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Pressing Questions - September 17

One more topic for discussion, that link will take you to an ESPN app to rank the best at each position, click through to the Sixers. The choices are all pretty obvious, IMO, but one thing stuck out to me. Jrue has a legit shot at winding up as the best point guard ever to play for the Sixers. Agree?

Yea it's a pretty easy team to pick even though it would be nice to have Moses on the 1st team but you can't put him above Wilt. If Jrue's career goes as we all hope then there is no reason he can't at least be in the discussion. (after mo it's pretty slim pickings in regards to PG)

Joe reply to Brian on Sep 17 at 9:51

Early I think...

His second half was pretty good for a rookie, but we don't know a ton about how he will be in his prime yet.

It's absolutely early. More of comment about how the Sixers don't have an all-time great at PG in their history. Cheeks was a good player, but where does he fall on the all time list at PG?

Is Greer considered a PG? He's in the HoF.

Cheeks was one of those players you had to watch on a regular basis to appreciate how good he was. I think you're in your mid-30s, so you might not remember his first 7 or 8 years. I think he compares favorably to Isiah Thomas, who was, with good reason, the number 1 scoring option on his team. In '83, playing with Moses, Doc, & Toney, Cheeks averaged 16 pts a game in the playoffs - playing against Magic for 4 of those 13 games. In '86, playing with Barkley and without Moses, he averaged 20. Cheeks was basically a safety valve scoring option and Thomas a volume shooter, but 52% shooting for his career is pretty impressive.

Cheeks was a better defender than Thomas, almost as good a penetrator, as quick and as durable. He was not a transcendent talent like Thomas, but his effectiveness on the court was comparable.

What does Thad need to do to get an extension? Probably make the All-Star team. Seriously, average 8 rebounds a game and shoot 45%. And play serious defense.

Iguodala is a much better value. Thorn's not going to answer that question honestly no matter where he stands. It's just not a question GMs will answer. I think you made a good point by asking it, though.

Yes, I think Thorn wants to get under the cap. He says he likes the talent, but I think he's going to trade it for cap space.

Brian, not sure how much of Cheeks' prime you saw, but I would be thrilled if Jrue has the career that Cheeks had. In Cheeks, you're talking about someone who is 5th all-time in steals (when he retired, he was first), is tenth all-time in assists, shot 52% FG (top 40 all-time), shot 79% FT, had a better than 3-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio, made four All-Star teams, and was four-time first-team All-Defense. In my mind, he ranks just below Hall of Fame level, mainly because he didn't score as much as other PGs.

By the way, Cheeks was also involved in one of my favorite non-Sixer games through the years, when he shot 10-for-10 for the Knicks in Game 5 of the 89-90 opening round playoff series against the Celtics, leading the Knicks back from a 2-0 deficit to win the series.

My earliest basketball memories are from the tail end of Cheeks' career. Would you say he was the third-best player on the championship team?

My earliest basketball memories are from the tail end of Cheeks' career. Would you say he was the third-best player on the championship team?

On that team, he was 4th. Andrew Toney's prime was only 4 years (81-82 through 84-85), but he was a legitimate #1 scoring option during those years. Anyone who saw him play would agree (including Bill Simmons, who made Toney one of the few Sixers he actually complimented in his book).

The greatness of that 82-83 team was that it had three #1 players and two perfect complementary players (Cheeks and Bobby Jones).

If you have the Sixers franchise DVD set, watch the Game 7 of the 1982 East Finals vs the Celtics (my favorite game all-time), when Toney just went beserk in the 4th quarter.

watch the Game 7 of the 1982 East Finals vs the Celtics (my favorite game all-time), when Toney just went beserk in the 4th quarter.

My favorite Sixers game of all time.

They also listed the worst five players for each franchise, by PER. Unfortunately, they made the cutoff 100 career games and at least 10 MPG; otherwise last year's Sixers would have had a couple candidates (Kapono [PER=8.4] and Brezec [4.9, wow]). The Sixers' worst five: Bob Thornton, Danny Vranes, Jayson Williams (who was poor when he played for the Sixers), Bob Harrison (50's player), and Manute Bol.

