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Full Circle?

I'm not saying tank, but this whole gun for the playoffs thing reminds me of the last few years before EFJ. Reminds me of when they held onto Miller and waxed poetically about being a team on the rise.

Sure the team on the floor has been competitive... but they are 14-21. The only reason playoffs are an option is that they are in the weaker conference. In the West they would already be 5 games off the pace.

They are on pace to win 33 games. Even if they go 24-23 the rest of the year they finish with only 38 wins.

I'm not against making the playoffs. I'm against the perception that this team is only incremental changes from being where they need to be. And I sure hope Thorn is not myopic. This team has miles to go. They have stayed close in games do to overachieving with a terribly limited roster of poorly fitting parts. IMO 14-21 is a very accurate measure of where they are as a team and franchise.

Basically I feel Mr. has to really remake this roster. And I sure hope they don't postpone major moves or short term pain so they can try and make a 36 win playoff run.

tk76, take this point with a grain of salt (because I don't necessarily disagree with your original point), but the bulk of the momentum for your argument comes from the 3-13 start. If they played closer to the pace represented by their 11-8 record since the poor start, they would wind up 41-41. And one could argue that they are even better than the 11-8 pace, with Iguodala out for the last five games.

But if Iguodala is out or plays hurt for an extended period of time, then I agree this is about a 35-win team.

IMO 14-21 is a very accurate measure of where they are as a team and franchise.

I don't agree with this. Take a look at the schedule, they haven't lost a game they should've won, on paper, since November. They're 11-9 since the 11/24 loss to the Raptors, here are the 9 losses:

H/@ LAL x 2 (w/out AI9 once)
H/@ BOS x 2
@ NOH (w/out AI9)
@ GSW (w/out AI9)

They held leads/were tied in the fourth quarter of 5 of those losses, all against teams w/ winning percentages north of .600.

We're talking about basically a quarter of the season in which they won a few games against better teams, beat every team they should've (save the GSW game, when they were missing AI9 and Lou, on the second night of a b-2-b), and had a legitimate chance to win 5 more games against the best teams in the league. This 25% of the season also included the toughest stretch of road games of the season.

If they play at this level the rest of the way, 40-42 wins isn't out of the question. Had they not taken a month to figure out a rotation and a style, they'd be better than that.

I understand what you're saying, on some level. I look at this roster and I still don't see a .500 team, but at a certain point you have to accept what you're seeing on the floor as legitimate.

tk76 reply to Brian on Jan 7 at 13:42

What I'm saying is that they are playing a bit over their heads (and are really responding to quality coaching.) IMO this sort of balances out their hard luck losses. Also young teams tend to lose close games. maybe not twice to a team like the Wiz, but in general experienced teams pull out close games against a younger squad.

I'm simply saying this current squad has a limited ceiling- even with Jrue's progression. Just like Jrue has 3 bad games followed by 5 good games, this young squad will be streaky all season. And right now the last few weeks has been a high. I guessed about 35 wins this season- and I'm still relatively confident that with no major moves that is where they are headed. And I don't see 50+ wins in the foreseeable future without dramatic changes in the roster.

Gutting the future for short term success is a horrible idea. But improving short term without really impacting the long term future is more than welcome. As long as the acquired players are young and promising or on very short term deals, i am all for improving this year. Also Jrue and probably one of Iguodala and Turner should be considered untouchable. Everybody else should be in the mix for being traded. I am also beginning to think that trading Brand at this point is pointless. From here on in his value will only increase and we won't really get anything if we trade him. Cap space is useless...

I think some combination of the other pieces such as Lou, Speights, Young, Iguodala or Turner, Hawes, Meeks can be traded for a reliable SG and a C who can at least spell defense as long as they won't jeopardize the long term future.

tk76 reply to Xsago on Jan 7 at 9:01

Sounds about right. Just wish I was confident the front office knew the score.

I'm getting the feeling that the front office shares the reasoning (at least to a degree). The bigger question is just how good a deal they can pull of with those guys as trade baits. I'm tired of being ripped of in trades. We could really use a steal for once...

tk76 reply to Xsago on Jan 7 at 9:31

Usually you rip people off if you are willing and able to take on salary- even short term salary. I guess you can also get a good deal if you give up a quality vet on a short deal to a team making a title run.

