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Radical Idea Number Two

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Real and Speightacular on May 7 at 7:21
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It's radical and way scary, but I like it better than the last one. This could work. Mebbe a committee deal on the 4-5 spots between Brand, Speights, Smith and Evans depending on matchups?

Thing is not many of us have much confidence in the idea of Lou playing the point if we want it to be a pass-n-defend kind of position. So that means the draft and Maynor is the only one I like in this year's crop (that's reasonably gettable).

If I'm giving up Thad -- our best card -- I'd want to feel like we have a defnite shot (like 85%+) at Maynor or Sessions.

I'd rather live with Crazy Sam than risk having one of the guard spots still a dire need.

"I'd rather live with Crazy Sam than risk having one of the guard spots still a dire need."

Well, PG is a dire need right now.

Brian, like it a lot. get depth at small forward and a starting scoring shooting guard. Martin is a strange looking player but he seems to produce.

That would be the biggest drawback, seeing Martin's ugly jumper :)

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john reply to Brian on May 7 at 11:40
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To paraphrase someone much smarter than me - if it's ugly but goes in consistently - who gives a fracking damn?


Martin's ugly jumper would be balanced aesthetically by Nocioni's sweet mullet.

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sixers phan on May 7 at 9:27
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Brian,

I like your radical idea idea, but, I am afraid of shipping out Thad at 20 years old.

Do you think in 2 years he will be Danny Granger? I have been wrestling with that question all year, especially during his 20 ppg spree. When i see him knock down mid-range jumpers i think that if we are going to move him, it has to be for more than Kevin Martin. The team we are left with wins nothing, mostly because you don't have a center, and we traded away our best chip.

Agree?

See my response below, RE shipping Thad out too early.

No we are not trading Thad to get Kevin Martin. I just will not be able to live that down.

I'm not saying I'd make this trade, but we need to take a realistic look at Thad for a second. We're all hoping that he can become what, a 20-25ppg scorer who shoots the three decently well and defends the three well, correct? I mean, that's what we're hoping for. Realistically, the odds of him becoming that are slim, players like that are rare, but that's the hope. Best-case, he starts to rebound, and he becomes a legit number one, but that's a rosy outlook.

Now saying you won't trade him for a guy who's already a 20-25ppg scorer, who can shoot the three, and more importantly lives at the foul line seems like we might be overvaluing our guys a little bit to me.

I love Thad, I have faith that he'll become something, but if salaries were not a concern, I'd trade him for Martin straight up without blinking.

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Real and Speightacular reply to Brian on May 7 at 12:59
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Straight up? Yes, I like if it. Just antsy about losing Sam if Sixers couldn't get a strong point before training camp.

Unless you trade him for someone like Chandler, moving Sam is going to make this team worse on the court this season defensively. There's no way around that. Sam is crazy, he's petulant, he makes you want to pull your hair out, but he's also the best rebounder on the team, and really the only post defender (haven't seen enough of Brand to really evaluate his on-the-ball D in the post).

The question is whether a new coach can keep sammy under wraps, and if he does more damage to the team than good from a psychological standpoint. Saying Sam must be traded at all costs seems to be more of a team morale thing than sound on-court basketball decision, IMO.

It's an interesting idea, it upgrades the 2 - it gets rid of Sam and it clears the '3' logjam people insist exists.

The problem is that Kevin Martin is probably over valued by the Kings being his 'best' player...he might be over valued league wide being the best player on a godawful team - I don't know that it would be enough to get him.


My guess is Sacto would need to be in serious need of financial relief, which they may be, for them to even consider a move like this.

Assuming they get the #2 pick, though, a starting five of Rubio, Garcia, Thad, Thompson and Hawes has some potential.

If this trade could be done, I'd be all for it. As much potential as Thad has, the team has committed to Ig and that makes Thad expendable. Sacramento may go for this because 1) (as you say) they get rid of more long-term money; and 2) Sacramento may now be in blow up mode. They may decide to follow OK City's lead of going with highly rated young players. That strategy played better for OK City than Sacramento's mixed strategy did for them.

