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An Extension Minefield

I don't think the idea of Thad only trying this year is in play. He has shown really no character or work ethic issues with the Sixers. Now he's got to show some defense if he gets big money. Do you really think Thad is going to be able to get 70 million on the open market after this year. I guess a guy like Rudy got it with 20 and 6 this year while Thad averaged 15 and 5 with more efficient shooting last year, so it's possible. Right now, I don't think Thad is a 40 million dollar player, much less 70 mil. If he gets that on the open market, wish him well.

Smith is not a guy you really want to give long-term money too. With Hawes, you have to gauge how he does here and what he is being offered. I just don't hope the front office bids against nobody like they did with Iguodala to a certain extent. If Hawes plays well (I'm skeptical), and does it the right way, we should see what we can lock him up for. If he shows improvement on both ends and potential to start, let's try and get him at a reasonable price. Just don't shell out 50 mil because of one year. Again, we should try and get out of financial above everything. We're on the road to flexibility after countless mistakes, don't screw it up by trying to validate your own moves.

Court_visioN on Jul 16 at 2:18

Ultimately I think Thad will be traded this season, either right now in the offseason or at the deadline. I don't think he really fits in with the rest of this roster if Iguodala is going to play out his career as a SF and he would be more valuable to another team lacking a second/third option scoring wing. I think other teams would be able to outbid us for his services and that's why I believe he's going to be traded. Just going by what Stefanski and Collins have been saying about Thad and the direction of this team I don't think Thad fits very well, especially considering we have like 8 more SFs on the roster.

I don't think we're going to end up re-signing both Hawes and Thad. (Smith being let go i think is a foregone conclusion for all of us fans) so I do believe one of them will be dealed (or let go). My best guess is Thad is the one that's traded, although like you I do like Thad as a player and as a person (I know nothing about Hawes)

This is a difficult situation because they're playing under a new coach who may or may not be effective at helping them improve as players. I would say that if Thad improves, he might be worth signing if another team isn't willing to overpay for him. He has shown work ethic in the past, and to me, that is what's important.

Spencer Hawes would have to really impress to even be considered. Again, if contract offers are too high, no.

Jason Smith is a poor man's Spencer Hawes. He can walk as soon as his contract expires.

On another topic, I heard that Thad added ten pounds of muscle. Do you suppose he is expecting to get more minutes at PF this upcoming season?

Court_visioN reply to Jeff on Jul 16 at 2:47

the problem is that you can't afford to wait until the offseason to decide. You have to decide whether Thad and/or Hawes are worth re-upping before the deadline, otherwise your options dwindle down to a sign and trade or just letting them walk for nothing. When the team's supposed to be building up talent and developing their core, you can't let talent just walk without getting compensation.

johnrosz reply to Jeff on Jul 16 at 3:08

Collins thinks he is a stretch 4, which is a nice way of saying a guy has no natural position. I really would prefer them to develop Thad at the 3, but he still hasn't shown enough improvement in his handles to be a capable small forward. I just don't see him ever developing properly as a 4 in this league. Still hold out hope that he improves to at least an average ball handler

johnrosz on Jul 16 at 2:47

If Thad makes the progress detailed above I think it's safe to say that Iguodala is as good as gone. It's promising that Thad has put on some muscle in the off season. I'm interested to see if he will try to become a more physical player. I'm sure Collins will try to get him to be physical but we shall see.

Thad had that awesome month of March in 08 where he was putting up 20.5 and 5.5 per game before he got hurt. He was pretty efficient in doing so if I remember correctly. I want to see him in a real offense, not dribble hand off with WG at the point, and Elton 3 feet over half court.

speekeasy on Jul 16 at 3:35

i wish GM's weren't so worried about the year to year grind. You need perspective (long-term) to be good at any kind of managing. After the Brand decision, which is a borderline death sentence in the present NBA, you can sympathize with Ed Stefanski for clinging to any bit of hope he brings to the organization (ex. Hawes and please not Nocioni). Hopefully it doesn't ruin us. I agree though. Thad seems likes he really enjoys playin ball. That's the kind of people I want on my team.

bebopdeluxe on Jul 16 at 7:56

I think we should all hope that Hawes has the kind of season you suggest would be a contract problem. My only hope is that he gives us a season's worth of data-point to agonize over, as opposed to a 6-game playoff series against Ben Wallace and the Detroit Pistons (which led to our last big $$$ mistaake for re-signing a big man).

