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Harris Ready to Get to Work

Morey doesn't come across as the type of GM that takes big risks. He has made a lot of smart calculated decisions, but it hasn't raised Houston to an elite status. My gut says that Hiniki won't take the gamble on Andrew Bynum and will instead use that cap space to sign a veteran big man on a cap friendly deal. I suppose that big man will be someone like Nikola Pekovic or Paul Milsap. The Sixers will also accumulate draft picks and in 2 or 3 years put themselves in a position to be able to sign or trade for an elite player.

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Tray reply to Stan on May 13 at 11:36
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Pekovic will return to Minnesota. I think he'll want to tank and maybe add some small pieces, because he's smart and that's what I would do. Seriously though, I don't think that basketball sabermetrics smiles on players with crappy injury histories at an early age. So I doubt Bynum will happen.

Without taking into regard Thad, Bynum, or the teams current composition, Millsap is my favorite free agent in the market.

I'm not sure I have a 'favorite' free agent in this market but I'm certain that one guy isn't going to make a huge difference towards the long term success of this franchise.

Milsap is a nice bench player, on a team that's close he's a good get. I'm not sure he's worth pursuing for the sixers at this time though.

Yes, adding any long-term contracts is not wise right now. Other than Richardson they don't have any bad contracts which should give them the necessary flexibility to add around Jrue and Thad. I would like any decisions on Turner to be put on hold until the All-Star break. I'm curious to see how he will be coached, specifically his shot selection, with analytics being preached top-to-bottom in the organization. About the only positive plays he made this season were feeds to a cutting Thad or Moultrie, but those are easy points to capitalize on, especially with shooting threats on the floor. Goos second-unit potential.

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Tuck reply to Cin on May 13 at 14:08
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I don't think Turner is going to improve much in a more efficient type of offense say like the one they currently run in Houston which emphasizes three pointers and drives to the hoop. Turner is below average in both those areas so I don't see him improving much. I suspect the longer they hold onto Turner, the worse his trade value will get.

The only way I see Turner improving is if he dedicates himself in the weight room this offseason and gets in better shape. It doesn't seem like his body has developed at all since he entered the league.

Looks to me like his body has gotten worse since he entered the league. Unless Hinkie has wildly different numbers in his back pocket than the readily-available advanced stats out there, I'd think removing Turner from the team would be pretty high on his list of priorities. I think he'd probably try to get Richardson included in any deal he could put together with Turner, assuming it's a seller's market for ET, which is not a safe assumption.

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Rich reply to Brian on May 13 at 16:32
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Extremely wishful thinking, IMO. At this point, the only thing I feel that makes sense in regards to trading Turner is getting someone back with a similar expiring deal. It's not worth it to trade Turner for a player that's only a little better with more years on his deal. That's all I believe you can acquire for him, even before attaching Richardson; I don't know if there's anything in the league you could trade that combo for that wouldn't be extremely harmful.

They made a huge mistake picking up his option, which really didn't make much sense at the time. And Hinkie is probably going to have to bite the bullet for a year until Turner is off the books. It's not ideal, but I'd much rather it be one more year than three with a player who isn't much better.

They could also trade money for assets. Meaning, Hawes/Kwame/Turner could be expiring contracts thrown into deals with the Sixers as a third party getting picks in return. Or they could be packaged to take back a longer deal with an unprotected pick or two also coming back for a team looking to shave money from its payroll.

Personally, I think stockpiling shitty mid-round draft picks has been the worst thing Morey has done in HOU. #12 + #15 + #20 is never enough to move up for a meaningful pick.

http://www.draftexpress.com/article/Predicting-NBA-Draft-Success-and-Failure-through-Historical-Trends-1362/

Drafting in bulk isan effective way of hedging your bets. With Parsons being a plus starter at less than $1M in salary, and Lamb helping them get Parsons, Jones and White don't even need to turn out for them to have had a successful draft.

Hedging your bets is a good way to minimize the benefit of getting a decent player on a cheap contract. You have to carry the salaries of guys like Royce White and Thomas Robinson, effectively paying mle level money for Parsons.

I shouldn't have factored in Parsons, wrong draft year, but look at their contracts:

http://hoopshype.com/salaries/houston.htm

I'd like to consider this a Hinkie machination as he was their cap whiz, but either way their intent is clear and the end-result masterful. Load up on a plethora of young talent on manageable, rookie contracts, and play the numbers. They have until the Lin and Asik escalators to evaluate and invest, and anything that doesn't work out can be scrapped.

With the third year team options that was the perfect year to make a bunch of picks.

That's a key point

TEAM options - if the sixers stop giving out PLAYER options and instead focus more on TEAM options I'll be happy

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Rich reply to Brian on May 13 at 18:14
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That's true. The luxury tax penalties could help with a potential deal.

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ojr107 reply to Brian on May 13 at 20:08
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But wasn't stockpiling picks part of how they got Harden? The Rockets gave up two first round picks and Jeremy Lamb(who hadn't played a game yet), I don't know that they get Harden without those three picks.

Doug looks like the Grinch in that picture...a weary, disconsolate, resigned Grinch. Forget the passion, intensity and pride, he needs some R & R more than his former players do.

It's Marcus Hayes, nothing he says or does surprises me. Hayes is one of those guys whose best years in high school were picking on the guys who now run the world, and he's still bitter about it. He makes smallwood look accepting. The Philadelphia media is a reflection of what works on sports radio - and that's rejecting anything new and longing for the old days.

Though I didn't know that Harris also saved Twinkies - that's kind of cool

Yeah, it's not even coherent. He ends on this "what do you know, Barzilai's stats really work!" note, plus all the random stuff about the Red Sox, that kind of undermines everything that comes before. If you're going to be a stats-bashing hack, at least write something that's readable and has a logical flow and doesn't contradict itself 50 times.

I'm very excited about this. Not only is Collins gone, which is great, but we got a guy in charge now that had nothing to do with the Bynum trade, so he won't feel any extra pressure to retain him. If he does, he does, but at least it won't be based on throwing money at a situation and crossing their fingers just because they gave up some pieces.

I feel the same way about Turner. He didn't waste the #2 pick on him.

That's true, Turner is so irrelevant to me now I didn't even think of that, but it's another reason to be happy. At least Bynum was really good when he was being forced to play basketball by Kobe. Turner has only ever been good in his own mind.

What year is LeBron's current contract up, and how many contracts do the Sixers have that go out that far?

He can opt out after the 13/14 season - hence why the lakers currently only have one guy (nash) signed past next season.

Dei Lynam said today that Houston was interested in Turner at the deadline this season, so I wouldn't be too quick to assume he's gone

Morey apparently has an infatuation with guys who were drafted high, no matter how bad they are. He traded for Jonny Flynn, right? Hopefully, his protege doesn't share the same affinity for busts.

I think you are being a bit too harsh with Houston's results. The West has been insanely competitive for the last few years, and Houston with many of the same restrictions, limitations and advantages as Philly is in an infinitely greater position.

Houston has a chance to build a great team. It wasn't luck or ping pong balls that brought them James Harden & Jeremy Lin but smart acquisitions, smart drafting, smart contracts.

But to be fair, if you remove the salaries of Brand & Bynum from the Sixers, Houston did outspend us by 3.5 million.

Harden and Asik were the big signings, think they're going to regret signing Lin. And they're an 8 seed that got bounced in the first round. We'll see if they can move up from there, but so far that's the best Morey's been able to do. He's had that team mired in mediocrity since he took over.

All you can really do is put yourself in position - the problem is that free agents don't leave - not often - any more - the rockets are in position to make a run at howard (or chris paul I guess) according to reports, but most likely he takes the extra money from LA.

There's only so much you can do without dumb luck on your side (or so much horribleness you get to draft a series of good guys like the warriors, who need to find a way to be rid of David Lee)

That's kind of my point. The pro-tankers are psyched by this move, but Morey did everything he could to avoid tanking..

Haven't the rumors been though that Houston is one of the teams that can/might max out Bynum if the Sixers don't? Sure will be interesting to see where Hinkie falls on that...

Houston and Dallas are the two teams I've heard, but I'm pretty sure it's just been tossed out there randomly. Doubt there's anything legit behind it at this point. We won't have to wait too long.

I don't think 'pro tankers' are enthused by this move - I think of it as being 'anti status quo' - the sixers have been running in mud - for over a decade - and now - at least they seem to have decided to try a different tact to get out of the mud as opposed to the same old retread bald tires.

I don't consider myself a pro or anti tanker - I'm just tired of rooting for a franchise that seemed to have its head up its ass and yet doesn't any more

Wasn't referring to you, really. I do find it interesting that the figurehead of advanced thinking in the NBA has kept his team mediocre for so long when so many people argue that you have to be truly bad to get good.

I argue that you have to be truly bad at the right time (and btw - if the hype is even close to accurate, next season is that time, wiggins isn't the only hot prospect, just the hottest), and well, since the sixers aren't really going anywhere, if Hinkil makes moves that indicate suckage next year, I'm alright with that.

I mean, until he hires a coach I don't think we'll have a clue of his insight (I doubt he does a 'blogger roundtable' the way Stefanski did)

Stefanski did a one-on-one, not a roundtable :)

No matter what personnel moves he makes, the offense should be more fun to watch next season. I expect a team philosophy to eschew the long two, no matter who's playing and who's coaching. That's a positive development.

Well - i think any offense would have been more fun because it wasn't going to be collins - must admit though I'm still shocked how this GM thing came out of nowhere

Here's the thing with the Rockets and why think you are wrong on this:

2007-2009 Morey took over in 2007, but the team had stars on fragile health in Yao and T-Mac. He couldn't just blow it up right away. So his first few years of semi contention are irrelevant in his evaluation IMO. They won 50+ games but those teams didn't really have Morey's stamp on it. We've had 4 years of real "Moreyball" so far.

2009-2013 In those 4 years, Houston finished over .500 each year in a tough conference without a single really good player. They finally managed to make the playoffs last year. Overall he took a team in the worst situation possible with zero young players or assets and transformed it to be on the verge of contention in 4 years. Tanking teams wait 5-10 years before that happens, if it happens at all. Essentially, he swapped the years of being terrible with playoff contention and mediocrity, yet ended up with the same result and ability to contend (possibly even faster).

So overall, the reason why everyone is so high on Morey is because he managed a tanking type of rebuild without actually tanking. I'm not saying that the formula will work every time, but what does?

I am very happy with Hinkie's hire because it represents well defined sense of direction for the team and an organization that has a chance to have stability. You don't hire a guy like that if you don't want him to be here long term and implement his ideas. Harris and Hinkie are on the same page and with Hinkie now headlining the head coaching search i think it's reasonable to expect the coach will be on the same page as well. And that's all i ever wanted from the team. Stability.

different sport but Frank McCourt, formerly of the Dodgers, hired a guy just like that and fired him after two seasons - following one season of .500-ish playoffs and another of complete injury-fueled 2012 Eagles-esque collapse:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_DePodesta

if Hinkie turns into anything like that guy it would be very very good news...if it works...

