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What A Night

With the number two pick in his back pocket, Ed Stefanski and his entourage made the drive back down the Turnpike to Philly last night. Already, there were rumors about his willingness to trade the pick for a veteran. For my own sanity, I'm going to completely ignore those rumors and assume he will be fired before that is allowed to happen. Instead, let's take a look at the roster as it could stand on June 24th.

I'm on the record as saying I'd take Derrick Favors if I was making this pick. I'm clearly in the minority, and honestly I don't believe the difference between the players is significant. Evan Turner is going to be an excellent player and he's going to contribute very quickly. Favors has all the tools to be a dominant big on both ends of the floor, but it's going to take him longer to reach his potential. If they both top out, I like Favors more because he's younger, more athletic and I believe a star big is worth more than a star wing. On the other hand, I do believe it's more likely Turner reaches his ceiling. I'm sure I'll go back and forth over this for the next five weeks, but let's table that argument for now.

For today, let's assume Stefanski doesn't do something asinine, like trading this pick for a veteran, and take a look at the roster. I don't believe the draft pick will be the only roster move the Sixers make this summer, but for now, it's all we have. Assuming Evan Turner is the pick, here's our roster on opening night.

PG: Jrue Holiday
SG: Evan Turner
SF: Andre Iguodala
PF: Elton Brand
C: Samuel Dalembert

Guard off bench: Lou Williams
Wing off bench: Thad Young
Big off bench: Marreese Speights
Benchwarmers: Jason Kapono, Willie Green, Jodie Meeks, Jason Smith

Now, the ever important questions:

  1. No changes are made, Doug Collins is your coach. Is this a playoff team in 2010-2011?
  2. If changes are made, what's the priority?
  3. Can this team shoot enough to compete?
  4. Can Elton Brand give you 15 and 10 in 30+ minutes/game at the four?
For the short term success of the team, I think the most important question is the last. If Elton Brand is just completely cooked and only good for decent offense, 25 minutes/game, it's going to be very difficult to compete. If, on the other hand, he can simply play passable defense, rebound, and score somewhat efficiently, this team can be more than competitive this season. That's the big if. Is he done, or was it something else that limited his effectiveness last season?

As for the other questions, I say yes to the first. A defensive big off the bench for the second question. The third question is very, very interesting. Let's take a quick look at Synergy.

In spot-up situations, both Iguodala and Jrue were pretty good last season, averaging 1.0 points-per-play. If we're talking about spreading the floor, however, the news looks a little better. Here are the numbers for key Sixers in spot-up, catch-and-shoot situations from three last season.

  • Jrue: 33/72 (45.8%)
  • Iguodala: 55/148 (37.2%)
  • Kapono: 38/99 (38.4%)
  • Thad: 34/101 (33.7%)
  • Lou: 44/119 (37%)
Why are those numbers important? Well, they're very important for Jrue and Iguodala because Turner is the type of player who can use his dribble to get into the paint, and kick the ball out for open threes. If they can keep those percentages up, they can space the floor properly and stop teams from sagging into the lane. As a point of reference for spot-up threes, Rashard Lewis shot 43.4% on those opportunities.

I've talked enough for tonight. What do you guys think?

by Brian on May 19 2010
Tags: Basketball | Evan Turner | Offseason | Sixers |