AaronMcKie4MVP on Jul 16 at 8:10

if hawes has that type of season, we are never going to know if its due to a change of scenery or financial incentive. there is a lot more risk with re-signing hawes than thad. i just think thad is a really good player, always has been and a breakout year is eventually going to happen with or without contract year. thad's less than stellar seasons are not a function of work ethic. so if he puts it together, i will believe.

MylesKong on Jul 16 at 9:08

Smith - A big body for practice. He can walk. I could sign him to a minimum contract. 15% increase on what he's making now. Ideally, try and trade him for a 2d rounder.

Hawes - I liked Hawes coming out of school. Toughness was something he really lacked but he has skills. I'd tender him. See what another team offers then match if he shows a more aggressive big man approach to the game. I wouldn't give him any more than what Darko got.

Thad - I'm just delighted that you allowed yourself to think just maybe Thad has the type of talent that could potentially warrant a near max deal. I think he has this in him, but he has yet to prove he deserves the big money. I would offer him the Lou Will contract right now and just hope he isn't insulted. I feel the sooner you extend him the better value you will get. He will keep getting better. I think him, Turner and Jrue will be the key trio in our eventual success. Thad's role being finisher.


During Thad's rookie year, this blog was all about him. Everyone thought he was going to be a big time scorer and a guy that didn't kill you in the other aspects.

Well, then his 2nd year came around. I, personally, was very troubled by his 2nd season. He went in the "scoring only" and hurting elsewhere category. Most of the blog still was optimistic.

But after this year? How can anyone really like the direction Thad's career has gone? He has gotten consistently worse in several key areas. He has gotten less efficient, he has forgotten how to force turnovers, he still isn't getting to the line, he still can't pass the ball with any sort of confidence, and his rebounding has gotten worse.

Everything I just said does not matter to GMs, though, or the majority of fans. His per game numbers, following by his per minute numbers, are all that matter. And the only one that really matters is points.

Imagine if Thad averages 15 and 5 again and the Sixers just sneak into the 8 spot in the playoffs. They get the Heat in the first round and Thad looks good out there scoring 20 and 4 a game off the bench. You are talking about a guy that is going to get a max offer just about. The Knicks are going to falling over themselves to offer him 65 million over 5 years.

This is the worst-case with Thad, actually. Moderate improvement in scoring, a flat line elsewhere, and you're talking a big offer that the Sixers really shouldn't match, but I'm pretty sure they would.

Joe reply to Brian on Jul 16 at 10:25

This is what keeps me up at night. If you see my post below. I add Hawes in there, too.

These guys could easily chuck their way to 120 million combined. And that is just crazy.

MylesKong reply to Joe on Jul 16 at 11:13

I say offer him Lou money right now. That contract would still be very moveable, if needed. I don't think it will. I would be a steal for us.
I'm so tired of drafting good young players that develop slowly for us then letting them walk and the become valued contributors on other teams.
Thad's wane in production is more a product of our lack of player development than his abilities. Under a coach that has exxperience and enjoys developing young players, Thad will flourish.

Alvin reply to MylesKong on Jul 16 at 14:26

I agree with you completely. I still believe in Thad. He flourished under Cheeks and i'm giving him the benefit of the doubt for last season (cause of EJ).

He was at his best when he was active defensively helping to force turnovers in his rookie season. I think he can get back to that if Collins tries to enforce a defensive philosophy, which hopefully he does.

As for the other two I don't care, they can both walk.

So you have enough information right now to commit say, $30M over 5 years to Thad?

Alvin reply to Brian on Jul 16 at 23:12

I thought Lou's contract was 25m/5yr. Hopefully I didn't make a mistake there.

I'm hopeful that Thad can play like he did in his rookie days (being active defensively, scoring efficiently, rebounding decently), in which case I think that's a fair price to pay seeing he's still 22.

Yeah, handing out extensions on hope isn't really a sound business plan as far as I'm concerned. I need to see something. If they extend him before the season, there are probably better odds they'll be regretting it sooner rather than later. Or maybe I'd wind up seeing Thad as I see Lou right now, as an expensive luxury for a team that needs money to build the foundation.

Alvin reply to Brian on Jul 17 at 8:30

I see your point Brian.

Well on one hand I think if Thad does play well this season I fear they will offer him somethiing more than Lou's current contract. On the other hand there is the chance he leaves to go to another team and becomes a much more productive player (ala Salmons, Barnes, Bell).
In the worst case scenario I still think that a contract in Lou's region to be somewhat tradeable.