This trade would cure the shooting guard problems (assuming KM can stay healthy) while giving a additional touches of toughness and versatility to the team (Nocioni). As far as the center position, let the Sixers experiment with center by committee (Smith, Speights, a player to be named). Not that many teams these days have really good centers anyway.

All the Sixers would have to worry about is getting a decent point guard to replace A.M. (assuming he leaves).

I wouldn't go as far as to say Thad is expendable. If you can get a very good established player for him, though, I think you kind of have to do it, especially if it solves another problem (sam and/or willie) as well.

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Sean reply to Brian on May 7 at 11:51
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I would be very reluctant to go this route, mainly because of K-Mart's durability issues. He has a body like Reggie Miller but I don't think he can withstand the test of time just yet. Plus, looking at it from the Sac POV, I think Sacramento says no, simply because they are so young they would want to give the K-Mart, Thompson, Hawes core a chance to grow. If Martin were further along as not being an exact fit for where they want to go, and not one of the more popular players on a team that has financial concerns, then I could see it. But right now, I do not think it would work.


Actually, I think if the Sixers get Collins as coach, your previous "Radical Idea" has more legs, specifically the idea of Iguodala at point guard. Collins is the same coach who had both MJ and Grant Hill playing the point for him, and both times intimated it was because finding a shooter who could defend both guard spots was much, much easier than finding a point who could shoot, defend and didn't need the ball to be effective. Iggy at the point means drafting, say Evans or Ellington or Thornton, someone of that ilk. I think a backcourt of Iggy and a Courtney Lee Type(like Ellington) could work.

What do you think of Evans? The lack of range on his jumper worries me greatly.

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john reply to Brian on May 7 at 19:40
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This is a weak draft, and the sixers draft low teens, every pick is going to have some 'warts' - it's going to be a matter of which warts bother you less....so that's where you and i disagree

do you want a natural passer who needs to work on his shooting (a lot)
or a natural shooter who needs to work on his passing (a lot) :)

I want the natural shooter, personally. I'm sick of waiting for athletes to learn to shoot.

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Sean reply to Brian on May 7 at 22:38
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I have not seen much of Evans, but I've heard he is streaky from deep yet struggled early off the ball this year. He was better at the point later on. If the Sixers got Evans, he would be the offense off the bench guy initially, while letting him grow into a bigger role. The starter I would look for in free agency(Like Jarrett Jack for instance).

Value wise it is a great trade for the Sixers. Thad may never be as good as Martin, and the pieces fit.

The problem is, that the Sixers need someone to develop into a superstar to have a shot at being a contender in the next 3 years. The odds of that with Thad may be

At best you would have the equivalent of the Cavs team of the MJ era. Maybe good enough to be interesting, but not a true threat to the elite teams.

The Sixers are in a tough spot. If they were still basially all young they could build slowly. But with Brand's age and contract they have a limitted window, and really need to swing for the fences. If they start bringing in better, but lower ceiling players they have zero shot of contending for a long time. Then again, they don't have that much of a shot either way. I like the young core, but its not like this is Portland.

Burned by HTML again!

Meant to say the odds of Thad becoming a superstar may be 'less than' 10%...

I'm not sure I agree with the superstar thing, but I do know that even if Thad does defy the odds and become a superstar, the odds of it happening in the next three years are very, very slim. Honestly, the odds of Thad becoming as effective on offense as Martin are pretty slim when you get right down to it.

I can't disagree. I'm just grasping at straws thinking of how this team can contend within the boaunds of Brands contract/age.

They probably will try to build a balance, Pistons like team wihout a single focus. the problem is that they just don't have the horses. If none of your players force the huge mismatches that superstars do, then you better have 5 very good starters, and solid bench and great coaching/chemistry.

