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The Mill Grinds On

No way. It has been said before that we are building, not rebuilding. It is way to big of a risk to depend on a guy like lebron coming, and i would not want to give up our entire roster for a guy like joe johnson, though i would give up sam :).

I don't think you'd be banking on LeBron, Kobe or Wade. Those guys are out of reach, I guess the question is, would you give up Brand and some other non-essential piece of the team (Sam, Lou + Willie) for a chance to re-evaluate the team's needs next Summer and add maybe a more appropriate, younger piece? Joe Johnson is one example, Boozer is another, Bosh is yet another. Next Summer's FA class is stacked.

Still, I'm torn.

John reply to Brian on Jun 30 at 9:33

I think I'd do it for Bosh

but only bosh :)

If we free up enough to be a player in the 2010 FA I'd do it. I'd at least try LeBron (how can you not) but the guy I'd really have my eye on is Bosh.

For me, I think this deal would come down to mitigating risk. I think Brand will come back at least close to what he was before the injuries, but there's no way to be absolutely sure. With that cap space next Summer you have a chance to make a better bet than a four-year bet on Brand. That's the pro argument, at least. The con is that you may not get someone better than Brand next Summer, and you may wind up spending just to spend on a lesser player(s).

That situation you described (the bad one, scary) reminds me of Jerry Krauss's final year with the Bulls when he saved up all that cap space and he wasn't able to get any of his prime targets to move.

I think Bosh's game would fit very nicely with this team but I'm not sure where he'd go. If I had to venture a guess, he'd go where either LeBron or Wade are. I wonder if Thad would be able to sway him at all (fellow GT player).

Sean reply to Chris on Jun 30 at 7:39

That is exactly my concern, because why would any premier free agent trust the Sixers enough to sign with them, if they were willing to jettison their previous premier signing after a fluke injury? Citing that Bulls/Krause era is exactly right. The really good free agents spurned the Bulls because they, rightly, saw the Bulls as willing to disrespect MJ. You'd be only left with the mercenary types. No thanks, I'll just keep Brand.

Well, I think the main thing premier free agents want to trust is that their monster checks are cashed. I wouldn't worry about burning any loyalty bridges, it's not like they'd be trading Brand to play in Toronto. He'd be going to Miami to play with Wade. I doubt he'd be bitter about that.

Sean reply to Brian on Jun 30 at 11:41

Yeah, but I don't think the higher-level free agents will have a problem finding suitors in that market. The question becomes one of fit and comfort, because the money will be there. If that is the case, why would you look at a team that has gone through 3 coaches within a year and traded off their previous big signing if you could pick a more stable environment to spend your next 5 years, if the money is roughly equal? That is my issue.

john reply to Sean on Jun 30 at 11:43

Because you like the roster as it is constructed?

Isn't florida one of those no income tax states? Florida and Texas?

If this deal happened, there wouldn't be a Florida team w/ money to spend. Miami would be over the cap w/ Wade to deal with.

john reply to Brian on Jun 30 at 11:54

Well that I get, I was more referring to 'benefits' for Brand - it makes his contract worth more money as there's no state income tax taken out of it...though I'm not sure how it works for away games - since they are paid, but I know florida has the weather and tax advantage, and so does texas

If we're talking about LeBron, Kobe or someone like that, I seriously don't think the Sixers have a shot. Honestly, I don't think Kobe's leaving LA and if LeBron leaves he's probably going to the Knicks or the Nets, the Nets if he's smart. When we start talking about the second tier of guys, like Bosh, then we're either talking about money or the chance to win. Probably more money than chance to win. The Sixers are closer to contention than any of the other teams with money to spend, in my opinion. And there are really more "stars" available than teams with max-deal money available.

To be honest, most of the teams who will have money to spend will have nothing but a gutted roster left over.

Sean reply to Chris on Jun 30 at 7:41

Especially if you include the idea that if you can make a deal featuring Sam for T-Mac, you could theoretically accomplish the same thing, without coming off badly

I'm not sure there's any way that could work out. Sixers would have to send another $5M-8M to Houston in a deal, and would the Rockets really be willing to take on that many longer contracts to get Dalembert?

