DFDepressed FanDepressed Fan

All  

Sixers

, all the time

Sophie's Choice, Sixers Style

A very good question.

My first thought is, it's not nearly as difficult to come up with an answer as one might think. In fact, a better question is, what do you want to see from this team after both contracts expire?

Both men are being paid a significant amount of money to produce a product. In Jordan's case, he's shouldering more responsility.
Without Brand, we will see Jordan given more freedom to control his style of lineups and play. Is that better for the team? No. This roster has already shown an inability to adapt to his style and execute it successfully. We will see developed youth incapable of defending and most likely more psychologically damaged in the following two years. I can only imagine the long-term effects that will have on this team for years to come. So in short, Mr. Jordan is not holding up his end of the bargain. In fact, he's producing a negative result.

Keeping Brand will put this team in financial restrictions for years, however, Brand has a few things going for him:
- he's not worth the money he's being paid, but he's still a capable starter.
- he's a professional willing to play on the bench if needed and would never psychologically affect this team.
- at the end of his term, he could be a valuable expiring contract. Obviously, we can't say the same for Jordan.

So in the long run, I think this team has a brighter future if they get rid of the guy with negative production.
Bye bye Mr. Jordan.

user-pic
Teddy Green on Mar 3 at 4:51
+/-

Hey Brian,

I'm betting that Clipper fans can relate to the plight of Sixer fans. The Clippers went through a similar predicament of having an incompetent coach in Mike Dunleavy, but in their case the problem was that their owner Donald Sterling was too cheap to fire Dunleavy. In the Sixers case the problem seems to be that Ed Stefanski hired the wrong coach and now he doesn't want to hone up to his mistake which could possibly jeopardize his job.

Obviously the best solution would be to fire Eddie Jordan, since it’s the more plausible solution to replace Jordan with a defensive coach like Tom Thibodeau rather than to trade Brand for what would most likely be bad contracts. (Sorry Brian, but i can delude myself with the fairy tale notion that the Sixers can miraculously trade Brand for expiring contracts--especially now that Isaiah Thomas is no longer a GM)

Okay, so Elton Brand has a bad contract that will only get worse; but Brand can still be an effective player on this team. You’ve proven many times with your statistical graphs, that this team plays better with Elton Brand. I’m wondering why this team couldn't use Brand as he gets older, as the first big off the bench to backup both PF/C ala a more productive Brian Skinner.

What’s really frustrating is that there are a lot of teams that would kill for a trio of big men like Dalembert/Brand/Speights, yet the genius that is Eddie Jordan doesn’t know how to get production from them…

Jordan leaves...a million times over...Jordan leaves!

user-pic
deepsixersuede on Mar 3 at 7:46
+/-

The one has a bad effect on this team, the other a good effect, see you Eddie.

EJ has got to go!

Jordan's only got 2 years left. He can help us get great draft picks.

In 2 years we could be left with (if we get rid of Brand):
- 20+ million in cap space
- a top 7 pick (this year), and 2 top 5 picks
- No Eddie Jordan (contract gone)
- Holiday (21), Young (23), Speights (24), Iguodala (28)

We're not contending in the next to years anyway. It would be infuriating, and I'd probably break 2 or 3 TV's over the course of that time, but that's what I'd probably say.

(In reality, they're not mutually exclusive, so this is really just asking us what is holding us back more. For as bad as Jordan is, he's just making a mediocre team bad. Brand's doing his part to prevent us from rising above mediocrity).

But do you see those young players being broken under Jordan? If after 3 years under Jordan's "tutelage" they have corruped instincts on offense and defese then you have to start over anyway.

user-pic
Statman reply to tk76 on Mar 3 at 10:50
+/-

But do you see those young players being broken under Jordan? If after 3 years under Jordan's "tutelage" they have corrupted instincts on offense and defense then you have to start over anyway.

For me, this is the crux of the matter: would Jordan do irreparable damage to the players who might be here if/when the team becomes good again? The one mitigating factor, I think, is that basketball is not rocket science, and bad habits can be "un-learned" in a hurry under the right coach. (See how Larry Brown does it wherever he goes.) The tragedy, though, would be putting two years and 160+ games onto the odometers of Iguodala, Thad, and Jrue while they play for a horrible coach (this is assuming that Thad wants to stay and gets extended). For that reason, my preference would be to get rid of Jordan before Brand.

