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Big Al Leading the Way

"Big" news:

The Sevens added Kyrylo Fesenko.

...and Nerlens Noel has been c;eared for practice and could be playing by the trading deadline. cleared By Andrews, not yet by the team.

What happened to Fesenko? I remember him being a decent big, then disappearing, unless I'm confusing him with someone else. If Noel plays this year, I want him playing in Delaware.

Also, Vander Blue has returned from Israel and joined the Sevens.

Isn't he the guy Thorpe loved but no one else would play?

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Tray reply to Brian on Jan 15 at 16:35
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That's right, a decent big who disappeared. Career per 36 averages of 10, 9, and 1.7 blocks... and decent efficiency from the field negated by 41% foul shooting.

I'd be happy about a pickup like that if I wanted the team to ever win games. Right now, I hope this guy they signed to a 10-day is a complete train wreck and he gets on the floor.

IIRC Fesenko was a good defensive big with some off court issues. Maybe he's salvagable.

Was there a picture of him smoking a cigarette and drinking vodka floating around? I seem to remember something like that. Man, my memory is shot.

From Lowe today:

But Philly isn’t done trading. They’ve amped up their feelers on Thaddeus Young in the last week, per several league sources, and other execs view it as a lock that Evan Turner will be on the block — if he isn’t already.

Isn't done trading? When did they start? Or is he talking about the Jrue trade as the beginning?

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Tray reply to Brian on Jan 15 at 18:45
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I think it's just lazy writing. Anyway, I think Hawes is the guy we should be pushing. Good enough that trading him would really hurt us, bad enough that he won't be missed.

If they move Hawes and Turner, I'll be happy. Then I'd think Hinkie did everything he could/should to give this team the best chance to finish at the bottom. Getting there without moving Thad would be a big win. Problem is, I think he's already waited too long.

Moving Hawes and Young and keeping Turner I believe gives the sixers a better chance to finish at the bottom then keeping Young instead.

Yes, being the third worst team in the league at this point definitely means he's waited way too long...

Ford had a point today that I agreed with regarding trade offers - they aren't going to be as good in December as they are in January, or February, because there's not as much pressure to get done by the deadline of the 20th.

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Tray reply to GoSixers on Jan 15 at 19:02
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Milwaukee's hopelessly out of reach; the best we can hope for is second. So it's only a question of getting a little worse if Orlando stands pat, or matching them if they lose Afflalo. I can't see moving Thad just to get from third to second, basically. You probably wouldn't trade the third pick and Thad for the second, so you certainly shouldn't trade him just for an increased chance at moving to second.

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Tray reply to Brian on Jan 15 at 18:58
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Say you trade Hawes. Turner's already got a .511 ts%, and now you're asking him to shoot more. Wouldn't we be bad enough?

You're looking at the average, which I don't think is the way to look at this thing. On average, they should lose every game. Problem is the half dozen games where he'll be really good. Taking that many shots, those good games turn losses into wins.

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Tray reply to Brian on Jan 15 at 19:56
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Not this again! It isn't true, first of all, that on average we should lose every game. You have home court advantage, which is worth about four points in the NBA, so we actually should beat teams within four points of our scoring margin at home. That includes about seven teams, five of which are in the East, two of which are in our division. Of course, things change when teams have injuries, or make trades. We're probably favorites against the Bulls at home now, or the Pelicans, or the Knicks when Chandler's out. And then there are games that are virtually coin flips; the Bobcats are favored by a point tonight, for example. Almost half the league is teams we should beat at home or teams we're only slight underdogs against at home.

So given that on average we actually should win a fair number of games, on average, the question is whether a streaky scorer should cause us to outperform that average. And for the millionth time, I don't know why, because a player like Turner is just as susceptible to having exceptionally awful games (more so, really) as he's susceptible to having really good games. Turner's had a TS% below 50 in 13 games this year; we're 1-12 in those games. We're 0-10 when it's below 45%, which is a lot of games for it to be below 45%. On the other hand, his four most efficient games - .634 and up - have all been losses, which suggests that Turner's handful of strong games isn't actually what's costing us lottery balls. We're 4-2 when he's in the 50-53% range, and 7-10 when he's in the 53-63% range. If you just look at points, we're 1-18 when he scores 21 or less, 8-2 when he scores 22-24 points, and 3-4 when he scores 25 or more. And we're 0-5 in his highest usage games and 1-12 in his lowest usage games, and 11-17 in the middle. I guess what I take from this is that we don't actually do so well when Turner is ball-dominant, scoring a ton, or even scoring very efficiently, that we're an alright team when he's having a good but not great game, and that when he plays poorly, which he does a lot, we can't win at all. I don't see any obvious lessons here as far as him causing us to overachieve or underachieve, compared to how a team with the same scoring differential but a more even distribution from game to game would do.

where was that foul?

thad in the post

et missed a pass to thad who would of had a 3

sissy 3

mcw puts in his blocked shot

Alright. Just settled in for a night of shitty basketball and good food. MCW attacking. Like that.

I have home feed tonight on DirecTV, too.

MCW posts Kemba up out of the timeout. Anderson cleans up the garbage.

right idea posting up mcw just a bad shot

anderson and 1

missed the ft

Butterfingers Thad.

i swear this team bites on EVERY pumpfake

Jesus. Someone needs to cut when MCW is doubled there. The entire middle of the floor was open, one cut and you have a dunk.

MCW is blowing bunnies left and right.

MCW shooting them out of it early.

Dedmon sighting.

He looks long as shit. Also super thin.

He bites on the shot fake, his first NBA foul!

2 on thad

good d til he bit on the fake

Not sure if that was really Davies fault, but I'll blame it on him for not expecting the pass from Wroten.

good drive by wroten

williams putback

lot of ticky tack stuff randomly being called

down 3 end of the first

24-27 after one.

Think this one is going to be a win. Pace is up there, CHA played last night.

Turner and Davies both on the floor.

shouldnt be running mcroberts off the 3pt line

let him shoot those

4 on davies

Davies sets an illegal screen which nullifies a bricked 18-footer by Turner. My eyes are bleeding.

Then Davies commits his fourth personal foul on an and-one on the other end. He's got 4 fouls with 10:54 left in the first quarter.

hawes dedmon front court

You'd think they could really take advantage of teams with both Thad and Spence as legitimate threats from three. Driving should be so easy.

What did MKG do, break his wrist?

non-displaced fracture of the fourth metacarpal in his left hand

You think he'll ever be able to be at least average on the offensive end?

no

Jesus

I know it's a long day - when first reading this i was wondering why people weren't more upset about the sixers rookie breaking his wrist :)

bad entry by et

Man, that was an ugly pass.

Yeah, only down 4 and they've been playing like crap.

Dedmon can get up.

et long 2 goes in

Turner getting hot from long two distance.