Not sure the Sixers are in a position to make either type of deal. Although in 2 years maybe Brand, Lou or Iguodala would fit the bill.

I think the best deal that we can hope for is fooling someone that some of our young talented guys are truly talented and might be cornerstone players in the future for their team.

tk76 reply to Xsago on Jan 7 at 13:44

If they showcased Speights with regular minutes this could happen. Also Thad's value has to be on the rise.

I would really like to see Iggy go to Sac for Casspi & Thompson. We'd add a young tall sg & an athletic big to our rotation and clear some money. Seems to me that Sac needs some veteran stabilty/toughness that Iggy could bring to them.

If the best this team can do is a 500 record, why is that a good thing? 500, 50%, average, if you get a 50% on an exam, you fail, (at least you used to, in these days of social promotion maybe you really do get an A for effort)

If the roster you've assembled peaks at a 500 record, then the roster you've assembled is not feared by teams that think about winnning titles. You're a road block.

and I'm not even sure it's the best thing for Turner's long-term development.

If playing Turner major minutes is bad for his long term development then he shouldn't play major minutes.

The problem I have with collins is exactly what I thought I would have, he's thinking short term. He's caring more about getting that 8 seed and getting bitch slapped then developing the youth and core of this roster

The problem I have with collins is exactly what I thought I would have, he's thinking short term. He's caring more about getting that 8 seed and getting bitch slapped then developing the youth and core of this roster

Is this really true? Turner got a decent shot to start, he didn't perform. He's still getting minutes, and often he's the first man off the bench.

Early in the year, Thad nearly dropped from the rotation entirely. It seemed like Collins was going away from youth (Thad) for veterans (Nocioni), but then Thad was suddenly born again.

Recently, the same can be said for Speights and Battie. Hawes' injury has something to do with that, but we're going to have to see if it continues.

In Thad's case, the loss in minutes was definitely a wake-up call. Jury is still out on Speights, but just letting him play that lazy basketball wasn't exactly developing him.

In Turner's case, I'd like to see maybe some specific plays run designed to get him easy looks early in the game, but overall I don't think you can make a valid argument that Collins isn't giving him enough minutes, based on how he's performed in the minutes he has played.

I hate seeing Nocioni on the floor more than anyone, and I did have concerns early in the season about Collins riding Nocioni and Battie to artificially inflate the win total, but if you look back now, most of what he's done with the young guys has served a purpose, and the team is where it is mostly on the play of guys who matter to this team beyond this season (Jrue, Iguodala, Brand and Thad, who could go either way).

I'm still trying to figure out the logic of reassembling the worst 4/5 combo in the league from last season in Philly.

Again if you trade Iguodala you want to bring back at least a player that has a potential to be a top4 player on a contending team. Casspi and Thompson can be solid rotwtion players but i don't see them even as starters on a contender, let a alone key pieces...

deepsixersuede on Jan 7 at 8:21

Brian, I think a s.g. is the farthest thing they are going to acquire but a roster tweak that adds a young big would be nice. A Battie and Meeks for Ajinca type move.

I think Meeks continues to start if the team plays well; Collins seems to stay with what works in spite of Meeks poor production and as long as J.T.I. get time together I am fine with that.

Horrible idea. Ajinca is worse than Battie and is a borderline NBA player.

I don't understand the infatuation with guys like Ajinca, Mahinmi, Sean Williams and guys like that. There is a reason why they play limited minutes. they are simply not good. Thay are not even that young nor promising.

If you want to go for a young athletic big who hasn't shown anything in the NBA thus far you are far better of going for Thabeet rather than any of those guys... At least he has potential to be good.

At least he has potential to be good.

If Thabeet were chosen 22nd instead of 2nd - would you stiill think he has the potential to be good?

Because I gotta wonder what makes you think he has the potential to be good aside from being picked second in the draft?

He is younger than the other guys (at least in years passed after being drafted) is 7'3" and is athletic. And he has shown in college that he can be a productive player at least on the defensive end. The odds are against Thabeet becoming something (i wouldn't put my money on it) but he certainly has a better shot than future career journey men and euroleague players Mahinmi, Ajinca, S.Williams and many others that other posters are somehow very high on.