Most teams have one superstar and 2 second level stars (KG/PP/Allen) or 2 superstars (Shaq/Kobe-Wade.) The 4-5 second level stars may have worked for Detroit (80's and 2000's), but Sessions/Martin/Iguodala/Brad/Speights would not cut it IMO. Good team, but does not get to the finals.

As I said, the team is sort of stuck. With Iguodala/Thad/Speights/Lou/Smith as pieces maybe you can build for something 4-5 years down the road... but adding Brand makes that an unlikely approach.

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Sean reply to tk76 on May 7 at 12:31
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I think they should plan more toward the 2-3 year window. Build the team around the core of Iggy, Thad, Brand with Sp8s being groomed to take over for Brand's role.

With the NBA as diluted as it is, I think that Iggy, Thad and Brand at the 2-3-4 will have at least one mismatch against every single team in the league that could be exploited, whether that mismatch is in the post area or in isolation.

Iggy at guard is a post mismatch most of the time, so is Thad at SF. Brand can exploit several opposing bigs in the mid-post and Screen-Roll situations. What is then needed are surrounding pieces that can take advantage of those opportunities. IMO, that means shooters at every other spot(like Jason Smith and/or M16 playing next to Brand) in the rotation. It might take Ed that 2-3 year window to acquire those pieces and allow them to jell.

I agree with everything you wrote. But just think that would not amount to a contender. A good, entertaining squad though- which may be the most we can reasonably hope for given where the team is right now.

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Sean reply to tk76 on May 7 at 22:43
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I can see your point, but that team's ability to contend is contingent on whether or not they can become an elite defensive unit. If the team becomes elite defensively, with that Iggy, Thad, Brand core, I have a hard time believing they would not be in contention or really, really close to it.

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Real and Speightacular reply to tk76 on May 7 at 12:53
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"Sessions/Martin/Iguodala/Brand/Speights would not cut it IMO. Good team, but does not get to the finals.

Have to disagree with you there. I think you give that lineup a couple of years (some time for Speights to spool up fully) and I really believe that's a set of starters that'll cause a major ruckus esp if you keep siccing Iggy on the opposing team's best wing. Plus then you have Nocioni, Lou, Danny Green, Smith and Evans for your primary bench ...? Please! "All" you need then is a GOOD COACH with the right system that the team can believe in. That's a title contender IMHO.

The key is that they have to have a solid point when all the trade smoke clears.

"Honestly, the odds of Thad becoming as effective on offense as Martin are pretty slim when you get right down to it."

Agreed. Of course, Thad is a lot taller and you pay for height in the NBA. And so far, anyway, Thad is more durable.

I believe the deal listed above would also give the Sixers a trade exception of somewhere around $2.5M, which could be useful, depending.

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Tom Moore on May 7 at 15:38
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I understand why the Sixers would want to do this, but why would the Kings? I know the two contracts (Green's and Dalembert's) are shorter, but Young would require a long-term, big-money deal. Throw in Dalembert's $3.75 mill trade kicker and I don't see why Sacramento would go for it. I don't believe the Sixers would get a trade exception, in this case.

I'm not sure how a kicker works into exceptions. If it's total value going in one direction or the other, then the Sixers would get an exception. If the kicker isn't factored in, they wouldn't.

As for why Sacto would do it, they'd be on the hook for a big money contract for Thad 4 years from now, in the mean time, they'd be getting out from under 2 years of Martin/Nocioni before they had to make that investment, if they wound up making it at all. It would be a gamble on Thad for them, with a financial benefit attached. That being said, I kinda doubt they'd do it, but I don't know how desperate teams are going to be to shed salary in this economy.

I wonder how different last summer would have gone if the economy had tanked a few months earlier. Teams were not spending last summer, but a lot of that was clearing space for 2010. Right now teams are more in a survival mode, even if the cap does not contract much.

