I was at the luncheon today w/ Ed S. He agreed that the sixers biggest issue is shooting.
A few points raised or asked:
1. Their biggest need is a shooter. Ed stated that as time goes he believes the players on the team will get better at shooting. He is planning on hiring a shooting coach over the summer to help. Glad to hear action not just talk in my opinion.
2. Ed feels that foul shooting is contagious and he is not happy with it.
3. They will not go into the Luxury Tax bracket but are looking to add a MLE player over the summer.
4. At the trade deadline, the player that people had most interest in was Iggy. From what he said, it seemed like Lou had the 2nd most interest of the group.
5. As we all will be happy to hear, he does not like Willie G starting.
6. If Sammy just rebounds, blocks shots and plays D, they are thrilled with him. Him scoring is a bonus.
I think that is the major points. I left feeling like they understood what they have on the team, are real, and have a plan. I got the feeling they are happy with the team other than the guards.
My initial reaction: Item #3 worries the hell out of me. As TK76 has pointed out numerous times, the Sixers will not have room under the luxury tax threshold to re-sign Andre Miller and use the full MLE to sign someone else this summer. Best-case scenario, they have $10M to spend on both. I think it's reasonable to expect Miller to re-sign for somewhere around $8M, anything lower than that is not likely. The MLE was $5.58M last season, and it may drop a bit.
So there are three ways to read this. 1) Stefanski plans to sign someone for a portion of the MLE and re-sign Miller. 2) Stefanski does not plan to re-sign Andre Miller. 3) Stefanski plans to re-sign Miller, sign someone else to the full MLE and find some other way to trim payroll by about $3M.
To me, the most obvious way to trim payroll would be to move Lou Williams, especially if there was interest in him at the trade deadline. He's got a big contract and honestly, if you want to drastically improve the team's shooting, get a sharp-shooter and hand Lou's 23 minutes/game and 10.6 shots/game to him. Lou has the highest usage rate on the team, which is not a good thing for a guy who shoots 39% from the floor.
Thanks, Dean. Excellent job. Have at it in the comments, guys.
Dean had more from the lunch to add:
1. Ed is not happy with Rush. That is why he is not on the court.
2. Stressed that no one knows what will happen this summer w/ free agents.
3. There was no real interest in Andre Miller at the deadline, other than as a salary dump.
4. They are considering having the lineup of Miller/Iggy/Thad/Speights/Sammy
5. Ed stressed several times that finances are going to affect the league. I got the feeling that he does hope to keep Miller but does not think he is going to get as much as he hopes but only Free agent time will tell. Said that the players and owners are far apart on the CBA that expires in 2 years. Players are going to have to give back, no questions about it.
I think they would be more likely to move a big guy before Lou in my opinion. Who, I would think Sammy would be first as you have Brand, Speights, Thad and Jason Willliams at the big spots.
Uh, point number 4 gets my vote!. Thanks, again Dean.