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Pressing Questions - 6/4

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RunJRH on Jun 4 at 1:01
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Mark Jackson is a complete moron.

Understatement of the year.

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charlie ace reply to RunJRH on Jun 4 at 8:55
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He's not a moron, he's a raging egomaniac.

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Eraq reply to RunJRH on Jun 4 at 10:39
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what did he do?

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johnrosz reply to RunJRH on Jun 4 at 19:26
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Mark Jackson reminds me of a videogame commentator. He makes these stupid rehearsed comments that come at unusual times, over and over and over. They usually have to do with someones heart or how someone is "getting it done"

i don't see a trade happening involving the pick at all unless something reeaally blows stefanski's mind. I don't like stefanski but i don't think he's stupid enough to trade the #2 pick unless we clearly get something better in return.

ps i completely agree with the mark jackson comment. i absolutely can't stand listening to him during games and i really don't understand how he was even considered a candidate for the coaching job.

Jeff Van Gundy has the cushiest job in the world and is a wise man to stay away from coaching.

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Mike R reply to Mar on Jun 4 at 15:48
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It is cushy for Van Gundy, he just make a few Yoda-ish observations and provides dry humor as a foil for Mark Jackson's bombast and bluster.

Pity, though, if he took the job more seriously he could up there with Collins, Hubie Brown and Fratello, who virtually coached the two teams on the floor.

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teddygreen on Jun 4 at 6:04
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Here's a SAS article where he wonders why Philly doesn't embrace Kobe Bryant. SAS also takes a couple pop shots on the Sixers and the state of basketball in Philly...


He's a 12-time all-star in the National Basketball Association. The number of times he's been a first-team, all-defensive player is eight - and counting. He won't be 32 until August. By that time, he just might have as many championship rings as Magic Johnson. And oh, by the way, he was born right here in Philadelphia.

You would think with such lofty credentials there would be a statue standing somewhere, on some street corner, perhaps near City Hall, paying homage to Kobe Bryant - the greatest champion to ever come out of a place known for its associations with anything but. Except that's never been the case with Bryant, who struggles to get a decent "hello" around these parts.

Why?

"I don't know," Bryant has told me on several occasions. "I really have no idea."

Bryant forgot to say it's officially Philadelphia's problem. So it's time for others to say it for him.

Any volunteers?

As the former league MVP gets set to appear in his seventh NBA Finals - six more than the 76ers have participated in over the last 27 years, by the way - and avenge a 131-92 drubbing by the rival Boston Celtics in the title-clinching Game 6 victory in 2008, it would make sense for Philadelphians to stand up, applaud excellence, and bury whatever proverbial hatchet they have concerning the Lakers star. Particularly since no one knows what ax it has to grind.

It should be easy to move past these things, of course. To just sit around and resign oneself to the fact that every city and every fan in it has a right to feel whatever way they want about whomever they please. But there should be one obligation attached to such hostility: making sense.

News flash, Philadelphia: You're falling short in this department.

Former 76ers coach Larry Brown never understood the disdain for Bryant. The late John Hardnett, a local community coaching legend, never understood it, either. Neither did St. Joseph's coach Phil Martelli, when I asked him years ago. Ditto former Temple coach John Chaney, or Drexel's coach, Bruiser Flint.

Basketball lovers love basketball players.

Perhaps the time has come for a city to explain itself.

"I've been around the game for quite a long time," Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak told me yesterday. "There are very, very few individuals I know of in this game who've ever been as focused as Kobe Bryant.

"All he cares about is winning, is being the best he can be while winning championships. He's that committed. He's that determined. He's that focused, and he's been this way since I've known him. This organization has always known how lucky we are to have him."

Maybe that's what it is.

Maybe in spite of all the great years that Allen Iverson gave this city, how he was the obvious top overall pick for former Sixers GM Brad Greenberg back in 1996, too many in this city are too busy lamenting the fact that they haven't had the greatest two-guard outside Michael Jordan or Oscar Robertson to embrace Bryant (the No. 13 overall pick in 1996) as one of their own.

Those same folks would rather point to the fact that Bryant was raised in Italy during his formative years instead of recalling that he was born in Philadelphia. They'd rather question his street credibility because he starred in the suburbs of Lower Merion than appreciate how his game transcended the streets.

Show me any star as accomplished as Bryant who was booed in his hometown as an all-star MVP. Show me the frowning faces, usually reserved for those who fall short continuously.