That was a bad 3-second call.

wroten over mkg!

Wow, Wroten in MKG's face!

15-2 run to take a 7-point lead. Turner w/ a turnaround in the lane.

sissy floater

nice to greg oden back

https://vine.co/v/hL2LdUXDVUm

mcw 3!

Yup, this is a blowout win.

kemba step back 3

i guess he was trying to get the 2-1 but didnt like the shot by mcw

up 8 at the half

mcw to anderson

et doesnt box out mkg who heads to the line

So is Biyombo hurt, or just completely out of favor?

out of the rotation

et to the line

hawes long 2

mcw to the line

Zeller rejects Turner. That's funny on a lot of levels.

he missed the shot but that kemba stepback on thad saw nasty

MCW really attacking Kemba.

Wroten with a smart move, basically jumped over Kemba's prone body in the lane and got the whistle.

5 on davies

Zeller can jump. Turner skies like a funeral home plant. What's so surprising/amusing?

intended for Brian

Two beloved NCAA players who have no business being in the league. Level of competition is too much for both of them, except on the rare occasion when one tries to score on the other.

Thanks, Brian. But doesn't Zeller deserve a 2nd year at least? Of last year's BWS (big white stiffs) I do prefer Mason Plumlee.

Sure, you can give him as much time as you need :)

Great hustle by Dedmon. Didn't finish the oop, though.

Dedmon just bitched Zeller. Two guys who don't belong in the league, one drafted #4, the other undrafted.

all the turnovers

The bench is doing their job, giving up the lead.

bad shot and foul wroten

up 4 end of the 4th

72-68 after 3.

12 minutes to infamy!

That being... ?

Not sure. A win when you're trying to lose as many as possible? A loss to the Bobcats, at home, when they're on the second night of a back-to-back? Both are equally embarrassing, I suppose.

OK. Thought I might have been missing something. Not tuned in to broadcast. Refuse to watch Bobcats until they shrink back into Hornets; MJ the exec needs to be waived. I'm tryin' to dial up the D-League on the radio. :)

davies did something good!

Is 'smack hurt or has he just fallen in the depth chart behind Adrien?

out of the rotation

Strange. He's okay.

et gets the roll for a 3

MCW goes over Zeller (and his amazing leaping ability) to grab the board, takes it end-to-end to tie the game up. After drawing three on a drive and setting Turner up for the wide-open three, which he rattled down.

stop letting the bigs get stuck on kemba 1-1

i wish turner would pass on his drives

Turner rejected, picks it up and puts it in. Turner hot game = a win that should've been a loss? Not possible.

this game probably should on been a win

of*

i cant speak today apparently

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Tray reply to Brian on Jan 15 at 21:17
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So every time Turner makes a few shots while freezing out our two best offensive players, we're going to assume we wouldn't have won the game without him now?

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Tray reply to Tray on Jan 15 at 21:18
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What shocks me is 13 defensive rebounds for Hawes. Hawes = a streaky rebounder who must go because occasionally he gets hot on the glass

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Tray reply to Tray on Jan 15 at 21:22
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14! Ties a career high. No really, a mere 14 defensive rebounds is our veteran center's career high.

11 in the fourth in a 2-point game.

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Tray reply to Brian on Jan 15 at 21:29
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I think our starters were outplaying their starters all game, probably because they're tired, and then we tried to tank with the Davies crew, and then our starters came out and outplayed their starters again. Maybe if Thad was the one shooting the ball during Turner's hero ball stretch, we would have seen the same result. And you could also say that Turner's having a bad game until the fourth was what caused this game to even be close. Of course, even if Turner cost us this loss, and other losses, it doesn't show that Turner's abberantly cold shooting doesn't cost us as many wins.

Say that again.

A player who plays consistently to Turner's average would equate to more losses for this team than Turner does with his wild variance. Even if we use the numbers you quoted above, it's simple math. There are far, far fewer games the Sixers "should" win than games they "should" lose. So the odds of Turner having a bad game in a contest they "should" win, thus causing them to lose, are much lower than him having a good game in a contest they should lose, thus causing them to win. Let's say using the precious differential, there are 55-60 games on the schedule they should lose. 22-27 they should win. A guy with wild variance has twice as many opportunities to screw up a loss than he does a win, which is why I don't want guys with wild variance and high usage rates on a team that's trying to tank. And in the converse, I wouldn't want a guy with wild variance and high usage on a team that "should" win 60 games.

Gaze at the numbers till the cows come home. Hawes, to put it in Starbucks argot, is insufferably inadequate, long haul.

Nice work, Turner.

MCW to the post, gets double, finds Hawes, he hits a three.

TURNER TO THE RESCUE!!!

mcw to the line

Apropos of nostalgia and a picayune point, George Lynch doesn't get enough credit for Sixers run to Finals. He played well that year in his selfless style. (Thanks, George.)

Up 2, 20 seconds left, Charlotte ball. I guess they go to Big Al here. Would be stupid to just iso Kemba, right? Start it in the post and go from there.

see if they switch a big on kemba then iso him or post up al on the small guy

Turner here I bet.

thad 3!

Nope. Thad for three and win. MCW finds him after he's doubled.

If you have it on DVR, look how pissed Turner is that the call isn't for him. Also watch as he's clapping for the ball while Thad is shooting.

Turner should be on the bench right now. Wroten should be in for him for defense.

Getting to see the last 12 seconds on NBA TV

Damn it Thad didn't anyone tell you the plan

kemba misses

win by 3

vs MIA on friday who did not play well vs Washington tonight

95-92 Winner.

They lose if Turner plays his average game.

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Tray reply to Brian on Jan 15 at 21:46
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I think you're going to find that in any win we have this year, you're going to be able to say that we lose if Player X plays his average game - when Thad has a great game, when Hawes has a very good game, when MCW actually makes shots (which happened tonight), etc. Does that mean that each Player X is this streaky guy who makes us win games we would lose? No, just that when we win games it's because someone plays well. It's not possible to construct a team of players who play their average mediocre game every game; no player does that. For one thing, the home-court advantage works on the individual level; Turner is really inefficient (.480) on the road and decent (.545) at home. His "average game" is just the average of those two, not really the typical game that he plays. I think that, to the extent losing Turner would help us tank, it's because his replacements are even worse (a lot worse unless they're only used as spot-up shooters) and because it would make MCW shoot more and put all the shot-creation burden on him

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tk76 reply to Tray on Jan 15 at 21:51
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But all of the tradeable guys did their thing. Hawes went for 17/14/7, ET had an uncharacteristically efficient game and Thad hit the game winner.

No doubt they lose if they had traded even one of those guys. Especially if it means Brandon Davies is on the floor, who may be the worst non 7 footer I have ever seen in the NBA. I can see a guy being terrible if they have one dominant trait (3 pt shooting, rebounding, blocks) but this guy has to be worse than 80% of the NBDL and Top level Euroleaguers.