Interesting reading Tom's blog about how Lou could be the PG next year. Shows that the team might start some major smoke blowing as it enters thrifty mode after last years spending spree (followed by poor attenence and declining fan interest.)

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Charlie Ace on May 7 at 17:47
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I can only conclude that you think Thad is going to be a bust. Nocioni? You've got to be kidding. Kevin Martin is not going to turn this team around (not that you said he would), or even improve it much. And our cap situation gets worse! Huh?

Thaddeus Young is going to be better than those 2 guys combined.

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john reply to Charlie Ace on May 7 at 17:51
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One would hope - but neither you, nor I, nor anyone else can accurately predict the future.

Kevin Martin is better than Thaddeus Young right now

Sam Dalembert and Willie Green are RIGHT NOW drags on this team and useless if you want to build a title.

Elton Brand RIGHT NOW isn't getting any younger

If you are running a team waiting for the ascendance of Thaddeus Young to take your team to the next step - then signing elton brand was a real stupid idea - if you want to win now - you use your assets to obtain the right pieces.


You can say it as 'truthful' as you want - your statement is purely speculation

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sfw reply to john on May 7 at 18:11
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John, I agree completely. We strenthen our starting lineup, bench and 3 pt. shooting in this deal.Iggy stays at the small forward.

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john reply to sfw on May 7 at 18:17
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Not saying I"m for or against the deal - just saying...

The problem is - and it's not brians fault - it's just the nature of the beast - this deal in a vacuum doesn't make the sixers that much more of a title contender than they are right now - still need a point guard (re-sign miller) and are actually worse at center and still have reggie evans....

It's hard to divine what the sixers have planned until they have a real coach - at lleast that's how i see it

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sfw reply to sfw on May 7 at 18:19
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One more point. If Iggy & Thad were used together more frequently this year my opinion may not be so strong in favor but I do not know if the Iggy/Thad combination will work. I like the proven commodity in Martin. Of course, the injury question does concern me.

Yeah, I don't know if I stated this clearly, but I'm not saying I'm in favor of any of these radical ideas. I've just been taking a look at salaries around the league and trying to find out-of-the-box trade ideas that could mix things up, change strengths into weaknesses, etc. I thought this one fit the bill and I don't think it's completely off the wall.

I don't know that anything drastic needs to be done, I'm not sure we can even make that call yet. The Sixers made a very drastic move last summer and we still don't have any idea how that's going to play out.

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john reply to Brian on May 7 at 19:11
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Whether or not brand works out we know the following (i think)

A. We need an improvement at center
B. Point guard (starter AND back up) is an issue
C. 3 point shooting, either from starters or the bench, needs work
D. Bench as a whole needs an upgrade.

I think all these things matter - and are relevant - regardless of coach or brands health :)

A. We need an improvement at center - Do you see any way this is possibly going to happen this summer?
B. Point guard (starter AND back up) is an issue - One or the other is coming in the draft, I assume. MLE for the other?
C. 3 point shooting, either from starters or the bench, needs work - No idea how this is going to happen, unless you can couple it w/ point B above
D. Bench as a whole needs an upgrade. - Last on the list. Honestly, I think if you answer B & C, this will take care of itself. Speights, Lou, Willie, Smith, backup PG.

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john reply to Brian on May 7 at 19:17
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O i have no idea how any of these problems are solved (I know sessions isn't seen as a shooter) - but I'm just saying - the out of the box ideas still have a place since i think we can all agree that even with brand - the team needs change in its make up to seriously contend.

As for A - let's trade the kings Thaddeus Young and Sam Dalembert for their WORST contract IF they get the #1 pick :) (kidding)

The nets have a glut of young big men who don't suck as much as sam don't they?

That's the thing, if you get rid of Sam, we're going to be worse at C most likely. Sad as it may seem, he's still in the upper half of centers in the league, overall, higher than that in rebounding and (gulp) defense.