Willie just missed, but I'd say he should be atop the list considering how many minutes he played in '06-07 and his putrid performance.

deepsixersuede on Sep 17 at 7:32

Thad needs to rebound, defend and shoot the 3 at a better rate and I think he will.

I think Carmelo is the better value because he has shown improvement defensively, is a matchup nightmare because of his strength and if Iggy and Turner are 2nd bananas I want a #1 .

I think he wants to make a splash but after what Miami did, a lot of g.m.!s may be patient and build for the future [3 years away?].

I think the first and hardest thing Rod Thorn has to do is try to figure out the status of Thadeus Young. If Thad can find a way to return to his pre- Eddie Jordan ways then I see him receiving an extension in the Lou Williams ball park. That's a contract that's not a salary cap killer and is very trade friendly.
When I think about Jrue's long term outlook I'm hoping he can turn into a Gary Payton clone. They're similar in size, they thrive on defence and are very effective without being the greatest athlete. Jrue already has a better jumpshot but Payton was a better floor general at an early stage in there careers. Just remember Jrue played one year of college ball not at his natural position. I definitely see Jrue has the potential to claim that title but it's simply way to early to tell.
Can you please, please, please stop comparing Iguodala to Carmelo! Iguodala is not in his league as Melo. Melo is the #1 option on about on 26 teams in this league. Iguodala is barely a #1 on the Sixers let alone a serious contender. Why do you think Melo is basicly being offered a max contract? He deserves it for what he brings to the court. If they're so similar when it comes to efficiantcy, could you see Iguodala being offered a max contract?

The only way Thad should be in the discussion about getting an extension is if he performs at the level of a 6th man. He certainly has the talent to do it, but has to show up every day and prove that he can.

I have to say that I'm a huge fan of Jrue. If he turns in a second year similar to Isiah Thomas' I'd put him on track to being the best point guard in franchise history. Mo Cheeks is a Hall of Famer. If Jrue gets to that point you're going to need to change the name of your website.

If the roster stays as it is...Thad gets an extension if he takes the 6th man spot and can defend the 3/4 adequately and provide an efficient 10ppg for our second team. Hopefully the extension is somewhere around what we gave Lou and not something excessive. Brian- what kind of money are you thinking for Thad's extension?

Iguodala is the better deal. We need serious rebuilding. However Iggy and Melo > Iggy or Melo.

I have a feeling Thorn and Stefanski make a few more dumb Nocioni type moves. Hope not...but can't shake the feeling...

Brian- what kind of money are you thinking for Thad's extension?

That's a tricky question. My feeling is that he'd probably be worth somewhere in the range of what Lou got if he shows decent improvement this season. My concern is this, take a look at the comp between Gay and Thad through their first three seasons, nearly identical. Then Gay performed better in his fourth year and all of a sudden, he's a max extension guy.

As things stand right now, I don't think Thad's going to get the minutes or the touches to put up the basic numbers that people drool over needed to get a big extension, but if the team trades Iguodala, who knows. That would be a horrible situation, IMO. Trade Iguodala for young pieces and cap relief, then give Thad 3,000 minutes and 17 shots/game to score 20 points/game, then lock a ton of money into him.

What does Thad need to do this season to earn an extension?

What is the saying? Double-edged sword? If he plays well and plays a lot, he is going to get 10+ a year. If he plays poorly, he continues to be not worth it and he gets a full MLE offer. (if MLE still exists) I want Thad back under no circumstances at this point really to be honest.

What's a better value, Iguodala for 4 years/$56M or Carmelo Anthony for 4 years/$82M?

Different teams have different circumstances. I see Carmelo as a specialized player with specialized value. He is a guy who can shoot enough for 2 players pretty much and maintain good efficiency. So if you have low usage players around him, he has value. And lower usage players are typically cheaper... think Thabo Sefolsha or Tyrone hill or George Lynch.