Note, however, that I'm not like some on the blog who want a title or bust. I'd be happy with a competitive playoff team that has a legitimate shot to get into the 2nd round. I believe that with even an average coach (instead of a historically bad one), the Sixers with their current roster would have been that.


user-pic
JohnEMagee reply to Statman on Mar 3 at 10:57
+/-

Note, however, that I'm not like some on the blog who want a title or bust. I'd be happy with a competitive playoff team that has a legitimate shot to get into the 2nd round. I believe that with even an average coach (instead of a historically bad one), the Sixers with their current roster would have been that.

And I don't get that.

The point of a team is to win, to build a team to win, to win all, to be the last team that finishes the season with a win in the playoffs...why would you say 'hey let's build a team that can't get out of the second round and be happy with that'?


user-pic
Statman reply to JohnEMagee on Mar 3 at 11:58
+/-

So you're saying you're not happy with a team or its season unless it wins the championship? Makes for a lousy viewing experience doesn't it, with one title in the last 40+ years (or put another way, one title in my lifetime and probably yours too)?

I don't think any team builds for the 2nd round of the playoffs. The thinking is that any team that reaches that far has some chance to win it all (it may not be a large chance).

Given the choice, I would rather watch a team that is consistently good than a team that is horrendous but with a chance (not a guarantee) of being great.

user-pic
JohnEMagee reply to Statman on Mar 3 at 12:08
+/-

Yes that's exactly what I said isn't it?

If my team seems to have a roster that's BUILDING towards contending for a championship (or at least a conference finals appearnace) then yes I'm happy, and if that means take a step back for a year cause your roster is a mess - that's fine...as long as there seems to be a plan in place that makes sense to me, that builds towards a contending for a title. You seem to indicate you'd be happy if the sixers had a mediocre roster that could get to the playoffs and make it to the second round every once in a while, though I think the current roster at its best won't be that, I think they'd consistently make the first round, but hardly, if ever, make it out of the first round.

In my opinioni, this roster, with this GM and this coach will NEVER contend for a conference championship appearance, and I doubt any coach could get them to a conference finals either, so why bother continuing down the path of mediocrity as Ed Stefanski seems to want.

The point is to BUILD TOWARDS WINNING - that's why at the beignning of the season I really didn't give a shit what the final record was cause it's irrelevant, player development (stunted by a dumb coach with a dumb system) is what matters, and sadly most of the players who need development are regressing.

user-pic
Statman reply to JohnEMagee on Mar 3 at 14:14
+/-

so why bother continuing down the path of mediocrity as Ed Stefanski seems to want.

The point is to BUILD TOWARDS WINNING

I don't think anyone disagrees with your last statement, and I doubt Stefanski came into the season thinking the team was on a path to mediocrity. Let me ask -- coming into this season, other than hiring a different coach, what would you have done differently? What moves did Stefanski make or not make that communicated to you at the time that he wasn't building toward winning?

As to my own approach to following my teams, I always enter a season hoping for a title, then temper my expectations accordingly. At season's end, I ask: "Did the team play good ball? Did they make the playoffs? Were they competitive? Was I entertained?" If those answers are mostly "yes," then I choose to be satisfied by the season. For example, I thought 07-08 and 08-09 were "good" seasons. The alternative is to be constantly dissatisfied with your team, which I guess you have been with the Sixers since, what, 02-03?

The fact is, all serious sports fans commit and risk some amount of their personal happiness to events over which they have little or no control (the outcome of sporting events). Given that a relatively small percentage of fans will wind up following the winning team each year, there are three approaches that fans can take: (1) take greater control [few of us have the means to do that], (2) reduce the threshold for satisfaction, (3) demand excellence and be disappointed otherwise [with the vast majority of outcomes resulting in the latter]. I've chosen #2, you've chosen #3, though it should be noted that my threshold for satisfaction (2nd round of playoffs, possibly competitive in the 1st round) is not much different than yours (conf. finals, possibly competitive in the 2nd round).

user-pic
JohnEMagee reply to Statman on Mar 3 at 14:27
+/-

Hiring Eie Joran seems like a mistake - it was the only major move stefanski was allowed to make...if i had better ownership i would have maybe offered andre miller 2 years instead of one so jrue holiday could learn with a real point guard (or at least almost real point guard on the roster)

The point is - it's not just the beginning of the season - it's the deadline as well- Stefanski looks at this roster and thinks its 'close' or why not commit to rebuilding - you've got 3 albatros contracts that you can't move - 2 of them can be moved for one expiring contract and a solid bench player who can shoot the tree better than most of your team...why don't you make that move - unless your delusional enough to think this roster as constructed (and with ownership spending restrictions) can contend for a title any time soon.