What's the problem? Is it that Bryant beat the Sixers in 2001, ending their surreal run to the Finals while sullying the luster of Iverson's league-MVP trophy at the time?

"I don't know, man," Bryant has repeated over the years when asked this question before admitting once: "It hurts, though. I can't lie about that. I never got it. Never will."

At the moment, Philadelphia doesn't matter. Basketball is irrelevant in this town. The Finals are taking place. The Sixers are not playing in them, as usual. And despite their claim to the No. 2 overall pick in this month's NBA draft and a new coach in Doug Collins, they are not about to compete for a title anytime soon.

It's Bryant's time, because it's the Finals. The Lakers' third consecutive trip to the final round, and a chance for the future Hall of Famer to stretch his legacy toward the Mount Rushmore of basketball icons. Yet win, lose, or draw, it doesn't change what Bryant has accomplished, nor what he should already mean to this city.

Everyone knows this. Except the city harboring the Big Five.

Some things require an explanation.

Read more: http://www.philly.com/inquirer/columnists/stephen_a_smith/20100603_Stephen_A__Smith__Hometown_disdain_for_Bryant_is_inexplicable.html#ixzz0psPFgdyD

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My opinion as to why Kobe isn't embraced in Philly...

Perhaps because it seems that Kobe only returns to Philly when the Sixers play the Lakers.

The guy doesn't really even get around LA. Kobe shuttles himself to games by Helicopter from Orange County....

http://www.gq.com/sports/profiles/201003/kobe-bryant?currentPage=4


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sfw reply to teddygreen on Jun 4 at 8:44
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Teddy, Read the user comments. Some great reasons why Philly has not embraced Kobe.

Kobe is "hated" (e.g. booed) rather than just "not embraced". IMO, there are a lot of Philly fans than enjoy having bitter rivalries with the top teams in each pro sport (e.g. Celtics, Lakers, Dallas Cowboys). Even after the teams are no longer competing with each other for championships, the rivalry is a reminder of past glories and adds some interest to the games. In that context, Kobe is hated as a "traitor" who moved away to play for a hated rival. Kind of irrational, but rationality isn't the point of playing the hated rival game.

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Devin reply to teddygreen on Jun 4 at 10:46
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He does a lot for the community that doesn't get a lot of recognition. Most of the stuff he does is for his high school though.

The thing about Kobe is that outside of LA no one really likes him. Plus he's the kind of guy that denies his roots instead of embracing them. He doesn't support any Philly sports teams, he said he wanted to rip Philly's heart out, and he said he was an LA guy not a Philly guy. Plus during his years in Philly he was obnoxious, as if he knew that he was too good of an athlete to stay in Philly.

+1. People acknowledge his greatness as a player... but as a person he's not that likable. And he goes out of his way to separate himself from Philly, so why should he be embraced?

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deepsixersuede on Jun 4 at 7:21
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In a way I wish Doug was still announcing, yes Jackson is a moron. I really enjoyed the Koby piece about past players last night, less arrogance and total respect for the game.

Would Thibedeax of put our front office through this same stuff if he was our choice and does our new coach really wanting to be here make him more attractive to us?

A trade I would consider? #2 and J.Smith, J.Meeks, T.Young for #4, #16 and K.Love and Ellington. Final result?

Dalembert,Spieghts, Seraphin [#16]
Love,Brand
Johnson [#4],Kapono
Iggy,Ellington
Holliday,Williams

Any thought of giving up Turner or Favors has to solve a lot of issues. Three possible young starters would intrigue me a lot, along with a perfect compliment to L.Will. [Ellington] off the bench. I am a bigger fan than most as far as Love is concerned and feel he would bring as much as Turner in the intangebles department and would thrive under Collins.

If you think Johnson has real star potential...meaning number 1 scoring option (24 ppg on good %)...then yes, that's a great deal. But if not, you are making the team significantly better for next year, but limiting the team long term with the same problem- no go to scoring. Great option if Johnson really looks good in workouts.

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Mar reply to ryano on Jun 4 at 7:55
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I was talking to a Celtics fan and I asked him about Thibedeau. He thought the guy would make a HORRIBLE coach, as he has the personality of a sack of potatoes. He said he was horrible in front of the cameras and he is better suited as an assistant coach.