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dervin reply to Brian on May 14 at 12:58
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This may sound counterintuitive but you are focusing too much on the short term results instead of the logic of the process.
Last year at this time, the Sixers were in the second round of the playoffs pushing the aging Boston Celtics to a seventh game. The results said the Sixers had an insanely successful season last year.

But which team had a brighter future? The Sixers last year or the Rockets this year?

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Stan reply to dervin on May 13 at 23:42
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But when you look at the way Houston has built its team and compare to how other teams like Denver, Memphis, Golden State, Portland, and Indiana who also built their teams without that "superstar" player, you realize that what Houston has done hasn't been that impressive. They're not as bad as Washington, Charlotte, or Sacramento, but the reputation they have does not match up to what they really are.

I haven't watched a ton of OKC ball this year. Good to see Perkins still sets a moving screen on every offensive possession. They actually called that one.

The warriors set A LOT of them

I noticed that too. Bogut especially sets illegal screens on every single offensive possession. Sometimes more than one.

The defensive player of the year doesn't even make All-NBA defensive first team? Ok that makes tons of sense.

Unbelievable, right?

If only Bynum and Derrick Rose were healthy, the Eastern Conference would be so much more interesting. Chicago and Miami would be the elite teams, while on the 2nd tier it would be the Sixers, Pacers, and Knicks. On the 3rd tier it would be the Celtics, Hawks, and Nets and teams like Detroit, Cleveland, and Milwaukee would challenge for a playoff seed. The Sixers, Cavs and Hawks all have the ability to move up to elite status based on what they can get from their trade assets and their cap space. The NBA could be headed to decent era of basketball.

My only concern about the Hinkie hire is that he is a bit young. Being only 35 and coming from a non-hoops background. This can result in fresh thinking, but it also can result in avoidable mistakes. I sort of wished they could keep an old head like DiLeo around. Someone low profile who is plugged in and connected to the old school crowd, but willing to work under a new age regime. Someone who can balance out the sabermetrics with years of eyes on experience.

I don't doubt Hinkie scouts intensely, but experience is not completely replaceable- or maybe that is just my age talking. Anyway, I'd just like to see some degree of a counterbalance. I think Harris wanted this too with Collins, but Collins was never going to be a guy who blends.

On flip side, the most compelling argument I've read is based around the fact that due to Philly's limitations as a market they need to be truly innovative to find a way to compete. I guess that is the whole Oakland(MLB) premise that Houston has tried to replicate. I'm certainly happy with the move, and like with Chip Kelly, at very least it will be a whole lot more interesting than the BK/Stephanski/Collins years of old school mediocrity. I can't say that I'm suddenly optimistic, but I'm not sure if anything would make me optimistic for this team in the short or medium term- short of outrageous good fortune.

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eddies' heady's reply to tk76 on May 14 at 9:23
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Isn't Collins assuming that mantle of the old head they're keeping around by way of his consultant role?

and the other day Bodner had Thorn saying his "role does not change" in that they are still phasing him out but he's on as a consultant of some sort for one more year

I think some are judging Preston a too harshly. This is their first year with Harden on the team, Harden's first year as the focal point of an offense,they have a really young roster, and enough money to sign a max free agent. I think they have put themselves in a strong position.

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Tray reply to ojr107 on May 14 at 10:24
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Who is Preston.

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ojr107 reply to Tray on May 14 at 10:45
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Sorry, I mean Morey. Not sure why I said Preston

I believe the NBA should reinstitute the 4-team doubleheader in U.S. cities without franchises on a limited trial basis. Houses would be packed with fans and excitement, appeal broadened, potentialities measured.

St. Louis, Cincinnati, Buffalo, Pittsburgh, San Diego, Kansas City and Baltimore - - would they take advantage of another chance at pro basketball? At least a couple, I presume.

I think Morey's been great. He stockpiled a million picks and got them in trades for players who weren't worth picks. He got first-round picks for Aaron Brooks, Battier, T-Mac's expiring, Kyle Lowry, probably some others I'm missing. He tried to trade the picks for Howard. When Howard chose LA, he correctly identified Harden, just a Sixth Man of the Year up to that point, as a superstar, and managed to trade some so-so picks and a scorer who's maybe half of what Harden is at best for Harden. And even Martin was obtained for Landry. Basically, he turned a bunch of role players into the assets GM's who deal superstars really want, draft picks, and then he got one, and not just that but he got one who half of the GM's in the league didn't realize was a superstar. The common theme is that he seems to be a lot better at valuing assets than other GM's, e.g. the GM's who shot down Harden offers, or all the GM's who gave him valuable picks for junk.

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mymanjrue on May 14 at 12:43
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So what's this "major announcement" press conference at 4:15, per Sixers Facebook?A coach?

confirming the hiring of Hinkie

Officially announcing the hiring of Hinkie to be technical ;)

I hope someone smart is in the audience at the PC to ask questions of Hinkie, the thought of Smallwood, Hayes, Eskin assaulting him with their stupidity just saddens me.

Cooney at least taking a rational approach to the situation and admitting he's uninformed.

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Tray reply to GoSixers on May 14 at 12:57
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I don't see how you have the time to read all this crap. He literally gets paid to write a column where he talks about what he doesn't know for 800 words, and then randomly compares his ignorance to that of Sixers fans who, lacking courtside seats, haven't had the opportunity to learn that Turner can "form young smiles in a heartbeat." In a city that gave a shit about print journalism, this guy would be writing his little contentless rambles for a local paper in a distant suburb.

1. Are there any cities left that care about print journalism?

2. It's not difficult to read Philly.com articles - takes about 15 seconds - I read a lot of things - and quickly - and the ADHD sort of makes my brain all frazzled - they're quick breaks

3. A philly sports writer ADMITTING ignorance is actually a big deal - a philly sports writer not making an uninformed snap decision is a big deal

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Tray reply to GoSixers on May 14 at 13:35
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Yeah, New York, Washington, and LA have decent papers. The Times's sports section has really taken off in recent years; their Knicks beat reporter is stellar, and they publish analytic-flavored stuff by some of the smarter internet basketball writers on a regular basis. Maybe Chicago has good print too, I don't read the Tribune or Sun-Times. All I know is that K.C. Johnson seems to do pretty good Bulls coverage, and they have some legendary columnists in their op-ed pages.

I loved reading Mike Royko when I was in college

But i can't take any sports section seriously that gives TJ Simers a platform (LA Times)

Seems like some of the people in the comments section of that article are under the impression that analytics will be taught to the players.

This comes as no surprise, though, since Cooney seems to think the same thing: "I wonder if players will have the same type of reaction should they get overloaded with numbers."

Kind of stupid to assume that a coach or Gm is going to sit down with Lavoy Allen or Kwame Brown and discuss the formula for win shares.

You're right, they won't sit down to discuss the formula for win shares, but at the same time, part of how analytics can help is by helping a player see where their strengths and weaknesses are. So maybe you aren't showing Thaddeus Young the formula for win shares but maybe you're showing him a 'heat map' (damn i wanna learn how to make those) for his shot selection, or showing Jrue what does or doesn't get him to the line.

The results of analytics can be useful in making players more efficient (like he said, he doesn't care if it goes in, that's luck, but is it a 'good shot') and the players have to be open to listening to those things.

Of course, I can't imagine there's much they can tell to most of the roster to make them 'better'

the Tampa Bay Rays give their fielders little defensive spray charts they wear in the OF to see how they should play certain hitters, which netted them 8 wins above replacement level last year:

Numbers show that Tampa Bay Rays' radical defensive shifts equal wins | Tampa Bay Times http://bit.ly/14kwoy5

The Fielding Bible' Pegs Tampa Bay Rays As Baseball's Best Defensive Team | TheLedger.com http://bit.ly/10VMk5N

...are there any rules specifically against doing that for NBA? and is there anybody else out there (except Morey) who would know more about the cutting edge of converting this kind of thing to the NBA beyond Hinkie?

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mymanjrue reply to GoSixers on May 14 at 13:45
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Wow. I am behind. Feel like an idiot-I basically just ran here and asked that question without even READING FRIAN'S EFFING ARTICLE that would have answered it for me!

Mea culpa. Have tuned out Sixers news for a little while; will get caught up now. At first glance I like the hire, for sure. Pretty much a 180 from DC calling the shots. Change is good, in this instance.

Excited to see what transpires. A smart guy will be formulating an honest to G*d PLAN and attempting to implement it, long term...been an awful long time since I felt the Sixers front office was doing that. Here's to a new day

Wiggins is going to Kansas

One year detour before Philly.

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Stan reply to sander on May 14 at 14:12
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He's going to spend 2 years at Kansas and 1 year with the Harlem Globetrotters before coming to Philadelphia. Following in the steps of Wilt Chamberlain

Presser will stream live on Sixers.com - seems a little late in the day to me

hey remember that time the Sixers sold their second rounder to the Nets last year for no reason? Maybe they won't have to do that this year now that they have a D-league team and an actual GM!

man oh man wouldn't it be hilarious if the new GM turns out to be COLLINS

In the way that having your nuts crushed in a vice is hilarious - absoultely

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Stan reply to GoSixers on May 14 at 16:36
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In the same way I felt about the Hawes signing last year. Didn't think the team would be that stupid yet they were, and after my initial frustrations all I could do was laugh.....like a mad man.

Well, hopefully Hinkie gets a pay bump, cause man that suit is harshly bad, but I like what he has to say so far...course, he's cautious and parsing his words so as not to give to much away, but he sounds like a smart reasoned guy who will do what he can to make the best decisions - with available information - and getting all the available information, which it sounds like (Harris talking right now) they didn't do a lot of due diligence in the past year or so

Darn - press conference just shut off online - if anyone can give us an update from about 10 of 5 on I'd appreciate it

D'wyane Wade has a stylist

Really?

Come on

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Tray reply to GoSixers on May 14 at 17:02
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You didn't know this? All the stars have stylists. There's been a lot of coverage of this lately. Carmelo's stylist just got a huge profile in the Times fashion section.

Well no, I didn't know this, last I even noticed any NBA style was the idiotic garanamals / fake glasses style that Russell Westbrook was wearing last year - as part of the annoying nerdification/geekification of america (damn it you posers, go away already, give me the geek back, i liked it better when you all mocked us)...but it's just asinine that an nba player has a stylist, it's MORE asinine that said stylist went to wade and said 'hey - wear capri's', and he said yes.

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Tray reply to GoSixers on May 14 at 17:23
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Yeah, the fake glasses style is being pushed by stylists. Westbrook claims he styles himself, but Durant and others have stylists giving them that preppy look.

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mymanjrue on May 14 at 17:34
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the bad news: terrible surname, and he looks like a used car salesman

Really was a terrible suit wasn't it?

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mymanjrue reply to GoSixers on May 15 at 1:42
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harris should have had the judgment to intervene. NOW I'M NERVOUS

"In addition to his duties with the Rockets, Hinkie and the rest of the Houston front office recently turned their lens toward minor league basketball with the first relationship of its kind where an NBA front office managed the basketball operations of a minor league team. The Rockets’ minor league team finished their first season with the league’s 2nd best record, MVP, Coach of the Year, four All D-League players, a league record for number of NBA Call-Ups in a season, and capped off the club’s first-ever playoff appearance by winning the championship."

