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The Weakest Link

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johnrosz on Mar 8 at 2:30
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but what is his QB rating looking like this year

A waste of space? No, just look at that intensity, look at that scowl. You're telling me there's not room on this team for that kind of fierceness? And we would all miss his signature plays way too much. Like the needless spin move for the fallaway hook shot or the play where he confuses the opponent by letting the ball go right through his hands and bounce off his head. This team would lose too much of its quirkiness, its humor, and its unpredictability without our beloved center. His is not basketball value, it's character value.

Heh. When Hawes is gone I'll have two lasting memories of him. One is the ball bouncing off his head a couple times/game when he whiffs on rebounds or passes, the other will be his limp-wristed jog up and down the floor.

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deepsixersuede on Mar 8 at 7:30
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Brian, I have a feeling he gets the qualifying offer for some reason, Collins has my full confidence and now that Spieghts is coming around I feel anything is possible. Collins must like something he provides, or sees something in him to have stayed with him this long, in spite of the teams numbers while he is out there.

Worst case, his main contribution to this team was pushing Spieghts to earn his minutes whila allowing Collins to play big at the start of games. I will be real curious to see next year, if we get a legit starter at center how it affects his use of the small lineup, and if Thad's minutes get affected.

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Vaughn on Mar 8 at 7:35
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I like the idea that Hawes was, and remains, only a ploy to get Speights properly motivated.

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Tom Moore on Mar 8 at 8:50
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Collins on the Sixers getting through tough stretches, Tuesday's game and trying to avoid bad performances:

http://ow.ly/4a1aa

That Hawes is a millstone weighing down whatever lineup he's in is beyond dispute. The problem isn't so much facing dominant low post presences; other than Amare and Dwight Howard, who has dominated the Sixers from the low post this year? The problem is more that Hawes is so slow in defending the pick and roll that the dribbler not only loses the defender getting picked (usually Jrue) but also gets by/around Hawes as well. The fact that the Sixers have remained a top defensive team this year in spite of their weakness in defending a staple of so many opposing offenses is nothing short of amazing. I'll be disappointed if the Sixers bring him back.

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Tom Moore on Mar 8 at 8:55
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Collins, Sixers trying to avoid another slow start:

http://ow.ly/4a0qJ

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Tom Moore on Mar 8 at 9:06
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Story: Young, Collins are good for each other:

http://ow.ly/4a1Ic

If they keep Hawes and let Young go i will be extremely disappointed. If they keep Young i don't really care about Hawes all that much, whether they let him go or bring him back on his qualifying offer. Just don't re-sign him please.

When the Sixers acquired Hawes, I read a bunch about him at Sactown Royalty- a Lings blog. The consensus was that he had some talent but did not have any drive.

But after watching him this year, I really question the notion he has talent. He has skill- but he just might be the worst athlete in the NBA. He makes Z look yooung and spry. Between is slowness, lack of lower body strength and inability to catch quick passes- they guy must be a step slower than 95% of the league. He really gives "slow white centers" a terrible name- as there are plenty of guys who dispel that stereotype.

I do think Hawes has certain skills and he certainly has size. But I don't see how he will every be even a net positive reserve on an NBA level, or Euro-League level. He is worse than I thought he would be.

The amazing thing to me is how slow Hawes brain seems to be, even slower than his feet. Someone mentioned it above, but I've never seen a ball go right through someone's hands more often than with Hawes. It's like he can't tell his hands to close fast enough to catch the ball, this is especially noticeable on rebounds that come off at an odd angle, or quick passes in the lane.

So what Center do the Sixers have a legitimate shot at in the offseason? Hawes and Kapono's salary comes off the books, but I'm not sure what that gives them as far as a max offer to a potential free agent. Then of course we could put together a trade involving Nocioni and _______. Any ideas?

They aren't going to have cap space, that ship sailed when they took on Nocioni's contract for next season. If the MLE still exists, they could put together an offer for DeAndre Jordan similar to the contract Marcin Gortat signed a couple of years ago. There are no good options out there, though any option would be better than bringing Hawes back.

Jordan will re-sign with the Clippers for more than the MLE IMO.

I'm not sure who they can acquire, but Thorn will definitely have a chance to get creative.

Predicting what the racist slum lord who owns the clippers will do is always a hard thing to do.
He will have an extra 30 mil or so (thanks to the Kings relocation fees) probably this off season.