Big Baby with a game tying 3 in double OT with 4.2 left - WTF?

So I was just thinking about this as I was doing the dishes.

It seems that many people feel this rebuild is an all or nothing kind of thing - if they don't get a top 3/4 pick in this years draft than the decisions they made leading into this season are a failure - for whatever reason, but I feel that's short term, wrong, and possibly bitter thinking.

The sixers as they were built weren't going to win an NBA title, they weren't going to contend for an NBA title...free agents weren't coming to town and the salary cap was not in the sixers benefits, but hey - maybe they could get a 7/8 seed and win a playoff series every once in a while if someone got hurt...and maybe some people would be perfectly happy rooting for that...

The sixers brought in a new GM who parlayed their all-star point guard (who advanced metrics didn't really value) into a guy many saw as the best talent in the draft if he wasn't going to miss most of the next season and a pick that could be as high as six in what (at the time) was looking like a pretty good draft. He drafted a long point guard with good court vision who maybe was under rated by many heading into the draft and is a contender for rookie of the year right now and exceeding expectations of most...and right now the sixers would the 4th and 11th pick if the lottery went to form in what is still considered a good draft by many - it was just hyped too high.

You don't usually build a championship team over night unless you have the greatest player int he game and a pretty good player collude with a third good player and then secretly let their GM know so he can clear the decks to sign them when they all hit free agency at the same time.


Who would you rather have going forward

Michael Carter Williams - Nerlens Noel and two top 10 picks in the 2014 draft

Jrue Holiday, maybe that greek kid, no extra pick in the 2014 draft, veteran free agent signings and a lower lottery pick in the 2014 draft - or maybe - woo hoo - winning the worst division in the history of the nba and then getting bitch slapped by the pacers in the second round and still being capped out with no hope of a future?

I think the sixers future is brighter now - regardless of the lottery ping pong balls - then it would have been if they had continued down the same path they'd been on since 2002/2003.

I think the focus on the 2014 draft is a tunnel vision that leads to people wanting the GM to make 'hurried' trades (that you presume he can make) just so the team is worse this year, whether or not those trades maximize the positive assets (of whom I think Hawes and Young are the only ones) that the sixers have...I think if you felt that Sam Hinkie was doing the right thing when he traded Jrue Holiday for Nerlens Noel and a pretty 'loose' first round pick, then turning on him less than a year later seems rather short sighted...

I'd love it if the sixers ping pong balls went the right way and they some how ended up with the #1 or #2 pick in the draft - and that new orleans ends up at like 7/8, but it won't be the end of the journey as far as I'm concerned - it won't mean that they made the wrong decisions...i still believe the decision to move Jrue was the right one, I still believe that they made the right hire in GM - harder to tell on coach - but Im' going to be patient and give them time - because Rome wasn't built in a day - and most NBA contending teams weren't either.

Remember when Golden State was a laughing stock even with all their high picks and then last year they started something - and then they added a veteran - a pretty good one who used to be a great sixer - that seems to have gotten them to a next level - how long did it take them to get there...and even now they still have some picks that didn't work out (wither harrison barnes)...their turnaround started when they got a new owner, with money, who was ready to try a different way...

Sure I'm rambling, but I'm also done worrying about the lottery positioning every day, or allowing my belief in the future of the sixers to be blinded too much by an upcoming draft as I feel that the plan they have in place is bigger than 'get top 3 in 2014' and that there's a smart guy in charge who will know what to do next to best position the sixers going foward. The future of the sixers will not be decided purely by the 2014 draft lottery

Oh yeah - Sacramento just won again - on the road in Minnesota

Couldn't disagree more pretty much across the board. The marginal difference in return between giving away Hawes and Turner for free a month and a half ago vs. holding on to them until the last minute so you can snag a couple 2nd rounders is not worth lost ping pong balls in this draft. Downgrading the talent in this draft is a not-so-subtle manifestation of your bias in favor of Hinkie. "Hey, his inaction is fucking up draft position...well, this draft isn't so good anyway, so nanner! LOOK AT THEIR DIFFERENTIAL!!!"

I have work to do, or I'd go on. It's early in Hinkie's tenure, and there's a chance he could sit on his hands the entire season without making a move to downgrade this roster and they'd still get the #1 pick. Here's the question, though. What's the upside to doing nothing? What's the upside to holding on to Turner and Hawes? (Thad I get, he could possibly be a piece going forward, but Turner's bad, Hawes is OK, but older, and they're both going to be free agents. If he loves Hawes so much for the long term, he could trade him, maximize losses, and then sign him as an unrestricted free agent in the summer). I mean, does he think some miracle trade is going to happen at the deadline that's going to give them a legitimate asset for those two guys? What are the odds of that happening? What's the opportunity cost if they pick up an extra half-dozen wins in the mean time?

The Jrue trade I get. As someone who has to watch this slop, I didn't particularly like it, but I could get behind it. It made sense. It held the promise of a shortened timeline (4 lottery picks in 2 years, with two really high picks mixed in there). Since that trade nothing he's done has been the least bit impressive. I don't know, maybe I'm supposed to jizz myself over Hinkie trying to pull a Malcolm Gladwell on Lorenzo Brown and get him 10,000 hours on the floor between Delaware and Philly, but I'm just not. Royce White? Great. Draft and stash. Awesome. None of it matters in the least unless they get a stud in the draft, and whether or not this draft is as deep as everyone has been saying for the past couple of years, or not quite as deep like you're trying to say now, are you more likely to come away with a stud as the #1 pick, or the #7 pick?

I'd rather not have Hinkie spend the first two years building a team that can properly tank, then start building a winner, and that's the path he's on right now. If it was going to take a while for him to get the team in position to transform itself, I'd much rather the team was playing competitive ball in the mean time, because the rebuilding cycle isn't that long in the NBA anymore. They could've been a playoff team for a couple years, then cleared the deck in 2016 if that was the goal, and I wouldn't have had to sit through 3 years of this garbage in the mean time.

I'm not the one downgrading the talent in this years draft - Others have been downgrading the talent in this draft.

And your immediate reaction is demonstrating your bias - and the irony is that if they hadn't made the moves and were stuck in the mediocrity of the past decade - you'd probably be lamenting how they're not going to be doing anything significant any time soon anyway.

We can play the hypothetical if you want. If they didn't make the trade, I'm not sure why you're assuming they wouldn't have drafted MCW. Wouldn't the all-knowing Hinkie have drafted MCW anyway? Best player available, and all? So right now we'd still be looking at a boatload of cap space (don't know why you were saying they'd be capped out, Jrue's number wasn't that big). They'd have two young, extremely movable assets on decent deals in Jrue and Thad, they'd still have the rookie of the year, and they'd probably be headed for a pick in the middle of the lottery, like they are right now.