Taken from hia Sloan biography. Justin Holiday is the clear candidate for the 87ers roster, bur maybe Moultrie spends some time there too.

According to Bodner's Twitter (only place I can find anything about the PC) Harris used the term 'sunk cost' - in regards to Bynum and not re-signing him to try and salvage something.

Hearing the owner admit he knows what a sunk cost is makes me happy

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Stan reply to GoSixers on May 14 at 19:26
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ouch. Brian must not be happy.

Why? The point (I believe) wasn't that he wouldn't try to re-sign him but that they didn't feel they 'had' to re-sign him to salvage something - the trade is done - the costs are paid...basically I got the impression that he was saying the decision to sign Bynum or not was only about looking forward - the trade and what they gave up (and got out of it) was irrelevant.

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Greg reply to GoSixers on May 16 at 6:53
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Sorry i should have read this first. If thats what he/you meant then that is right :) my mistake, i guess i misinterpreted u

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Greg reply to GoSixers on May 16 at 6:32
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The funniest part about this is that if that statement is being used in the present tense then it's actually not the right definition of sunk cost. The only sunk cost was the past year. If he plays next season then that wouldnt be a sunk cost. In fact, calling his future year a sunk cost without a contract is already a completely wrong definitition (technically). If he does know the meaning then it seems to me u misinterpreted him.

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Greg reply to Greg on May 16 at 6:36
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(if its not clear why thats funny it' because you said "Hearing the owner admit he knows what a sunk cost is makes me happy")

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Greg reply to Greg on May 16 at 6:43
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(Of course I didnt see the quote. He probably does actually know and just used some other tense. Could have also been a hypothetical.)

Hinkie: I'm very bullish on that. I really like the idea of having a team that you have control over. It gives you an extension of your personnel department, you get all kinds of additional scouting points from your coaching staff and your personnel folks that are working down there (in the D-League). We found that to be really successful. It's, of course, great to be able to control the development with your players more.

And one of the things I really love here is just the proximity (of the 87ers). It'll be so nice to be able to shuttle players back and forth, as appropriate, and get your players down the learning curve as fast as possible. I look forward to having that team be a tool that we can use."

http://www.nba.com/sixers/features/130514-one-on-one-sam-hinkie

^ so buying that team has paid off already

There isn't an adjective to properly describe how bad Raymond Felton is on the defensive end.

D'antoni-like?

You know - I always thought the awards given out for movie trailers were one of the dumbest award shows around - and then I saw the commercial for the social media awards.

Oh how I long for the new internet bubble to burst

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eddies' heady's on May 14 at 22:53
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Believe I've seen Kelvin Sampson's name mentioned for one of the current job openings (forget which one). Wonder if Hinkie will grant him an interview due to familiarity?

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mymanjrue on May 15 at 1:52
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Bummed the Warriors lost tonight. Will be really bummed if that series doesn't go 7. Have adopted them as my entertaining team to root for in the playoffs.

Westbrook's injury really put a damper on this playoff season. It's my favorite time of the year in sports, but damn. I was looking forward to OKC-Miami II. Pacers-Heat and Spurs-Grizz for the conference finals?Stern must be inconsolable. At least we know it's not fixed...thought the Knicks would be getting Lakers in the last ten regular season games type calls.

On the bright side, the more I watch Memphis, the more I think they can make the Finals pretty damn exciting. And they have a great home crowd(which is another thing the Warriors have going for them). The Grindhouse or whatever was a madhouse down the stretch of game four. Indiana, on the other hand...place is a morgue. They don't deserve the conference finals!

All that said re: Memphis, I'm still rooting for Durant to go off in the next three games and stage a memorable one man comeback...rooting, but not holding my breath.

Last thought, it really is hysterical what the NY and LA media markets do to basketball teams in the playoffs.

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Stan reply to mymanjrue on May 15 at 11:35
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I think Memphis will be a really good match up for the Heat. They have two really good front court players and the Heat don't have anyone with size or talent to match up against them. Conley and Tony Allen are good defenders as well. Teyshaun Prince is an overrated defender but I assume he's much better than Kevin Durant.

Memphis needs to beat the Spurs first, and that's not a fait accompli - watching the spurs run like that in the first quarter last night - if anyone can match up with the griz in the west it's the spurs.

I wouldn't be surprised to see the Spurs in the finals myself

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Stan reply to GoSixers on May 15 at 12:05
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I'm not discounting the Spurs, but if I had to bet money on either SAS or Memphis, I'd put my money on Memphis.

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Stan reply to Stan on May 15 at 12:07
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I'm also hoping that either Golden State or Memphis makes the Finals. It would be nice to see a new team that doesn't have any "superstar" faces make it.

Indy vs. Memphis. I'd love that. Pretty sure Mike Conley is the highest draft pick for either team.

Yknow JMitch tried to ask a Q abt Royce White and Hinkie pretty much non-answered it...but if they can somehow pry him away, you'd have him for 40 home games plus...two each within Amtrak range at BOS, both NY teams, DC and *maybe* depending on scheds, possibly even CHA or CLE...CHI TOR MIA ORL may even be within range of the east coast...but of course Morey knows this too, and exposing White to our media....is that an "intelligent risk"?

...and during the big west coast trip you can just send him on the Joe Biden Special to the 87, hmmm it's almost like all of these pieces are coming together...

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SixersRising on May 15 at 7:47
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Ya think he non-answered it? He can't talk about another teams player and JMich knows that.

Agree with your point though about Royce White. We would have the geography to make it work better. Personally I'd rather not have a player like that though. It's all well and good to talk about the value of 60 games or so ... But suppose he turned out to be a star caliber player? How would you feel the first time we had a critical game with playoff implications and the guy wasn't available. To me, it was bad faith on his part to even enter the draft.

I am perplexed with the fuzz surrounding White. He hasn't even shown an ability to play in the NBA. He is most likely not even an average player. Why put yourself in a position for a major headache when the reward is so low.

I understood the Rockets pick, as it represented a high upside possibility in the mid first round. But he couldn't even crack the Rockets rotation for even a handful of games. What makes anyone think that will change? The Rockets will probably terminate his contact soon or trade him for whatever they can get in return. And the story about White will be done as he starts making a living in a different profession.

"How would you feel the first time we had a critical game with playoff implications and the guy wasn't available."

The same way the Bulls feel about Rose, I guess? Well that doesn't even make my point because he's also sitting out for basically mental reasons. You should feel the way the Warriors would if Curry had to sit out with his crappy ankles. Mental illness is an illness, plain and simple, like chronically injured ankles or Luol Deng's post-spinal tap complications. So you shouldn't be any more annoyed than you'd be at a player with a chronic injury problem.

So, you must be new to our country huh?

Trust me, as someone who has battled mental illness his entire life, with family members who don't even 'believe' it's real. Mental Illness is treated quite differently in this country, MORESO in sports (sadly, where they have the ability to be positive about it they are often negative)...in this country, many mental illnesses are seen as personality defects, unfixable, unlike the broken leg, or arm, that can be healed by a doctor.

In reality - mental illness is still demonized by many, and misunderstood, and I had hoped Royce White would help fix that, but sadly, everything he's done since being drafted has probably hurt the situation of the next guy (not to mention that lions receiver isn't helping at all)

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Tray reply to GoSixers on May 15 at 14:36
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That made no sense. I was just saying how the team ought to feel, not how they would feel. Obviously I recognize that in real life the team and fans would freak out if White missed a playoff game with an anxiety attack. They shouldn't though.

Well, they should be about as pissed as they'd be if someone signed Eric Gordon and he missed a playoff game with a leg problem. No less, no more, right? I mean, it would be OK to be pissed as a fan if a team signed a guy w/ a checkered injury history because he has a checkered injury history. In the same way it'd be OK to be pissed if they signed a guy w/ an anxiety disorder that might flare up, because he has an anxiety order that might flare up. Sword kind of cuts both ways on this issue, because if you publicly say I'm not going to sign White because of his anxiety disorder you can be sued, correct?

I believe you probably could be sued yes.

Interesting news on Gordon today actually, they said he has bone spurs in his ankle, I had spurs / fragments that needed to be taken out in the past - it sucked - i also then had arthritis in that foot from that point on - when i was about 25

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Tray reply to Brian on May 15 at 15:53
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Yes, no less, no more. I don't think that people are usually that pissed at players with real injury problems though, just at the team that signed them.

I have no idea whether a team can be sued. I kind of doubt that mental illness is treated quite like gender or race or age in employment discrimination law though.

Isn't the ADA a huge deal? "Americans w/ disabilities act"

Yes - it's a big deal (I joke about it being how nate robinson stole the dunk contest from Andre Iguodala) and yes it covers mental illness - in all areas - from 'extra time' on tests for people with learning disabilities to other issues as well...no team in their right mind would openly say they passed on a guy because of a diagnosed mental disorder.

Then again, if royce white could play, no one would care either - look at ron artest - look at rasheed wallace - not to mention - i mean seriously - how many NBA players are freaking narcissists?

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Tray reply to Brian on May 16 at 12:08
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Yeah, but think about it; even though mental illness is a protected disability, obviously no one has to hire a schizophrenic. And so the way this plays out, technically, is the employer argues the accommodations it would have to make are unreasonable, or that some level of mental health is a bona fide occupational qualification for the job. So for example, Hooter's is allowed to discriminate on the basis of gender in its hiring of waitstaff because the whole point of Hooters is titillating its customers, not serving crappy food. Similarly, there are some jobs that people with certain mental illnesses just can't do

No one has to hire a schizophrenic - absolutely true
however if the reason they DONT hire the candidate is because they're schizophrenic, and they make it known, in writing, or publicly - well then - they're opening themselves up to a lawsuit.

Unmedicated schizophrenics don't tend to get job interviews (they're also not as common as the media and literature would have you believe)

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Tray reply to GoSixers on May 16 at 14:48
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Yeah, a lot of things open an employer up to a lawsuit, but the question is whether the lawsuit can be won. I suspect in White's case his issues aren't severe enough for a team to feel too safe coming out and saying it doesn't want to sign him because of his anxiety disorder. But you take a guy like that NFL player recently in the news who gets arrested multiple times a day because of some personality disorder his father now says he has, and I don't think a team's putting itself in great danger of liability if they were to say his issues are the reason they don't want him, or cut him.

“I think of Andrew like the thousands of other young men that are walking around the world that are unrestricted free agents, that have potential to play NBA basketball, and he is one of those,” Hinkie said.

This is tremendous, Bynum gets no more special consideration than some guy just trying to make the D-League. I know it's an exaggeration, but still the perfect message to send to that injury-milking bum.

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Tray reply to sander on May 15 at 15:55
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It's not an exaggeration; all he's saying is that he doesn't factor in what we gave for Bynum when deciding whether to re-sign him or not. He sees him as just another free agent, as if he'd never been on our roster. Obviously he thinks he's better than the "thousands" of players trying to break into the NBA. At least I assume that's what he means.

