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The Greek on Jul 26 at 3:38
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IMO Jrue can and will pass Iggy as the best player on the sixers. How that will happen is if Iggy lets Jrue handle the ball more, especially in late game situations. 17 and 7 looks realistic from Jrue this season.

"Still probably be the best player"? Isn't that an oxymoron or something?

For what it's worth I still have hope that Iguodala can return to his 08-09 for but I think the young talent on the team is lowering those odds.

I just can see past the offensive flaws on Iguodala's game. Questionable jumpshot. Won't post-up. Can't consistently beat his defender one-on-one. No go-to move. Not aggressive. His positives are that he is definitely the floor general when he's at his best and by far the best defensive player on the floor. All that being said is that this is all we can expect from Iggy. Nothing more. Nothing less.

All of Iguodala's flaws just aren't present with Jrue. Solid jump shooter. One of the best in the league finishing with his left hand. Can beat his defender consistently. Has shown the desire to take over a game.Plays very good defense. If he can ever figure out how to beat a pressing defense to reduce his turnovers the skies the limit for Jrue.

I'll take Jrue by a slight margin in this comparison. He might be the main reason Iguodala won't return next year.

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deepsixersuede on Jul 26 at 7:41
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Iggy's value is based on putting better talent around him so if Turner and Jrue pass him he becomes more valueable.

Collins will have to define what he believes Jrues' true role is here quickly, for Jrue to get better. Putting him on the wing with Lou up top late in games and letting Iggy run the offense either tells me he wants him to be a scorer or hopefully he is just bringing him along slowly.

If he sees a G.Payton type player in Jrue than gi9ve him what to prioritize, whether its defense first, getting teammates involved second and scoring third. Jrue, with his ability to score will become, to me, the better of the two.

+1

Right now, there is no doubt Iguodala is better than Jrue. In a year or two though i think Jrue has a legit chance of catching and surpassing Iguodala on the Sixers "talent chart". If the Sixers can become a contender in the East, Jrue is going to be a multiple allstar IMO and has a higher ceiling (and chance of reaching it) than a lot of his more acclaimed and established young colleagues such as Rondo, Jennings, S. Curry, Lawson (Irving is on his way to join this group) and the like... In his prime which should come in 6-7 years i think Jrue will be in the top PG tier along with Paul, D. Williams, Rose, Wall and Rubio.

The thing about Iggy to me that's sad is that 1) He is very good. 2) He is worth the money. The real issue is that he can't be the best player on your team if it is going to be a serious contender.

That said it is not his fault that he is "only" very good and not elite. There are only 5-10 players in the league at that level and being upset that Iggy isn't one of them seems harsh.

Are we allowed to go over the hard cap to resign our own players? Because if the hard cap is $62 million and if rescind our offer to Hawes, we can only give Thaddeus $7.14 million next year

In theory- no you can't - hard cap is just that - a hard cap that you can't go over.

However, no one knows what's going on with the NBA CBA and I don't believe they believe they can get a hard cap

The $62M wasn't a hard cap, though, it was a flex cap w/ $62M being the "target" which means teams could go over $62M, but there was a hard cap above that number. Essentially, it would operate the same way as the current cap/lux tax does, except instead of teams paying the luxury tax at the top end, the top end is a hard cap that they cannot go over. So you can theoretically spend over the target and up to the top to re-sign your own players or use exceptions. If that makes sense.

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Dan reply to Brian on Jul 26 at 14:58
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Then what's the point of having the $62 million target number, if a team can go over that without having to pay a luxury tax?

The idea is that you can sign anyone up to $62M, you can go over by a small margin to re-sign your own guys or use exceptions to sign other guys, but then there's a certain number you absolutely cannot go over.

Whereas under the current CBA, you can sign anyone up to the cap number, then you can use exceptions to sign anyone else up to a certain point, then you can keep using exceptions beyond that point, but you have to pay the luxury tax. There's a free space in the current cap structure between the cap and the luxury tax, that would still exist, but instead of paying the luxury tax beyond that, there's a hard cap.

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Dan reply to Brian on Jul 26 at 15:31
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Ok, I get it now.

This is all theoretical, but I wonder how much that small margin will be. Right now there are 8 teams that have a payroll over $63 million, and 4 teams that are over $72 million. This would be disastrous for LA. Even if there was an "Allan Houston Rule", LA would have a $72 million payroll and $66 million payroll if Bryant is cut.