Its interesting that next summer the team has 53M of committed salary and a whopping 21M additional cap holds assigned to Hawes(9m), Thad(8M) and Smith(5M). So I guess no FA or even MLE signing next summer.

BTW, Stefanski directly addressed his "max cap space" comments a few weeks ago. He basically admitted he was in error because he had not taken into account cap holds.

Sort of like a mortgage broker (which he is) conveniently forgetting to include hidden expenses :)

Even if they renounced everyone they still wouldn't have had max money (before the Dalembert trade, of course). It really makes me feel good that I know more about the team's cap situation than our general manager does.

"You want the flexibility to (steal their star). I was never in that position in Philly." - Billy King

Why would the Nets hire him instead of Pritchard, Kerr, or a SA/OKC assistant.

I hope he ruins that franchise as quickly as possible.

In other news, Cousins is tearing it up in Summer league. OH NOES. (of course so did Marco Bellineli, plz get in shape Evan)

Thorpe had some bad things to say about Cousins' behavior, though I don't really find the examples he gave that troubling. The arguing with the refs thing, well we've got our model citizen #2 pick doing that.

Can't find the link right now, basically he said Cousins was talking to opponents in an inappropriate way and arguing calls with the refs.

Mike P reply to Brian on Jul 16 at 10:33

I read that it was only because the guy was elbowing and pushing cousins constantly, so he just took it out on him on the floor.

I'll happily forget all this once The Villian stuffs a stat sheet with a 19, 7, 7, and 3.

But until then, I will constantly be thinking the "What if" hindsight option like a wiener baby.

Is the 3 turnovers?

Mike P reply to Brian on Jul 16 at 10:36


Or times he looks like Allen Strange the Alien.

I think the latter is more likely. Rondo led the league w/ 2.3 steals/game last year.

Mike P reply to Brian on Jul 16 at 12:27

1.5 steals then, whatever.

What if Willie Green goes crazy and averages 22pts/game, 9rebs, 7 assts, 2 steals, and 1.1 blocks? Would you extend him?


I think minutes are the biggest thing here.

The more minutes they play, the higher their PPG goes. THe higher the PPG, the more money they will get.

Hawes and Thad shouldn't even bother trying to rebound the basketball, if they are being selfish. They will just do what they need to to get more minutes. With most coaches, chucking is the best way to do this. And with chucking your PPG will also inevitably go higher, so they should both just chuck their way to career highs in PPG and profit.

That is how I see it at least and I could be wrong, but I see Thad coming out showing off his new polished offensive game this year and Hawes showing off his ability to spread the floor all year. And Doug Collins LOVING it.

I think minutes are the biggest thing here.

The more minutes they play, the higher their PPG goes. THe higher the PPG, the more money they will get.

WOw, if there are GMs who think like that, they should be fired for gross incompentency

Do you seriously doubt that there are a decent number of GMs who see things this way? I think he's on the money.

As for this team, I don't think Collins is a guy who's going to reward gunners with minutes, he seems smarter than that to me. But he's got a bunch of guys who do little else but score, so he won't have much of a choice.

Joe reply to Brian on Jul 16 at 11:29

I'm not sure I am thinking of Collins as any different than a Mo Cheeks or any other average NBA coach who doesn't do much positive or negative. He just is, to me. And part of that is the Willie Green complex... playing a guy because he can put the ball in the hole.

And as you said, most of this team is gunners. The 3 main bigs are. Brand, Speights, and Hawes.

I'm hoping Collins doles out playing time based on more than ppg. Thad was very effective under Cheeks, who was a defense-minded coach. Collins has always been that, but Collins has also always been a coach who plays at an extremely slow pace, which could cut down on Thad's easy transition opportunities. I really don't know what to expect this season, I'm just worried.

Well, your doom and gloom is justified, but we do have the advantage of a looming 2011 lockout. We just might see the end of guaranteed contracts. And the soft cap.

The Lockout could save the Sixers from themselves.

Jason Mess on Jul 16 at 11:36

Brian you mentioned that you might be willing to trade Turner after this year. If you were the GM what would be a offer you would take for Evans if Thad has a breakout year?

That wasn't really what I meant. My point was that if Thad turns into a three who can handle the position on both ends of the floor and shoot 40% from three, then you can trade either Turner or Iguodala at some point, because having Thad at the three stretching the floor would allow Iguodala to play the two, if you decide Turner is the one you want to move. Make sense?

Jason Mess reply to Brian on Jul 16 at 17:30

Yeep it does. I kinda look at it like this just about the only player I am not willing to trade is Jrue right now. I was wondering would you want more for either of those two to make the trade. Not saying you want to trade either of them. but saying if Turner has say a good but not great year what would you want for him and if Andre has a normal year what would you want for him.