My point is i don't think Thabeet is the way to go, but he certainly is a better choice than the other ideas...

I wouldn't put S. Williams in the same category as any of these guys. There's zero financial risk to signing the guy to a 10-day contract, plus you don't have to give up anything to get him. You just sign him.

I don't have a problem with anyone on a 10 day contract. but viewing him as a piece of the puzzle, as a long term solution is ridiculous. Actually i would be pleasantly surprised if they tried something like and explore their options.

I'm just hoping that when Iguodala returns he's close to 100% and can get close to his 2007-08 form. That would really help this team push toward a .500 record. If he's going to continue to play at his current level he's needs to defer to Turner and let him handle the ball more than he does. That's what the book on Turner was in college and Collins is going to have to let Ev play to his strengths. That's the only way to see if Turner is our player of the future.

jkay reply to KellyDad on Jan 7 at 12:49

you don't adjust to accommodate a player (not to mention an entirely unproven one). It's the other way round. This is the NBA. It's your effing job.

Both are significant needs on this team. A shooter should be easier to get, since good bigs are rare and over-valued.

Rob_STC reply to Tom Moore on Jan 7 at 9:59

I agree with Tom you should be able to get an Athletic Big and a shooter by using the 12 mil in expiring contracts of Kapono and Songalia. Strange thought that the 2 positions they need to fill are with those 2 guys and you would essentially upgrade them different players. For that reason teams would probably want something more unless they wanted a straight salary dump.

Well-scouted Meeks is struggling with his shot:


anyone else think it might be time for the Brack show?

If the sixers really want to suck, sure, start brackins and speights together with lou williams jodie meeks and kapono

Play them all until they foul out - every game

I'm bored, so here you go. Charlotte is a complete mess. Would you do this deal?

The Sixers would also send their 1st round pick for this summer.

Jason reply to Brian on Jan 7 at 11:42

In a heart beat. he's still young and i feel confident that 4 years from now he'll still be productive at the end of his contract. I don't see any other way the sixers are getting a talented big without blowing it up now in the next 3 years.

I'd also trade them Thad+Brackins for Tyrus and keep the first rounder. Basically saves the sixers Thads contract and gets an actual big (can he really play the 5 though?) instead of whatever Thad is defined as.

Hmm i'm not too high on Thomas as others but i'd probably say yes to this. A mid first round pick in this years draft is equal to an early second rounder in other years so i guess the only downside to the trade is the length and size of the Tyrus Thomas contract. But i guess you could do worse...

The trade would however cause rotation problems because i don't think Thomas and Young can play together. Thomas is really a PF, we need a C...

What's better, defensively and offensively:

Hawes/Brand or Thomas/Brand

Hawes/Thad or Thomas/Thad

I think it's better on both ends, and I'd actually like to see a lineup like this w/ Tyrus at the five:

Jrue, Lou, Iguodala, Thad, Tyrus. That unit would run teams off the floor.

Based on athleticism that's an elite lineup, very likely the most athletic lineup in the league. But i am worried about their lack of size upfront. I don't think you can go long stretches like that. You've got to have at least one legit center on your team. But i guess i'm an old school big lineup guy :)

We don't have a legit center on the roster right now.

Agreed... That's why we need to find one by trade.

Just to flesh this out a little, here's the Sixers cap situation over the length of the Thomas contract:

2011-12: $54M (not including Thad and Hawes)
2012-13: $55M (not including Speights)
2013-14: $33M (but Jrue is a restricted free agent)

So no cap space until Brand is off the books, and possibly in the luxury tax if Thad is re-signed for a big contract.

That's all good but we have no clue what the new CBA will look like. That's why you have to think twice when trading for contracts like that. Otherwise it's a good trade.

Jason reply to Xsago on Jan 7 at 11:55

Is his contract really that bad? Brendan haywood signed a 5/42, Amir Johnson a 5/34.

Where in the future are you finding a big as good as Tyrus Thomas for cheaper?

The contract worries me. I'm not 100% sold that he can be a 35m/g starter, but I do love the dramatic effect he has on the defensive end (steals, blocks, rebounds) and he's been super-efficient on offense this year as well. He's also a guy who's going to get a ton of easy looks from Jrue/AI9.