I don't think that the NBA can effectively put a hard cap in place, unless they make it effective 3 years from now.

That was the idea, they'd phase it in over three years and I think there was talk of an amnesty opportunity where they could cut a player and he wouldn't count against their cap (but they'd still have to pay him).

If a team does not yet have a franchise player in place, I have some concerns about a team ever signing a non-star player to a deal that averages well over 10M/year. It is not a matter of whether a player is worth the salary. It is more philosophical and strategic.

You need to be aiming for greatness. The best way is to build around a superstar (or multiple superstars.) If you start comitting major cash to very good complementary players before you have a star then you are likely to get yourself stuck in the middle.

This is not saying you should tank. But on one level it's better to be really bad if you don't have a star. It would be different if contracts were shorter or voidable. But when you lock yourself into 6 years (like with Iguodala and Brand) then its probably better to not have those players taking up so much cap space for so long. There is so much less flexibility in that situation- both in terms of trades, FA and the draft. Almost better to be bad for those six years- because there would be a much higher likelihood that you end up with a franchise player to build around.

I'm a huge fan of Jrue and Thad- but I would not want them to be locked into long term deals that combined for over 20M/yr- at least not until they know they have a franchise star in place. They may be worth the 20M- but if they get locked into more long deals it most likely will mean prolonged mediocrity.

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Shawn reply to tk76 on Jul 26 at 17:56
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Brand was supposed to be our "superstar".

Jrue won't be a RFA until the summer of 2013, so we'll have two seasons ( or 1.5) to determine the type of contract that he deserves. Even if he's Reymond Felton, I would resign him. Because having Reymond Felton as PG for 6 million/yr is better than having Luke Ridnour for 2mill/yr.

Thad is a different story. Not resigning him could cost us a playoff birth, while resigning him will effect our cap situation for the summer of 2013. I would just resign Thad, I don't see any superstar FAs available that season anyway.

Acquiring a superstar is so hard. I would rather be #5 seed in the East every year than be what the Clippers were for the past 10 years or what the Hawks were prior to 08'.

I'm not saying the team should tank or be the Clippers.

But deciding to start locking anyone into 10M+ per year deals for 5+ years puts the team at risk of prolonged mediocrity. There is no easy way to build a contender- but there are definete ways you can get your franchise stuck in a long rut of mediocrity.

IMO the team made an epic mistake around the time AI was traded. They were 5-19 with the worst record i the league when he was traded. Then they immediately became a .500 team for the next 4 years by adding Miller and then Brand. They did not want to be bad for 1-2 years, and they are still paying the price.

2007: Worst team got Mike Conley, second worst team got Jeff Green.

2008: Worst team got Beasley, second worst team got Westbrook (with the #4 pick)

2009: Worst team got Tyreke Evans at #4, second worst team traded the pick (would've been pick #5 which was Ricky Rubio)

2010: Worst team got Derrick Favors, second worst team got Wesley Johnson.

Not one player picked by one of the two worst teams in each season in the time period you're talking about is a franchise player, yet, and probably only Westbrook has that type of ceiling, maybe.

I really hate it when people point to the AI trade and the period immediately after there and say the Sixers should've gotten worse, like somehow they'd magically be in a better position right now if they had bottomed out. It completely ignores what happened to the teams who did bottom out over the same time period, and how none of them have even really moved in the right direction, with the exception of Seattle/OKC who got lucky before they bottomed out.

These are good points, I agree with all of them.

I disagree with you entirely. It would be one thing to take a .500 team and blow it up solely with goal of being bad. That is not what I am talking about at all.

The AI year the Sixers were terrible. They had no PG and no PF (and no SG). And they pro-actively went out and traded for a PG and PF in Andre Miller and Joe Smith. They took a bad team with hardly any quality young players and decided the best return for AI would be to slap on 2 short term 30 year old band-aids to mask how brutally bad their roster was.

That was bad decision making. It is not as if a bunch of promising young players were in place and they only needed a brief band-aid. At the time of the AI trade their young players (other than Iguodala) were:

Sam
Lou
Shav
Carney
Amundson
McFarlin
Green
Korver
Hunter

That is a crappy group of young players. They were not going to win many games with that crew- nor was it a bright future. There is nothing wrong with stinking it up simply because your roster stinks and then hopefully growing from there.