Sean reply to Brian on Jun 30 at 11:50

I guess that depends on whether or not they are blowing it up or not. There are reports they were offering Brooks & Battier(sounds like a law firm :-)) for Rubio. If that is the case, then I would offer a package featuring Lou & Sam with necessary filler. If they are able to get Rubio, then Lou could fit in their guard rotation. Not saying that they would take it, but I would at least inquire.

Yeah, absolutely. You have to do your due diligence. But Houston is one of those teams who may have cap space next Summer. I really don't think they'd give it up for Dalembert, Lou and Willie. They'd want a real piece in there (Thad or Speights), and I'm not doing that.

deepsixersuede on Jun 30 at 7:45

Management fixing a mistake quickly, Croce with Greenberg and Davis?, is rare in sports; Brand is E.S.!s big moment, unless blown away by a lock of a choice,no hoping,he will play this hand out, in my opinion.

Joe Johnson sure would look nice in a Sixers uniform...

Charles Shackleford's Top Hat on Jun 30 at 9:17

I would do this deal in a heartbeat.

Before his injury, Brand looked like a shell of himself. Not once last year did I see the explosiveness and the power that made him an All Star. After game 20 or so, I started to worry that maybe Brand was done. Sure he can get 16 and 8 every night, but that doesn't get it done when you have 84mm tied up with him.

If we are committed to developing our young guys, then shouldn't we commit all the way? I would be one happy season ticket holder if i spent next year wathcing the young guys develop, watching them learn the system and watching them get the minutes they need for us to determine what we have. The guaranteed first round exit is purgatory and that is the situation we are in buliding around Brand. Re-set if you have the chance.

Take a year, play the kids, lose a ton, get in the lottery, get a high pick and have a ton of cap space next summer to add the right piece.

The only thing i cannot support is the current middle of the road strategy. We are only a few pieces away, but Brand is not one of those pieces. Guys, you cannot forget how much he makes. He must be an All-Star to be paid at that level and not once last year did he show even a glimpse of dominance.

CSTH would deal this deal in a second.

It's a fair opinion to have, but I have a problem with a couple of assumptions you make.

First of all, it's short sighted to judge a guy coming off a season-long injury on 20 games. It takes longer than that to knock the rust off. So while Brand didn't look explosive early last season, that doesn't mean he won't bounce back. We just don't know, we can't know.

Two, I don't think they're building around Brand at this point. They're building around Iguodala and Thad.

Three, with or without Brand, I don't think they're on a middle-of-the-road course at this point. They're improving and their core is maturing. Take Brand away and they're still a competitive team this season, not a lock for the lottery.

How many teams are tanking in 2010 for 2011 free agents - Milwaukee, New Jersey, New York are off the top of my head, and I'm sure there are more. Don't be so certain that even if you pull the trigger on a season before it already begins (revolting, really), that there will be any tangible benefit to you next year.

Instead, let's try something old-fashioned. Winning games and providing value to the people who buy tickets and watch the games. I know, it'll never work.

Milwaukee isn't a player in free agency until 2011, if then. Otherwise, I'm not going to argue with you. It's a tough decision, but I still believe unless there's an overwhelming reason against it, you win as many games as possible each year and get your young guys as much playoff experience as possible. I guess this post was mainly asking the question whether this scenario counts as overwhelming evidence that the team could get significantly better next Summer.

Charles Shalckleford's Top Hat on Jun 30 at 9:30

For me, executing on a long term stratgey is the old-fashioned way of getting better. I'm not saying tank. I am saying play the kids, alot. If they win, awesome. If they lose, it is an investment in our future. Don't you want to know what you have in Speights? Or what you have in Holiday?

Didn't it make you ill last year going down to the games and wathcing Reggie and Willie an even Andre and Brand, knowing that this collection of players is just not good enough? While the hope we fans have for the future is sitting on the bench. It drove me nuts.

Maybe you don't enjoy that type of game, but for me, the youngest Sixers have always been my favorite, because they are the hope. I would never advocate tanking, but playing the kids is plain smart.

If you lose, then you have even more options for when these guys start to mature.

