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How Should They Build It?

So the key might be length, athleticism and versatility which is accomplished by finding long versatile forwards and big explosive guards. Didn’t we already try the run and gun with Mo Cheeks.

Athletic starting five was


We didn't get out of the first round then either

Well, first of all I don't consider Miller or Willie to be food athletes, nor did they have good size. Second, Orlando and Boston wee the teams to bet back then and they were constructed much differently than Miami and Chicago are now.

Going the all-athlete way is one possibility, yes, but it is far from the only way to build your team. I've always believed in having a balanced team and i think in many ways almost all championship have had a bit of everything. As a general direction, however, i choose skills and high basketball IQ ahead of athleticism. Basketball is a game where you need skills and not just ability to jump high. Smartly coached, skilled, high BB IQ teams have always performed well in the playoffs, much more so than athletic teams...

And bare in mind that the NBA and FIBA have worked towards reducing the differences in the rules for a while now and they will only continue to do so. And since we've seen just how much of an effect a slight change of rules can make to the game (hand checking rule), we can only imagine what could happen with a similar change of rules. The current rules maximize the impact athletes have on the game. Skills however are are in a way universal and they will provide results under any setting and rules.

Yeah, personally I think FIBA caters to teams with less athleticism because for the most part they have players with less athleticism. If the two leagues are going to come closer and closer, I think FIBA is going to move closer to the NBA, not vice versa. The only rule that I've heard given serious consideration is making the ball live once it hits the rim, and that rule actually favors athleticism.

I'm not saying skills aren't important, I'm saying if given the choice between a limited athlete with developed skills and an exceptional athlete w/ size/length, I'm taking the athlete and developing his skills. I don't think the former is going to do much to move the needle against MIA and CHI over the next 3-5 years unless he's got exceptional skills (like Dirk).

The Sixers aren't really going to contend in the next 3-4 years anyway unless they luck into a blockbuster trade that will get them a top 5 player. What they should do is improve each year and maybe pass a round or maybe two in the meantime.

The young players need to learn and grow first...

AaronMcKie4MVP on May 24 at 6:53

unfortunately we had our best shot last season, getting lucky with the #2 pick. in a different season, the #2 pick may have added a legit star to a decently talented roster. now we must accept our desitiny of capping out at 48 wins sometime in the next 10 years and season after season of 12-17 picks.

deepsixersuede on May 24 at 7:46

Brian, I think we won't get an Iggy type athlete if he is moved but what I want is a longer 3 that can make things tough on Lebron. And an active big plus something you seem to not care about, caproom. We are not getting a high draft pick for the next 3 years, in my opinion, so if we get under the cap a trade of lesser salary for a bigger salary may get us the final piece.

I hope against hope that when Sac. picks they a] have interest in Iggy b] one of Bismack, Kanter or Valanciucus is on the board. If they agree to swap Casspi, their #7 pick and 11 million in caproom for Iggy I would pull the trigger and hope C.Singleton is on the board at #16.

You now have added 2 6'9" small forwards to interchange on Lebron, an active big who is your future 4 or 5 hopefully and maybe the flexibility to target other needs, whatever they feel they need.


eddies' heady's on May 24 at 7:50

Vets always win out over youth in my mind. It's sort of happening in both of these Finals series so far. Until we bring in some veterans that can, for one thing, just shoot the ball, we'll always be wishing and hoping to reach the pinnacle. Andre and Elton are vets but there's not one single player that plays an important role on this team that I'd call a veteran besides maybe Lou (and he needs some head wringing at times like he's a rookie).

Do you prefer youth and the room to potentially grow (not set in stone) over having a veteran laden team? Was asking because it was curious to me that you picked both of the younger teams the other week when picking who would make the Finals and who would win it.

deepsixersuede reply to eddies' heady's on May 24 at 8:06

I think getting Dwight is not happening but a guy who may be gettable is Millsap either when he becomes a free agent or if Favors develops into a very good compliment to A.Jefferson. How would this starting 5 look in 2 years;

[Kanter,Bismack, Valancuicus]
Millsap, Young
Holiday,[Lou or future #1

CHI over Indy - Vets
MIA over Philly - Vets
BOS over NYK - Vets
ATL over ORL - Youth
MEM over SAS - Youth
LAL over NOH - Vets
DAL over POR - Vets
OKC over DEN - pretty even, really. DEN probably has more "veterans" so Youth.