I've also endorsed a version of that trade on other forums. Of course it really depends on the Sixers' internal evaluations of Love, Turner, Johnson, Cousins, and who would be available at #16.

My sense is that the Timberwolves' fans think that is way too much of an overpay and their front office may well agree. So I suspect it is not a trade that will be offered.

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bebopdeluxe on Jun 4 at 8:41
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I think that the Sixers do not make a trade until after they take Turner at #2...and they are working the phones HARD with the Clips at 8 to see whether they like Thad at SF (for Aldrich or Udoh).

I believe the Sixers will somehow get a potential Sammy replacement in this draft. Lou, Speights or Thad will be used. Maybe tossing in Willie's expiring contract.

Interesting that the Sixers are having a team workout just prior to the draft.

The only way Turner is not their pick is if they view him as more of a supplemental player(not a top 2 player on a championship team).

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charlie ace on Jun 4 at 9:15
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After the season they had, I can't see them not making a trade; there's almost always roster turnover. (Was it the summer of '08 that saw no turnover at all except for the draft?) But I don't think there'll be a trade until very close to the draft or soon after. Collins wants to see what he has (that starts June 24) and they have to be thinking that the team as it is will improve. If that's the case, any trade will not bring good value because the value will be based on last year mostly, and we know what that means. Can you get a top 15 pick for Thad? I don't think so. Lou? Heck no. Both of them? Maybe, but do you want to trade 2 scorers for Aldrich or Xavier Henry? I don't. Avery Bradley, on the other hand....

Another thing: I think Collins wants Brand to stay because of his leadership. (What are they gonna get for him anyway?) The Sixers have a lot of immature players and nobody stepped up to lead last year. That includes Brand, of course, but I think he despised Jordan so much he was handcuffed.

If they could just find a way to get Al Jefferson here.... (kidding!)

What's going to make any trades this summer hard for the Sixers this summer is timing. What I mean by that is, there might be some moves out there to make, big moves, but because of the sequence of the draft, then FA, they might be impossible to make. For instance, someone posted yesterday about a potential sign-and-trade for Joe Johnson using Lou Williams and Samuel Dalembert. The more I thought about it, the more I kind of liked it. Problem is, J. Johnson couldn't and wouldn't agree to that deal until at least July 1st, and we need to decide on Turner or Favors by June 24th. Can you risk not taking Turner if you don't KNOW you have a top-flight SG waiting in the wings. I'm not sure. If you take Turner and then have to flip him (bc you get J. Johnson or someone of that ilk) AFTER the draft, it's always tougher than simply moving him on draft night.

IMO it is unrealistic to expect the Sixers to add another big ticket player.

Iguodala+Brand will account for 60% or more of the cap for the next 3 seasons (worse if the cap goes down with a new CBA.) Adding another 18M for a max guy like JJ would mean those 3 players would account for over 90% of the cap. that is not really an option for this team.

Sixers history... 1997:

Traded #2 overall pick and filler for #7, #21, and filler (including a 25 year old former #9 pick who looked like Cole Aldrich's brother.)

ProDraftParty has videos with the highlights/lowlights of the NFL draft prospects. Do you know if there is anything similar to that for NBA draft prospects?

If we were to draft Favors and don't find a good player for the SG role, what are the chances we're a lottery team again next season?

With Holiday/Iguodala/Favors as the core of the team and Dalembert/Kapono/Green as expiring deals (or coming off the books after the season), would we put ourselves in a much better situation to make improvments as we'd also have potentially a top ten pick to work with?

Would it be worth sitting through another painful "rebuilding" season next year?

Moving forward we have holes at SG and C. Does it make more sense to draft Turner and make the playoffs, or draft a less NBA ready player in Favors and possibly be in the lottery next year again? (Note: Drafting Favors could also involve trading down and possibly getting an additional later pick or some depth on our bench).

Even if we didn't have a draft pick at all, this team is not a bottom ten team in the league, not with a real coach.

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scott reply to Brian on Jun 4 at 12:25
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That's my main question. I did't get to see Favors play a lot this year, other than from highlights. So I'm not sure what impact he will have in his first year as a 19-20 year old. Everyone says he is a player with great potential. Does that mean his impact won't be that great immediately?

I think even with no draft pick they have a chance at making the playoffs in the East (doesn't say much.)

The only way they end up in the bottom 8 again is if they traded Sam/Iguodala or one of those players was lost to injury.