I'm not sure if handing Speights 30 minutes/game at this point is the right course of action for his development. To me, he seems like the type of guy who's only going to develop if he has to earn his role. By develop, I mean rebound and defend like we need him to.

john reply to Brian on Jun 30 at 11:16

All depends what he does in the off season - one of the more important things for the sixers this off season into training camp - how much motivation/dedication did Mr Speights show towards becoming a better basketball player?

It would not be tanking. They were without Brand all last year anyway and still made the playoffs. Thad, Speights and the rest of the team are one year better. They are a competitive team without Brand.

The big issue is Ed. A new GM would do this type of move to "clean house." You slot a 26 year old Amare or Bosh next to the rest of that line-up and you are a better team than you are with Sam. An team where everyone is athletic, uptempo and in their prime for about 5 years.

I don't see how Ed could do it though. If he made some sort of sign and trade that immediately brought in Bosh or Amare then he would be praised. But I don't see how he could survive the year of waiting to see if a FA signed here, and the risk of the plan blowing up.

Sean reply to tk76 on Jun 30 at 9:57

But no one can explain to me why any premier free agent would come here after we just jettisoned the previous one. People talk in this league, and doing that after firing the coach makes this organization look haphazard and disorganized. Not a good plan at all.

Money talks.

john reply to Brian on Jun 30 at 11:15

More often than not that's true, especially for young free agents, which is why this whole 'guys are going to leave cause they want to win' thing is fascinating. Are guys going to take less money to switch teams to maybe win a ring? History indicates no.

I would not include Amare in the 2010 class if half the rumors out there are to be believed. Bucher still feels he's going to GSW after the BYC stuff is worked out - they'll compromise on the differences and Stat says he really won't 'go' anywhere without an extension

I'm sure GSW would want him to sign an extension, but Amare saying he won't go anywhere doesn't really mean jack. He doesn't have a no trade, he'll go where they send him.

john reply to Brian on Jun 30 at 11:17

But if he won't show up or he's disgruntled teams will be less motivated to trade too much for him. I think any deal consummated will have an 'extension negotiation window' if such things exist in the NBA.

The heat rumor is beyond ridiculous, I'm not sure why Brands name is floating out there but maybe it's much like the "Iguodala can't play the two" nonsense - Sixers make playoffs, fire coach, all without Brand, sixes don't need Brand, sixers must be trading Brand. It's the kind of logic sports writers use to make copy, whether it makes sense or not.

If Brand is traded, it's very simple to spin, we thought he would fit our system, we changed our system, we thought it would be best both for Elton and the Sixers if he was put in a better situation to maximize his skills and allow us the flexibility to sign Chris Bosh for 100+ million dollars.

The money is guaranteed, the 100+ million dollars (or whatever) is going to be quite alluring, plus the guy they targeted would be most closer in age to the rest of the roster approaching 'peak performance years'.

Two small notes

  • Kyle Korver not opting out

  • Does the Houston drama create a new Gortat suitor who would be willing to outspend the sixers

Dailey reply to John on Jun 30 at 10:48

Was thinking the same thing about Gortat and Houston. Also, if Okur opts out, how much will he be asking and who'd go after him?

Houston can't offer him more than we can. Both teams are limited by the MLE. If the Sixers aren't willing to max out an MLE offer, then they could be outbid for him. I just haven't heard Gortat's name even mentioned by anyone in the organization, that leaves me less than hopeful.

I have a hard time seeing Okur leave Utah. Maybe Detroit goes after him. I doubt any of the other teams w/ cap space are interested.

I'm pretty sure the Sixers read the Korver situation correctly. No reason for him to opt out.

john reply to Brian on Jun 30 at 11:01

I still think Okur and Turkey is a viable destination as well, dude would probably be highest plaid player in the league and have to pay for nothing at all, so the pay there would 'dollar for dollar' be better. 6 million there might be worth like 9-10 million here due to lack of taxes and expenses etc....plus it's his home land.

I think if he opts out he feels Turkey is a legit destination.

True. I would guess playing hoops over there is an easier life as well. Fewer games, easier competition for equal pay. Some guys could go for that.

Ronnie Price as an alternative to Miller?


Why is he better than Knight, aside from the fact that 'vet minimum' would be less?

