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What About Willie?

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I'd like to switch gears a little bit today, remove the focus from the draft and the hunt for a head coach, and try to figure out if there's any way the Sixers can get out from under Willie Green, both Willie the player and Willie the contract. We'll explore after the jump.

Willie has two years left on his contract, the second being a player option which he's sure to exercise, for $7,658,000 total. His cap number for the upcoming season is $3,682,000. Keep those numbers in mind.

The last time we explored potential trade partners for an unwanted Sixer, the discussion was complicated. There are so many layers to the Sam Dalembert debate. On the one hand, he has a huge contract with an insane trade kicker, he's lazy, he's easily distracted, he shows almost no growth and he likes to complain to the press. On the other hand, he's an excellent rebounder, and really the only interior defender the team has. The Sixers have no one to fill his role if they get rid of him, and even if they wanted to move him, it's doubtful there would be a taker.

With Willie, I think it's a much simpler equation. He could be moved tomorrow and the team wouldn't miss him one bit. There are probably a handful of guys who will be available in the second round of the draft (if the Sixers could buy a pick) who could get you 8.5 points on 8.1 shots per game at the two guard, and I think they'd be hard-pressed to rebound at a worse rate than Willie. He is the epitome of replaceable. Of course, therein lies the problem. He's so mundane, that no one in their right mind is going to want to take on that contract. Unless, of course, they're already getting less for their money in a player on their own roster.

So, what we're looking for (and this is where I was looking) is players who make about the same amount as Willie, really have no role on their current team and are signed to a contract that expires no later than 2011 (it's not worth it to move Willie if you have to take back a longer contract, unless the player is really an asset, in which case, they wouldn't trade him for Willie anyway).

I could only come up with three names: DeShawn Stevenson, who's arguably worse than Willie, and will be making more money. Kris Humprhies and Marcus Banks. In all three cases, I think you're better off just burying Willie on the end of the bench and dusting him off when you're up by 30 points against the Knicks.

There was one interesting scenario that I picked out, though. The Indiana Pacers have basically left Jamaal Tinsley for dead. He was inactive for the entire season, and it wasn't due to injury. Jim O'Brien just apparently hates the guy. Tinsley is nothing special, but he is a veteran point guard. The Player's Association has filed a grievance against the Pacers on Tinsley's behalf, basically they want Indiana to trade him or buy him out. Tinsley is owed $7,200,000 this season, and $7,500,000 in 2010-2011. The Sixers could send both Reggie Evans and Willie Green to Indy for Tinsley. The trade works under the cap, all the contracts involved run through 2011.

If Indiana thinks they can get anything, I mean absolutely anything out of Green and Evans, they may just pull the trigger. Tinsley is dead weight against the cap for two more seasons, and I'm sure Larry Bird is sick of the headache.

From the Sixers' perspective, at worst, they'd be swapping two bad contracts for one and saving almost $3M combined over the next two seasons, they'd also have an attractive expiring deal for the 2011 season. At best, Tinsley could provide a little bit of depth at PG, something they desperately need.

Take a look at the salaries, see if there's anyone I missed who you could swap straight up for Willie, and let me know what you think of the potential Tinsley deal in the comments.
by Brian on May 17 2009
Tags: Basketball | Offseason | Reggie Evans | Sixers | Willie Green |