Like I said when I wrote - I couldn't give a dman about the overall record this season, I cared about player development - and a bad coach and player disinterest hasn't made that all that good either

user-pic
Statman reply to JohnEMagee on Mar 3 at 15:18
+/-

To be clear, I'm not any happier with this season than you (it doesn't meet either of our thresholds for satisfaction), and I wouldn't have been terribly unhappy had the Sixers pulled the trigger on the Rockets deal -- though I was hoping Iguodala would go to a better team, for his sake (Suns, Cavs, Mavs).

But from the Sixers' point of view, I doubt they consider the Iguodala/Dalembert contracts as albatrosses. The ability to deal them for an expiring contract and young talent will be there for the next year, at least. And the contracts could only be albatrosses by definition if they are preventing the Sixers from using the money elsewhere to bring them closer to the "winning path," as you call it. But where would the money be spent? On a soon-to-be-30 Joe Johnson? In a sense, not making the trade prevents the Sixers from entering into another foolish long-term deal this summer. (Even with lots of cap space, the Sixers would have zero chance of landing Bosh, Wade, or LeBron.)

And if you're saying the trade should have been made from a tanking point of view, then it goes back to the question of being consistently good (which I think the Sixers could be with this roster and the right coach) vs. being horrible with a small chance at greatness. The thing is, and I ask this of all tanking advocates: would you as the decision-maker for a large corporation build a business strategy for the future based on improbable, chance occurrences?

user-pic
JohnEMagee reply to Statman on Mar 3 at 15:36
+/-

Signing Joe Johnson with any money would be a complete and total BK - 'we're one piece away' move.

The sixers organization needs to accept the realization (in my mind) that it's not one piece away - it's so far away from contending - the nets have a better chance of buildng a winner in the future than the sixers do - they have more talent that can grown in my opinion, no burdensome contracts, and oh yeah, they just got a nw owner who won't be afraid to spend.

You don't go out and spend big money on a middle tier free agent if the majority of your assets aren't matured yet - i go back to the misfit toys theory -

This team won't ever really contend unless guys like Jrue, Thad, and Speights (yes speights) really mature faster than you'd expect so that Iguodalas prime isn't wasted (brand is a bench player now - he's no longer in his prime in my opinion - injuries have shortened his career - he's not useless but a staritng PF is really needed).

The point is - you can't rebuild until you have room to - and the sixers have no room to. You create cap room you just don't obtain players in free agency you can facilitate trades, obtain draft picks for helping other teams achieve salary flexibility if it's a 2 year deal since you're more than 2 years away anyway.

It's a complete philosophy change - cause sreiously - the fan base doesn't really care - if the sixers had 10 less wins this year i doubt the attendance would take a huge hit proportionally to how bad it already is - it's one of the worst in the league.

They want to replicate the aura of 2001 but htink it can be done quickly and I don't htink it can in todays nba

of course after 2011 - the whole damn thing might change

I don't think it's a tweak - i think there are core issues with the roster, the gm, and the ownership (I'm ignoring the coach because he's a putz and it's assumed that to ever really win he must be gone) - and core 'delusions' in the GM especially about the potential of this roster.

I don't mind a step backwards record wise if i believe the team is moving forward - i don't believe this team is moving forward this season

Yes. The Sixers are big picture broken. No stmall picture. They don't need a band-aids. They need re-incarnation.

user-pic
Tray reply to Statman on Mar 3 at 15:38
+/-

"The thing is, and I ask this of all tanking advocates: would you as the decision-maker for a large corporation build a business strategy for the future based on improbable, chance occurrences?"