If they can't find a taker for their "all star" center, I don't think they re-sign Jordan. Can't see them shelling out twice to fill the same position, no matter how dumb it would be to let Jordan walk. I suspect Jordan will be the first domino to fall in the dismantling of the Clippers "young core."

According to various reports, the clippers had offers for Kaman - they just weren't to their 'liking' (they wanted a star player back). Maybe in the off season they take the expiring contract type offers they were getting for Jordan.

Jordan is the 'blink' moment for the clippers future. What they do with Jordan I believe will inform as to where they're headed in the future, and honestly I think the Kings moving AND whatever happens with the lakers could both impact Sterlings thinking processes.

I think they can find a taker for Kaman. The problem he hasn't been traded yet is because they actually have a huge asking price for him. But more importantly Kaman has only one more season left. As bad as Sterling is i think there is zero chance Jordan won't re-sign with the Clippers, unless someone offers him a ridiculous contract in the 12-13 m/per year range.

On a semi-related note, i read somewhere that the Clippers had higher attendance this year than the Lakers. Call it the Griffin effect. Does that influence Sterling?

http://espn.go.com/nba/attendance

They don't have higher home attendance than the Lakers. Not sure where you read it, but it's wrong.

Not to mention, like I said, I can get seats behind the sixers bench at staple center on March 16th for the clipper game for 200 bucks a ticket. How much do you think seats behind the visitors bench costs to a Lakers game at staple center. They may play in the same stadium, but the Lakers make a much heftier margin per ticket than the clippers.

What motivates Sterling is always up in the air. They could have moved to anaheim long ago, but mostly they don't (and people have talked to Sterling about it) is because Sterling doesn't want to have to drive a couple hours to anaheim for every game, nor does he want his rich snobby we only care that don has money friends to have to drive that far either.

This is a guy who booed his own player during a game...

I guess i was looking at this. But i forgot the fact that the Clippers may have played more home games than the Lakers. Anyway it's pretty close...

http://www.basketball-reference.com/leagues/NBA_2011.html

I'm not sure what makes you think it's pretty close.

Lakers 99.7% of capacity for home games

Clippers 91.4%

That doesn't even take into account the fact the larger $ amount per comparable seat the Lakers get.

On the road, the clippers are as popular as the kings (it's the demarcus cousins affect)

I'm pretty sure he can't be offered that much. There's a limit to how much a second round pick like him can be offered, by anyone. Or at least there was a limit in the old CBA, who knows what it's going to be like under the new CBA.

Yeah, my bad, i think you are right. Whatever the case may be though, the Clippers can offer more than anybody else i guess.

Courtesty of Larry Coon

With the previous CBA it was sometimes possible to sign restricted free agents to offer sheets their original teams couldn't match. This happened when a player was an Early Bird or Non-Bird free agent (see question number 19) and the team didn't have enough cap room to match a sufficiently large offer. For example, Gilbert Arenas was Golden State's second round draft pick in 2001, and became an Early Bird free agent in 2003. Golden State therefore could only match an offer sheet (or sign Arenas themselves) for up to the average salary (see question number 25), which was about $4.9 million. Washington signed Arenas to an offer sheet with a starting salary of about $8.5 million, which Golden State was powerless to match.

This loophole was addressed in the current CBA (although not closed completely -- see below). Teams are now limited in the salary they can offer in an offer sheet to a restricted free agent with one or two years in the league. The first-year salary in the offer sheet cannot be greater than the average salary (see question number 25). Limiting the first year salary in this way guarantees that the player's original team will be able to match the offer sheet by using the Early Bird exception (if applicable -- see question number 19), or Mid-Level exception (provided they haven't used it already).

The second year salary in such an offer sheet is limited to the standard 8% raise. The third year salary can jump considerably -- it is allowed to be as high as it would have been had the first year salary not been limited by this rule to the average salary. Raises (and decreases) after the third season are limited to 6.9% of the salary in the third season. The offer sheet can only contain the large jump in the third season if it provides the maximum salary allowed in the first two seasons. In addition, the offer must be guaranteed and cannot contain bonuses of any kind.

If the raise in the third season exceeds the standard raise (8% of the salary in the first season of the contract), then they place an additional restriction on the team. In order to determine the size of the offer the team can make, they don't fit just the first year salary under the cap. Instead, they must fit the average salary in the entire contract under the cap. So a team $8 million under the cap is limited to offering a total of $24 million over three years, $32 million over four years, or $40 million over five years. If the offer sheet does not contain a third-season raise larger than 8% of the first-season salary, then they only have to fit the first year salary under the cap.