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Tray reply to sander on May 15 at 16:03
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It's not an exaggeration; all he's saying is that he doesn't factor in what we gave for Bynum when deciding whether to re-sign him or not. He sees him as just another free agent, as if he'd never been on our roster. Obviously he thinks he's better than the "thousands" of players trying to break into the NBA. At least I assume that's what he means.

Yeah, but I thought a new guy would come in and play nice, basically say Bynum is a great player when heathly and he's one of our priorities. Instead he came across like thinking this guy isn't even on our roster right now, which made me very happy.

I gotta agree (sadly) with Tray - that's not the message he's sending at all - he's just sending the message to everyone (like the fans and the media) that he understands what a sunk cost is - they already 'paid' the price for Bynum, for one year, and what they gave up to get him is irrelevant in terms of signing him, as it should be, as any business should be. He's just saying that he's an intelligent person who will examine what is, not what was, when deciding what if anything to offer Bynum.

Didn't sound like any sort of message to me - just sounded like the kind of common sense most GM's / organizations tend to not have when they trade for a player...(or hold on to him too long ala Allen Iverson)

Hmmm, maybe it's just me hearing what I want to hear, probably is. I did like the way he said thousands of players though, like anyone is really going to scout thousands of free agents!

I think it may be a case of hearing what you wanted to hear, what I heard was a guy who understands that all free agents are mostly the same - the sixers have an exclusive period with Bynum by holding his bird rights - but all that matters - with any free agent (and there's not really thousands - i mean there's not even 1000 players on NBA rosters if ever team maxes out their 15 per roster - it's 450) is what they can do for your franchise going forward, and are they worth what they're looking for. I don't think he was taking any shots at Bynum, I think he was explaining his approach to free agency - which is now 'what have you done for me' - that's irrelevant - it's what can you do for me - which is just intelligent. Honestly - for instance - the smart business thing to do for the lakers is to use the amnesty on Kobe Bryant, his cost next year with their luxury tax bill is about 75 million dollars - and he might not play at all - and he won't be at full strength - and there's very little they can do to their roster to be competitive next year - but they won't use the amnesty on him - because of emotional aspects - emotional nonsense is why the sixers held on to IVerson too long - because of what he had done - not what the future was - but the past.

Hinkie's statement to me was just a way of saying the past doesn't matter when discussing free agency - more a shot across the bow of agents who will use all sorts of nonsense to justify more money for a guy - than any player

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Greg reply to sander on May 16 at 7:30
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the even more negative sounding part of that quote was what he said after that: " And I am duty-bound to consider them, to look at them, all of them."

I used that exact same argument (about treating him like any other free agent) a while ago in a positive way for why i'd like to sign him to a reasonable contract, but to hear it come from someone in the organization I first thought seemed negative and I interpreted it like Sanders.

I guess this really could go either way and honestly he may not even have an opinion without knowing his how his rehab goes and looking at all the options.

Sacramento officially keeps the kings, silver thinks Seattle will get a franchise after the next round of TV negotiations is complete.

Well - Sacramento may 'officially' keep the Kings, but if the Maloofs are for real - the buyer who was planning to keep the team in Sacto is NOT getting the team. The Seattle team upped their bid to be higher than the indian guy, and as such the maloofs said that if they didn't authorize the move, they would keep control of the team and sell 20% to the seattle group.

This is one of those things where leagues are allowed to interfere with commerce - seattle made the higher bid - seattle is the town that has more money - the better sports fan base - honestly the team would do much better in seattle with hansen and ballmers deeper pockets - but Stern is being a stubborn ass.

This isn't going to end well

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Tray reply to GoSixers on May 16 at 11:50
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I think the Maloofs will take the money. From the "Indian guy." They're kind of broke.

Donald Trump went bankrupt how many times and he's still 'rich'? Their idea of broke is different than our idea of broke. The Seattle group offered more money - the maloofs should have a right to get the most money for their franchise, if this new owner ponies up to the same level - sure - but I don't think the maloofs should be forced to take less when an offer is on the table - they give hansen and ballmer 20% and it just screws the NBA even more - and at this point - if I were them - I'd do everything I could to screw the NBA because they're doing everything they can to screw the Maloofs.

There is no good viable reason to keep a team in a city like Sacramento when there are deep pocketed owners in a much more 'financially able' city like Seattle. For all this talk about getting the 'indian' market - getting into seattle opens up a pretty large market possibly with nations that love absorbing american culture - just ask the mariners.

I never really was on a side in this situation, I thought it was stupid - but at this point, I'm on the Maloofs side because this is as reprehensible an interference by Stern as vetoing the Chris Paul trade to the Lakers...his own ego and 'legacy' is interfering with his common sense - similarly to how long it took to find a buyer for the 'pelicans' (talk about something he should veto) because he wouldn't allow any new owners to move the team from the sinking (figuratively and literally) city that is New Orleans

The league voted against relocation. They didn't force the Maloofs into accepting the lower offer. They can still accept the Hansen/Balmer offer as long as they don't want to move the team.

If a billionaire Chinese offered huge money (more than anyone else) to buy the Sixers AND move them to Shanghai, do you think the league should allow it?

I think this is the right decision. Seattle deserves a team, but not at the expense of ruining the Kings fanbase.

My point is, who will buy the team is one thing, where the team will play is another.

I'm fully aware of what your point is (and your shanghai example is beyond asinine) but it's obvious you don't know all the details - the better offer was contingent upon being allowed to move the team - so the nba screwed over the maloofs by voting not to allow relocation.

If Sacramento had such a strong fan base - they wouldn't be in danger of moving anyway - if they had a good stadium and were a town with a strong financial base - they wouldn't be in danger of moving - Seattle is a better location for any professional sports team than sacramento (which is why sacramento only has one whereas seattle has 2 in the much bigger profile sports teams, no one has ever suggested sacramento could support and NFL or MLB team, because they couldn't).

The NBA said that the kings can not relocate to

A. A better city
B. A better stadium
C. Better owners

Because David Stern seems to think relocation is evil - so i'm guessing if stern were the commissioner back in the day, LA wouldn't have any teams, neither would utah, or golden state, or numerous other teams.

Moving to a better more money rich area like Seattle is great for the NBA - the desire to keep the team in dying New Orleans is what prevents this from being one of the worst decisions he's ever made.

By the way - Sacramento 'deserves' a team but New Jersey doesn't?

Oh, i am fully aware of the details, you just misunderstood my point. I never said Seattle wasn't a bigger market and the owners weren't richer. But you are suggesting the league should help the Maloofs by voting on relocation so that they can make more money. That's not how it works. They don't (and shouldn't) care who offered more money. Their job is to decide whether the Kings should stay in Sacramento or move to Seattle. Why should they care about internal negotiations between the Maloofs and any prospective owner.

The real mistake with Seattle was done when they allowed the Sonics to move to OKC. There is no reason to do the same with Sacramento. Both teams are capable of supporting an NBA team. And i guess there are 40 cities in the US that can fully support an NBA team. There is no reason to ruin an existing one, without a real reason. A new arena will most likely be built in Sacramento (even though even the existing one is not that bad), so that's not really an issue.

And the most interesting part is that, while i agree with the decision i disagree with the reason why they made the decisions. That's the real problem not the one you just mentioned (which is a non-issue). That's what you should focus your complaints on. If you read the rumors about the details, you would've known that the Sacramento offered not to get any money (or something like that) from the revenue sharing negotiated in the last CBA. The league owners would probably make more money with Sacramento than with Seattle.

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Court_visioN reply to Xsago on May 16 at 14:04
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That's not true, because under the terms of the Seattle deal the Sonics guaranteed they would contributed to the league revenue pool, on top of what amounted to $4 million up front to each team for a "relocation fee".

The Seattle deal was undoubtedly stronger in all facets than the Sacramento deal, but it may have been in the league's best interest to set a precedent saying hey, if you pony up and build a new mostly publicly-funded arena, you can keep your team. Look what happened to Seattle when they didn't.

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Court_visioN reply to Court_visioN on May 16 at 14:09
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Meant "that's not true" as in the owners wouldn't profit more from the Sacramento deal.

I don't have the numbers to do the actual math, but i suspect you are wrong. Not receiving any money from the revenue sharing pool amounts to more money than the relocation fee. And whether the Sonics would contribute to the pool is up for debate. They may or may not be a tax team. You cannot truly know or guarantee that upfront. If the Sonics turned into the Nets or Lakers i.e. putting tens of millions in the pool each year, than yeah, they would be the better financial choice, but i seriously doubt that is the situation.

I think that 22-8 vote speaks volumes. It's very likely that 8 teams are open to paying the tax and 22 plan to receive money from the pool every now and than. The less candidates for "shared revenue" the better.

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Court_visioN reply to Xsago on May 16 at 14:59
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Yeah, I'm going off memory off things that I've read and I admit it could be a little hazy - I'm pretty sure I did read the things that I claimed though because I distinctly remember wondering if Hansen/Ballmer were actually going to make any money off this endeavor.

As for the 22-8 thing ... really depends who the 8 are. I'm not sure you can draw any conclusions from just those. Chris Daniels from Seattle inferred that Mark Cuban voted relocation down and Jeanie Buss voted for relocation, as did Paul Allen. Again, no conclusive proof, mostly speculation at this point.

Probably a better tv deal in seattle - not sure how local tv deals are shared - anyone who thinks sacramento is a good place for a sports team has never BEEN to sacramento - god it's a pit

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Court_visioN reply to GoSixers on May 16 at 15:01
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Definitely agree with Sacramento being a vastly inferior city, but I don't think this decision was really a Seattle vs. Sacramento straight up contest. It was more of a "Sacramento's going to pony up and pay to keep the team here so they should be able to keep it" type of deal. Just a shame the league didn't give Seattle the same opportunities to keep the Sonics 7 years ago.

That's great - Sacramento is supposedly going to build a new stadium (i bet it's contingent on the maloofs selling to the other buyer who would keep them there - and I bet the maloofs leverage that to try and get him to come up to the seattle final offer), but who is going to BUY the tickets. Is the city going to buy all the unused seats to watch the god awful franchise? A new stadium with empty seats is no good - for sacramento or for the kings.

There's not one good reason to keep that team in Sacramento and honestly - i'd love to see the kings go the raiders route and sue the league (yes yes I know that the raiders only 'won' a dollar) but to me, if it weren't the maloofs, I bet Stern would let em move to. To me this is vindicative AND stupid - Sacramento really offers nothing, and yes, green mail happened, green mail happens all the damn time - that's how the vikings got a new stadium - just wait until that LA stadium (if it ever does) get built - you'll have numerous NFL teams green mailing for new stadiums with the threat of moving to LA - the LA market could support two teams - on from each league -

Wait a minute - is this true

Was the first thing Stern said in his press conference after the relocation vote "I have to make this short because I have to catch a plane to Oklahoma City.

That can't be true can it?

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Tray reply to GoSixers on May 16 at 15:46
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Yeah that happened.

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Court_visioN reply to GoSixers on May 16 at 20:07
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Yeah Seattle was pretty pissed when he said that.

Source: I live in Seattle.