That's totally different. In business, if you have the 8th biggest market share of, say, tomato sauce in America, you're probably pretty happy with that. The point of selling tomato sauce isn't to crush all other sellers of tomato sauce. The point of playing a professional sport, however, is winning championships. Having a consistently pretty good team gets old fast. I don't know if you're a Phillies fan, but by the second or third time we missed the wild card by one game, I was getting pretty fed up with management's failure to spend enough money on pitching to actually go somewhere. Likewise, if you're a Suns fan I imagine you're royally pissed at ownership for never being willing to pay a draft pick. If they'd done so they probably would've made a Finals.

user-pic
JohnEMagee reply to Tray on Mar 3 at 15:42
+/-

In business also, poorly run companies fail and are either swallowed up by better run companies or go bankrupt, employees who don't perform well can be fired and you aren't obligated to keep paying them forever, there's no CBA

And more importaly - in business there is not as limited a talent pool as in the NBA.

There's only one kobe, or one lebron, but in general business very few folk are unique or irrepalcable as much as we like to think of them that way.

General Business, finance, and economic rules do not apply to sports - they are unique and symbiotic and have their own rules, and yes they probably make too much money - but they make a lot of money because the teams make a lot of money and it's what the market bears...the standard rules of business and capitalism do not work for professional sports

user-pic
Statman reply to Tray on Mar 3 at 16:43
+/-

That's totally different. In business, if you have the 8th biggest market share of, say, tomato sauce in America, you're probably pretty happy with that. The point of selling tomato sauce isn't to crush all other sellers of tomato sauce. The point of playing a professional sport, however, is winning championships.

Certainly, the economic model is different for professional sports team than for goods and products. However, I would venture that a large portion of owners (not all) would consider their franchises successful if they made money. It's not the best from a fan's point of view (think: Norman Braman), but I think a lot of owners consider primarily the bottom line in their decisions.

But, even if winning championships is part of the overall goal, it's not clear to me that intentionally bottoming out for a small chance at a great player is a viable strategy for an NBA team. For every Thunder or Cavs (neither of which have won a championship yet, by the way), there is a Blazers (won the lottery, picked the wrong guy) or Clippers or Bulls -- the latter two being teams that were bad for a long time in the 00's and never really got better.

Now certainly, you could argue that if the Sixers are going to be as bad as they are this year, they might as well be bad cheaply. But even for the teams that employ the tanking strategy, they need to make good decisions on which assets to keep should they ever get lucky in the future.


user-pic
Tray reply to Statman on Mar 3 at 16:52
+/-

Didn't the Clippers sort of squander their young talent? I seem to recall an Odom/Brand/Richardson/Maggette team that could've been pretty good. The Bulls just kept picking the wrong guys. But we have Tony DiLeo so we shouldn't have that problem.

user-pic
bebopdeluxe reply to Statman on Mar 3 at 19:14
+/-

Somehow, I have a feeling that fans of the Thunder (who will almost assuredly NOT win an NBA title this year) are having a ROCKIN' good time this season - WITHOUT winning a championship.

Imagine that.

user-pic
bebopdeluxe reply to Statman on Mar 3 at 19:01
+/-

Amen, statman.

Fans who use "championship or bust" as the ONLY determinant of success or happiness are setting impossibly high standards. Do I want to win a title? Of course. But I'll also take a team with good players who play hard, coached by a guy with a clue, and a management that tries to do the right things.

Good post, bro.

"Note, however, that I'm not like some on the blog who want a title or bust. I'd be happy with a competitive playoff team that has a legitimate shot to get into the 2nd round. I believe that with even an average coach (instead of a historically bad one), the Sixers with their current roster would have been that."

I am also not title or bust. But I think you overrate the talent level on this roster.

Iguodala: top 30-50 NBA player
Brand: when health average NBA starting PF
Jrue: below average starting PG with upside
Young: Below average SF/PF tweener with upside
Speights: Above average offensive, horrible defensive PF
Sam: all told an average NBA starting center
Lou: average NBA Sixth man. Average back-up PG
Green: below average role player

Add to this the fact that the pieces don't fit well, and you have an average at best NBA team even with a good coach. Add Miller and you could be a bit above average, but Miller is gone.

user-pic
JohnEMagee reply to tk76 on Mar 3 at 15:36
+/-

Hence my 'absolute upside' idea :)

user-pic
Tray reply to tk76 on Mar 3 at 15:50
+/-

"Iguodala: top 30-50 NBA player"

Now I'm not the biggest Iguodala fan but what 29 players are better than he is? I'll give you LeBron, Wade, Paul, Kobe, Dirk, Melo, Bosh, Durant, Howard, Duncan, Nash, Deron Williams, Brandon Roy, maybe Evans on potential (that's 14)... and then I think you get to players like Josh Smith, Joe Johnson, Iguodala, Stoudemire.