I'm not arguing against trading him, I think he's become a big time cancer, but I just want everyone to realize that from a talent perspective, we're a worse team without him and I highly doubt we're going to get someone back to replace his production on the glass and as a defender. Speights may be able to beat him in overall production if he makes a leap this summer, but that's doubtful. He's too young.

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john reply to Brian on May 7 at 19:31
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Speights is older than Young was his first season - but big men also take longer ot learn the game - it depends on how much focus and dedication Speights puts in - if he maintains his offense game but gets his defense to sams level (which really isn't that good when yo uthink about it) he's like 5 times better a player.

And if a guy like Eddie Jordan is hired, sam HAS to go (so does reggie) - those guys will be useless in the offense more so than they are now

Don't want Jordan for this team.

One more thought about the trade in this post, could you imagine having Iggy, Martin and Sessions? Those three would go to the line 20+ times every game.

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Charlie Ace reply to Brian on May 8 at 13:52
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And that's a good idea. Everybody seems to think throwing an idea out there is the same thing as advocating it. I'm certainly guilty of it. This is a great topic to discuss, and that's what counts in a forum like this.

I've been reading your blog for just a few weeks and I've been very impressed. Great work. You really know your hoops - I learn a lot here, from everybody.

Now I have to go read your post on Sam. Not looking forward to it, but it must be done.

Brian

Athletes can't necessarily pass either - see hughes, larry

What do you have against Eddie Jordan - as far as all the named candidates - he's my favorite (not saying much, it's the evil of 5 lessers)

I look at this roster and I see the potential for an elite defensive team with the right coach, that's their ceiling. I see the potential for an above-average offensive team, that's their ceiling there. I don't think bringing in an offensive-minded coach to marginally improve an average offense is going to do a whole lot, but bringing in a defensive guru to take advantage of the roster's strengths could put this team in contention.

Make sense?

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Sean reply to Brian on May 7 at 21:03
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What about Eddie Jordan with a defensive guru as his top assistant(Like Boston with Thibodeux)? That is the only way I would accept Eddie Jordan.

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John reply to Sean on May 7 at 21:12
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That's the suggestion I made on the libertyballers.com interview bout Jordan

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John reply to Brian on May 7 at 21:04
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I guess...but I don't think I see the defense being as good as you do...who is that defensive point guard we are getting? Who is the bench defender to stop the big guys? It ain't Reggie, it ain't speights. Sam's up side defensively while batter than his offensive upside is still limited, and Brand, well I don't know much about Brand defensively but he is a 6'8 power forward.

I don't see the potential for elite on either end of the court with this team as currently constructed.

Iguodala is an elite wind defender. Brand is a solid post defender, from what I've seen, and a very, very good rebounder, which goes into elite defense. Sam is one of the better defensive centers in the league, no matter what you say, also a very good rebounder. Thad has the physical skills and athletic ability to become another elite wing defender. That's four very, very good pieces to start with. Get a defender at the point (if you can even find one in this league at this point), add in a coach who knows what the hell he's doing on the defensive side of the ball, and you've got an elite defensive team.

How many legit pieces do you have to build toward an elite offensive team?

Please stick with me for this longish post, because its sort of important to look at the cap...

With the cap not going up anytime soon, want to look at the big picture money-wise. Most teams (good and bad) spend about 45M of the cap on 3-4 top players. If they are lucky, maybe they get some extra breathing room if a star is still on their rookie contract (like Thad for a few more years.)

No surprise this currnet team struggled with 45M going to an injured Brand(14M), Iguodala(11), Sam(10), Miller(10.)

Would they have more potential with the same 45M going to Brand(15M),Iggy(12M), and Martin(10) and Noccioni(7.5M)? And you would not have any of those coming off the books for 4 seasons!

In 2011/12 those 4 would make 49M. Noccioni's contract declines, but the other 3 grow, so basically you are locked in to that core for 4 more years- and that is not a contending core. Unless you make firther moves, I doubt you would be able to take on any other big ticket players over those 4 years. When Evans and Green come off the books every penny would go to Thad, pushing you to 57M+ for that original 4 + Thad.