MIA over BOS - Youth
CHI over ATL - Youth
DAL over LAL - Really vets vs. vets here
OKC over MEM - Youth

It looks like the conference finals are probably both going to the veteran teams.

It's not radically slanted toward older teams, though. Or at least it wasn't this year in the playoffs.

For me, the issue is probably more about playoff experience than overall age. If you're saying they should start adding older players, I absolutely disagree with that. Maybe when they're closer to a finished product you try to add a couple of guys into the rotation to provide some stability in the playoffs, but right now adding those guys is only going to make the team older and block the younger guys from accumulating that experience. Keep adding young pieces, keep getting to the playoffs and when Jrue is 25, hopefully he'll have five years of playoff experience under his belt to draw on. I guess at that point you can call him a veteran, and some of the other younger guys on the roster right now will hopefully fall into the same mold. I don't think the team is in any position to build a veteran roster through trades or free agency though, they're going to have to build it by getting their youth the needed experience.

Yeah i pretty much agree about the timeline. People are greedy and want success now (which is understandable in a way) but they also need to understand that almost every "draft to champ" team needed at least 5-6 seasons to actually truly contend. The Thunder and the Bulls are trying to defy that a bit this year, but they will still probably fall short.

The window for this Sixers core (Jrue, Turner, Thad) will be probably start in 3-4 years if everything goes well, not next year. That's one of the bigger reasons why moving Iguodala for a young very talented player has to be at least considered, even though he is young enough to be part of the possible success for a few years. We also need to understand that Brand isn't going to be a part of the team, and we shouldn't just be looking at a C, but at a PF as well (unless of course they get a truly dominant C that will cover for Thad's weaknesses).

emtmess on May 24 at 7:55

I think we could be a very dangerous team even if we add just a scoring option. I would rather keep Andre and draft someone like Donatas Motiejunas. Sounds like he (i stress sounds like because I do not consider myself anywhere near an expert on Euro players) score inside and out and should be able to a steady scoring ooption. Then go after some one who could defend and rebound next to him. I do not think this could be done in one year so we would need another year or two to do this. The athletic big could be obtained from the draft or F/A. Any thoughts on some players that might fit next to Jrue, Evan, Andre, Donatas, at the 5. This should also allow Brand to be healthier at the end of the season.

He seems like the prototypical soft euro to me. No rebounding, no shotblocking.

Weak rebounder and shot blocker, but very good inside moves. Probably the best offensive big man in the draft. And he isn't really like Bargnagni, Motiejunas plays inside more, he is not really a shooter. At #16 he is a steal.

I stopped reading after weak rebounder and shot blocker, nothing else really matters to me from a center.

emtmess reply to Brian on May 24 at 16:01

I think if you match him with the right power forward Donatas could be very effictive. with how good Andre, and Evan rebound I do not think that you need dominant rebounding shotblocking type players at both the 4 and 5 just one of them. Really it all that matters IMO is you get one of the two following types Athletic big (4/5) who can rebound and block shots, or a really eff. good inside/outside or outside scoring option.

Stan reply to Brian on May 24 at 21:56

I would take Pau Gasol over Brand any day

Now, yes. If they're both in their primes, I'd take Brand though.

emtmess reply to Brian on May 24 at 23:30

Same here Brand in his prime was better than Pau he just never got to play with the same level of talent that Pau did.

Would adding Chris Paul to the Knicks make them a contender? Would it change if you added Deron Williams, Tony Parker, or Steve Nash instead.

Parker and Nash, no. CP3 and Williams, maybe. I think Williams is the best fit, but none of it matters unless they get rid of D'Antoni and start playing a little bit of defense.

Based on the rumors and interviews of Thorn, Collins, et al I see floating out there, I think the Sixers have the right idea for this offseason by targeting big men. The whole "need a scorer" thing can only lead to us doing something dumb and getting Ellis or Granger (as Brian mentioned). It's unlikely Turner will become an elite scoring option, but I'm pretty sure that was the thinking behind drafting him so why not give him at least one season to be "the guy." Just like Doug told him to focus on defense and rebounding this season, tell him this year it's all about being aggressive offensively, getting to the foul line, and finishing at the rim. Looking at how the CBA could change, the Sixers 2nd priority has to be cap flexibiliy (not necessarily a ton of cap room), so that they have more opportunities and options in potential deals. I don't think it's entirely unreasonable to think in a year or two, a star player could look at our team and think to themselves that they are the missing piece. We just have to have the assets to strike.