For a guy who supposedly is media savvy either that was a huge mis-step or a huge F-u to seattle and the maloofs

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Tray reply to GoSixers on May 16 at 14:36
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All I'm saying is that the Maloofs need money and that they'll take the deal. You'll see. I have no view on whether the league was right or wrong about this, though I think it's in the league's long-term interest to not piss off fanbases when there are viable alternatives to doing so.

It's amazing the Bulls remain a great defensive team while giving significant minutes to Carlos Boozer.

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Rich reply to Brian on May 15 at 21:25
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Thibs is great. He gets even the bad defenders to understand and completely buy into their scheme.

Who's worse on the defensive end, Derek Fisher or Raymond Felton?

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Mike reply to Brian on May 16 at 7:32
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don't sleep on Kevin Martin. Brooks was giving Fisher (!) his minutes in crunch time because he felt he couldn't hide Martin anywhere defensively.

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TwoSense reply to Brian on May 15 at 23:18
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You mean amazing like giving all those minutes to Hawes last year and still ending up way better than average on D? Curry is to be credited.

Hawes is a better defender than Boozer, but Curry and Collins definitely deserve credit for the Sixers defense. Still don't want Curry to be the HC, though.

Probably Felton. Worst defender left in the playoffs is probably Ray Allen, though.

http://mobile.philly.com/sports/sixers/?wss=/philly/sports/sixers&id=207617631

76ers get permission to interview Kelvin Sampson. Immediately jumps to the top of the list as favorite, no?

Yeah, probably. If it's Hinkie's decision alone, I'd say Sampson has the inside track.

Whether he gets it or not, I'd say all the names that came 'before' Hinkie probably aren't necessarily candidates any more. Good to see Hinkie hitting the ground running, even while he's dealing with Chicago

The NBA pre-draft Combine started today. Draftexpress tweets of Rudy Gobert, who they have going to us at 11:

No one can score on Rudy Gobert inside the paint. Block, deflections, steals. Changing everything around the rim.

Chad Ford tweets:

Best two players I've seen at the Combine today have been Steven Adams and Rudy Gobert. Both helping themselves a lot here

Of course, this can only mean one thing: Gobert will not be available at 11. With DiLeo gone, I have no idea who we'll pick now. Shabbaz might be available when we draft but his numbers aren't promising. Olynyk has a good statistical profile (in some ways, his rebounding is terrible but he had a 66% 2-point shooting percentage, crazy high for a high-usage big man who isn't just dunks and putbacks) but could be the next Spencer Hawes with less rebounding. I guess Dieng and Plumlee are possibilities.

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Tuck reply to Tray on May 16 at 15:45
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I was warming up to Steven Adams. He's got a ton of defensive potential but he's pretty raw on the offensive end.

I would take Gobert in a second with the Sixers pick.

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Stan reply to Tray on May 16 at 15:45
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I've watched his highlight tapes and Rudy Gobert looks very thin, immobile and un-athletic. When it comes to Olynyk, I'd rather gamble on the ceiling of Giannis Adektubo or Mouhammadou Jaiteh. If I was going to settle on solid player I'd take Gorgui Dieng or Cody Zeller.

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Tray reply to Stan on May 16 at 15:49
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Ford reported today that Giannis has a promise from someone. I really don't like Zeller.

Rudy Gobert 7'0.5" in socks and 7'2" in shoes with a crazy 7'8.5" wingspan and insane 9'7" standing reach.

Draft Express had not nice things to say about shabazz offensively

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Tray reply to GoSixers on May 16 at 16:16
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Yes, his stock seems to be dropping like a stone.

Gobert's 7'1" with a 7'9" wing span. Wow.

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Tray reply to Brian on May 16 at 16:35
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Just for that he'll go top 10 in this draft. Maybe we should be trying to trade up a few spots.

Every year some guy looks good in the combine and ends up being a bust. I don't pay too much attention to it. I did see a small part of the combine with Gobert and he looked good, especially in the shooting department which shocked me, but the reality is he is a very raw prospect. And the weirdest things is he is marketed as a good athlete when he can barely get off the floor. I'm not saying he won't be a good player, he might, i might even consider him with the 11th pick, but he is far from what people assume he is. At his length though, sometimes taking a guy like that is worth the risk.

Anyone super bored can watch the combine replay if you have 'watch espn' on your cable provider

hopefully its just a courtesy thing

@KBergCBS 1m
The Sixers are expected to interview lead assistant Michael Curry for coaching opening next week, league sources say.

does the NBA have affirmat...I mean "the Rooney Rule"?

Sixers to interview Jeff Withey during the combine. Interesting. Best defensive big in the draft, but very limited offensively. Asik 2.0? He is projected to go around 20 though...

I liked him the best of all the bigs I saw in the tournament. I'd taking him over Plumlee and Zeller w/out blinking.

You don't like Dieng better than Withey?

Nah, Dieng didn't really impress me. Withey was a relentless defender on the inside. Tried to block every attempt and really threw his body around. Don't think he's going to be great, or even good really, but a team can always use a big body who will intimidate and guard the hoop for a dozen minutes a game. The Sixers haven't had a guy like that in a long, long time. Better than a soft "offensive" center like Zeller who's going to either be a jump shooter or get eaten alive inside. I say go for a raw athlete and cross your fingers, or go for a limited guy with a marketable skill who you can see filling a role on the cheap for a half dozen years

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Rich reply to Brian on May 16 at 22:48
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I agree, he's a good, strong defender. Though someone on Twitter said he's bound to be on the wrong end of a bunch of highlight dunks, which I also agree with. But hey, at least he's going to contest everything.

Asik 2.0 would be someone such as Tiago Splitter who, like Asik, has improved his foul rate each year he's been in the league and could probably average close to 30 minutes a game and not kill you on offense.

Splitter is a very different player from Asik. Asik is a defensive minded behemoth who can finish well off the catch in pick and rolls, similar to Tyson Chandler, and nothing else. Splitter has a variety of offensive moves, is far more skilled than Asik, but is nowhere near the level of Asik as a defender. He is an average defender and a pretty bad shot blocker at best.

It's not that i don't like Splitter, but he is not Asik.

The point isn't that they're similar players but that they would be similarly obtained.

You are probably right about that. Not sure he is worth it though. What's the end goal if you do go after Splitter with an Asik like contract? How would you build a contender with a core of Jrue/Thad/Splitter signed long term?

Maybe it's just due diligence, may it's pre-Hinkie, but Trey Burke told mlive.com he has already had an interview with many teams, including the Sixers

This is a chance to interview the guys that won't work out for you. I don't think it matters too much but it's nice to know who the team might be interested in if the opportunity presented itself. I remember last year they interviewed Drummond.

Kantavius Caldwell Pope is a name I wouldn't hate hearing on draft night...no one in this draft is perfect, they all have flaws, but to me his flaws are 'coachable', he's got instinct and athleticism, he's a better shooter right now than most of the sixers roster (if not all of it) but shot selection could use work (this is where metrics come in handy - you help the kid know where to shoot where not to shoot), some mental lapses, if he has the work ethic those things can be worked on, put on 20 lbs and maybe finish at the basket better...i believe a ball handling issue is something that can be worked on as well.

It's the kind of draft where you look for potential - everyone will need work - I like what he brings and the position he plays...

Plus - you know malik would love to say his play is 'kentavious' as some sort of lame play on contagious

In college you're asked to do more then you will likely place on you NBA calling card. He isn't going to be a ball-handler or asked to drive, but the ability to grow as a defender would need to be apparent, I agree. Still, even if he is sinking, I like Shabazz more as a strictly off-the-ball scorer. Someone who is willing to work continuously and intelligently without the ball will be an asset to Jrue's dribble drives.

I like him too. 11 might be a stretch, but i do think he can develop into a very solid 3 and D type of role player.

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Stan reply to GoSixers on May 17 at 9:50
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I was actually thinking the same thing yesterday. He has good size, a nice jumpshot and the athleticism to be a good defender. The only thing I don't like about him is that he reminds me too much of Nick Young- similar looking jump shot, size, and stature. I would consider him at #11 based on what I think of his work ethic. I don't think taking him at #11 is absurd when guys like Kelly Olynyk are projected to be taken at that pick.

Apparently Mike Zarren, the Celtics assitant GM, turned down the offer to become a Sixers GM before Hinkie was hired.

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Mike reply to Xsago on May 17 at 8:29
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think he turned it down last season before they promoted DiLeo too

Yeah he did. We all know why he did it last year, but it would be really interesting to know the reason this year.

"the buyer who was planning to keep the team in Sacto is NOT getting the team. The Seattle team upped their bid to be higher than the indian guy, and as such the maloofs said that if they didn't authorize the move, they would keep control of the team and sell 20% to the seattle group... This isn't going to end well"

Guess I win the "predict what three fraternal Vegas douchebags will do" contest. They reached an agreement with "the Indian guy" last night.

Was the funding for the new stadium in any way contingent on the expected buyers if they stayed in Sacto?

This is old news. The Maloofs already agreed to sell the team to Ranadive per ESPN.

http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/9284388/sacramento-based-group-agrees-purchase-sacramento-kings-according-sources

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Tray reply to Xsago on May 17 at 10:32
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No, it's today news.

"It's rare that you get the opportunity to meet some of these players,” Hinkie said. “Some of these players won't come to a particular city to work out or won't come based on your draft position. When you go to Chicago, you get to interview the players and see them up close.

"Even if it's not a target that you can reach now, a player that you think will go too high for Philadelphia's current draft position, I very much want to meet him, I very much want to quiz him, I very much want to try and understand what makes him tick because he will be a trade target in the coming years, he will be a free-agent target in 4 years, he might be a maximum target to recruit on July 1 in 9 years, and this instance now is worth collecting and learning."


It sounds like we will be interviewing the full board, it will be tough to get a feel of who we really like.

One thing I will say about Shabazz. His offensive motor is impressive, he will work work work to get the ball (and a shot). He has a lot to be desired on the defensive end. But I honestly see a lot of Harden in his game. Same average athleticism, similar jumpshots (althought Harden far ahead), same ability to use the body on drives. Remember how many people moaned when OKC originally drafted Harden that year and it took him some time to come into his own. In a draft that we have to look for potential...I really wouldn't mind him if he fell.

Draft Express instant observation on Shabazz

Shabazz Muhammad really struggling so far. Shots not falling and couldn't create much in the one on ones. Did compete defensively, though.

Harden wasn't a refined shooter coming into the league.

I don't know much about Shabazz, but I do know it's a fool's errand to use a guy who took an atypical path to stardom as a template for another player. One thing I will say is if Shabazz is being lauded for giving effort on defense, he's already got a huge leg up on Harden on one side of the ball.

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Tray reply to Rusty on May 17 at 10:34
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I saw we interviewed Burke, which surprised me. We haven't interviewed Shabazz yet.

It's really fun because Hoopsworld actually said Shabazz has been among the most impressive and Ford and Givony twitted the opposite.

I think too much is being made out of these drills. I wouldn't care too much about the results either way. What i can say about Muhammad without a doubt is that he has very high motor. That will certainly help him a ton in the NBA. His skills and athleticism are up for debate at this point, but at 11 he is a low risk high reward type of guy IMO. Doubt he falls that low though.