When we thought the cap was destined to climb 2-3M every year you could maybe build around that. But with the cap flat for at least the next 2-3 years, you just cannot be locked into a mediocre core like that.

As odd as it sounds, this team desperately needs both Sam and Miller's combined 22M to expire so that there is money to invest in more stars. Martin is a good player, but Martin/Noccioni for 18M for 3-4 more years pretty much extinguishes any flexibility to pull off a bolder move.

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John reply to tk76 on May 7 at 21:45
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Nothing worse than a franchise stuck in no mans land - too hard to get forward - too costly to 'blow it up' in terms of attendance and such.

I just don't need a replay of the billy king era - the GM too dumb to realize the sixers ARENT one piece away - EVERY DAMN YEAR

So my bigger point is that a GM with foresight and security would look at the 160M committed to Brand/Iguodala and realize that the other 1-2 players who will be eventually getting Miller and Sam's 22M better be damn good if they hope to contend. And if they keep Thad he will be making a chunk of that 22M. So they better be careful trying to acquire that last piece. They can't afford to swap Sam or Miller for overpaid, long contract players. They need a star.

Agsin, 90% of teams spread about 45M between 3-4 players and the Sixers have committed a fair chunk of that to 2 player already- and for another 4-5 years. So Ed has to be very careful if he is going to add another big ticket player.

PS - it's been a week - why has no decision been made regarding DiLeo? THe longer it takes the more I worry

I'm more focused on Ed then a new coach- although the coach will tell us where he wants the team to go.

Its funny that I admire Ed as a smart basketball guy who can get things done- but he still might be screwing things up. I guess its really hard to get a winner just with shrew manuevering. It really helps to get a high draft pick and have them be a superstar (like AI.) Its much harder to take a decent team and make them a contender.

That was BK's last huge mistake. the Sixers had the worst record in the NBA when they traded AI.

if he held out for just expirings, and then bought them out, I'm sure they would have had the inside track for a top pick for the next 2 years. Or trade the pick as part of a deal for a star.

You might say they still would have won to many games- but I say had they made Lou PG after the AI trade they would have been a bottom 4 team... And for some bizarre reason its easier to go from horrible to contender in the NBA then from average to contender. Almost every finals team was a lottery winner only 4-5 years before their first finals appearance. That's where they get their MJ/AI/Duncan/Lebron etc. There are exceptions- but the exceptions seem to be the tougher route.

Of course then there are the teams that stay stuck in the basement every year.

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John reply to tk76 on May 7 at 22:13
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Rajon Rondo
Al Jefferson

that's all I'm saying

Please stop referencing this rumor until you can show me one report in a reputable publication that it was ever on the table. I've looked it up, and I saw one mention on a Celtics blog, that's it.

Of the East playoff teams, Cleveland won a lottery 7 years ago, probably only became a legit title contender this season. Orlando won the lottery 6 years ago, still not there. Boston hasn't won the lottery since Len Bias. Atlanta doesn't have any top two picks, Miami and Chicago both got theirs a year ago, neither is anywhere near legitimate contention. Detroit had a top-two pick, they used it on Darko.

Out West, San Antonio won it 13 years ago, their second in the span of 9 seasons. The Lakers haven't won a lotter, ever? Portland won it two years ago, the guy they got hasn't even contributed. No top-two picks on Denver's team, same for Utah. Houston got Yao 8 years ago, just now got out of the first round. No top-two picks on New Orleans or Dallas.

I think it's a fallacy to say you have to win the lottery to have a chance. Getting a generational talent, like LeBron or Duncan, will obviously catapult you, but even though they got LeBron in Cleveland, they may only have him for 2 seasons with a legitimate contender. They only team who tanked and benefited from it (in terms of championships) in the past 15 seasons was San Antonio, and they already had a championship caliber team with Robinson when they did it. I'm getting a little tired of the "We should've tanked when AI was traded," line of logic. Would we really be a contender with a frail Oden or Durant instead of Thad right now?