Going after athletic players are nice but give me a guy who can flat out play. I can name just as many players who are average athletes but know how to use the physical talents they have. Durant, Randolph, Nowitzki and Bosh all come to mind as scorers get it done with less than Iguodala's athleticism. Let's not forget that we drafted better athletes in Iverson and Hughes over Pierce and Dirk and you see how that's worked out. Perkins, Artest and Garnett are very good defensive players with the same limitations.

That's part of thd reason I'm so high on Turner. I think he has "it". The part of a player that knows what it takes, knows how to get it done and knows when it's needed. Hope I'm right.

Garnett is a freak athlete and Artest and Perkins are both extremely strong/long. None of those guys is exactly dealing with physical limitations.

I'm not saying you ignore skills (though I do think you should ignore "it" because "it" is fictional). I'm saying you stockpile athletes because that's the best way to compete with these athletic teams short of getting Dwight (who is a freak athlete in his own right.)

The thing is, i don't think you need athletes to compete with Miami and Chicago. You don't try to "out-athlete" the most athletic teams in the league, you try to "out-skill" them and "out-smart" them.

And to be honest i haven't been as impressed with what Miami and Chicago have done in these playoffs compared to what OKC and Dallas have. Chicago lucked into two easy opponents in the first two rounds. Miami got to play versus two inexperienced up and coming teams that are too young to be able to take advantage of Miami's weaknesses on a consistent basis and an old Boston team that is falling apart after the Perkins trade... Miami is playing the best ball of the season in the playoffs, yes, but they will need to lift their play to another level if they want to beat Dallas (of course they need to actually beat Chicago first, that's far from a done deal, but it's likely IMO).

"The thing is, i don't think you need athletes to compete with Miami and Chicago. You don't try to "out-athlete" the most athletic teams in the league, you try to "out-skill" them and "out-smart" them."

I disagree. I think with a team of marginal athletes who have skills you're just going to be overcome by their athleticism.

johnrosz reply to Brian on May 24 at 13:04

Spoelstra spoke a lot about how tough it was to compete with the Sixers athleticism, I think you could argue they gave them a tougher series than Boston with far less talent simply based on youth and athletic ability.

johnrosz on May 24 at 11:55

"Let Hawes walk" seems like something we can all agree on (minus Stoned81)

I'm OK with keeping him as a backup Center (or 4th big man) off the bench playing 8-10min per game, if he was willing to sign a 1-2 million $ per year deal. That ain't happening though, so yeah "let Hawes walk" :)

Haha yeah. I think Hawes is better than most backup centers in the NBA, so I'd keep him. He's no star, but he's not the worst center in the NBA, which is how everyone else here feels about him. I'd of course like to get a top-flight starting center if possible, but Hawes is a legit NBA backup center (would be one of the better ones) and is better than a lot of starting NBA centers because the league is so vacant at the position at the moment.

If Clevelend calls and offers #4 + trade exception for Iguodala, what should Thorn do? Hang up the phone, ask for a little bit more, or accept it right away?

I wouldn't make that deal, personally. If you're going to make the deal, though, I think you need to wait until draft night.

Basically, there are two players I'd want with that pick: D. Williams or Biyombo. If they're both off the board, I don't want the pick. Maybe people feel differently and would want Kanter in there. Personally, I don't want Irving. I'd need to see who was available at #4.

I think the Sixers should ask for a little bit more, but that's probably a decent starting point in negotiations. I actually prefer Kanter and Valanciunas over Williams whom i don't like at all and Biyombo whom i do like but #4 is a reach for him... Biyombo might even fall out of the top 10 and he certainly isn't going higher than 7-8 IMO.

Oh yeah and i think Jrue will be better than Irving so no i don't want him either even though he will be a good player.

Draft Express reported that Cleveland offered the fourth pick to Memphis for Rudy Gay, using their trade exemption to make it happen. I have to think if they would offer the pick for gay they'd offer it for Iguodala. I love what Andre brings to this team but getting Biyombo to me would be too perfect of a fit to pass up. Getting Biyombo at 4 and either Singleton, and to a lesser extent one of the Morris twins or even Marshon Brooks who would be a great scoring option in between Tuner and Jrue would give us the freakishly athletic young team thar could continue to grow together offensively while being an elite defensive team immediately.