So the difference is basically they wouldn't have Noel nursing a knee injury and they'd have Jrue instead of the Pelican's middling lottery pick. Is that really leaps and bounds worse than the current state of affairs? Now if I was confident they were headed for a top three pick, the equation changes. But Hinkie's hung up on "winning" every trade he makes, he's holding onto his "assets" and accumulating wins. Smart.

The logical assertion that is if they wanted to maintain the status quo they would have probably paid more for free agents in the off season to add veterans who can help them squeak out one more win...thus they wouldn't have a roster full of minimum salary players...

But then again, your all knowing comment is enough to end the discussion anyway...no point really...I was expressing how I view it is all...and your 'stubborn idiot' comment and what follow is just greater evidence that you're willing to cut off your nose to spite your face, you have put all your eggs into one lottery and feel that's all that should matter.


In this metaphor, Hawes and Turner are my nose, correct? So the preferred course of action is to allow my nose to fall off after the season, but by then the infection has spread through my blood stream and I'm going to spend next year recovering as well.


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Dave P reply to GoSixers on Jan 16 at 0:59
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Hinkie may have very well gone into what will go down as a historically weak draft and came away with anchors at PG and C in what could be the two best players in the class. That's still a real possibility. He picked up Tony Wroten for nothing at all. He stashed a Euro for nothing. In his time here the coach he hired has raised the trade value of the three veteran assets on the team. We have 2 more top ten picks in a draft that is considered superior to its predecessor.

The Sixers are infinitly closer to lining up a potential champion than they were a year ago and its because of Hinkie. I wish Thad, Hawes, and Turner were traded already but we really should see what happens here at the deadline before complaining about trades that didn't happen that we don't even know were available.

I know Wroten is fun to watch and super-aggressive, but he also might be the most destructive offensive player in the league currently playing more than 10 minutes/game. A 93 OFR is off-the-charts bad, so let's not go handing out any executive of the year awards over grabbing him off the trash heap.

Like I said in my way too long comment, it might all work out. My point is, sitting on his hands is a huge risk and whatever reason he has for doing it, I doubt the cost-benefit analysis is sound.

Milwaukee, Orlando, Utah, Sacramento, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Cleveland, Boston, New York, Brooklyn. The Sixers are two wins away from the #11 pick right now. Two.

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Dave P reply to Brian on Jan 16 at 1:35
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I'm with you on Wroten. Maybe he's develops into an excellent 3rd guard, maybe he's out of the league. More than anything it goes back to what GoSixers is talking about judging the process and not the results. Wroten was the type of trade the Sixers never made in the past.

I know we are winning more than we'd like but I do think that by the deadline Hinkie is going to make this team bad enough that we'll be in the bottom 3 of the league. Thad and Hawes both have chances to bring back a piece of a young nucleus. We gotta keep the faith he knows what he's doing because there's good reason to believe he does.

The inaction is as damning as the trade was encouraging, to me.

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buke reply to GoSixers on Jan 16 at 16:32
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I actually liked your post and agreed with your sentiments almost entirely. I can't tell the future, but I doubt this draft is like 2003 where Lebron is at the top and the others, although there are numerous very good ones, are clearly distant seconds.

I do wonder whether Embid really could become the second coming of Akeem like some of the of the observers are claiming, but I'm far from convinced of that outcome. Furthermore, drafting him presents a bit of a dilemma for the Sixers if they're really serious about Noel being the future.

Other than Embid, is Wiggins so much better of a choice than Randle, or Smart, or Parker, or LeVine? Kentucky may have lost last night, but James Young sure looked good for a freshman and he's only projected as a mid-first rounder. Chances are that at least one other player with less hype is going to make a big jump this year based on the NCAA tournament and some of the higher rated ones are going to drop a bit.

You're right, not purely. But if you're gonna trash the '13-'14 season for '14 draft lottery purpose, you'd better land a significant talent to redeem fans' faith or patience. This season's pro basketball in Philadelphia is pitiful.

intended for GoSixers

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tk76 reply to Dollar Bill on Jan 16 at 7:10
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Yeah, if you are going to choose to tank then there is no benefit to doing it only half way.

I hope this is the last season for a while in which they have a good shot at a top pick. Given how many contenders are built around top 5 picks, it would be a real waste to have to watch this season and not get one.

There is a difference between tanking and rebuilding, so who would you rather have, Jrue Holiday and some guy who was picked after MCW (take your pick) and the mediocre roster of last year or MCW, Nerlens Noel, and this years roster with what is looking like two top 10 picks? (No one seems to want to answer that question)

And I'm sure some would love it if Sam Hinkie traded Thaddeus Young into a team with cap space and got only a second round pick - so hey look - they stink more this year - but look what little they got back for one of their best players

I don't think those are the only options. I was for the Jrue trade because it accelerated the rebuild- and if that is your direction then you should see it out by ensuring you get a reasonable return for a bad season.

Had there been no trade, I'd also have been for with a Jrue/MCW backcourt of the future(in hindsight), although that would have meant making the playoffs this year, thus losing out on multiple #1 picks and capping the team's ceiling, so overall the trade was the right choice.

I'd also be OK with Hinkie deciding he wanted to expend someone instead of trading them, as players like Hawes are likely better then what you get with a late first.

But, I'd still have given away at least one vet by now with the sole purpose of tanking (whichever vet you don't plan on re-signing.) I'd gladly sacrifice trade value for a better chance at more losses a top pick this year. And I'm strongly opposed to holding on to vets that you are not planning on resigning, as the drop in lottery position is not worth the potential increased return by wating an extra 2 months. I am certain someone would have taken ET or Hawes for nothing.

anyone else starting to get worried the Pelicans might go into full blown tank mode to try to assure themselves of a top 5 pick with all these injuries? they're not too far off now.

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Stan reply to Mike on Jan 16 at 15:40
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I'm a little worried about it as well. They are 8 games behind from making the playoffs in the West and they 1 game behind from having a bottom 5 record in the NBA. If the gap between them and a playoff seed widens, I wouldn't put it past New Orleans to bench Jrue, Anderson, and Davis.

Gamesmanship or Hinkie being a stubborn idiot. Sometimes you have to lose the battle to win the war.

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Stan reply to Brian on Jan 16 at 10:58
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Do you really believe in these reports? I have a hard time believing that Hinkie expects to get a 2014 1st round pick for either Hawes or Turner. If he could have gotten a young player with potential like Khris Middleton, he would have pulled the trigger. If he could have gotten a first round pick in 2015,16',17', or 18', he would have pulled the trigger. But for 2nd round picks? I bet Hinkie could get that in the summer if some team wanted to sign them.

someone can correct me if im wrong but i think me and gosixers are the only ones that think they arent winning too much

or at least have faith in hinkie to not mess this up

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ttam68 reply to sixerfan1220 on Jan 16 at 13:28
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I'm in the too many wins, but trust Hinkie wagon.