Instead they chose to trade for two solid vet starters to put next to their 2 existing solid players (Iguodala and Sam.) That immediately bumped them to being over .500 the rest of the season. Then 15 months later they locked their franchise into 185M of fixed roster for the next 5 years. Even if all of those signings were market value- why do you lock yourself into a core without having a superstar? And I do not buy that Brand should have been considered at that level. He was not a Duncan or a KG. He played with Andre Miller and lost a ton of games. he potential made them a Hawks 2010 type team. that's fine for 1-2 years, but no way do you chose that as your 5 year plan.

First of all, saying they got Joe Smith to help them is completely false to the point where you're rewriting history to make your point. Smith was in that deal because he was an expiring contract. Miller, I guess they wanted. But the purpose of the trade wasn't to get value in return for Iverson, it was to get Iverson out of town ASAP. They brought Miller in, the team started playing better, and that kind of set the course. I'm not sure how many other deals they could've made at that point sending Iverson out that would've made them materially worse, they had to match Iverson's gigantic contract. Essentially, they got one good starter, a couple picks, and an expiring contract. That's not exactly a retool kind of trade.

And again, you're ignoring what teams who "bottomed out" over the same time frame accomplished by bottoming out. Exactly nothing, without fail. The teams that have remade themselves through the draft in that time period have done so by getting extremely lucky with a pick later in the lottery (Durant, Rose). Mabye you can throw the Clippers in there, though it remains to be seen whether Blake Griffin will even give the Clippers a record better than .500 during his rookie contract.

The Sixers are in no worse shape right now than they would've been had they blown it up in the Iverson trade, or shortly thereafter, in fact you can make the case that Jrue is better than any of the guys who were picked by the teams that bottomed out.

To take your logic a step further, if they followed your plan of not signing anyone until they got that superstar, they'd have a bunch of shitty high lottery picks making up their entire roster, basically, and no prospect on their team as good as Jrue.

Whether they wanted him or not, Joe Smith made a big impact in terms of solidifying their frontcourt. He was playing 25+ min a game that otherwise would have gone to Shav. They may not have planned on morphing into a .500 team, but that was the net result of bringing in two quality vets.

If they really wanted to rebuild they could have easily traded away Smith and Miller at the deadline for picks or young players. Saying other teams who were bad continued to struggle is faulty logic. It would be akin to me saying that simply because Utah tanked for a year and were rewarded with DWill that the Sixers would have been able to do the same.

I am not saying being bad because your current squad stinks guarantees you improve. But I am saying that locking yourself into a .500 team (or maybe a .600 team with Brand as a star) definietly was the wrong decision. This is not saying I knoew better. This is saying I am trying to learn from past failures.

The only lesson here is that they locked themselves into being a .500 or .600 team (to this point) when the alternative was to lock themselves into being a .300 team and a series of shitty high lottery picks. That's what history tells us in this case. You can't say they could've landed a superstar when no team in the time frame did anything to improve their fortunes. I mean, shit, the Sixers got the #2 pick in the middle of this stretch.

How did the Sixers ever get AI or Barkley... the only 2 bright spots in the past 25+ seasons?

How did Chicago get MJ or Rose? Orlando get Shaq or Howard? SA get Duncan? When Duncan got hurt SA could have made panic moves to get to .500. I'm sure Orl could have cobbbled together a Larry Brown special. But those teams knew they lacked talent and looked to the draft. Why were the Sixers on a different path where they went 10 years without a top 8 pick... and subsequently had a sever lack of talent.

All of those teams struggled and ultimately found success. The Sixers had a crap roster. Deal with it and hope you get lucky. Just because you might fail does not mean you should chose long term mediocrity.

"The Sixers are in no worse shape right now than they would've been had they blown it up in the Iverson trade, or shortly thereafter"

I don't see how you can confidently make this statement? You are only looking at lottery picks. But you are ignoring that lottery picks, cap space and bringing in more young talent in return for AI could have been turned into something better. That is exactly what Boston did. You are assuming the Sixers would simply just sit around and make lottery picks every year simply becasue that is what teams like Minny or the Clips did. But bottoming out after you dump you prior franchise player gives you more options than that.

Having 65% of you capped locked into 5+ years of Brand/Iguodala/Lou gives you no options for at least 4 years.