And teams under the cap can offer him a bigger contract - it just gets complicated - the whole question is answered here

http://members.cox.net/lmcoon/salarycap.htm#Q38

Doesn't help the sixers of course and the new CBA may close this loophole

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tk76 reply to Kainer on Mar 8 at 10:16
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They will probably have to look to take on a guy with a bad contract in exchange for one of their young guys + nocioni.

Something like Speights + Nocioni for Okafor (who makes 3 yrs 40M after this season.)

Probably not that exact deal, but something that brings back a bad contract.

Yeah i agree. The problem is almost all centers around the league are overpayed and only a few of them can actually play. Most won't make much of a difference even by replacing Hawes.

Guys like Okafor, Varejao, Gortat might be the only options, but i'm not sure how available will they be. We certainly can't afford to overpay for a guy like that in a trade.

The Milwaukee situation warrants some monitoring IMO. If there is any chance Bogut shows signs of dissatisfaction with the franchise, he is the kind of guy that is worth overpaying for. His injury history scares me a lot, but it's certainly less of an issue compared to guys like Bynum and Oden.

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bebopdeluxe reply to tk76 on Mar 8 at 11:17
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If Gortat can be gotten, I would view that as a material upgrade.

Who wouldn't be an upgrade over Gortat.

I mean heck, Samuel Dalembert is an unrestricted free agent

And by over Gortat I mean over Hawes (d'oh)

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tk76 reply to GoSixers on Mar 8 at 11:35
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The overall #2 pick in the darft 2 years ago would not be an upgrade over hawes.

That's up for debate, unfortunately.

Only if you believe the "upside" argument for Hasheem Thabeet (which I don't). If it's a choice between hawes and thabeet, I'd take Hawes.

However, if Comcast is willing to spend some money to build around this roster, then they should have better options.

Did I read somewhere that Sacto wanted to re-up Dalembert a couple weeks back?

That seems to be the presumption since they neither traded nor bought him out.

This made me feel good:

kyle (bristol)

Hey David, what's the one matchup you would love to see in the first round of the Eastern Conference Playoffs and why?

David Thorpe
(12:15 PM)

Philly against anyone.

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bebopdeluxe reply to Ryan F on Mar 8 at 12:58
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Call me crazy, but I am PRAYING for a matchup with the Heat. If we could find a way to steal one down there, it could be a L-O-O-O-N-G series...

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tk76 reply to bebopdeluxe on Mar 8 at 13:23
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The Sixers have multiple players to throw at Lebron and Wade. And it's definitely a team that they can go small on. But they would need Lou, Jrue and Thad to really step up an punish mismatches. And Miami will get every call that series.

The sad thing is that Philly would get zero credit for any wins. It would be all about Miami.

While they may be crybabys they're still 'star' crybabys. Even if the sixers steal one in Miami - they'll give one back in philly.

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bebopdeluxe reply to GoSixers on Mar 8 at 13:35
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I wouldn't expect the Sixers to go up 3-1 in that series...but I sure would like to see a Game 5 in Miami all tied at 2-2...

And if that WAS the case, it will be harder for the Sixers to win in Miami than it would be to beat Manny Pacquiao in Manila.

On paper, The Sixers matchup great against the Heat, and the new look Celtics. The Bulls on the other hand don't hold any experience advantage compared to the Sixers.

I feel good about every opponent right now. I don't expect them to actually win a series, but they will be a very tough out.

Excellent analysis, once again. Also nicely worded.

Anybody see the Craig Brackens article on Philly.com?

http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/sixers/20110307_Sixers_rookie_Brackins_remains_a_developing_story.html

Anybody think he'll actually make an impact on the team in the next couple years?

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tk76 reply to Scott on Mar 8 at 14:03
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He is Thorn's guy. I expect he will get a chance. Although I'm not sure what will happen to the SF/PG logjam in the coming years.

On Speights: "if he can just elevate his defensive game to below-average"

Classic, lol.

I don't agree with this post! LOL

I was wondering when you were going to chime in. :)

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staqnads on Mar 8 at 18:45
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What about Jonas Valanciunas, Lucas Nogueira or Keith Benson in the draft next year?

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