Try to enjoy guys playing well (MCW revelation, Thad and Spence look better, Turner may have increased his value early, etc.), but ultimately the goal and the priority is to lose, and right now we aren't the best at that.

They're still tied for the 3rd worst record in the league. So I don't think there is any need to panic at this moment.

I do agree with GoSixers that this years draft isn't a boom or bust scenario in which have to get a top 3 pick and draft the next superstar. It's all about building a good core, adding assets, increasing the talent level, and relying on our GM to make smart decisions.

However since this team is rebuilding through the draft I don't want to see the 2007 season scenario play out in which we try to make a run for the playoffs. Hinkie has make certain that for at least this year, the Sixers don't make the playoffs and at least finish with a bottom 5 record. As sad as it sounds they're only 2 games away from having the #8 seed. Making the playoffs this year and maybe even next year will be a huge blow to this team's future.

I believe if the sixers were going to try and make the playoffs this year, the off season would ahve seen the addition of better 'middling' free agents - veterans who cost more but could contribute more as well...the sixers roster additions in the off season once free agency started do not indicate a team looking to make the playoffs...at least to me

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Stan reply to GoSixers on Jan 16 at 14:33
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The Sixers could honestly make a run for the playoffs with the talent they have on the roster. That's pretty scary.

When the Sixers traded AI and bought out Webber's contract, the plan was to not make the playoffs and try to get a top pick. For some reason when they started winning a bunch of games at the end of the season, the organization was encouraging it as if it was a good sign for the future. Billy King didn't care because he knew his job was gone after the season,Sinder and the ownership didn't care because the Sixers were an afterthought to the Flyers, and Mo Cheeks was trying to save his job and audition for others.

The good thing about this year is that the GM and the coach are signed on for the long term and the ownership group's primary concern isn't breaking even or making a small profit.

If team were to make a big run at the end of the season, I'm pretty sure Hinkie would do something to ensure that they don't make the playoffs. If you think about it, Hinkie and Brown's legacy depends on what they get in the draft. They know this. If they make the playoffs the end up losing an asset to a division rival.

hinkie knows it would be bad for the team to make the playoffs so i trust him to make sure that doesnt happen

I don't think we're the only ones - we might just be the most 'vocal' about it...I expect there are those who found the news about Nerlens Noel maybe playing after the All-Star break kind of disappointing. I'm not sure how soon he can get into basketball shape but honestly - I'd like to see how he looks with the 'new' Spencer - For some reason I thought Spencer Hawes was much older than he is - he'll be 26 in April...if Noel can really be a defensive power it might be interesting to see what happens

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Jeff reply to GoSixers on Jan 16 at 11:30
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I think they'd be bad on defensive-side. Hawes lack of lateral quickness would force Noel away from the basket, taking away his best asset at this early stage in his career - shot blocking.

I was thinking that Noel compensates for Spencers lack of lateral quickness...

If Thad's 3-point shooting is for real, why do you need spence as a stretch four? Extra passing?

Maybe you use them both (if Spence's three point shooting is for real as well ;) depending on the match up - Thaddeus Young has a height issue at the four position don't he?

Neither of them is ideal - I just think that maybe a strong defensive big man behind them can 'cover' some of their weaknesses - would be at least worth seeing them late in the season (if they're still here and Noel is hungry) to see how it works.

healthy, not hungry

Not Sure if Thad + Noel is enough size in the frontcourt. You can't be undersized at both PF and C, and having big guards does not fully compensate.

He can't be Bill Russell until he plays a game. Even then, what's behind Door #6? True X factor at this point. Harvey Catchings could run and jump and brick shots too.

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Jeff reply to GoSixers on Jan 16 at 13:24
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He does, but I think it would be better to have two athletic bigs. With Spence, you would need Noel both to close out on shooters and be a weak-side shot blocker.

I'm probably to the extreme. I view every win as a wasted opportunity, and the differential argument really bothers me. I understand differential tells you how good or bad a team really is, but you can't unwin games.

Last night wasn't a bad win, but it was still a win against a team who will probably be in the hunt for a top pick. They need to start picking up some good losses soon.

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Jeff reply to Brian on Jan 16 at 13:28
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Next 10 games -

vs. Miami
@ Chicago
@ Washington
@ Knicks
vs. Toronto
Vs. OKC
vs. Suns
@ Boston
vs. Hawks
@ Detroit

How many of those games could they conceivably win? Plenty of losses are coming.

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ttam68 reply to Jeff on Jan 16 at 13:30
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Portland was supposed to be a loss too. Hell, Charlotte should have beaten us.

It depends on if the opponents play their best players, which does not seem to happen much these days. They could lose all 10 or win as many as 4.

Didn't they go on a meaningless winning streak at the end of one of those years. Like won the last four or five games. I think it might've been the Eddie Jordan season.

You really have to take that stuff into account, that's why I'm going nuts about the wins they pick up now. There will be a week or two at the end of the season when teams just give up. Like literally stop playing. Games like that are won by the young, hungry teams who don't know any better.

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Stan reply to Brian on Jan 16 at 16:16
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The Eddie Jordan season was the one where the organization was actually intentionally tanking towards the end. They lost 20 out of their last 25 games and they didn't have win streak longer than 2 during that stretch. It was the only good thing Eddie Jordan did for the Sixers even thought it ended up giving us Evan Turner.

To answer your question, I'd say they could win 4, but it's unlikely. 3 wouldn't shock me at all.

Nope, i don't think the team is winning too much either. And i think i've expressed that a number of times already. They are well on their way to having a top 5 pick in this draft. That was my goal from the start.

I think I'm still scared by 2007. Teams can make big runs to win a lot of meaningless games late in the season. In 2007 they were certainly enabled by adding quality veterans in Miller and Smith, but that does not mean that the current team is incapable of gelling under a good coach and PG. This is not a normal season, and there will continue to be a lot more winnable games then one would expect.

It is highly unlikely that they make the playoffs, but it is possible even if they do end up trading away 1 vet. And regardless of how other teams should be better, it is also quite possible and probably even likely that when you have 13 teams that are 3 wins above or less of the Sixers that the Sixers could drift up from #3. I'd prefer not to leave things to chance.

"I'd prefer not to leave things to chance." - he said about the draft LOTTERY

OK, I'd like to maximize their chances.

And a bottom 2 record is locked into a high pick, while a #5 record could easily slip to #6 or #7.

There is luck involve in whatever you do,all you can hope to do is minimize your dependence on it, or bring the owners son like in Cleveland- that seems to work every time.

