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Taking Stock

I'd say slightly better off.

I'm still reserving judgement on Brand but I don't think it is fair to criticize Ed for that yet. He was getting universal acclaim after signing him. The worst thing, in my view, was not finding out how Iggy works as the 2.

Even though I say they are slightly better off, I feel they are in a precarious position as now they have no cap space to maneuver and if Brand never comes around, they could be in trouble. Brand and Iggy's contracts would be tough to move and Thad can't bring back much in value as he is still on his rookie contract.

They could move Iguodala's contract in a nanosecond. Unfortunately, teams around the league are better judges of basketball talent than most Sixers fans are.

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Chris reply to Brian on Jun 22 at 11:53
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I do think Iggy is a excellent player; one of the best all around players in the league. In no way do I think he is a bad player.

But say for whatever reason, the chemistry on the team is bad or the mix of talent is wrong. If something major has to be done (blow up the team) Ed doesn't have as much flexibility with the big contracts for Brand and Iguodala and being so near the cap. Thad could be moved but because he makes so little money it'd have to be for someone on their rookie contract also.

I don't want Iggy moved. Just that if he could easily we'd have more roster flexibility. I just don't want the Sixers to be in the doldrums where they are mediocre for another 5 years.

If roster flexibility is the only concern, they could move Iggy pretty easily for a big contract that expires soon. Chris Bosh, Tracy McGrady, Amare Stoudemire, Joe Johnson, Shaq, Jason Richardson, Gerald Wallace, Michael Redd, Vince Carter, Marcus Camby, s&t for Lamar Odom, Manu. I'd bet serious money the Sixers could build a trade for any one of those guys around Iguodala today.

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bebopdeluxe on Jun 22 at 9:27
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Brian:

This draft and FA will tell the tale.

Miller MUST be upgraded, and we MUST have a plus-shooter in the lineup who can play at crunch-time (read: not Jason Kapono). Stefanski needs to go into the draft and FA as aggressive as he was in going after Brand...act like we are just 1-2 players away from playing in May...not compiling 2nd round picks like a 25-win team with a TON of holes on the roster.

A ton of holes? I mean, we have three starters who are, or should be, above average at least. It would be nice to get an upgrade at center, but plenty of teams have one average starter and Sammy is that, or at least close. The bench could use something and they need a point, but I'm not sure there are really a ton of holes. If they could replace Miller w/ a younger point who could defend and shoot I think they'd be pretty close.

As for this Summer, I don't want him forcing things or making rash decisions. Keep your eye on next Summer w/ trade chips and the following Summer with some cap room.

Chad Ford's latest mock is up. He's switched the Sixers onto Lawson, although he didn't bother to update his breakdown of the pick.

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bebopdeluxe on Jun 22 at 12:28
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Brian:

The point of that thread was I think they ARE close...and they should act like it. If moving Speights gets us Curry or Hinrich, DO IT. I hear talk about trading down - TRADING DOWN! - to pick up a 2nd round pick...and that shit just makes me want to hurl.

1) If Lawson is gone at 17, and they like Ellington - but they think 17 is too high...what the f*ck good is trading down to get, say, 24 and 33...only to have Atlanta, for example scoop up Ellington at 19? Should I do cartwheels because we get Mills at 33?

We aren't that far away. I hope that Stefanski's aggressiveness in the draft, FA and trades reflects that.

I hear ya, but for my money, after Lawson there isn't much variance from the next 10 guys on my board. I'd rather take a shot that one of two will pan out than bet on any one of them at #17. In your scenario, if they trade to #20 and Ellington's gone by then, you take Collison. If they're both gone, you take Maynor and so on.

Ford also has a couple of interesting blurbs today on the trade front. Apparently, the Blazers may be interested in moving up to grab Rubio if he falls out of the top four. He also says the Blazers are very interested in Hinrich, so I think that three-team deal landing Hinrich in Philly isn't going to happen :)

If Lawson or Maynor are there at 17 I say keep the pick and choose Lawson #1, Maynor #2.

If both those guys are gone and you are dead set on drafting a point guard (there will be SGs available at 17 and below as well) then moving done makes more sense because you can get Collison in the 20s and pick up a second rounder to draft a guy like Danny Green to be your defensive stopper/shooter (do pretty much everything) guy off the bench which we currently do not have on the roster. There is a lot of role player value in the draft just not superstars like in past drafts.

If willie green is coming off the bench still getting 15-20 MPG - then the bench at best is 'even' to me - he's just terrible.

The 'front court' bench is better I believe with the swapping of Smith for Evans - neither are particularly ground breaking but Smith has an offensive game - but not sure what his injury recovery is going to look like.