I picked my words carefully. I don't meant to nit pick, but I said when a team made its 1st finals appearance- saying the easiest way to get to contender status is to have recently been a lottery winner in the past 5 years:

Lebron's 4th Season and have stayed a contender.

Duncan made the finals his 2nd year and have stayed a contender.

Shaq made the finals in his 3rd year and was a contender everywhere he went after that.

Hakeem in his 2nd year and stayed one through much of his career.

MJ made the finals in his not until year 8, but he made the conference finals in years 5,6 and 7. I think he was a contender from his 5th season on.

Now there have been others finals teams (LA, Detroit, Sac, Por) who built through smart trades or building slowly. I just stick by my contention that getting lucky with the right top pick is by far the easier and more likely way to the finals.

MJ, LeBron, Shaq, Hakeem, Duncan. That's 5 #1 picks in the past 25 years, actually, not even, Jordan was #3.

The other 21 #1 picks, let's take a look:

Patrick Ewing - Zero championships for the Knicks
Brad Daugherty - Zero championships for the Cavs
David Robinson - One with San Antonio, but not until Duncan got there.
Danny Manning - Zilch with the Clippers
Pervis Ellison - Zilch with Sacto
Derrick Coleman - Zilch with the Nets
Larry Johnson - Nada with Charlotte
Shaq - Zero with Orlando
Chris Webber - Zero with Orlando, zero with Golden State who he was immediately traded to.
Glenn Robinson - Zero with Milwaukee
Joe Smith - Zero with Golden State
Allen Iverson - Zero with Philly
Tim Duncan - 4 with San Antonio
Michael Olowakandi - 0 with the Clippers
Elton Brand - 0 with Chicago
Kenyon Martin - 0 with New Jersey
Kwame Brown - 0 with Washington
Yao Ming - 0 with Houston
LeBron James - 0 with Cleveland
Dwight Howard - 0 with Orlando
Andrew Bogut - 0 with Milwaukee
Andrea Bargnani - 0 with Toronto
Greg Oden - 0 with Portland
Derrick Rose - 0 with Chicago

25 years of #1 picks, 4 titles to the teams that won the lottery.

If you take a look at the #2 picks, there are zero titles won by the teams that drafted them over the same time frame.

If your goal is to be a contender for a good run then shouldn't you go the route that most other contenders have taken?

I agree its hard to strike it rich with the lottery. Its hard to build a contender any way you try.

Its hardest the way the Sixers are trying(which Boston, LA and Detroit pulled off and Kings and Balazers came close.)

But in the last 20 years, The Bulls, Knicks, Rockets, Spurs, Magic, Sixers and Cavs have made a lot more finals appearances (been contenders) through a top lottery selection- often within 2-5 years of that selection.

My point is look at the contenders over the last 20 years. I'm saying a majority of those teams became contenders initially withing 5 years of a top lottery pick.

Not every team, but a majority of them were built going that route.

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Charlie Ace reply to Brian on May 8 at 14:10
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A couple of minor points: Bias was the 2nd pick in '86. Boston traded Gerald Henderson for the pick. And the Lakers had 2 number 1 picks in 4 years, both from trades. In '79, Magic, in '82, Worthy. The 2 players traded? Don Ford and Gail Goodrich.

That list of #1 overall picks in the lottery era is amazing. One guy won a championship. Trading is the way. The Lakers, Celtics (McHale, Parrish), Pistons (Laimbeer, Mahorn, Vinnie Johnson, Aguirre), Sixers (Moses, Toney, Bobby), 90s Lakers (Kobe, Shaq, a free agent), & 2004 Pistons were mainly built with trades.

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John reply to tk76 on May 7 at 22:08
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I'm focused on Ed too - but it starts with his coaching decision - if he gives it to DiLeo - I'm done - I'm done with Stefanski and he's as dead to me as Billy King was for the majority of his 'real' career (post larry brown) as the sixers GM.