Jason reply to Brian on Jan 7 at 12:04

His contract by himself doesn't worry me that much. Even if he can't play 30-35 mins a game. $8 million for 25-30 quality minutes a game from a big seems fine to me, if he could play 35 minutes a game he'd probably be on the verge of a max contract. Basically you have $6 million dollars to find another 10 minutes.

I would be very worried about having both him and Thad under long term contracts though.

If they sign Thad to a similar deal to what they gave Lou, you might wind up paying $15M/year to two bench guys. Which you can't really afford unless you've got your starting five set.

Haywood and Johnson are signed to horrible contracts. And Haywood is better than Thomas albeit much older.

The thing is Thomas contract is OK for this CBA. We don't know what it will be like for the next one... That's why i would prefer players on their rookie contracts. But i would definitely take a flyer on him if he doesn't cost to much.

Jason reply to Xsago on Jan 7 at 12:06

Can anyone here explain the Haywood love to me?

This is more a "not too high on Thomas" situation than a Haywood love. And Haywood has shown that he can be a decent to average starting center over the past few seasons. If he were 5-6 years younger i'd be OK with him. This way he is a trouble waiting to happen too....

sfw reply to Xsago on Jan 7 at 12:28

I'm leary about Thomas. In 2 stops he's never gotten the minutes worthy of his talent level. underachiever? slow learner? poor attitude? systems he's playing in? Any thoughts?

mopey reply to Brian on Jan 7 at 13:42

I love it!

Post it as a rumor to get it some attention. See if we can make it happen.

Rob_STC reply to Brian on Jan 7 at 14:19

I would do that deal in a NY minute.

While I appreciate his ability to score more than many sixer fans, I think that trading Lou Williams is the way that this team has to go. IMO, he is in the role that best suits Turner right now.

I like that Collins has been making most of his playing time decisions based on merit, but if you take Lou out of the equation he'll have to use Turner in that role. They spent the most valuable resource that they've had in years (the #2) to get him, so it's imperitive that they maximize his opportunity to succeed.

Collins has done an excellent job of maximizing the Brand investment, he needs to do the same with Turner.

Holiday, Iguodala and Brand as starters with a shooter and a big. Turner and Young coming of the bench in prominent and well defined roles. That's the way to go forward.

So you trade Lou for the shooter and use your expiring contracts to get the big?

This sounds about right. I'd add Speights, Hawes, Nocioni ans Meeks in the trade pusuit as well...

Dutch reply to Xsago on Jan 7 at 14:14

My thoughts exactly. Jrue, Iggy, and Brand starting with two new acquisitions at SG and C. Thad and Turner as 1st and 2nd man off the bench. Everyone else is trade bait.

CM reply to Brian on Jan 7 at 11:51

sorry, I was speaking more toward the development of the current roster through the rest of this season.

The "shooters" would be either Meeks or Kapono and the "big" would be any of the Hawes/Speights/Battie trio.

Ideally you exchange Williams for a useful part but I think that longterm, Turner's development trumps the specifics of any return you would get from Williams.

CM reply to Brian on Jan 7 at 12:43

How about Lou to Minny for Pekovic or Webster?

CM reply to Brian on Jan 7 at 12:48

What do you think about Josh McRoberts as the "athletic big"? Either by trade, or as a FA

IMO, he is in the role that best suits Turner right now.

So you want turner to be a ball hogging point guard who doesn't know how to pass?

eddies' heady's on Jan 7 at 11:59

"Unfortunately, I'm pretty sure this isn't the best thing for the team in the short term, and I'm not even sure it's the best thing for Turner's long-term development."

Not sure what you mean by the end of the last sentence, but assuming it is one of two things - 1) it's not good for his long-term because it will sap his confidence due to consistently struggling, or, 2) it's not good for him because it's not his best-suited position trying to play the 2.

Some of you guys are starting to come around on this kid. I stated on here around 2 months ago that this guy was nothing but a backup point guard and you guys clowned it and thought the sky was falling at such a statement. I may have jumped the gun in labeling him that, as Doug even seems to hide him and play him at the 3 now as to not expose him to defenders at the point. Now look at where we've arrived in evaluations of Turner. There's even rumblings about possibly trying to trade the guy in some comments. Gotta love that because it's going to end up being the best thing to do.