Btw i was sort of impressed with his media interview. Never heard an draft prospect talk so fast and be confident in his answers.

http://www.hoopsworld.com/shabazz-muhammed-nba-draft-combine

How do you feel about the fact that while he was 'dominating' high school kids he was a couple years older than he claimed to be, and oh yeah, once he started playing age appropriate folk, he wasn't really that good?

He was my no.1 target in this draft before the age thing. Now he is down to 5th, 6th or so. That is a real problem, and probably means he is not going to be a superstar, but it's not like he was useless this year. He produced pretty well for a guy playing for UCLA, where perennially players under-perform statistically.

Also, he has height issues


Of notable concern, Shabazz Muhammad was much smaller, measuring just 6-4.75 in socks and 6-6.25 in shoes. He does have a 6-11 wingspan. However, another general manager seemed very troubled by this revelation.


"It's a problem. If you're on the fence about him, this could push you off," the GM said. "As a shot-creator, size matters. Especially with the length of the new wave of small forwards like Paul George. His wingspan helps, but only if he plays defense. And he doesn't."

I really don't get this. He was listed at 6-6 with a 6-11 wingspan since high school. There is nothing new in this. I consider him as a SG who can play at SF every now and then. I look at him as a rich men's Wesley Matthews in the NBA. He has more potential than him clearly, but even if he is exactly like him it's not too bad at 11 in a draft like this. He can be a deadly catch and shoot player and he also has those weird Thad Young kind of hooks around the basket.

Your unadulterated worship of him is great, but the predominance of information aavailable from the folk who have a lot more access than either you or I do indicates there is nothing 'clear' on his potential...

Worship? Wow, i just told you icompare him to Wesley Matthews and that he is 5th, 6th best prospect in the draft. How is that "worship"? Just because i've seen some videos off him over the last 2-3 months that doesn't mean i "worship". What i say is my opinion. Sometimes i am right, sometimes i am wrong. Or you think i am not entitled to an opinion?

Actually it was the 'clearly' part of your comment I took issue with - as there is no consensus on what he has and what he doesn't have but your eye says you see it clearly when no one else does - those with more access than you - so I'm just presuming it's some sort of worship that makes you see things clearly that no one else seems to

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Tray reply to GoSixers on May 17 at 12:22
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You're wrong. Every single draft analyst in America does think Shabbaz "clearly" has more potential than Wesley Matthews. This doesn't mean they think he'll clearly be better, just that there clearly is a chance he could be a more productive scorer than Matthews. And that is really clear, because Matthews shoots threes and doesn't do anything else very well. Shabbaz has more game.

@chadfordinsider: Cody Zeller with a VERY impressive 35.5" standing vertical. Wow. Mason Plumlee 30.5" standing vert

Damn that's crazy good for Zeller!

Yup i was browsing through the DX database for previous years... That number is crazy for big men. That is by far the best standing vertical by a guy his size in the DX database and it's not even close. All of his athletic numbers are off the charts for a guy his size.

I believe Gobert had record setting numbers in terms of his wingspan and standing reach...I think I read that yesterday.

Yeah longest wingspan ever at 7'9".

Standing reach too?

Don't know, but with his size and wingspan it's possible. I think i saw a picture of him before last year's draft where he touched the rim without jumping or something like that.

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Tray reply to Xsago on May 17 at 12:23
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If your standing reach is 9'7, which is, I think, his measurement, don't you have to jump a little to touch the rim?

Maybe he was standing on his toes?

@HickoryHigh 4m
I'm still working on the numbers, but it looks like the #76ers shot selection cost them as much as 7 wins this season.

@HickoryHigh That's just shot selection, not accuracy at all.

who's @HickoryHigh?

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Tray reply to Brian on May 17 at 14:25
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Some pretty good analytic basketball blogger. But doesn't this assume something about what our shooting percentages would have been had we taken more threes or more shots at the rim? I don't know if he's factoring in an expected drop-off with more volume or if he's expecting the percentages to stay constant.

Since he is saying that's just shot selection not accuracy, i guess he uses the same numbers for accuracy despite the increase in volume.

Phil really didn't like Kobe. Think his quotes go beyond thinking Jordan was better. They're kind of jabs at Kobe IMO.

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Tray reply to Brian on May 17 at 16:39
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It's a lot less extreme than his last memoir, the one he wrote before he came back to them.

This year's draft may be disappointing in terms of talent but it certainly isn't in terms of athleticism. According to the results in the combine this will surely end up as the most athletic group of draftees ever.

I bet Oladipo is going to be too small to guard threes.

T-Rex arms for Zeller. Wingspan same as height.

I am actually warming up to him. His wingspan turned out to be 3 inches longer than the reported one which was a major red flag. I'm starting to look at Zeller as a PF to be honest. there probably isn't a real reason why he can't play PF. And his wingspan and shot blocking ability are acceptable for a PF.

Olynyk on the other hand... Ouch...

Was his standing reach also longer than the reported one? Olynyk had him by 2 inches on standing reach. Same height, minus 1 inch on wingspan.

Definitely. He is really a rich man's Tony Allen.

"Jesse Wright, strength coach for the 76ers, recently got himself a technology budget, something he'd never had before with the Sixers, a gift from his new GM Sam Hinkie..."

http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/post/_/id/58390/injury-prevention-technology-at-the-combine

Hinkie partakes in a discusions at the sloan analytics conference about how to communicate all this new fangled data to folk who might not be inclined to hear it

http://www.sloansportsconference.com/?p=9715

Draftexpress, in part one of a story on the combine:

The fluctuations in what different talent evaluators saw in the same prospects were astounding at times, as if we were watching different players.

“He was simply awful today,” one GM told us about Shabazz Muhammad. Slow, stocky, selfish, can't jump, only drives left, he couldn't buy a basket from outside. Did he even want to be here?” We heard others echo similar thoughts.

“I'm kind of warming up to Muhammad,” a number of different executives expressed. “There's no doubt he was the best player in his group. You gotta love that hunger to score. He's an aggressive, competitive kid. He got after it today. I didn't like him during the season but I'm starting to see what all the hype was about.”

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Tray reply to Tray on May 18 at 18:30
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Also:

Talking to NBA teams privately, it seems like many scouts like this draft quite a bit more than you'd think based on some of the media reports that have been circulating, particularly once you start looking at the prospects outside of the top five to seven picks. With all the focus on the elite prospects, it's easy to forget that they only make up a fraction of the players that will actually be picked on draft night. One look at the NBA playoffs will quickly remind you how many extremely valuable players are selected each year outside of the lottery, in the late first round, or even in the second round or undrafted. This year will certainly be no different.

http://www.draftexpress.com#ixzz2TgbFDhnB

And yet, the common consensus is that without super stars you can't win an nba title.

So - a lot of contributors but no one who can make you a serious contender?

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Tray reply to GoSixers on May 19 at 13:51
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You can't win a title anymore without contributors at all five positions either.

Drink that kool-aid all you want, but the Pacers may have 'contributors' but they aren't going to beat the Heat

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Tray reply to GoSixers on May 19 at 22:40
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Dumb. To win a championship these days, you need (a) a superstar AND (b) a good player at every position (sometimes you can get away with good players at four out of five), plus some depth. We have above-average players at two positions, I guess? So a good shooting guard, center, or small forward would get us closer to contention, while not necessarily preventing us from getting top draft picks in future drafts, as rookies who eventually amount to being really solid starting 2 guards or centers or whatever often don't make a huge impact at first. For example, players like your preferred pick, Caldwell-Pope, are things you can't win without, though I have no idea if Caldwell-Pope himself will turn out to be anything.

This happens pretty much every year around this time, people start talking themselves into the draft class for whatever reason.

You gotta love that hunger to score. He's an aggressive, competitive kid. He got after it today.

REminds me of a scene from moneyball where guys don't like a player cause he has an ugly girlfriend. "He got after it" sure, but he sucked getting after it. It's the kind of things you say when you can't say anything good about his actual performance

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eddies' heady's on May 18 at 21:38
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I'd feel extremely fortunate if we ended up with Otto Porter from this draft. Longshot maybe, but feel it'd be a heck of a result. I like his game.

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Charlie H reply to eddies' heady's on May 19 at 23:28
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I like it too. He does everything, pays attention to the game, good instincts, pretty good shooter who can get better. He's gonna go in the top 5.

Big too - legit 6'8" maybe.

I took too much enjoyment out of seeing the Knicks lose. The final minute was great. The Knicks decide not foul until there's 9 seconds left in the game, Paul George misses both free throws, and then Indiana gets the offensive rebound.

Now that this series is over, I'm hoping that Indiana gets swept. We took Speights and Turner over Hibbert and Goerge. I don't feel like wondering what could have been with a starting lineup of Jrue, Hibbert, Iguodala, and Paul Goerge.

With Hibbert the sixers might not have been in position to pick Paul George

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TwoSense reply to GoSixers on May 19 at 11:38
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We likely would have been. Dalembert and Ratliff would still have probably gotten most of the minutes at C in the Cheeks/DiLeo year when Hibbert was a rookie. The next year Dalembert likely would've still averaged about 26 mins per and whatever other positive contributions Hibbert would've provided Eddie Jordan would've surely screwed it up. Only had to be in the top 9 to get him and we were slotted in at 6th originally before the lottery night bump.

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Tray reply to GoSixers on May 19 at 22:27
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Hibbert made negligible contributions as a rookie. And we would had to have fallen 8 spots in the lottery.

Did we really take Speights over Hibbert? That can't be right.

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eddies' heady's reply to Brian on May 19 at 11:03
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Unfortunately we did. But you make it sound too simple. Not only over Hibbert, but over Javale McGee (whom you wanted no part of, understandably), JJ Hickson, Ryan Anderson, Kosta Koufos, Serge Ibaka, Nikola Pekovic, DeAndre Jordan, and Omer Asik. All big men that have panned out, and also over Nicolas Batum. 5 big men (4's or 5's) even went before we picked Speights. Just an unordinary amount of big men available in that draft and we end up with the laziest damn one. So glad they finally dropped the ax on DiLeo.

Don't think I had an opinion about Javale. Pretty sure I wanted no part of Jordan. Obviously either would've been a better pick than Speights.

More evidence that the mental aspect / interview / understanding of a players mindset is more important than their ability. Speights has the ability - his dedication / work ethic is non existent - his desire to defend

I'm not sure how you scout those things, but it's much more important than how many times a guy can bench press

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Tray reply to Brian on May 19 at 13:47
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As I recall, the question was solely whether we'd take him or Arthur. Hibbert just wasn't that well-regarded.

What do you guys think of going after Nikola Pekovic? I love his size, productivity and his price.

I love his offensive game. No idea what his price is going to be. Don't think you can play him next to Thad. He needs to be paired with a really good defender or come off the bench.

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Stan reply to Brian on May 19 at 12:27
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Isn't he a RFA?

yea he is

Yes he is but his price tag won't be too high. Honestly you always slightly overpay for RF's. Brian I just like his physical presence on defense and he would bring some inside toughness.

Well he's a restricted free agent, so for anyone but the t'wolves his pirce is 'too high' or the wolves just match the deal.