Is it possible that the Elton Brand signing was a mistake - not because of the contract length or amount - because I think Brand is worth it but because it wasn't a realistic view of the future and direction of this team? I am starting to wonder if it was the right thing to do in regards to the 'timeline' of the rest of the rosters career

Did you really expect something to happen in a week?

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John reply to Brian on May 7 at 22:26
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I expected them to make a decision about DiLeo in a week - because they sort of implied it would take them a week to decide :)

They implied they were going to take a week or so off before they even talked about it. Have some patience.

I doubt I will Change Brian's or anyone else's mind about the idea of 'tanking' after the AI trade. And I admit many teams that bottom out stay bad (Clippers.)

But the most likely to succeed way from dumping your older stars (AI/CWebb) to becoming a contender is by letting yourself hit rock bottom. You need luck in the lottery and pick the right player... but if you do in 3-5 years you will be a contender for a long run (as with the list of franchise players above.)

The absolute hardest way is to cushion the fall by trading for capable vets like Miller and Joe Smith and win 35, 40 and 41 wins. You can build through mid 1sts and trades like the Celtics, Lakers and Pistons. But for that to happen you need to find a GM willing to give you KG, Sheed or Shaq in their prime for peanuts. I'd say you habe a better shot at winning the lottery.

Either way its really a challenge to become a contender in the NBA. There is no right way. i just think if you are dumping high ticket older stars you are best served starting Lou Williams at PG and bottoming out. I have enjoyed watching Miller, and he helps some players develop. but he has been a crutch at exactly the wrong time.

I understand what you're saying. I just think it's a complete crap shoot and there's a ton of luck involved in going either route. I prefer my team to at least try to win in the interim than tanking and rolling the dice.

Plus, had they tanked the past two seasons, by starting Lou at the point, they wouldn't have wound up with Rose, Oden or Durant with the way the lottery played out. If they had the worst record both seasons they would've wound up with the #2 pick last season, probably Beasley, and the #4 pick the season before, which wound up being Mike Conley Jr. Would they be better off with Beasley and Conley instead of Thad and Speights?

No, I'm happy with Thad and Speights.

I have to admit, it was frustrating these last few years seeing Orlando and Chicago being gifted superstar #1 picks.

Cleveland had been bad for a while, so it did not bother me when they got Lebron. But for some reason I feel like certain teams get gifts. Chicago and Orlando with lottery wins and LA/Boston with stupid trades (Shaq, Gasol and KG.)

Of course for a long time Philly was one of those teams... but I think they angered the basketball gods by pissing away top 7 under LB (Wright, #2 that became Thomas trade, Hughes and even Stack were all sort of duds.

Ugh, they also had Sean Bradley at #2, don't forget that.

I did, until now.

Might as well revisit passing on Pierce and Dirk- the two players drafted after Hughes. Great memories.

Question: The current position of the Sixers is most likely headed to resemble:

1. The post Barkley Spoon teams that eventually bottomed.

2. The post Dr J dynasty Barkley years that peaked with the 2nd round playoffs (49 wins) and then declined after some good years.

3. The pre-Moses Dr. J years, where they got very good but needed one more piece?

Tough question. They're better than 1 (did those teams ever make the playoffs?) probably worse than 2, simply because Barkley was a beast and he may have single-handedly won a championship if not for MJ. He really had a 5-year run without Dr. J, they were a lottery team twice in that span, lost to the Bulls in the second round twice and lost to the Knicks in the first round once.

Hmmn, still don't have an answer for you. My hope is that they're going to turn into something like the AI team that went to the finals. Great coach leading a team that on paper doesn't seem like a contender?

Well, being a optimist one could say they could be much better at 3-4 positions than that finals squad. And you can run with a AI like player in Lou.

I guess that would qualify as "blind" optimism.


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