Actually, what Boston did was turn a high lottery pick into a shooting guard with bad ankles who would've locked them into being a .500 team for the duration of Pierce's career, if that, then they were handed Garnett on a silver platter for basically nothing. If you think that's a repeatable formula, then fine. I don't agree.

Over the past 4 years, two superstars have been drafted: Durant and Rose. Both were drafted by teams who finished in the late lottery, which was not possible if the Sixers behaved as you're saying they should have.

In the same time period, three superstars have switched teams: Garnett to Boston (a deal the Sixers couldn't have made at the time, especially considering they'd just blown up their roster), James to Miami (you think he would've come to Philly?), Deron Williams to NJ (possibly the Sixers could've overpaid to get Williams for one year, like the Nets did). If you want to, you can even throw Bosh and Carmelo into the superstar category. The Sixers couldn't have gotten either of them.

So where would they be right now if they'd done everything in their power to get as bad as possible in the Iverson trade and had followed your plan of just signing no one at all until you have a superstar? They'd have a roster full of shitty high draft picks, no superstar, and absolutely no hope of landing a superstar because the franchise would be a complete laughingstock.

I get your theory here, but facts just don't back it up, at all. If you're saying they should just blow it up right now, then fine. I can't disprove that isn't the correct path to relevance, but to say they should've done it back then and things would be so much better right now is ignoring what's happened. And really, saying they should blow it up now is ignoring history, not the other way around.

My theory is:

The way they chose locks you into being about .500 and playing in front of empty arenas since you have no franchise star.

Bottoming out could have ended up in a variety of scenarios- from being terrible, to mediocre to great. I never suggested where on that continuum they would have ended up as there is no way to know. But regardless, I take the bottoming out path every time. I take a small chance of success over becoming a boring franchise with little or no reason for hope.

BTW, I am looking into moving to NZ...

Except there is a way to know in this case, because we can look at the teams that took that path and how it worked out for them. You going to raise sheep or something?

Yeah, I have a masters in sheep management.

We want to live abroad at some point- and its one of only a handful of countries where a US doctor can practice... and it sound really appealing to start following rugby.

sounds cool. these days it seems like anywhere is better than here...though new zealand is a bit isolated from, i dunno, earth?

The flight to the US or Europe is long (13 hrs.) So definitively isolated from visiting certain places easily (but 5-6 weeks paid vacation is standard there for many jobs.) But otherwise I don't think any modern country is all that isolated these days. Broadband internet makes the world smaller in many ways.

If anything, you have to go pretty far afield to find a place that is not very similar to every other town. Even in NZ you have your fair share of McDonalds, Starbucks and Apple Stores. But it is culturally different than here, which should lead to an interesting experience if I can make it happen.

It's funny, I went to Fiji for my honeymoon and we actually met a bunch of people from New Zealand there. Really nice people, though not many people are unfriendly on tropical vacations, I assume. The thing that struck me was how exotic Fiji was for us, but for Kiwis it was a lot like the Caribbean is for people in the US. Really short flight for a quick vacation. I think that would probably be a real hidden advantage of living abroad, shifting the center of your universe and easy access to travel to place that are just too far away to be able to explore with how ever much vacation you have.

How long would you be going for? I'm jealous, and if I told my wife she'd be even more jealous. Sounds exciting.

Just got off the phone with the recruiter. The first job is probably no go. But definitely looking. Would start with a year but could easily become a permanent move. I love the US, but it would be interesting to try somewhere new.

NZ seems almost like an alternate universe to the US and UK. Similar in a lot of ways, but they have by necessity and choice had to put a different spin on almost every aspect of their lives. But I guess I won't really know until(if) we make the move.

And yes, daily, relatively affordable flights to Tahiti, Fiji, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Singapore as well as lots of cheap short flights throughout the Lord of the Rings countryside.

Probably still a long-shot I make this work- but at very least it is serving as a tremendous distraction. If there is no basketball then I've got to start watching rugby.

www.speights.co.nz/

If you were hired as the GM of the Sixers, what would be your 3 year plan to make this team a contender?

I don't believe 3 years is a legit option short of hypnotizing Dwight and CP3 to force their way to Philly.

I don't think there is any one sure fire way to become a contender. But I'm certain that there are ways to ensure you won't become a contender anytime soon.

Only need one of those guys, and it isn't the short one.

Yeah, but that did not make the task any easier or more likely.


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