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ryano reply to scott on Jun 4 at 12:27
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We should go with Turner.

Buy a late first round pick.

Trade a combination of Speights, Thad, and Lou for a late lottery pick.

Let our expiring contracts come off the books and only replace them with rookie deals. Allow the young guys grow into a good, and hopefully elite, unit together under good coaching. Set our eyes on Brand's expiring deal in a few years as a target date for being a true contender where we can sign a big name or other complimentary pieces to put us over the top.

Please, please, please...no new deals this summer for anything except cheap, young talent.

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scott reply to ryano on Jun 4 at 12:58
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I like the plan.

Regarding trading for a late lottery pick, I think we should really look into what we could get from moving Lou Williams.

I understand that his ability to create instant offense is an asset off the bench. Especially on a team with a back court that could potentially be more of a defensive unit than an offensive one. I always thought he had great potential from when we got him out of HS, but his personality really is holding him back. He seems like the type of player that never matured enough as a result of skipping college. And I mean both on the court and off the court. Just from his twitter comments you can see that he doesn't have the right attitude towards the game. Maybe he just needs to experience some adversity (maybe if Doug Collins benches him for poor defense) in order to build character, but I dont think I see him as a building block moving forward.

Otherwise, I think we should keep Speights and trade LouWill and Thad (if we really need to move someone else in order to get another good pick). Thaddeus just has redundant skills if we have Turner and Iguodala.

So, the point of all this rambling, what could we potentially get for Thad and Lou? Who in the top ten needs an atheltic wing and some offense off the bench?

I think Memphis would be a really good fit for Thad. With Randolph in trouble (again) and Gay possibly leaving, having a guy like Young gives you some versatility and insurance. Is Luke Babbit or Paul George (or whoever they project to take at #12) better than Thaddeus Young right now? I don't think so. I'd start there and call every team behind them. Atlanta would give up #23 for Lou Williams too I bet.

Atl is averse to spending money. They are more likely willing to sell the #23 for cash.

And the sixers being up against the tax are unlikely to buy a 1st rounder.

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bebopdeluxe reply to tk76 on Jun 4 at 14:48
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All the more reason why they should package Thad and their 2011 1st round pick to get the big they want now...if they finish 6th/7th in the East this coming season, they would have roughly the 18th pick...they ould use some of the cap room they will have next summer to buy a pick to replace the pick they trade away this summer with Thad to get Sammy's replacement.

Thad + our 2011 1st round pick to LAC for 8 (Aldrich, Udoh...perhaps even Monroe or Cousins if they fall)

I think you might be Larry Brown :)

I'm against sending away future #1 picks as a general principle unless it is part of a deal that lands us a star.

I guess I would be on board if the future #1 was lottery protected.

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bebopdeluxe reply to tk76 on Jun 4 at 16:35
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tk:

Fine - make it lotto protected. I expect us to be in the playoffs, anyway.

Brook Lopez, Courtney Lee and Derrick Favors for and Thaddeus Young, Mareese Speights, and Evan Turner

I would probably do that deal.

Of course but the Nets think Lopez is the guy they are building around. They are not even remotely interested in this.

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Charlie reply to izimbra on Jun 6 at 10:20
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I have to think the Nets are very interested in Evan Turner, but true, they don't want to let Lopez go. They'd have to play Speights at center.

How does NJ get away with making a lot of good deals? They traded away a 35 year old point gaurd for a 24 yr old all-star pg, 2 first round picks, and 3 million cash. Then they trade Vince Carter for decent SG and cap relief.

Wow. What a difference a year makes. Last year beginning of the season you guys were talking about how Thad could be a lockdown defender and hes going to be better than Iguodola. Speights was a rookie Phenom and we were lucky to get him where we did and he could be a young Amare.
So after one year with a terrible coach and poor management overall we are throwing both of these guys in the trash ?

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bebopdeluxe reply to Gdog on Jun 4 at 18:23
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Nobody is "throwing both of these guys in the trash".

Getting Turner - and having a Jrue/Turner/Iggy setup - makes Thad (for all of his potential) the most realistic trade piece to get a young big...especailly given the contract decisions we would have to make next summer if we keep him. And I don't see everybody just wanting to dump Speights for crap - I, for one, am willing to see if Collins can get him to play D.

Does that make sense?