That's fair. Probably 20-50 are pretty close and fluid. For example, (ignoring contract) for the next 4 years would you rather have Iguodala or Rose?

Here's an example of a ranking where Iguodala is #26. I think ESPN ranked him 37. IMO 20-50 are pretty close.

user-pic
Tray reply to tk76 on Mar 3 at 16:15
+/-

Yeah, I would say ranking Granger, Jefferson, Devin Harris, Pierce, Vince Carter, Parker, and Garnett over Iguodala is pretty offbase. Some of those choices (Granger, Harris, Garnett sadly, Carter) are more offbase than others.

user-pic
JohnEMagee reply to Tray on Mar 3 at 16:21
+/-

I think of Slam Online as the 'eskin' of NBA writing - it's much more based on public opinion and perceived opinion than actual fact

Was not endorsing their ranking- and they have Iguodala higher than some others. Just wanted to find a top 50 list, and it was the first I came across.

user-pic
Statman reply to tk76 on Mar 3 at 16:57
+/-

I am also not title or bust. But I think you overrate the talent level on this roster.

I agree with most of your talent ratings, and then would ask what a similar listing for Charlotte or Milwaukee would look like. I believe the Sixers could be 10 games better with a better coach, meaning they would be competing for the #5 seed in the East. And I think we would be thinking a lot differently about the future of the franchise if they were.

user-pic
Statman reply to tk76 on Mar 3 at 17:08
+/-

Young: Below average SF/PF tweener with upside

By the way, this is the most disappointing part of this year for me. Thad was an above-average starting PF at the end of last year (at least in the Eastern Conference), but he's been mostly below-average this year, no matter what position.

user-pic
bebopdeluxe reply to tk76 on Mar 3 at 19:03
+/-

tk:

I think if this team had been coached by LB, they win 45+ games and have a shot at the 2nd round...THIS season.

I would get rid of EFJ in a heartbeat. The damage that he would do to the players other than Brand over the next two years would be irreparable, IMO.

Jordan, in a very selfish way.

I'm not going to argue it is better for the team. I, personally, would just be happier if he was gone.

Yeah, gotta get rid of Jordan. Brand is overpaid, but not a bad player. He can definitely start on a 50 win team (in the East) with a decent coach at the helm. Jordan is one of the worst basketball coaches I've ever seen... no exaggeration. He's gotta be the one to go.

user-pic
Mike P. on Mar 3 at 9:46
+/-

Ed S would mess it all up regardless. Probably take 5 more SFs in the draft.

This is a no win situation.

user-pic
Charlie Ace on Mar 3 at 11:15
+/-

I don't think it's a difficult question. Jordan is preventing this team from being competitive, Brand is not. Brand is a good player, Jordan is a very bad coach. Brand tries to help, Jordan doesn't. There is reason to believe that Brand (30) will improve. Jordan has given us no reason to believe.

user-pic
JohnEMagee on Mar 3 at 11:21
+/-

Come on, Brian. With the right coach Elton could become an asset, used correctly. Until EJ is history, he is day by day destroying this team and young talent.

user-pic
Shawn reply to DeanH on Mar 3 at 12:30
+/-

You are lying to yourself. He is now officially an injury liability.

user-pic
Shawn reply to DeanH on Mar 3 at 12:33
+/-

As in, he's not reliable.

user-pic
JohnEMagee reply to Shawn on Mar 3 at 12:36
+/-

As in, he's not reliable.

Then he fits in perfectly on the sixers roster

user-pic
Mike P. reply to JohnEMagee on Mar 3 at 13:13
+/-

Land of Misfit toys! YEAH!

Well... if given the opportunity I would tear this roster apart, but we have a rookie point guard who may amount to something, we may get a pretty good player in this year's draft and next year's, and I think it's dangerous for any player to spend the first years of his career under Eddie Jordan. Keeping Brand only locks us into mediocrity for a few years, keeping Jordan could spoil the future of our franchise for many years to come.