PS - I love the love being showered upon Landry Fields. Check out this statement from the first Knicks game thread that was also mocked:

Landry Fields - 2nd round draft pick
Evan Turner - 2nd overall pick

....couldn't tell the difference

~Although I must admit I was terribly wrong - as of now, you can tell a difference that Fields is a better player than Turner.

Call the heady's annoying, call the heady's as thumping his chest, call it what you want. The truth is, respect hasn't been given for differing, hard opinions but it's hard to not say it is being earned.

Let's all hope he has an incremental better showing tonight than the last time out vs Chicago. Cause him mom can't possibly sit through that again can she? Maybe the Phoenix Evan will show up, I could hope for nothing more for my fandom's sake.

Do you dislocate your shoulder every time you type one of these posts?

If we traded rookies for starting slow, we'd have tossed away Holiday last year. Turner hasn't even played half a season yet, and you seem to be rejoicing in his struggles. Sheesh.

Don't get him started on Jrue. He's still pining away for Lawson.

Do you wake up in the morning and slap your own ass and say good job, or do you pat yourself on the back instead?

On the topic of Meeks playing, it seems Collins won't stick to that. He's had a couple of really quick hooks for him in recent games, including one to get Kapono in against the Wizards.

Nocioni has had a few good games in the last few. It's pretty much irrelevant to the team's future, but he should probably start with Iguodala. They have pretty good chemistry and spots up in places where AI9 gets him the ball. As long as he doesn't try to make dribble drive moves, he can start. When he shoots poorly though, he's an awful, awful player.

If it were me, Turner would be playing most of these minutes. Gotta see what you have.

Hollinger has an article up on insider about the best benches in the NBA. According to his ratings the Sixers have the third best bench. Thought I'd share the paragraph on the Sixers in case people don't have insider:

Philadelphia's second unit also rates strongly, although this owes more to the efforts of a single player. Thaddeus Young has a much stronger NBA Sixth Man Award case than most realize, leading all bench players in EWA (estimated wins added) and rocking an 18.30 PER as a combo forward off the pine. Furthermore, the Sixers are 9.75 points per 100 possessions better with him on the court than off it, according to basketballvalue.com. High-scoring guard Louis Williams is the other strong contributor here, but the other reserves have had a negligible impact.

Jason reply to Scott on Jan 7 at 13:30

Does he rate starting line ups lol?

Rich reply to Scott on Jan 7 at 13:32

Yeah, I just saw that. All Lou and Thad PER nonsense aside, do we have a good bench? The third best in the league? I think that's hard to believe.

Thad is a good sixth man right now, Lou is a dangerous offensive player. Both are poor defenders, even though Thad has made improvement to where it's not a zero sum game if he's scoring. Nocioni is a spot-up three point shooter. Turner hasn't played well. Speights would probably put the Sixers in the #1 spot if he got any run because Hollinger loves him.

Maybe I don't really have a feel for other bench units, but the Sixers have to be at least below average in that regard. Their first two players are probably better scorers than any 6-7 men in the league (I can't believe how much Lou gets to the line, his shooting percentage is awful, but he makes up for it by fouls), but they aren't great defenders. Everyone else is below average and higher slotted than they probably should be. So at best the 76ers have an average bench that can boom or bust with two guys. Sound about right?

Lou and Thad are probably two of the best scorers off the bench in the league. If you could add a defensive big and a PG to them, I think your second unit would be solid. As it stands now, though, I'm not buying it. PER is a very weak measuring stick, imo, and it doesn't involve defense in a meaningful way, at all.

I actually generally agree with Hollingers assessment. The Sixers have two bench players finishing games off which basically makes them have one of the best benches in the NBA. I think getting back to what Collins said in preseason that the starters are not necessarily his best 5 players, really makes a huge impact to this. Young, Lou Will, Nocioni, Turner and occasionally Battie and Speights are really good enough to be a top 7-8 bench IMO, possibly higher. They are below average defensively but they are probably the most potent offensive bench in the NBA.

deepsixersuede on Jan 7 at 18:20

I like Thomas but he is the same height as Thad and 15 pounds lighter. I would just as much play Thad and Elton as I would Thomas and Elton. Thomas is more a 4/3 than a 4/5, isn't he?

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