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Old School SixerFan reply to Gdog on Jun 4 at 21:33
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I agree with you. I don't put much of the blame on the players because Thad was the most affected by Jordan and his craziness and Thad is a hard worker. If Collins can motivate Speights to play defense and to continue to build on his offensive game, Speights might become an elite scorer.

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johnrosz on Jun 4 at 19:34
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I'm convinced that Collins is going to fall in love with Thad once he get's him into that little minicamp he was talking about. Collins is a guy that has a low tolerance for lazy players. Even the Thad detractors wouldn't really call him lazy. Collins is a big fan of the stretch 4 as well. Once he sees that Thad is willing to put in the effort on both ends of the floor to get better, he isn't going anywhere. I'm more convinced that Speights/Lou are the guys that might get shipped out (please be Lou)

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bebopdeluxe reply to johnrosz on Jun 5 at 0:10
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When Collins said that he thought that some of the pieces needed to be changed, who do you think he was talking about - Lou?

He has been EMPHATIC that Iguodala is a 3. Period. Unless it is lip-service, he expects Brand to be his PF...and I see no reason right now why he can't be a 14/7 guy (with good interior defense) for 30 minutes a night. Turner's gonna play 35 minutes a night, as is Jrue....

Where is Thad going to find 30 minutes a night?

We've got our backcourt of the future...Iguodala will be at the 3, where he belongs...if we can turn Thad into a young, great big who can grow with these guys, we'll really have something here.

I'm not convinced that Brand will be a starter unless he magically reverses to his old self. I don't think Brand is useless (as many of you do) and he is good enough to be the starter of the team in the right system, but it looks like Thad is the early choice for Collins. Thad is probably going to start at PF (with Sammy at C), and finish the game getting some starters minutes at the PF and backup minutes at SF.

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deepsixersuede reply to Xsago on Jun 5 at 7:42
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I think Brand will share the position with Thad and he will start and end games because first, and foremost, Collins is a defensive coach. Once Thad gets a few practices with Collins under his belt he may at least become an average to slightly above average defender.

28 minutes for Brand and 20 for an improved Thad wouldn!t surprise me if no major moves are made. Spieghts seemed to be thought of as a different look type of backup 5 last year though Collins may have a different view on him. I sure hope we get a glimpse of he and Sammy together this year.

Yes but maybe Thad IS that "piece" you are referring to. If hes going to play, like it or not hes going to play at the Power Forward spot. Collins has said this in an interview with Mike Missanelli. Speights ? who knows...Defense is really about effort. Something tells me these guys will put in the effort for Collins. I have a gut feeling.

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deepsixersuede reply to Gdog on Jun 4 at 21:31
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If Collins is as good as we hope, and he has 3 varieties of p.f. at his disposal [Elton,Marreese,Thad] than according to matchups we could be real good there. He at least will have a clue as far as how to use this roster.

Will we, or any other team, ever know if Thad can play the 3. I agree with the earlier statement that last year should be thrown out and although I liked Thad in the 6th man, run like hell ,role he should, sometime in the next 3 years be given a shot to be a 3. He won!t get that here,once Turner is picked because as I have stated before, Turner plus Iggy means more Kapono till Turner becomes a deep threat.

Is there room for 2 5million dollar guys on a bench or does it come down to Thad, when he resigns, or Lou?

+1 about the gut feeling. Especially Thad...

Thibodeau to the Bulls not the Hornets it looks like:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/basketball/bulls/ct-spt-0605-bulls-chicago--20100604,0,1442761.story

odd all this is happening during the playoffs

The more I think about it, the more I think the Sixers HAVE to take Evan Turner. Even if Favors turns into Amare Stoudemire and Turner is a Brandon Roy/Paul Pierce type. We NEED a closer at the end of games. And that closer has to be a wing. Amare's not a closer, Howards not a closer. Theres only been one big man in the last 20 years thats been a closer and that was Hakeem Olajuwan. Big men need someone to get them the ball. I would prefer to have a guy like Turner bring the ball up, isolate, and make the shot. We already have very good potential on defense in Sam/Brand/Iguodola and decent scoring from Brand/Speights/Iguodola.
We have Willie green, lou williams and meeks at SG. The obvious choice is Evan Turner, a SG, who was the best player in college basketball last year. Lets not overthink this Sixers. If someone offers an insane deal for him--theres a reason why they would...keep the pick.


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