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Ed Stefanski Bloggers Conference Call

Great stuff as usual Brian, and your WG question was definitely my fav...

Funny how Stefanski said that Willie's situation is "interesting", lol

Thanks, good to speak to you again, Ricky.

Thanks for the update guys. Maybe if I ask Derek he'll let me represent Philly arena on one of these calls (or maybe not...)

Overall, I respect Ed and in general see him as a straight shooter as GM's go. But I think he is forced to dance around some of the financial issues and gives some BS answers when asked about signings and the tax. I wonder if there had been a deal out there at the deadline for Miller that made basketball sense but meant taking back salary would Ed have been allowed to make the deal. My hunch is no, but who really knows. What is your sense, did he seem sincere or sound like he was trying to give the correct answer?

bebopdeluxe reply to tk76 on Sep 22 at 16:59

Could Ed have taken back salary to trade Miller at the deadline?

The Magic 8-Ball's answer..."my sources say no"

And - again - if there was even the reasonable likelihood that Miller was not going to be back (as they HAD to know that he was going to want something more than a 1-year deal - adjusted cap numbers or not), then why the f*ck didn't Ed INSIST that Lou play more PG in preparation for this season?

Priorities, I would assume. At the trade deadline, the Sixers were 27-24 and really playing excellent basketball. I'd assume everyone in the organization was focused on getting to the playoffs and getting as deep into the playoffs as possible. I can't say that I disagree with that logic.

bebopdeluxe reply to Brian on Sep 22 at 20:04


They were playing excellent basketball with Iggy at the 3 and Thad at the 4...

Can you say "fool's gold"?

Regardless of how good they were playing at the time, the bottom line was/is that they were - I would hope - going to go back to Iggy at the 2 and Thad at the 3 once Brand got back...why fart around with the short-term sugar rush for 30-35 games and a modest playoff appearance when the goal should have been long-term roster/personnel development?

And I find it hard to believe (based on the financial decisions made this offseason) that the Sixers were committed to ere-signing Miller this past summer. I know that the lux tax numbers may have changed things a bit, but I have to think that - if they were intelligent, thoughtful guys - they had to do some scenario analysis of the probability analysis of the likelihood that they were going to re-sign Miller...if it was less than 50%, then it was irresponsible of Stefanski/DiLeo to not give the only PG that they had signed for '09-10 (Lou) more dedicatd minutes at the point. If it was less than 30%, then they simply had to try harder to move him for ANYTHING of value...

(unless, of course, it was their intent to let Miller's salary roll off the books from the jump)

IMO, it was more important to "make the playoffs! Woo-hoo!!" (even if it meant losing in the 1st round) then to do the things that were in the best LONG-TERM, strategic interest of roster development (i.e. Iggy/Thad at the 2/3...more minutes for Lou at the point...more Speights, less Evans...etc).

I hope that the Roberts boys and Ed Snider had fun with the mediocre gates they got for those three games.

And one more thing...

Had they done all of the things that I suggest they should have done (keep Iggy/Thad at the 2/3, start Speights after Brand went down, more minutes for Lou at the point), I think that there was a decent shot that they STILL make the playoffs.

In my view the Andre Miller trade deadline situation mostly hinged on the fact that the organization felt the 10M expiring was worth more to them then whatever was offered in return for him in a trade.

We may look at it as Miller walking for nothing- but in there real $ world it is getting 10m in cap/tax relief. Remember last summer the Nuggets (a 50 win team) unloaded a hugely valuable piece in Camby for nothing in order to get tax relief. They would have been an even stronger contender last year with Camby in the big man rotation.

His answer to the Miller question rang true to me. If you look at the tradeoff at the deadline last year, basically giving up Miller would've sunk the playoff ship right then. So trading him for another expiring deal doesn't do anything for you at all.

If there was nothing out there that made a significant difference for 2010 and beyond, it doesn't help you, and if it doesn't make a significant impact long-term, what's the short-term advantage of missing the playoffs? Not to mention the benefits of playoff experience.

If I had to guess, I'd say any sign-and-trade possibilities this summer were weighed heavily against cap/lux. tax implications, but the overall goal of getting better for the long haul was still paramount.

All just my general feeling, but makes sense to me. He didn't dance around questions about the economy and the tax.

Thx. Given how empty the building is and the economy I understand how financial concerns are part of the equation.

It would be great if the team owned by someone who did not care about whether it lost money (sort of like a hand off version of Cuban or a Paul Allen), but nobody stepped up to the plate when the team was put up for sale a couple of years back.