The wolves have shown no indication that they don't want to keep Pekovic, they know what they have, and unless you set up a poison pill like deal that's unappetizing to the wolves, why wouldn't they match? (Are the wolves even susceptible to a poison pill type deal - are they close to the tax?)

Not sure Pek is worth it. He is not as young as people think he is. He needs to be paired with a dominant defensive big at PF.

I do like him as a player, but i just don't see how signing him will get the Sixers closer to a championship.

But using that logic, do you think Minnesota will overpay to keep him knowing that doing so wont get them any closer to a title? Onlt thing working in Minessotas favor is that overpaying for him doesnt really put them in a long term bind cause their team salary is so low.

A. With a healthy rubio and love, keeping pekovic puts the wolves closer to being good than it does the sixers.

B. Overpaying for peckovic is the kind or ridiculous nonsensical incremental move that the sixers are supposed to stop making - one would hope

C. The sixers aren't awash in cap room to 'overpay' Peck anyway, the MLE the wolves would probably match.

Look at your original question - will signing peckovic get the sixers any closer to a title?

The Wolves are my sleeper pick for next season to make a major jump towards contention. Yes, they didn't have a good record this year, but their injury problems made the Sixers injury woes look like a joke. Virtually every key rotation player was out for prolonged periods of time. If they can grab a solid SG in free agency, who can play off the ball and shoot with great efficiency off the catch from three point range they might be able to win 55 games. Mayo and Redick are both tremendous fits for them. That's assuming they keep their core through the offseason and Love, Rubio and Kirilenko are healthy.

Interesting Read from Rich Hoffman...regarding the perception of Hinkie (and Chip Kelly)

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Rich reply to GoSixers on May 20 at 0:29
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*Hofmann- One F, Two N's.

It's tough being different.

DX has updated their top 100 based on what they saw and heard at the combine

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Tray reply to GoSixers on May 19 at 22:24
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No one seems to have moved. I might have thought Gobert would move a bit between his measurements and performance.

If Howard winds up going to Houston I'd like to see the Sixers see if they can pry Asik away from them. $8.4M is a hefty price to pay for a backup center and I don't think you can get away w/ both of those guys on the floor at the same time.

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Stan reply to Brian on May 19 at 21:51
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So are you resigning any aspirations of a Bynum lead team? Or maybe you want Asik to play the 40 games that Bynum doesn't play?

I'd give up Turner, Moultrie, Lavoy Allen, and probably whoever we take with our lottery pick this year. I'd be thrilled to give up Kwame, Spence or Jason Richardson. I would pretty much give up anything less than Thad.

I'd still prefer they sign Bynum (if Howard and CP3 are off the table), but I'm pretty sure the team won't bring him back. If they don't, I'd like to have a guy like Asik to play the five.

Still kind of up in the air on a general direction, to be honest. If Hinkie wants to tank, Thad and or Jrue have to be moved imo. The way I see it, if they bring this roster back w/out Bynum, and they start doing things in a smarter way - meaning instead of giving away points w/ antiquated thinking, they start finding ways to gain points w/ smarter thinking - this is probably a fringe playoff team. Unless they bring in an absolute fish of a coach 35 wins is probably their floor, barring injury. So it's either going to be incremental improvement w/ the current lot, get rid of the better players, or more meaningful improvement with some additions (but probably not truly meaningful improvement unless one of those additions is a true alpha). So, on the fence. I doubt Hinkie will come in and get rid of the only two assets the team has unless it's in a deal to get a difference-maker, and short of that, I don't see how they're going to be bad enough to be in the running for a top pick. If they can't do the latter, and probably won't do the former, then I'd prefer moderate moves to be a better playoff team, to doing nothing and being a fringe playoff team. If any of that makes sense.

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Tray reply to Brian on May 19 at 22:34
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Thad's not really worth a difference-maker though, and he doesn't serve us much purpose other than to distance us from the early lottery, so why wouldn't he trade him for, I don't know, an expiring contract and a protected first-round pick and maybe some so-so prospect, or a group of spare parts headlined by a decent prospect? I wouldn't mind if we got the sort of return Orlando got for Redick (Tobias Harris and spare parts). If you're lucky, you replace Thad's production in the long term, while taking a step back in the short term and saving money.

I didn't say I'd be against that type of move, just said I don't think he'll make that type of move to get worse. It was a different story with Redick, he was an expiring deal at the deadline. I just kind of doubt Hinkie is going to come in and trade one or both of the team's decent players for little-to-nothing in terms of short-term production. This is a really impatient town, and I'm not sure Harris would be on board with attendance getting even worse, though its certainly possible Hinkiecould blow him away with a smart three-year plan pivot chart.

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Stan reply to Brian on May 20 at 0:20
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How do 3 year plans even work in the NBA? The draft is unstable, good free agents are hard to sign away from other teams, and trades are based on a variety of factors that can't be predicted 3 years in advance. The only thing you can do as a GM is not make bad decisions for immediate gratification, stockpile young talent, polish the shit you have to make it look like gold, and play the waiting game which either ends with a great move or the termination of your job.

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Stan reply to Brian on May 20 at 0:07
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I just can't imagine a GM trading away young talented players on cap friendly deals in order to be bad enough to be in a position to have a top 3 pick. I'd rather go the route of picking a horrible coach.

If Hinkie is a disciple of Morey, I think it's unlikely that he goes the tanking route. My guess is that he will stock pile draft picks and collect prospects in order to make a move. Possibly Kevin Love on the last year of his deal. Maybe he can use the PPP to sign away a RFA like Eric Bledsoe or Terrence Ross from a team that is flirting with the luxury tax limits.

I want a Bynum signing even though I know it's a huge risk because I don't feel like waiting 5 more years for this team to be good again. Hinkie just took over this team and was handpicked by the owner, so he doesn't have the same impatience.

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Rich reply to Brian on May 20 at 0:35
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Curious as to what makes you think they won't bring Bynum back. I thought Hinkie played the role of poker player pretty well during his press conference, though I do recall him saying the deal was a "failure." Even then, I wasn't convinced. I'm prepared for anything.

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Stan reply to Rich on May 20 at 0:50
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I think Hinkie would re-sign Bynum if he can get him on a deal that limits the team's financial risk. Otherwise, I don't see him gambling away the team's cap flexibility on a center with bad knees and an extensive injury history. I think that's what Hinkie is trying to say. He'll re-sign Bynum if it's on his terms, but he's not going to be pressured into giving Bynum a max deal since he's not the one who brought him in and his reputation isn't based on that deal.

Barring some sort of medical report, I think Bynum gets a max deal from either Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Charlotte, or even Cleveland.

The team was close to .500 when Thad and Jrue were both healthy. So I agree that they are not going to be that far under .500 without moving one of them (or a major injury.) Last year was completely misconstructed, partly due to poor additions and partly due to Bynum. So a few smart moves and this is a 45 win team... which is not that good oof an outcome unless there is another major move that can be made the next year.

A have a simple question for all of you guys who think Hinkie should move Thad and Jrue to tank the right way.

Can you name a GM that has ever traded a young player on a good contract to tank? I can't.

The whole point about tanking is getting young players and creating cap flexibility. The Sixers are already there.

What the Rockets did brilliantly in the last few years is maximizing the value of their assets i.e. trading them when their value is at their highest. I fully expect Hinkie to do the same. That means Hawes is gone this summer. Allen might be as well. Turner is a more difficult answer as his value probably can get higher.

Also, this team as currently constructed is not a fringe playoff team when healthy. Don't forget that Collins made the team overachieve by about 5 games. Maybe they'll get a better coach than him, but i doubt he'll get better results out of them in the short term.

P.S. Trading Thad for an expiring + protected first is a terrible idea. Anything other than a guaranteed top 10 pick in the 2014 draft is not worth it, as far as draft picks go.

5 wins is a stretch. He undoubtedly made them much better than they should've been defensively, but it's not a stretch to say a good offensive coach could achieve better results with this team.

Slightly better? Sure. Collins certainly wasn't a good offensive coach. But i don't think this group is capable of anything more than a bottom 10 offense no matter who the coach is. Even a league average shot selection (the hickory high analysis) with the same percentages couldn't make this team an above average offensive team. And the percentages would certainly fall the more threes you force and paint shots you force. And defensively? I think it's very hard to top what Collins and Curry did with them on that end of the floor.

Also don't discount the fact that the Sixers outperformed their expected wins by 3 games this year. Their luck turned after so many years falling below the expected value according to the point differential. The Wizards, Wolves and Trailblazers all had better point differential than the Sixers.

The point differential is somewhat misleading. They were -110 in 10 games missed by Thad or Jrue. But let's assume Collins' coaching was responsible for the +3 wins over expected. Say that number is zero, their defense drops in direct proportion to the bump in offensive efficiency with a new coach. That's still 31 wins, probably more like 35 if Thad and Jrue stay healthy. It's nowhere near a bottom five record.

I never said they'd be a bottom 5 team. They'd be around 30. Anyway, my point is they are far from playoff contention without reinforcements. I do agree however that while Jrue and Thad are on the team it's gonna be hard to completely tank. And lets face it, as i said in the previous post, i don't think we can expect any GM, including Hinkie, to just blow up a team made of youngsters. Rebuilding teams don't trade players like Jrue and Thad. Gathering assets for a trade for a potential superstar is far more likely IMO.

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Tray reply to Xsago on May 20 at 11:58
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"The whole point about tanking is getting young players and creating cap flexibility. The Sixers are already there... Rebuilding teams don't trade players like Jrue and Thad. Gathering assets for a trade for a potential superstar is far more likely IMO."

I think the point of tanking is getting top 3-5 draft picks, something we don't already have. How are we going to gather assets in a trade for a potential superstar if we don't deal Jrue or Thad; what sorts of draft picks is anyone going to trade us for Hawes or Turner? Houston got their draft picks for players who were worth something - players like Lowry, Jordan Hill, Battier, Aaron Brooks at a time when he was putting up big numbers, and McGrady's huge expiring contract. If you can stockpile a trade package that will get you a superstar by selling off Hawes, Turner, Allen, Richardson's expiring, go for it, but I'd be surprised if you get anything of value for those guys, and by value I mean lottery picks because no one's going to trade their superstar for picks in the 20s or second round.

Houston was in an even worse situation when Yao retired. Somehow they managed to acquire enough assets in the next few seasons. Noone said it's gonna happen right away. There is no guarantee in the approach just like there is no guarantee in any approach. But like i said the Sixers are not in a position to tank for a top 5 pick. In a way, they already have a top 5 pick that panned out, but is not a superstar i.e. Jrue, even though they drafted him outside the lottery. That's where most tanking teams end up after all. It's not like all of them manage to acquire a superstar before they become too good.

Like i said, i can't think of a single situation where a rebuilding team traded one of it's best young players for a pick. Rebuilding teams trade their good older players, for picks and inevitably end up terrible. The Sixers simply are not in that situation. Last year, that was possible, but with Iguodala, Brand and Lou Williams gone, the situation is much different now.

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Tray reply to Xsago on May 20 at 16:38
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"Houston was in an even worse situation when Yao retired. Somehow they managed to acquire enough assets in the next few seasons."