I just don't seem them as 'close' to contending - too many unknowns - too many 'new' issues - too dependent on rapid development of guys like young and speights and still a gaping hole at point guard that can't be filled by louis williams - as far as i'm concerned the sixers currently have zero point guards on the roster.


I think the sixers are closer to being a contender than most sixer fans think these days. Iggy is one of the top players in the league (most philly fans are dumb and don't understand) and I expect Elton to be dominating this year. But, we need to clean house w/ Green and Dumbert without giving up their assets (a center that can rebound and block shots). Could Smith be that center, while I think not, if he is that guy, we are getting close.

I definitely have changed my opinion on Miller and think it is time to move on. We can have 1 old guy as a core, but we cannot afford to build a team with floor general that is close to using a cane! What we do in the backcourt will be the key to 2009-10, IMO.

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john reply to DeanH on Jun 22 at 15:49
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when you say 'top' - do you mean top 5? top 10? top 20?


If you ask me, he's top 10, but I realize I'm in the minority.

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john reply to Brian on Jun 22 at 16:10
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Well, I wouldn't disagree right away but I'd want to see your entire top 10 to see who you put him above...I mean we all know that brandon roy is better than Iguodala right :) so he has to be in your top 10


In no particular order:

Kobe, LeBron, Wade, Dwight Howard, Garnett, Duncan, CP3, Brandon Roy, Melo, Iguodala

These rankings have changed a lot for me over the past couple of months. Melo replaced Chauncey, I added Roy, against better judgment. CP3 is the only guy on here for offense only, because I think he's probably the most disruptive offensive force in the game these days. Obviously Garnett and Duncan are nearing the end of the line and will drop off soon.

This is off the top of my head, willing to hear arguments, but make sure they're two-way players. This is my list of the 10 best overall players.

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john reply to Brian on Jun 22 at 16:32
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Actually only a few names jump out at me missing, nash, parker, Deron Williams, Dirk Nowitzki - i'm assuming nash and nowitzki you discount cause of defensive weakness.

Not getting too much into it cause I thin you have a good piece for discussions during the boredom that will follow the draft :)

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Sean reply to john on Jun 22 at 20:10
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I think it is safe to say Iguodala is Top 15, floating into that 10ish range, but it is open for debate.

I agree with John and disagree with Dean. I do not think we are that close and agree for us to be "close" it would take everything to work out perfectly.

Improvement by everyone, especially: Speights, Dala, Thad, Lou

Overall health, but specifically can Brand and Smith play a full season at a high level?

Who is the point? If Miller is back will our lack of shooting and spacing still be a huge issue? Will he break down finally? If a rookie is the starter he must be very good right away. This team isn't good enough to have a learn on the job rookie and be a contender in my opinion.

Which Sam will show up? If the bad Sam shows up who is manning the middle defensively and on the boards?

Will it all mesh? Can Eddie Jordan get the offense right? Can he coach or motivate on defense?

Lots of ifs, questions, hopes and dreams. Those really aren't the type of questions a "contending" team has going into the season.

When you say "one of the top players in the league" what exactly does that mean?

Iguodala is very productive by all accounts and stats. No questioning that for the most part. Can you win with him being your best player? Umm maybe if the overall talent on the entire roster (all the rotational guys) is very good. I don't think you can be a championship team with him as your best player with Brand and Thad (aka one or two other equally as good or slightly lesser players) and the rest are average-to-below average guys. I am not confident of that at the moment.

I don't think Iguodala is good enough to make up for the inadequacies and inconsistencies of guys like Willie Green, Sammy, Lou etc. A guy like LeBron or Kobe might be able to do that, but certainly not Iguodala.

So either lift the overall talent level and/or get(pray for) an upper echelon elite player.

No one can win a championship without the overall talent on the entire roster being very good. Neither Kobe nor LeBron have done it.

I'll agree with your statement if you make a minor adjustment. Can you win with Iguodala being your best scorer? No. Can you win with him being your best player? Yes.

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john reply to Brian on Jun 22 at 16:22
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Can you win a championship with him being your best player and Sam Dalembert as your starting center playing the princetop type offense?

Well, is Chris Paul your point guard? Then yes.

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john reply to Brian on Jun 22 at 16:24
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Then Stefanski needs to trade for Chris Paul...

My source tells me Dalembert for Chris Paul is being discussed, but only if the Sixers are willing to throw in pick #17.

Hallelujah to that!

Brian - Let me come back to you with this thought regarding your comment. Pair Iguodala with say Chris Paul and to a much much lesser degree Chauncey Billups (prime). This is of course a hypothetical.

Now Iguodala is your best scorer being paired with an elite point guard but he in the Chris Paul situation he is in no way your best player. Can we win? I think you will probably say Iguodala is better than Billups I tend to believe Billups is a better player. But for arguments sake again if Billups is the best player and Iguodala is the best scorer can you win?