In Turner's case, if you're going to trade him after only a season in the league, you need to get equal value, meaning a top five, or maybe top two pick in the draft. If you're going to trade Iguodala, assuming Thad has been extended for decent money, then I'm not sure. You assume Thad/Turner/Jrue have those positions locked down, and with Thad's extension, you aren't really in that build from scratch mode anymore, so if you trade Iguodala, you need to address a team need probably. A young PF or C and picks? Tough to say without knowing what happened with the rest of the roster.

"Say he averages something like 15 pts, 10 boards, 2 assists and a 1.5 blocks/game on efficient shooting"

Yeah there's no way that's happening. But if it did, I'd have to call that a legitimate change of scenery.

On Cousins, I used to be really down on him, but I've started to feel that he's the kind of malcontent whose malcontedeness fuels his good play. More of an intimidator than a pouter.

I'm going to wait until he gets on the floor, sees Tyreke Evans taking all of his shots and gets a couple bad fouls called before I'll be a little less concerned about the maturity. I'm also interested in seeing how he does against big men who actually belong in the league.

Myleskong reply to Brian on Jul 16 at 12:27

Lawal looking better than Favors, too.

Eh. Neither one has been very good, and Lawal is much older.

smh1980 reply to Brian on Jul 16 at 12:51

So what does that say about Turner's play compared to Wall/Cousins who are dominating with their athletic ability and skill this Summer? Can we accept the "out of shape" bs that has been repeated over and over? The kid is 21 years old. How out of shape could he be? I'm hoping that Doug Collins absolutely smoked them in practices to get them uber tired so he didn't really have a chance. Better to stuggle now and come into camp with a chip on your shoulder I guess.

MylesKong reply to smh1980 on Jul 16 at 13:07

Wall is shooting a very poor percentage with a really high amount of TOs. He's playing the same position he played in college and is very comfortable. Since he's an elite athlete, as well, there's really no transition with which he has to overcome.

Maybe Callipari deserves a little credit for getting his players, even when they are only with him for 1 year, ready for the NBA.

smh1980 reply to MylesKong on Jul 16 at 13:14

But Turner was moved to his natural position as a wing. And he played more of the point when Jrue didn't play the last 2 games and still looked terrible.

Rich reply to Tray on Jul 16 at 12:59

I don't think he does either, but some people feel he's fully capable of it. There are a lot of scenarios where he could do that and it would be terrible to invest long-term money to him.

MylesKong reply to Rich on Jul 16 at 13:58

I don't wanna be a Turner apologist. Game 4 he barely played 20 awful minutes. Game 5 Mike Green seemed to be the primar ball handler. He had some opportunity to run the point but that's not the position he ran the entire game...either game actually.

Also, Wall is an elite athlete. There's no adjustment needed there. Evan is not.

Brian, if you were g.m. and felt Turner is part of this teams future, wouldn!t you be trying to move L.Will. now to clear salary knowing you may want Young and Hawes back here.Delonte West can be released and salary cleared if we swapped L.Will. and maybe got a future 2nd rounder.

As far as Hawes I think fit as much as level of play must come into keeping him or not. If Turner and Iggy succeed this year with the floor opening up for them than that has to matter if he is a big reason why. We all want Iggy posting up and Jrue and Turner attacking and if Hawes becomes average or slightly above average on defense and rebounding the ball [13 ppg., 8 reb., 1.5 bl.] than for the right price he should be resigned. Also how Collins uses him against Howard and the rest of the centers, possibly pulling bigs away from the lane allowing for easy baskets.

If we could move L.Will. and resign Thad and Hawes for no more than Willie, Kapono!s and L.Will.s money [15 million combined] I would not feel too bad. We are building through the draft, ala Okl.City and if both Hawes and Thad earn top 8 player status this year we could be one defensive athletic frontcourt player away from contending.

This seems overly optimistic to me.

The money being spent seems crazy, even the celts giving Robinson a possible 4.5 per year deal [2 years]. I am wishing and hoping Collins and his new staff can get all our young guys to reach their max potential and if Meeks at less than 1 million can take L.Will.s! spot that Thad can become our one bench guy making decent money.

It's unfortunate that we couldn't have moved Lou, Nocioni or Thad during the frenzy this past two weeks. The Nets and Knicks were obvious targets and getting a trade exception would help us later. Pretty lame for Ed will screw it up later.

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