Was it really worse? They at least had this guy on a max contract whose deal was about to expire, whom they were able to trade for a first-round pick, as well as Jordan Hill, who they would subsequently trade for another first-round pick. They also had Battier, a valuable role player. Just saying that nothing is a sure thing doesn't mean that the least sure thing in the world, hoping that we can flip Hawes and Turner into assets which will then be flipped into different assets which will eventually be flipped into one of the tiny handful of superstars occasionally available for trade, is a good idea. I could see that strategy if you actually had a few semi-valuable pieces you didn't mind trading.

The Sixers already made their version of the Harden trade last year, but instead of getting a guy to help build the franchise around, they got a guy who didn't want to play basketball. So there is just as mush risk in the trade market as there is in the draft.

I disagree about the point of tanking, or strategic losing, as I'm calling it. The point is not to get young players and cap space, it's to gamble to get the next superstar. Those players go in the top 5 picks. Next year's top 5 is the best in ten years. This is not Evan Turner. You have to be in it to win it. A 2% chance is not in it.

The point of trading Thad isn't as much the return, which will be decent, but that it puts you in position to be worse for one season while building through the draft, which I believe is the best option at this point. They can still be a bottom 4 team with Jrue on the roster, it doesn't even take much creativity to do it, just have to be committed from the jump.

Your way is totally valid, and a few teams have done it. No disrespect, but I don't think it's the right for this current roster.

I think you completely missed my point. This is not about my way. I'd love to get a chance at a top 5 pick next year, even if it meant hard tanking. I'm just talking about reality, what happens with tanking teams and what their front offices do. A lot of teams tank ever year, but only a few of them actually get those superstars before they are too good to have a chance at a top 5 pick. For every OKC there are dozens of Washingtons and Sacramentos. The only common denominator between all of the teams is that they NEVER trade the players that panned out when they are still young. What i am trying to say is that trading Jrue or Thad in an attempt to actively become a lot worse would be unprecedented and noone has ever done something like that. No team would trade its young good players in order to be terrible and wait for that elusive superstar year after year. You trade the old players that will not be part of that hypothetical future contender, not the young guys. And to top it all, often you can't even know if a player will become a superstar before it's too late i.e. stuck as a contender or mediocre.

Sorry I misread you man, I thought you were calling out the pro tankers, like me. I totally see your point and I wouldn't be upset if the Sixers made smart decisions to incrementally improve till the time was right. I'm just really done with all the failed trades and free agency options. I want our shot in a draft where the top four picks next year would all go ahead of this year's number one, you know what I'm saying? I don't want to take another 8th or 9th place finish. Also, I'm not the biggest Andrew Bynum fan.

One thing I read Hinkie said this morning is the two big needs for the team being a legit center and a backup PG. I'd agree with that assessment, so good.

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TwoSense reply to Brian on May 20 at 10:36
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If the definition is going to be two big needs then I'm not so sure I'd agree that backup PG should supercede starting SF. A backup point is necessary but shouldn't take precedence over a legit wing, or even a starting two-guard.

I agree with this idea though a starting PF or a starting SF could be used before back up point guard as well, because, let's face it, the sixers only really have one real 'starter' at one position (sorry Thad, you're a bench guy, a GOOD bench guy but a bench guy all the same)

Yeah, I'd tend to agree w/ the 5 and backup PG if we're talking about going forward w/ the pieces they have and not a complete rebuild. If Jrue is going to be the #1 or #2 scoring option, he can't be the only guy on the team who can initiate like he was this past season. They need to have the ability to rest him more than they did, and they also need to have the ability to let him play off the ball for stretches and they need to be able to do both of those things without the entire offense going off the rails. Whether that means a traditional PG who can run the offense for 15 minutes/game, or a guy like Lou who can dominate the ball and keep the offense afloat for stretches, I'm not sure.

Back up point guards of, let's call them 'replacement level' ability aren't as hard to find (or as important to find when building a team) - as it is to find guys who can give you 30-35 minutes per game at the 4 positions (not point guard) that the sixers lack. They have a lot of 'needs' and I think ordering them might be a bad idea, just try and fill as many as you can.

I kind of feel saying back up point guard is a 'vital need' is like talking yourself into a draft full of bench players isn't a bad draft

There are plenty of bigs that are supposed go go between 8 and 15 in the draft. And plenty of PGs ranked as late first or early second rounders. I wouldn't be surprised if that's the way he'd address the "need" at first.

Could be. I don't think you're going to get a guy good enough to really fill either role in this draft, though.

A solid bench buy who could be used as a possible asset in a future trade (ala Harden if it becomes available) is my 'best' hope for this draft - just not another nothing

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Tray reply to Brian on May 20 at 12:32
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I think someone from the Len/Dieng/Gobert/Withey/Zeller group will be good; maybe even two or three of them will be. We just don't know which. Really good defensive centers are almost never drafted as high as they should be, because teams won't draft a one-way defensive player with an early lottery pick unless he's a phenomenal athlete Teams always fall for the center with a promising but raw offensive game, while players like Asik are available in the late first or early second. I would have to seriously consider someone like Dieng, even if he didn't look amazing in some of his tournament games. On the other hand, I think big-time high school prospects with disappointing freshman seasons tend to pan out at a pretty high rate, so I'd seriously consider Shabbaz too.

I very much agree with this. The key is figuring out which one of these guys will pan out and which one won't. I'd even go further and say one of Withey and Dieng will become the next Asik i.e. a great defensive center with limited offensive game and the other one will be a bust. Similarly, one, maybe two of Len/Gobert/Zeller will be an allstar, the other(s) will bust out. Actually, add Adams to this group as well. Maybe even Noel, he is not a sure thing either.

I'm pretty sure Olynyk and Plumlee will be busts, so i want no part of them.

This year is the year of the big men IMO, and hopefully a team with a huge need at C, like the Sixers, can utilize that to its advantage.

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tk76 reply to Xsago on May 20 at 18:03
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I think there is a pretty good chance that none of the bigs you metion top out as an All Star. More likely you have a mix of starters, rotational players and busts- without All-Stars. Certain guys have All-Star ceilings that are apparent even if they are not top 5 picks. Josh Smith, Jrue, Hibbert, Speights, Perry Jones III are guys with All-Star ceilings because of their skill sets, athleticism and/or history of being dominant at the prep level. Other guys top out as role players and rarely (Vucevic) exceed expectations by a huge amount.

I'm on the record saying that i'm not a big believer in putting a ceiling on anyone. None of us really knows how much a certain player has developed. A significant portion of the stars in the NBA actually went beyond their ceiling to become stars.

Anyway let's say that there is a ceiling. The problem with this draft is not players with high upside IMO. The problem is that none of them has a realistic chance of reaching it, due to various reasons, like Perry Jones III for example. Noel, Len, Zeller, Gobert, Adams of the big men, as well as Burke, Carter Williams, Shroeder, Muhammad, Porter, Mclemore, Oladipo, Saric, from the perimeter players, all have allstar potential at the very least. But virtually all of them have some major red flags that make is unlikely that they will actually become allstars. In other years the players have better chances to reach their ceiling. That's where the difference is in this draft compared to other drafts IMO.

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tk76 reply to Xsago on May 20 at 18:43
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I don't know a ton about this draft class, but I do think you can make a good estimation of whether a guy has a chance of ever being an All-Star. They need at minimum some combination of these attributes:

1. History of being regarded as a top 3 player at their level at some point in the last 2 years:
Jrue, Hibbert, DeAndre Jordan, ?Manu, ?Thad, ?Josh Smith, Lou Williams, Monta.

2. Have physical abilities that will make them a freak even at the NBA level:
Drummond, DeAndre Jordan, Hibbert (size), Bismack. You could argue Gobert(stickman) and a few others are borderline freakish, but I'm looking for a combination of size, Skill, length and explosiveness. Length alone won't cut it in terms of being a superstar. Size+Skill is sometimes enough (Hibbert and Vuce.)

3. Pure shooter with above average size and reasonable quickness for their position:
Most of these guys go relatively high, but Paul George, Manu and Dirk come to mind.

4. One of the above plus the size to fit a prototypical position (eg Jrue as opposed to Lou Williams.) That is again why I question the ceiling of athletic stickmen. They are typically too slight to really play center and need a high skill level to adjust to being a PF.

Tomorrow is the draft lottery in case you forgot

I wrote the obligatory "You have a better chance of being killed by a pack of killer bees than the Sixers do of winning the lottery tonight" post in my head over the weekend, but didn't have the time to publish it. Plus, the last time I did something like that, we wound up with Evan Turner, so I'm shell shocked. link

Is getting the #2 pick defined as winning? In general teams in the double digits hardly ever move up if you look a the '14 team' lottery history

It certainly wasn't winning in 2010.

I wish that 'what was the rockets draft board like' the past three years a question that Hinkie would answer :)

There's an interview w/ Jrue on HoopsHype or HoopsWorld or one of those. Did Hinkie really say "Thad, Jrue and Turner" are interesting players? I don't like him grouping Turner w/ the other two. Makes me feel uneasy.

Probably, but I wouldn't read too much into it - it's like assuming that the comments he made about Bynum meant one thing or another. Turner is interesting (one might say) because the 'perception' of him by certain teams may not reflect how truly awful he is and the sixers can use that to their advantage, maybe get some doritos, or some bbq or something for him

Here's the sad thing. They could probably get a late first-rounder this year, and draft a player who would produce as much or more than Turner in the same amount of minutes this season...for about $5M less.

But the Sixers need ET's near 7 million in dead weight to get to the salary floor this year. Might even need to sign that remorseless gunner Nick Young to another one year deal too if they're going to do things right!

I'm telling you - kantavious is a good evan turner :)

Whoa good call, just looked this guy up and he can really shoot, plus he's not even 21 yet which is another positive. And in a draft like this you can take him for the name as well, there are a lot of good sayings that start with Kant.

Found him on draft express last week - they have some nice video's of various prospects (though mute them - the music plays during them is terrible). They talk about strengths and weaknesses, show examples of both, and to me his weaknesses were 'fixable' while his strengths are things that are valuable to have and aren't as coachable

I like Caldwell Pope's game, but i am worried about his character. He's been reported to have some character issues and that's one of the reasons why he is rated lower than his game suggests. He's also been compared with Nick Young frequently and that scares the hell out of me. Anyway, i think 11 is a bit of a reach, but i do like him as a potential solid role player in the mid first round.

He doesn't strike me as a nick young guy - and character issues can often be over blown - but I'd have to do more research - but like I said when I first brought him up (not to mention numerous other people) that's why the interviews are so important - getting a feel for the guy - who he is - not just his answers - a variety of other things (for instance - there was a lot of 'bad press' about Geno Smith concerning how he comported himself during his interviews - sending out tweets, not paying attention (this is for the NFL btw), these are things that would make me not draft a kid because he's obviously not all that worried or focused on his future)

There are no 'sure things' in this draft, at all, we all like different people.

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MCT reply to Brian on May 20 at 21:43
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the article was quoting Tom Moore so the comment is legit:

https://twitter.com/tmoorepburbs/status/334414636160012288

But as the others have sa