Of course assuming the rest of the roster isn't complete trash.

Yeah, I think so. Although I think technically both Paul and Billups are probably better scorers than Iguodala.

Here's the thing with Iguodala, if people are waiting for, or expecting him to score 22-25ppg before they'll officially say he's an All Star, it's never going to happen. Or it's going to happen and he's going to be a worse player for it. He's a 20/5+/5+ guy on about 14 shots. If he can up his 3PT% a couple points and get his FT% back to 80 he'll be one of the most-efficient offensive players in the league. Add his rebounding, assists and defense to that and he may be top 5 in the league.

Can you build a champion around him? No. You can only really build champions around exceptional bigs as far as I'm concerned. When you're talking about wings, it has to be a collective, excellent team. Unless, I guess, the wing's name is Michael Jordan.

Not sure if that makes any sense. My brain is fried from nonstop meetings all day.

I agree with that for the most part. Curious, do you not think the Bulls were a collective excellent team? Obviously Jordan as the driver and Scottie was right there by his side.

How do you compare that and those teams to what Kobe just did with Lakers? Did they not build a champion around a Kobe (wing). And maybe at some point we will toss LeBron into this conversation as a champion built around a wing if/when he wins it. And maybe even Chris Paul (I think he is good enough).

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john reply to Dannie on Jun 22 at 17:21
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Kobe had some very good talent around him - until Gasol got there they weren't over the hump - the ascnsion of Bynum - which seems to have stalled - as well - plus they had to 'go back' to Fisher at the point.


Ugh, lost a long response to the evil server, but I'll sum it up quickly.

I think the Lakers won this title because of the versatility in their bigs (Pau and Odom), and their depth. Ariza's emergence as their #1 wing defender lessened the load on Kobe and allowed him to take a ton of shots (the unselfish nature of Odom and Gasol helped here as well), and he could really be himself. Shoot a ton, facilitate for the other guys when he felt like it. Honestly, this season for Kobe seemed oddly similar to Iverson's 2001 season when he won the MVP and took the Sixers to the finals. It was kind of like, "You just worry about scoring and let everyone else take care of the dirty work." Here's a comparison of the stats, which are very similar.

When Shaq left, everyone thought Kobe would just adjust his game and continue to dominate. (or at least Kobe did), but it wasn't until he got a crew of excellent players around him to allow him to play that selfish(ish) style that they really had success.

Jordan won with so many different lineups, and really without another offensive talent to share the floor with. Pippen grew as an offensive player, but he was never even close to a #1 option. With Jordan, it was his ability to get his teammates to buy into their limited, exclusive roles and play incredibly tough defense that made those teams into championships. Think about, outside of Rodman and Pipper, were there any really above-average starters on any of those teams? Kukoc maybe, but we saw what happened when he didn't have Jordan and Pippen around.

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Chris reply to Brian on Jun 22 at 21:02
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But when Jordan was retired that team of ragtag ne'er do wells came within a petulant Pippin hissy fit of making the Finals.

That team might not have stars but they played their roles perfectly.

As most of you know, I am not a great stat guy, but the following link gives you an example of where AI9 rates:

http://www.82games.com/0809/ONSORT6.HTM

It is a big debate in Philly as to how good AI9 really is. There are some that really think he is a top player (including me) and there are many that think he is just above average and some that think he is average or below average. When I look at the overall ratings, AI9 is usually near the top.

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john reply to DeanH on Jun 22 at 17:08
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For a time there was a 'big debate' in philadelphia over how good a player bobby abreu was as well.

The IGuodala debate kind of mirrors that to me - instead of focusing on all he does some focus on what he 'doesn't' do and their antiquated opinion of what a star he is.

For some people things like all star appearances (voted on by the fans) or in baseball gold gloves (voted on by people dumber than fans) actually determine if a guy is a star or not - for some people iguodala doesn't score enough points to be a star regardless of the fact that all around hie's kicking ass.

I'm not sure who you're debating with - but you should just move on to smarter people

With Iguodala I think it has a lot to do with his perceived fit on this team and the fact that some ppl just don't like him for whatever individual reason.

We have no shooting guard in the purest of the term and he will likely man that position as a starter or for a decent portion of his minutes. Because he isn't a shooter people focus on what he doesn't do. If he was the starting small forward next to Ray Allen I don't think people would see his weaknesses or focus on his weaknesses much if at all considering what else he does in terms of productivity.

Also I think when people think of you as the best player for some reason their is this belief you shouldn't have a weakness, at least not a glaring one (3pt shooting).

There is no question Iguodala is a productive player.