They are already lucky that they are bottoming out in a strong draft. It could have been a year like when there was Duncan and a bunch of bums, or nobody at all.

Not sure if jake pakovsky has sources - the only blogger i know of that i trust of with 'sources' is DB - but doubt any of this will make brian happy

http://www.libertyballers.com/2014/1/16/5313588/sixers-trade-evan-turner-spencer-hawes-rumor

there are rumors jake had the jrue trade before woj but didnt say anything out loud

Well - that would be pretty impressive if he really had it - but i mean - after the fact - he could have said if he had it or not :)

I'm going to laugh so hard when Turner brings back a second rounder. And I'll stand up and applaud Hinkie if he gets it done this month, and doesn't drag it out until the deadline.

Hawes has grown on me, but he has to go as well.

I think he has an official "source" who mostly gives him information the team wants to disseminate. Although I don't think they wanted the Thad Young trade request to be published, so maybe the source will be more reticent now.

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buke reply to GoSixers on Jan 16 at 16:43
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The author links to another article which appears to misinterpret Turner's words(according to what I read elsewhere) about coming off the bench. What I read was that he said he was willing to come off the bench but would want to do it for a contending team. I guess he would have a chance to do that with OKC.

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MojoSoDope reply to GoSixers on Jan 16 at 23:39
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That site and their sources and their publishing of these "rumors" is nothing short of a joke! Reminiscent of that SF1976 guy you guys used to make fun about being in the know. Just take a minute.. and read that second paragraph a time or two.

They put out some mess weeks ago...that Thad requests a trade. Thad's been lighting it up ever since so...now... the sixers aren't interested in discussing him in any negotiations? Sure...rocket science

So who are the sixers shopping now???.. Why...it's the two most obvious candidates left -- ET and Hawes. Ya don't say....

But wait.....it gets better......not only are the sixers promoting this ET/Hawes "package"..... but only a team..or two..or three...are even interested. and of these interested teams their interest is infinitesimal, rather lukewarm, miniscule. Umimportant he says. Nuthin' goin' down tomorrow too.

anyone could have made that nonsense up. Hello@! Captain obvious!!
-------

STOP the presses!!! remember Thad's not being discussed by sixers anymore ...they're stepping back remember?? Holddd upppp............4th paragtraph lead-in -- Thaddeus Young is CERTAIN to be moved people!!!!

Shucks... he said it out loud this time.......Both ways!...Poor Woj out scooped

I totally understand the concept of losing games in order to better your draft chances, but is there any merit to the idea of showing this current team can be some what competitive in order to impress a big name free agent? Adding 2 top 10 draft pics in next years draft, MCW and a healthy Noel could be an attractive team to some free agents.

Not much conversation s being made of the cap space the Sixers have.

I don't think free agency this off season is part of the equation and unless they have a 'nudge nudge wink wink' from an agent out there then the idea that a big name free agent is going to sign with the sixers is a pretty far fetched idea. Since they probably are going to have two lottery picks next year, and Noel will have limited playing time, the majority of the roster is disposable anyway...the only long terms names that matter are MCW, Noel, and possibly Young, the rest probably won't be here past the last game of the 2014 season (Unless lavoy's contract isn't over yet)

I kinda agree pending who opts out this year. There will be some players available within the next two years that you have to take a run at if they are free agents. Having a team that shows its "competitive" only increases your chances to land one paired with a max contract.

I don't think MCW and Noel and two unproven rookies would be enough to lend any incentive to a guy looking to make a move...and like i wrote above, the sixers have inherent disadvantages of location, weather, etc...when pursuing free agents. I'm not sure there's any max guy out there this year aside from Lebron, and he's not leaving Miami.

Kevin Love is name that has people drooling but there's already rumors out there that he's headed back to LA if he can help it.

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Tray reply to GoSixers on Jan 16 at 20:59
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It depends on how well the rookies play next year. Chris Paul was happy to go to the Clippers more or less solely because of Griffin's rookie season.

Not this year, but maybe in 2015 if they play well next year and the East remains garbage level. But I don't know how that strategy will work if Hawes, ET and Young are gone. That will pretty much be building from nothing and I doubt they will have enough complementary pieces to attract a player that wants to win now unless they managed to hit an MCW like home run with every pick they make.

The only free agent i am interested in in the near future is Kevin Love. Noone else makes sense at the moment for the Sixers. Maybe Hayward if you can somehow get him on a steal contract but that's probably impossible.

I have a feeling Hinkie's first big splash in free agency/trades is going to be LaMarcus Aldridge. At which point I'm going to have to start watching hockey.

Saw Bobby Hull-Stan Mikita-Chico Maki Blackhawks face off against Vic Hadfield-Jean Ratelle-Rod Gilbert Rangers at the original, smelly MSG, back in 6-team NHL days, when men were men and helmets were for football. HOF-ers Glenn Hall (CBH) and Jacques Plante (NYR) were guarding the nets with small masks, big courage and lots of skill [Lorne "Gump" Worsly, another superlative netminder, went 22 yrs of fighting frozen pucks without wearing a mask, finally said "I give" in '74 and played the last 6 gms of career wearing one for North Stars, belatedly hoping for an opportunity in modeling].

I lost interest in hockey when Bob McCammon's Flyers donned long black pants, when Bobby Clarke's and Rick MacLeish's careers - 2 special players - were winding down.

So long, Moose Valo. Fare thee well, J.C. Tremblay. Thanks, Keith Allen. Flyers of '67-'76 (including a defeat of the Red Army), you were the men!!

I am with GoSixers here. While I still can get frustrated at the losses, I still have faith in Hinkie.

I agree that there is no point to keeping Hawes and Tuner past the deadline but I am okay with him understanding how a market works. I have said this many times, the siers new ownership have ultimate experience with understanding asset value. Josh Harris is easy to track. Another member of the ownership team, who I once worked with, made his career being on the opposite side of the Nick Leason "Rogue Trader" trade. They know when teams back themselves into a wall and NEED to make a deal. Look at injuries popping up. If all we are getting offered now for Hawes and Turner is a 2nd rounder and contract...then maybe in a month we get a late 1st rounder frmo the Spurs or the Thunder and Hinkie turns that into an Alex Poythress or Nick Stauskus or someone who contributes to our winning. I trust the system because even his little moves have been very calculated. No shitty old veterans. Youth, upside. Stashing euros. Sure it is not the "franchise" player but these are pieces. And for all we know, Hinkie might think Vonleh is as valuable as Parker, Randle, Smart, etc.

I am not saying I can't see where the other side is coming from, but I just side with the other guys right now. And I have faith we will finish poorly.

Also - Brian you keep referring to this being different than being in a playoff chase because you "can't give back these wins". It is the same as "you can't give back the losses". It is just a different part of the column you are looking at, very simple. It is what it is, but I am still on board.