Yeah, I think we could be worse off than having Comcast as an owner, though. Prior to this season, I can't think of any time a decision was made due to financial concerns. If anything, the let a previous GM spend too freely.

Yes. they were ranks 4th-7th in total salary from 2001-2007. But since the AI trade they have been about 20th in salary (middle of the pack.) I assume they will spend again if it makes them a possible contender- unless their business model changed. 2 years ago was also around when they tried to sell.

Brian did I get it right about Ed thinking that Sixers are "the toast in town" ????

I'm listening to the conference again (thanks Derek btw) and I think he used this expression when I asked him about Sixers being currently the fourth team in town, meaning that Eagles, Phillies etc are getting more attention)

I think he mis-spoke. Meant to say the Eagles and the Phillies were the toast of the town, he substituted the Sixers for the Eagles accidentally.

The Eagles, because Philly is and always has been an Eagles town, the Phils because they've been good and won the series. He never mentioned the Flyers.


either he mis-spoke or, more likely, I misunderstood that :-)

I wasn't sure about the word "toast", never heard that... here a "toast" is a french sandwich, LOL

He definitely meant Eagles. He was speaking just before that about why the Eagles and Phillies were ahead of the Sixers in terms of interest. He just accidentally slipped up, I think.

I'm psyched about the comments about Jrue. If he's making a positive impression on Ed then I sure hope he gets more minutes than most people anticipate. I wouldn't mind at all a hustling PG that plays within himself, kind of like how Rajon Rondo played in his first season. Especially when the team's gonna go with the PO where Iguodala would be the main facilitator.

eddies' heady's on Sep 22 at 21:03

Well, well, we finally get some comments from the head-man-in-charge. But more specifically, comments relating to Willie G and his purported role.

The Willie G in a somewhat backup-PG-but-without-PG-skills role seems to speak volumes to Jrue not being anywhere near ready, even though some had hoped and speculated that he was already the backup PG. For myself, Willie G getting these minutes is a positive sign no matter how it is spun. Let the kid learn to ride without training wheels behind closed doors and not on stage.

And it is almost laughable to believe what Ed said about reassessing the need for a veteran backup PG b/c of Jrue's work thru the summer and that he wasn't excited about any of the available free agents. After whiffing on re-signing Andre Miller, and low balling Mike Bibby and C.J. Watson, and others that we probably didn't hear about publicly, what else is left at that point to be excited about?

Then he follows that up with Jure 'making a strong case for minutes', so not as much of a pressing need for the backup PG, but in the next breath he says that he could see Willie G in an unorthodox backup PG role? While also saying that Willie G has not had a defined role when going into camp in years past -- Well it sure seems that they have already defined a role for Willie G BEFORE going to camp this year since he can 'see' Willie playing a Luscious Harris/Kerry Kittles type role. And if he can already 'see' Willie G in a backup PG role then doesn't that speak volumes as to how 'green' Jrue must truly be?

Seven days til TC opens baby...

Dedicated_76ers_Fan reply to eddies' heady's on Sep 23 at 1:54

Your looking WAY WAY too much into those comments. Look at Harris's and Green's stats. They're very similar.

Maybe Green in 04' could've played this role, but now he fares miserably at it. What Stefanski REALLY means by this is Green's role won't change. He'll still be an 15-18 MPG player that hopefully doesn't start.

I don't see why he will, a low FG shooter in a high FG offense like Princeton does NOT mix.

I think Stefanski misunderstands the word "Combo Guard". The Combo guard has to be semi-good at either the 1 or the 2. Willie's good at neither.

Jrue has more talent in his pinkie then Willie does in his entire fabric. It's just that Eddie Jordan feels the Princeton needs experienced veterans.

Jrue has bball smarts though, so he should by mid-season have a terrific feel for it.

johnmagee on Sep 24 at 11:37

He emphasized that the playoff experience the young guys have earned over the past two seasons is invaluable going forward (a point I've tried to make time and time again).

It is a chestnut that so many try to prove - mostly GM's who try to justify mediocre and a first round shellacking versus a move that might be one step backwards but strengthen the long term future of the team.

If Stefanski thinks the sixers are even ahead of the flyers in Philadelphia, he's more delusional than I thought

I gotta say, it's really fn cool that Stefanski takes the time to do this stuff. I'm happy to have a GM that sees value in speaking to the fans.

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