I'd much rather watch a team mired in mediocrity that played smart, tough basketball than see EJ squander an even more talented lineup with his coaching absurdities.

Either way (keeping Brand or Jordan) this team is toast for another 3 years. then they will need to start from scratch and build around a different nucleus.

The only way to accelerate the needed change is to go nuclear. Fire the Eds and try to somehow get rid of Brand's contract in the next 15 months. Then again, if their is a year lockout starting next summer the issue could be moot.

That's easy for me, get rid of braceface. A good coach could get this team at a top five team in the east playing great defense and running the break. Elton is not what he used to be and is grossly overpaid but he can still be a very good role player. Bring in a defensive coach and let him start jrue AI9 Thad Elton and Sammy and watch them flourish.

user-pic
AaronMcKie4MVP on Mar 3 at 17:12
+/-

I would get rid of Eddie Jordan. but just to play devil's advocate....

IMO, the best opportunity to win is when you have a real gem of a player with a low salary. So....

1) IF we got rid of Brand in a pure salary dump and
2) IF Jrue turns into a star under his current $1.7mm contract
3) IF we let Sammy walk,

THEN, in 2001-2012, we have a total payroll of $30mm and a core of Iggy, Thad, and Jrue (with Lou Will, speghts, smith , meeks). thats a lot of money left to sign 2, maybe 3 really good players.

user-pic
JohnEMagee reply to AaronMcKie4MVP on Mar 3 at 17:48
+/-

Projected the 2011/2012 cap and salary structure is na impossibility right now - no idea what the BRI number is going to be or if the recovery will be real...

You factoring in high first round picks in 2010 and 2011 into your salary calculations?

Or a contract extensions for thad?

user-pic
AaronMcKie4MVP reply to JohnEMagee on Mar 3 at 18:35
+/-

I assume that we sign Qualifying Offers for thad and smith (not sure what this means but i assume it happens)... to answer your question, it does not include re-signing Thad. here are the numbers...

http://hoopshype.com/salaries/philadelphia.htm

Iggy : $13.5
Lou: : $5.9
Thad : $4.0 (Qualifying offer)
speights: $2.7
Jrue: $1.7
Smith: $3.1 (Qualifying offer)
Meeks: $0.9

lets factor in 2 top 10 picks @ $2.5mm per season (salary for the #5 pick). the numbers would be $31.8 + $5.0. So, $36.8mm for the roster above plus 2 top-10 picks.

Players rarely sign their qualifying offers, they're usually either extended, sign elsewhere as a restricted free agent or they sign a one-year deal for more money w/ their team. David Lee and Nate Robinson are two guys who did that this season. Charlie Villaneuva and Ramon Sessions are two restricted free agents who left their team.

If you're going to keep Thad that summer, you're going to have to extend him. Otherwise, you're on the hook for a pretty sizable cap hold number, I think somewhere around $9M, Smith's would be in the $5M range.

user-pic
AaronMcKie4MVP reply to Brian on Mar 3 at 18:52
+/-

What do you think market will be for Thad, its tough to say. For the purpose of this, Id let Smith walk and sign Thad for $7.1mm. that keeps our salary at $36.8mm.

but dont forget, a big assumption is that Jrue becomes a real star playing for Eddie Jordan ! LOL

$36.8M is reasonable, but there are other factors to consider.

1. What's the cap going to be? Could be lower than $50M. That doesn't leave you a whole lot of room. Maybe 1 player.

2. How much will a max contract be? $14M is probably enough for 1 max contract, but it's up in the air.

There's so much unknown about the summer of 2011 right now. It's tough to plan for that summer to be your big cap year. We could be locked out until 2012, though you really can't count on that either.

I don't know, I think I'd rather watch Brand drag ass up and down the court for two more seasons than watch Jordan destroy the assets on this roster, no matter how valuable those assets turn out to be.

user-pic
AaronMcKie4MVP on Mar 3 at 19:10
+/-

yeah, definitely a lot of IFs if you go down the path I outlined. I just wanted to see if you can come with any argument for Jordan over Brand. Even jeffrey dahmer had an attorney


Expand/Contract all comments

Leave a comment


back-to-story.gif