That is how I have always seen Iverson and I view Carmelo similarly.

In general, Iguodala is more valuable, though. I just think of adding him to teams around the league or Carmelo. Who would help more? My answer is Iguodala almost across the board... and completely across the board at first glance for playoff teams.

And most advanced stats have their overall production pretty much on par.

Right now, the Sixers are on pace to be slightly under the cap next summer (depending on the CBA), then the following two seasons they could have significant money. Do you think we'll ever reach that point, or will Thorn put his stamp on this franchise in the form of a trade (or three) that brings talent in and locks the Sixers into being over the cap for years to come?

He will probably dump Brand's expiring contract for some decent player with 4 years left on his deal. And also make a free agent/MLE signing along to way or resign Thad. I don't see cap space in the future really.

sfw reply to steve on Sep 17 at 12:09

Thanks Steve for providing some friday entertainment. I repect the coach for the job he did at west virginia. Gotta believe these youngins can play some at the college level.

If Thad can prove capable of defending the three or four position, then he will emerge as more than just a scorer off the bench. I believe his defense and rebounding will determine whether or not he is worthy of an extension.

I would rather keep Iguodala and allow for cap space over the next few seasons. This team is not winning a championship anytime soon. I think the best thing for Thorn to do is to wait it out, unless of course he can work out some form of a blockbuster trade that makes us instant contenders.

1. Show some basketball IQ (which concerns me) play defense and rebound at least average for a SF regardless of which position he plays at. Show improvement in his overall game. I don't want him back at 'all costs' cause if he ain't good he ain't worth the salary, right now he's a bench player with one skill, scoring in transition.

2. Iguodala, Carmelo scores more points, Iguodala is better overall, when taking all factors into account they both have similar impacts on their teams. Carmelo has a much better cast around him to support him. Iguodala doesn't.

3. I don't know if thorn CAN put a stamp on the team to form a talented nucleus. If that's what you want to do you keep holiday and turner and decide to build around them, at which point you have one strong asset (Iguodala) and one giant problem (Brand). You've got some expiring contracts this year and maybe you can help facilitate a Anthony deal but with a pending lockout, I don't expect expiring contracts to be so valuable this year except to luxury tax tems (and there are a LOT of teams out there still under the cap that can just absorb contracts without having to make cap matching deals). I think Thorn will try to make the sixers better as best possible, I'm not sure there are a lot of quality assets (to be given up) that the sixers can use to make such improvements.

I think I am a bit of a Thad apologist. Not in terms of his current abilities(which are limited), but his future.

Raw 19 year old tweeners are ill served on bad, unstable NBA teams. Young is the same age as Turner, who could have returned to college this year. While Thad is on his 4th NBA coach and 3rd starting PG. Add to this his constant bouncing from SF to PF- two positions that are completely different in terms of defensive responsibilities and approach.

IMO, this was a recipe for disaster. Once you got past what he could do based off of raw athleticism and instinct you were tapped out because he was not in a position to grow as an NBA player. But had he spent the last 3 years on good, steady teams with set systems like LA, SA or Boston, he would be well versed in a system on both ends of the floor. IMO he would be ready to step up as a high level starter in those ideal environments.

So, to me. the question is can you overcome the harm from these past 3 seasons? Is he now so broken fundamentally (especially defensively) to where he is potential wasted? Or is Collins the guy to get him back on track? Because aside from a lack of toughness (no mullet/cojones) he still IMO has the natural ability to be a high level NBA player. Athletically he is a freak, has good instincts in the lane, can shoot and has a tremendous 1st step (but a sloppy handle.)

Here's the thing, defensive rebounding, defensive effort, etc...to me these aren't things that should be impacted by who the coach is or the starting point guard. His offensive game, yes, impacted by these things but his defensive output (or lack thereof) is well below what it should be an really shouldn't be impacted by these things (as much as anyone elses was, his rebounding has been bad since day one)

See below. I wrote this before I read your post, and I agree in general, but maybe disagree in Young's specific case. That is why I say I'm an apologist :)

Had Thad been on the Jazz, Lakers or Spurs for the past 3 years, where do you think his defense would be right now?