PG: Jrue Holiday
SG: Evan Turner
Sf: Chris Singleton
PF: Elton Brand/Thaddeus Young
C: Bismack Biyombo


PG: Jrue Holiday
SG: Marshon Brooks/ Evan Turner
Sf: Evan Turner/ Thaddeus Young
PF: Elton Brand/ Thaddeus Young
C: Bismack Biyombo

I would like to think it means they'd trade the #4 for Iggy, but I don't think it does. Maybe they just wanted a #1 scorer, which is Gay, but not Iggy.

It's silly to declare the Sixers a youthful team. We have experience vets of Brand and Iguodala, who are the leaders of this team.

The Sixers have been unwilling to make the commitment to a plan.

If we want to go the Youth route, then we have to get rid of Iguodala & Brand. They are good players, they are good people, but they don't fit into a youth plan.

It's not silly to call them a young team when they are a young team. They have two players over 25 in their rotation. Iguodala is only 27. Having one guy over thirty doesn't suddenly age the entire team.

Interesting piece about the role of bigs in the current NBA.


Good read.

I would trade Iggy for Kanter or Biyombo without even blinking, and I'd even throw in the #16 pick. I agree that Iggy is a very good player (I was always a big fan of his) but when the guy wants out, he wants out. Ultimately, I don't like the idea of trying to bring in guys who fit around a player who wants to be on another team.

Re: Perkins, I think the trade was alright for OKC in that removing Jeff Green opened up time for James Harden, who greatly improved after the traded. But Perkins is one of the most overrated players in the league, in my opinion, and I can't believe they gave him such a big contract. Honestly, a Green dump for a late first-rounder would've been better for OKC than extending Perkins for 4 years and many many millions.

I guess that's the disconnect. I don't think they would be building around Iguodala, I think he's just a piece that fits the overall puzzle. And whether he wants to be here or not is irrelevant unless it gets to the point where he (a) isn't working hard at his game and is letting his wish to be elsewhere get in the way of his play on the floor or (b) he creates a problem in the locker room. He hasn't demanded a trade, he hasn't even said he wants to leave. This is an issue in the minds of people who want him gone.

I think I mostly agree, although I personally only like having guys on the team that rally want to be in Philly. But that's just a fan thing, not based on basketball.

But even basketball-wise I'd trade Iggy for Kanter or Biyombo because I think both have the potential to be great centers, which would create a potentially awesome young core with Holiday and Turner.

I don't see it in Kanter, although I haven't seen much of him.

emtmess reply to Brian on May 25 at 9:47

Well no one really has seen much of him. I think a lot of his value is based on his college recruiting and the fact that Kentucky's coach has a pretty good track record at spotting NBA talent.

I find this a little half-baked. You say there are these two really athletic teams, Miami and Chicago, but really Rose is the Bulls' one big-time athlete, and we already have Jrue to deal with him, and if he can't adding Josh Smith won't change that. So really we're talking about Miami. Now as far as beating Miami, if we went the route you suggest, we'd become just as good defensively as they are, or maybe a little better, but we still would have far less offense than they do A fantasy lineup of Jrue-Turner-Iguodala-Smith-Biyombo wouldn't score much. Our best scorer would be a worse offensive player than their third best. Only one of those players has a jump shot. Only one of those players (the same one) knows how to score semi-reliably in a halfcourt offense. Teams would pack it in against us, we'd get a ton of defensive highlights and score a lot of fast-break points, but inevitably we'd fizzle when the game slowed down in the fourth quarter. I don't know how the lesson from these playoffs is that you can win without a great scorer. I'm not sure you even can win if you build your team around Dwight Howard. Howard's not Duncan; he's efficient but he only dominates a game on the offensive end if you refuse to double-team him, which no one would ever do if he played for us because it's not as if we ever have more than one shooter on the court at any time.

I didn't say getting Smith and Biyombo would put you ahead of Miami and Chicago. What I said is that I don't think you can compete with them unless you have elite athletes all over the floor. They're going to eat mediocre athletes alive. The plan, in broad terms, is to retain all the athleticism you have and continually add more. I didn't say anything about not needing a number one scorer, never mentioned that at all because that's not the point. The point is that you don't acquire questionable athletes along the way, you only obtain guys who fit the profile. Guys like Hawes are a waste of time, as are a lot of the bigs available in this draft.

elf reply to Brian on May 24 at 21:29

If the Bucks offered this trade, what should Rod do ?
- Iggy Note: I like his game but he´s the only one capable of get decent talent on a trade without touching the young nucleus.
- Speights
- 2011 pick - 10 at DX a chance to get Biyombo
- Larry Sanders - one season under his belt already
- Corey Maggete - garbage part of the deal but his contract ends together with Elton´s
A nice defensive potential for this squad, If 76ers get C. Singleton with their pick.
Still missing the scorer|star but the size,athleticism, rebound, shotblocking stuff would be covered..