Also - has Hollis Thompson just stalled?

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Tray reply to Rusty on Jan 16 at 22:39
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I think it all depends on (a) how many losses keeping Turner and Hawes another month might cost us, (b) how much you really think their value will go up if we hold them a month, and (c) whether that increase in value is worth the hit we'll take in draft position from keeping them. I count about five games from Monday until the deadline that I could see us winning with Hawes and Turner, and in which we'd obviously have a much better chance of losing if they weren't on the team. I doubt their presence or absence makes the difference in all five, but would an extra 3 losses be enough for you to forgo this late first-rounder you think we just might get if we hold onto them?

3 wins can easily be the difference between 3rd and 7th worse record. And that is on top of the 6 wins (in 12 games) since they could have been traded in mid December.

You can be pretty certain that a trade in late December would have locked the team into a bottom 2 record.

The 2 major assumptions here of course are:

1) Turner and Hawes will actually be the difference between winning and losing in three of those games (meaning they turned a loss into a win)

2) If they do actually pick up three additional wins they will be the difference between the #3 and #7 spot in the lottery and not just making the team 3 wins closer to the #3 spot for example but still the #2 worst team in the league.

I don't think anyone of us ca realistically answer these two questions and they hold the answer on when is the right time to deal Turner and Hawes.

Oh and you keep forgetting that Turner sometimes turns wins into losses with his occasional terrible shooting and defense.

By the way, Houston's been showcasing Motiejunas the past few games in an effort to trade him. (Not just my surmise from his sudden spurt of playing time, this has been reported.) Is he the kind of marginal prospect we could get for Hawes? Would anyone here actually want him? Me, I like soft Euro bigs who shoot lots of threes but can't actually hit any. (Going into tonight, he was 2-22 from three on the season. Now, 4-25, for 16%.)

i dont have much proof to back this up but i feel if you gave him consistent playing time he would shoot better than that

Well he's up to 5-26 on the season now, and last year when he got 12 minutes a game (in the 44 games in which he played) he shot 29%. So yeah, you may be right.

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Tray reply to Tray on Jan 16 at 23:37
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... but, we really have no reason to think he'll ever be better than a poor man's Bargnani, do we? His rookie numbers are pretty similar to Bargnani's, except much worse shooting, higher percentages around the basket, and a touch better rebounding. And way less minutes. People talked about him having a great skill level in the post in Europe, but I suppose Bargnani went first for a reason himself.

Motiejunas had some off court issues before he was drafted IIRC. There were some doubts about how hard working he is and stuff like that. He's regressed since getting to the NBA IMO.

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Tray reply to Xsago on Jan 17 at 11:19
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You recall correctly.

I'd do Hawes for Motiejunas and Kostas Papanikolau a stash prospect Houston acquired recently. That's two medium reward prospects.

Wow....according to this story on espn(Insider), Boston has at least NINE first-round picks in the next five drafts....
http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/10303205/nba-analyzing-boston-celtics-trade-assets

To be honest, contrary to popular belief i don't non top 10 first rounders are as valuable for a rebuilding team as they sound. They hold much higher values for contenders who need to find cheap contributors. Rebuilding teams aren't going to find their star in the late teens and twenties...

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Stan reply to Xsago on Jan 18 at 14:08
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When Boston was rebuilding they drafted Al Jefferon, Gerald Green, and Rajan Rondo. Jefferson and Green were the main pieces of the KG trade.

Indiana drafted Hibbert and traded #16 for George Hill.

Utah rebuilt their team with Stockton and Malone.

Tonight's game: a motivated Miami Heat team (3-gm losing skein, along with memory of early season mugging) vs. the plenty-of-word-and-videotape-and-profile-now Philadelphia 76ers.

Match-up analogue: Wilt Chamberlain vs. Henry Finkel or Joe Strawder or Walt Wesley (who had the audacity to attend Kansas and to wear #13 as a Cincinnati Royal rookie).

"Say a prayer for the pretender." - Jackson Browne

Houston scored 73 points in the first half last night, and 19 in the second half. Pretty amazing.

Every time I hear that stat I think it has to be a mistake - i meant how do you score 19 points in a half - did anyone watch this game - how the hell does that happen?

The better question is how do you score 19 points in a half when playing at a very fast pace, having one of the best offensive players in the league (Harden) a dominant center (Howard) and a load of three point shooters on your team...

I always thought the problem with all these new analytical GMs will be when they need to make the final step which often means sacrificing the future for the now. Morey is struggling with this at the moment. Presti may have already blown a championship or two because of it....

If presti blew a championship I don't think it's entirely his fault - his ownership wasn't willing to make the financial commitment (luxury tax be damned) it took to keep the core that he built together, and honestly, I'm sure every GM and owner in the league knew that Harden was going to have to be moved for financial reasons. You cant' fully blame a GM when his owner hamstrings his ability to spend within the rules of the CBA.

As for the rockets - I'm not sure you can say they failed just yet..

Ok so first of all, i didn't say they completely failed (especially Morey). I said it's not looking good right now, and this is the moment where their analytics background comes in question. It will be the same with Hinkie IMO. It's pretty obvious to see how the analytics based GMs outsmarted the other GMs in the past few years, but a lot of that is walking a thin line and making the right decision. When it comes to winning a championship you can't really afford to walk a thin line. Most of the time, the best team wins it all. They need to separate themselves from the pack and they don't seem interested in doing that.

Presti doesn't do it because he's too concerned for the financial well being of the team (the owner's to blame for this) but also his inability to admit past mistakes (Perkins, Brooks maybe?). He simply has to trade some future assets for a legit center. The Thunder can't afford to wait for Adams to develop.

Morey is in the same boat. He's more interested in "winning" his trades than making his team a true contender. He's asking for picks for Asik and wants some ridiculous trades that won't improve the team right now but will net them future assets. The Rockets have an established core. They don't need future assets to win a title. They need complementary players who will take them over the top. So what if they are not as good as Asik for example. But Morey refuses to "lose" a trade, even though he will never get proper value for Asik because of his contract.

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Tray reply to Xsago on Jan 17 at 11:40
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I don't know if you're wrong or right, or even have an opinion, but do you know of any particular complementary players he's been offered and refused to take that you think he should have taken? The Rockets have a decent bench so it's not as if any vet they might be offered could crack their rotation.

When i was referring to complementary players i wasn't talking about their bench. The Rockets core in my opinion is Harden, Howard and their established threes and layups system. They need to improve the defense around it. Some possibilities:

- a good PG who is a very good defender and can mask Harden's defensive lapses AND can play off the ball and shoot threes efficiently

- a better PF than Jones who is not ready to be a key piece of a team that wins a championship. He'd be better suited on the bench playing 20 minutes as a forward in various lineup combinations.