I am in the middle on Dala. I don't hate him and I don't love him. I just think the team needs more talent. More talent with the right coach leads to more wins and everyone on the roster's perceived value will go up.

I just think the team needs more talent. More talent with the right coach leads to more wins and everyone on the roster's perceived value will go up.

Yep, agreed on that point especially.

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Sean reply to Brian on Jun 22 at 20:31
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IMO, one thing that continues to haunt Iguodala was the Iverson-era perception that the team lacked talent, that's why it did not succeed. This theme was so pervasive that people are still viewing the post-Iverson Sixers in much the same way, especially those who played with AI. Thad Young escapes that taint for the most part, because he came after AI, and gets judged on his own merits.

IMO, Iguodala is at least top 15, but, as Berri would say, people are so caught up on scoring that unless somebody delivers flashy scoring totals, they are underrated. But that is true everywhere, especially for non-points. Look at Pippen's public perception for example.

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Real and Speightacular reply to john on Jun 22 at 18:09
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"...instead of focusing on all he does some focus on what he 'doesn't' do..."

Glad folks are coming 'round to looking at the total net effect. Iggy's eeeasily a top 20 player in the league, comfortably a top-15 guy and debateably top-10. He's a bona fide star even if the masses don't really realize it. Not a traditional 2-guard tho, that's just fact :p

p.s. other dudes to consider for the top-whatever two-ways: bosh, cap'n jack, manu, al jefferson, marion (still?), boozer, ming, durant?, b. lopez (already!?)

FYI, Ford has Ellington dropping to #40. If that happens, the Sixers should be able to buy a pick and get him, if he's really on their radar.

I would say the sixers are probably worse off. They do not have a point guard and Lou Williams regressed like a mf'er.....Brand did get hurt but he never at any point looked like a dominant player and I doubt he will be...but he could still be very good.
Thad did improve, Iguodola improved(becoming more clutch) but cant play SG...Dalembert about the same.
I would say we have 2 studs..Iggy and Thad...a big question mark in Brand...and the rest...who knows ...
On a side note...does anyone else think that Dei Lynam is lookin pretty hot these days ? Maybe its the sixer knowledge thats talking to me but she looks good to me.


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Chris reply to Gdog on Jun 22 at 21:11
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Why can't Iggy play SG? He shoots as well as Wade from range (better actually) and I don't hear anyone complaining about Wade playing SG.
http://www.basketball-reference.com/fc/pcm_finder.cgi?request=1&sum=1&p1=wadedw01&y1=2009&p2=iguodan01&y2=2009

Agree Lou Will regressed and Brand is still unknown.

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John reply to Chris on Jun 22 at 22:06
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It's been said enough that Iguodala can't play SG that no body seems interested in figuring out if it's actually true

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Real and Speightacular reply to Chris on Jun 23 at 7:13
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As for me, personally, to be clear, I've never said he can't play 2-guard. Iggy has too much skill, drive and raw physical talent to completely suck at positions 1-3 (maybe even 4?). But traditionally, 2-guard has at least a very solid jump shot, if not all the way to the arc. On that front Wade appears to be comfortably better than Iggy. For people who look at traditional roles/skill sets, Iggy's a more natural 3.

It is about complementary skill sets. If your 2-guard is a slasher, then the other talent needs to bring the shooting aspect. Four successful examples jump to mind. 1) Jordan, whose better backcourt partners were Paxson, Armstrong & Kerr. 2) Drexler, who thrived next to Terry Porter(bonafide shooter) & won a title with Cassell & Kenny Smith. 3) Wade, who won a championship next to Jason Williams. 4)Kobe - who won titles next to Derek Fisher.

Iguodala will be fine at off-guard, as long as he has shooters around him. IMO, Young will be a proficient shooter. The other guard needs to be another


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Real and Speightacular reply to Sean on Jun 23 at 11:17
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All the guys you mention all had decent jumpers to keep defenses honest, didn't they? They don't have to be shooting specialists (tho that's often considered one of the traditional skill sets for the position), but they're supposed to have a jumper that's to be respected.

But, yes, if you have other complementary players to offset that "deficiency," it's all good. I was talking in terms of the traditional expectations for the role.

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Mike reply to Gdog on Jun 23 at 14:23
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gross!

I think Kapono is gonna love Iggy,L.Will. and even Willie after playing on a team with no slashers last year. Calangelo has to find what we have a surplus of[slashers] in this draft to go with Calderon and Parker [if resigned].With Thad and Kapono at the 3 Iggy at the 2 will look better and better,lets just hope our new coach tries it.

I have to admit, I'll be happy to have a guy on the floor who everyone looks for on breaks, out of double teams and off offensive rebounds for the dagger threes. I just hope he can stay on the floor without killing them on the other end.


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