Better size, younger. Neither can really shoot, I think Price impressed some people w/ his spaz defense toward the end of their series w/ the Lakers.

john reply to Brian on Jun 30 at 11:22

Great, small sample size nonsense, he's A:To ratio bothers me more than Knights, plus his lack of veteranability(TM)

Ugh. Make the move for Gortat, please. Orlando Sentinel:

The Magic aren't expected to be able to match offers for Gortat, a restricted free agent who made $770,000 last season as Dwight Howard's backup. Smith indicated they would be out of the running if offers "were north of 5 [$5 million per season.]"

Michael Curry meet unemployment.

Sorry Mike - you pissed off Rip - you lose

That can't be good for DET, right?

I mean, they start negotiating w/ players tomorrow with no head coach in place. Although, if you want to sign for good money w/ a decent team, there aren't too many options out there.

john reply to Brian on Jun 30 at 14:02

Make Dumars coach :)

How much would you love to see Detroit's big splash wind up being Ben Gordon and Charlie V? Hilarious.

Chris reply to Brian on Jun 30 at 14:46

That would be hilarious. I think Dumars has been overrated as a GM for a while. Sure, he had a title, but even a lot of the players back then credited Carlisle for assembling everything and defining their roles. Sucks for him he got canned right before it came to fruition.

john reply to Chris on Jun 30 at 14:58

Then Larry Brown would get too much credit for the title win would he not?

Chris reply to john on Jun 30 at 15:01

I thought he did get too much credit for that win. Carlisle got canned even though he was the COY for that year. How many times has that happened?

L.B. didn't really define their roles any differently.

David (Riverside)10:04 AM

Jrue Holliday biggest steal of the draft?

Chad Ford10:08 AM

Probably. He had a shoulder that may require surgery at some point. It scared a few teams away .. but it's a minor injury with no long term effects on his career. They have to be pretty stoked in Philly right now.

Nice to hear.

john reply to Steve on Jun 30 at 15:00

Later in the chat he indicated the only other team he heard of itnerested in Miller was Portland but they they preferred Hinrich if the Bulls re-sign Gordon.

I'm getting a bad feeling about us getting Gortat. Here is from later in his chat:

Alok Shah (Iowa City, Iowa)10:56 AM

Why isn't Marcin Gortat attracting more attention. Dude's a baller!
Chad Ford10:57 AM

I think he's getting a lot of attention ... Min, NY, Dallas, San Antonio, Atlanta, Toronto, Indy ... he's going to get a lot of attention. He's the only big guy out there

My take: 1st, there are a bunch of teams queued up (supposedly). Secondly, I don't see the Sixers in the list of teams queued (listed as being interested).

Hopefully, he's inaccurate on both counts.

I'm not feeling optimistic about Gortat. Anthony Parker just doesn't do it for me either, especially not at the full MLE.

john reply to Brian on Jun 30 at 15:12

Too many names listed there - and two particularly stand out to me.

New York and Dallas - teams that can and will pay the luxury tax - though I don't think New York is for real, but I can see Dallas maxing out his offer to get him there.

Depends if he wants playing time or money

Do you see NY adding any salary at all between now and next Summer? I don't think they can if they want to add two big time players.

john reply to Brian on Jun 30 at 15:21

I don't, but people keep mentioning them. I don't know why, but they do, for tons of free agents, but seriously they do have to balance the desire to get 'big names' next summer versus having a roster the big names actually want to be on.

Interesting baseless twitter rumors today courtesy of


LeBron + Bosh. If true, only going to happen in NYC, and only if they don't take any money on this Summer.

john reply to Brian on Jun 30 at 15:50

You mean clearing Shaq and waiting to sign lebron doesn't leave the cavs room for Bosh, weird.

Thanks on the nice job thing, I figured I shoudl write something so people see i'm not totally just uber critical (to their mind) all the time.

Been a bit lax the past few weeks - i think with free agnecy started, i'm going to bear down on the web site, get the game going better next year, with weekly/monthly winners and standings and start trying to expand.

Btw, nice job on Liberty Ballers.

fyi, we can for days argue about which injury-addled former all-star is worse, but my point was that he should consider the expiring contact angle.

Yep, definitely agree it should be explored. Also agree that we can argue for days about O'Neal's gimpy legs vs. Brand's freak injuries :)

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