If Thad had been on the Jazz or the Lakers the past 3 years, where do you think his minutes would be?

Again, my problems with Thad are similar to the problems I had with Sam when he was here. They are fundamental basketball issues that I feel are 'player driven', regardless of coach or system, these are things that any committed professional basketball should work at to improve and should be able to improve regardless of who the coach is.

In Sams case it was posting up, learning how to pass out of the post, developing some sort of coherent offensive game and working on his dribbling

In Thads case it's his ability to run the plays that are assigned him (he didn't have plays with most coaches, the jordan ones confused him) and to defend and rebound at a level commensurate with his size.

These are coach independent things in my opinion.

A few other things that make Thad such a tough read, even entering his 4th year:

1. Rebounding and interior defense typically are areas a player either are strong at or not from the day they enter the league. But Thad could be a unique case where he shows dramatic late improvement. At the draft combine he measured 6'7.5 and only 210 lbs but a crazy athlete (length, quickness, vertical.) This made him over-matched on the interior as a 19-21 year old going against grown men. But he is now taller(?6'9) and has a frame that could carry closer to 240 and still maintain his athleticism. So he could become more effective in these areas (but I still worry he is soft.)

2. Similarly, perimeter defense is something players tend to either have or not (see Jrue.) But Young played inside in HS, and I believe at the base of a zone in college (I could be wrong.) Despite having the physical tools, I can only imagine how tough it is to learn perimeter defense on the fly against NBA level competition... But on the flip side it is borderline absurd to be still bringing this up after 3 NBA seasons. That is why having 3 different coached (and a year of EFJ) clouds things that should be self evident.

Yeah, the whole recipe for disaster thing makes a lot of sense. It's a new era - these 19-year-olds are coming into the league like prospects in baseball - they have to learn how to play first. None of them makes an impact right away. If you compare Thad to your average starting pitcher, you see a similar path I guess.

The site may be a bit wonky for the next couple of hours. I'm testing out different comment systems. I apologize for the inconvenience.

johnrosz on Sep 17 at 15:54

Am I the only one puzzled by how clueless Thad looked defensively last season? There really is no reason he shouldn't be able to defend. Smart kid, puts out effort on the floor, good size and length, wants to get better...I just have a feeling Collins sees the potential there and won't let it wither away like Eddie Jordan did.

He was the most guilty of over-helping, which to me seems like confusion on his part.

I agree. As I said above, a think his lack of defensive experience on the wing (prior to the NBA) and his carousel of (bad) coaches has something to do with.

But you'd hope that after 3 NBA seasons...

Anyone who has a chance, test out the new comment system here:


This system is only going to be used for game threads for a couple of reasons. It's not perfect, by any means, but it should make it easier to leave a comment and keep up with the thread as you go along.

Leave a comment or two to try it out if you get a chance.

I tried the commenting system but had trouble leaving a comment. It may be because the computer I am using right now is a little slow. I tried the 'Post As' thing on the bottom and through Twitter, but had trouble.

Joe reply to Rich on Sep 17 at 16:45

Didn't work for me either. I was just trying to post, not through twitte

It uses some kind of popup to get your name, maybe your popup blocker stopped it? Do you get some kind of message?

Joe reply to Brian on Sep 17 at 17:09

I got some pop up... and I filled it out and hit post and nothing happened...

Iguodala's defense is better than Carmelo's
Carmelo's offense is better than Iguodala's


Carmelo's defense is better than Iguodala's offense
Carmelo's offense is better than Iguodala's defense

Thus Carmelo > Igoudala

And he is worth the money


Carmello would be a good piece to add to an already good (capped) team. I would not want to try and "build around him" and his max contract. But if you are willing to pay the tax and can add him to a team at the level of Portland or Utah, he could push you into serious contention.

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