Hill should've been back by now from his knee injury suffered at the end of the preseason.
I'd prefer exploring internal options before any trades are made, but if Ed is looking to deal, who might be available that fits the bill?
- Jermaine O'Neal - A better fit than Curry, but I don't see anyway
the Sixers could make the salaries match unless it was Dalembert and
Miller leaving, and I don't like what we'd be left with. O'Neal isn't
the type of splash Stefanski should be making.
- Eddy Curry - Yes, he can score down low, and he could play the 4 alongside Dalembert. Yes, the Knicks would probably do Andre Miller for Curry. This would, without a doubt, be the absolute worst move the Sixers could make. Let me be clear about that. Curry is lazy, he's fat, he plays no defense and he cannot get up and down the floor. Adding him to this team would poison the well and ruin everything they've built over the past year. Not to mention the fact they'd be taking back a horrible contract. They don't have the contracts to make a deal work without Miller being involved, this is not the type of deal they should look to put Andre Miller, their biggest trading chip, into. Even if the Knicks threw in a first-round pick, I wouldn't do it.
- Drew Gooden - I'm not sure how much help Gooden would provide on the blocks. From my memory, he's taken most of his shots against the Sixers from about 15 feet away from the hoop, but his name keeps popping up. Gooden would be a clear upgrade at the PF position, but his offensive efficiency isn't exactly stellar (12.6 points/game on 11.4 shots/game). The rumored deal had Andre Miller going to Cleveland and the Sixers getting Ira Newble as well as Gooden in return. Newble is an expiring $3.4M deal, so you could add that number to the Sixers' cap space following this season. Gooden is slated to make $6.4M this year, $7.1M next year.
- Pau Gasol - The Spaniard has been rumored to be in several deals over the past year and a half, and he'd be a perfect fit. You can pretty much forget about him, though. The Sixers don't have the pieces Memphis would need. They just drafted their PG of the future in Mike Conley Jr., and they aren't worried about cap space so Andre Miller isn't a fit. It would take a creative package, probably built around Dalembert to get a deal done financially. This one is a non-starter.
Possibly Stefanski was talking about free agency next year. Narducci alludes to Ronny Turiaf, but he's never impressed me. I like Elton Brand, who could opt out of the final year of his deal with the Clippers, but probably doesn't want to leave L.A. (He's entrenched in the film industry
when he isn't on the court). Antonio McDyess will be an unrestricted free agent, but he's over the hill. Emeka Okafur will be a restricted free agent, and while adding him to the lineup would make driving the lane against the Sixers nearly impossible, he isn't going to be much help in the post (and he's going to cost a ton of money). Shawn Marion could opt out, but he's a perimeter big man as well, and will command a high price.
After Brand, no one really fits the bill of an offensive force at the 4 who can take the ball down low and dominate. Honestly, I don't think the Sixers need a guy who can score you 20 at 4, I like the direction they're headed in right now. I've said it before, and I'll say it again. Add Josh Smith to this team (he'll be a restricted free agent following this season) and you'll have one of the most dynamic, exciting and dominating teams in the league. They'll be faster than any team, more athletic than any team, more versatile than any team and I think they would immediately be a force in the Eastern conference. Think about a starting lineup of Miller, Iguodala, Thad Young, Josh Smith and Sam Dalembert. Where would you attack? Forget about a back-to-the-basket scorer, it's time to evolve and Josh Smith is exactly the type of player to complete the puzzle.