Bad deal...

I'd probably see if Denver wanted to do like a Lou for Andersen swap if they don't plan on resigning Smith. Get a guy in here thats a good athlete who can play the five next to either Brand or Thad and is also productive in the minutes he plays. That will still leave time for our draft pick to play and take the pressure off them, and also put Hawes farther out of the equation.

Rose is what Iverson could have been. I wonder how well Iverson could have done if he had Rose's supporting cast

Heh. Iguodala did pretty much exactly what Rose did against LeBron (twice) for the win, only Iguodala actually got a better look and hit the rim. Wonder if the Iguodala haters are saying how un-clutch Rose is right now.

Enes Kanter reply to Brian on May 24 at 23:21

I read from somewhere that Rose has the lowest FG percentage during game tying and game winning possessions.

Anyway, people are going to blame Boozer for the loss

Ste reply to Brian on May 24 at 23:23

He also missed a FT, the thing Iggy would have done

Tray reply to Brian on May 24 at 23:40

Rose isn't particularly clutch.

Another question I'd have is how an all-athletes team would fare against Chicago. Chicago has a great defense; so would this all-athletes team. However, on offense, Rose > Jrue, Noah > ? (Biyombo?), Deng > Andre, and Boozer > most fours out there, as miserable as he's been this postseason, so he's probably better than whoever we'd pick up in all-athlete world. You need offense. Even Chicago, with the MVP, some credible second/third options, one great shooter and a couple of other okay ones, has way too little. I don't favor trading for Granger or Ellis, but I don't want to put a bunch of athletes in a hopper with no regard for whether they have skills and just "let chaos reign"; it sounds like a better way to build an NFL defense than an NBA contender.

Just read my comment above, or maybe read the post more closely.

Biyack and Kanter are so bust-friendly, its not even funny.

tk76 reply to Shawn on May 25 at 0:09

Kanter has no chance of being a bust. He just might not be great or even near All Star level. But he is a lock to be a starting caliber Center, which is the hardest position to find.

While Bismack is just a high motor, raw athlete.

I'm not sure how you can even come close to making that assertion about a guy who hasn't broken a competitive sweat in over a year. All the video I've seen of him showed a pretty earthbound guy playing against 16 year-olds and finishing very softly around the rim.

Wish we could get Noah on the Sixers. Love the way that guy plays.

Korean76ersFan on May 25 at 0:05

How's this for super athletic lineup

Sixers trade Iggy to Sacramento for #7 + #35 + Casspi
Draft Biyombo at #7
Draft Singleton at #16
Trade #35 + #50 to Cash Strapped Team (Boston maybe?)
Draft Nogueria

Holiday - Turner - Singleton - Biyombo - Nogueria

Most athletic and possibly best defensive lineup in the NBA. Not to mention Thad Young as 6th man to keep up the athletic frontcourt and provide some scoring

Korean76ersFan reply to Korean76ersFan on May 25 at 0:06

of course, Biyombo and Nogueria both have high chances of being busts, but if they were to reach anywhere near their potential O_O

johnrosz on May 25 at 0:47


Did Thorn enlist the aid of international spy Brandon Graham to track down the whereabouts of Andre Iguodala?

I'm sure there's some way to turn Iguodala lifting weights with another Philly athlete into a negative.

johnrosz reply to Brian on May 25 at 1:14

well, now that we have proof that he's no longer deep in the sacred mountains of China without cell phone reception, it'd be nice to know what the deal is with the interview and why he can't answer his employers phone calls.

The assumption being he hasn't talked to anyone since he got back and he was dodging their calls in the first place. Where were either of those things reported?

johnrosz reply to Brian on May 25 at 1:52

I don't know, Thorn said he hadn't had the exit meeting in Toms interview after the original report that he only missed it due to a team doctors meeting.

Would be nice to get some actual clarification, as we've seen the way they've handled skipped exit meetings in the past.

Kate is too busy trying to figure out how much money is actually left on Andre's contract to get to the bottom of it

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