- They could also use a legit backup center who will actually ply and be happy to be a backup to Howard.

For example, just take the rumored Asik-Thad trade (and i think Asik is too little value for Thad). Morey reportedly didn't like it because he wanted a first rounder for Asik no matter what. Thad can make that team a lot better and would certainly help the Rockets bridge the gap to the Pacers/Thunder/Heat/Spurs. Even the Warriors and Clippers are better than them right now.

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Tray reply to Xsago on Jan 17 at 12:03
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But if you're worse than the Warriors and Clippers, maybe win-right-now moves don't make much sense, because realistically they'd need to add someone on the level of an Iguodala to actually contend right now. Maybe this season is a lost cause and he should still be in asset accumulation mode, so he can one day package those assets for the ace defender he needs to mask Harden's deficiencies. Or maybe he should bring back Lowry in free agency. I doubt that a team with the 16th best defense in the league is going to be able to trade Omer Asik for some players who will turn that team into an actual contender. I don't think Thad would have done that for them.

The fact that they are below Warriors/Clippers doesn't mean they are too far off. But even if they need someone close to an Iguodala type, so what. They have the assets. It's not just Asik. they have:

- quality starters: Asik, Lin
- prospects: Jones, Motiejunas, Canaan
- a ton of stashed players in Europe
- a lot of draft picks with various levels of value

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Tray reply to Xsago on Jan 17 at 12:25
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But who on that level is available to take their defense from #16 to, say, #8, at which point they might be able to contend? If you were Orlando would you give them Afflalo for a package headlined by Asik (where does he play with Vucevic?) or Lin?

How much better is OKC right now if they'd chosen Harden over Westbrook?

How much better is OKC is they hadn't had to make the choice?

Yeah, you can't blame presti for having to choose, but you can blame him for making the wrong choice, right? His hand was forced by ownership, but he could've moved Westbrook instead of Harden.

Well whether or not he made the right or wrong choice is up for debate - and I think you'd come out in the minority if a straw poll was taken of the great nba fan/writer community.

What's less up for debate is the motivations behind the trade, they were not basketball, they were not Presti's, they were financial and ownership.

(And who knows that Presti GOT to choose who get's moved - that okie fenokie owner might have said, we're keeping westbrook and moving harden, westbrook was the marquee name at the time)

well, if you're saying presti is micromanaged to that degree, then you can't really credit him for putting that team together, right? Or I guess you could just blame the owner for every bad move (Perkins) and credit Presti for all the good ones.

I'd say the same. Choosing Westbrook over Harden or even just trading Harden isn't what has kept OKC from winning a championship. It's not packaging Perkins and prospects/picks for a top 10 center who is good on both ends of the floor and maybe a better 3andD player than Sefolosha that's keeping them at just a regular contender status. They could've been unbeatable IMO.

P.S. I don't think losing Harden really hurt the Thunder (outside of Westbrook's injury implications of course). Westbrook, Harden and Durant couldn't really play together. They were wasting their talents by being stuck on the same team. The team needed shooters who can play off the ball not a guy who dominates the ball like Harden.

P.P.S. Considering how bad Harden is defensively i'd probably choose Westbrook over Harden myself even though i'm not a huge Westbrook fan.

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Tray reply to Xsago on Jan 17 at 11:22
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What is Morey struggling with, exactly? What should be on his roster that isn't there now?

For example, he's asking for a first round pick for Asik instead of figuring out how to improve the current squad, especially their defense. He's more concerned with "winning" the Asik deal than making his team a true contender and possibly the best in the league.

You presume that's what he's doing, or maybe because of the back loaded contract the offers for Asik are below market period...and the thunder have a pretty good record right now and he has until the 20th...

Well pretty much every single report before and around the 19th of December said that Morey wants a first rounder or he's not trading Asik. I'm not saying that's entirely true (who knows what the truth is), but there has to be some truth to it don't you think?

As for the Thunder i picked them to win this year's title before the season because i thought Presti will finally realize that he might even lose Durant in a few years if he doesn't use some of his assets to seriously try and win a title. He still hasn't done it an there are zero report that he's even pursuing such trades...

Presti's tradeable assets that he can use to make his team improve are what? What player is he going to give up to make his team STRONGER than it is with that player...Ibaka? Perkins? Reggie (who they need right now)?

It's wonderful to exist in a vacuum and say 'they should make a move to get better' but any move you make is going to weaken your team somewhere if it strengthens it somewhere else unless a GM is just dumping salary - and the Thunder aren't going to go over the luxury tax anyway.

As for Morey and Asik - whether or not he was asking for a first back in the day - he might still be - the point is until February 20th - he can still make a trade that strengthens his team in where you see a weakness - for the playoffs - it's not like they're missing the playoffs

Jones III, Lamb, Roberson, Adams

The Dallas first rounder

All of theirs first round picks

Second rounders

There's enough assets there, before you even get to Jackson, to acquire a superstar let alone a starting center that will complement their team well. And depending on the trade they might be able to even afford trading Jackson.

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Cholo reply to GoSixers on Jan 17 at 12:19
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Thunder have Adams, Lamb, PJ3 and 2 2014 1st.
They should get A LOT with that.

Well Adams they want to keep
Lamb and PJ III have not exactly lit the world on fire (or they wouldn't have as many needs) and at least one of those picks is going to be bottom 5 inthe first round.

What exactly do you deem a lot?

Lamb and Jones III have value. Especially Lamb. A lot of people like him. Also why would they make Adams untouchable? I'm talking about going after a center that will be helping them win a championship in the next 5 years. Adams won't be that important to them. If he ever becomes good enough, Adams prime will start towards the back end of that period. Durant might leave by that point.

Making players like that untouchable is part of the reason why they haven't won a title yet. It's great to go fully young when you are rebuilding and it's important not to overdo it when you are contending. But you can't always have that same mantra. Sometimes you have to waste some future assets. The Heat wasted 90% of their assets to create that championship team. That's how much it took to get over the top. And it's been the same with almost every champion in the past.

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Cholo reply to GoSixers on Jan 17 at 12:31
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Something like this, plus a pick to each team:

http://espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=o8hg3rd

Exactly. With that team (Westbrook/Afflalo/Durant/Ibaka/Hawes/Jackson) the Thunder are unbeatable in the playoffs. And they won't even be in a worse position financially.

I agree there is still time. And both Morey and Presti might make a deal making their teams favorites to win the title. But winning a championship takes great chemistry. The longer you wait, the more difficult it will be to pull it off. Not impossible (the Lakers did i think), but less likely.

Speculating on what these executive hotshots are doing in their mobile offices is a highly speculative endeavor (groundless mining).

The rumor mill provides and rabid fans distort, sometimes toward fantasies. None saw Bynum coming around the bend.


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Tray reply to Xsago on Jan 17 at 11:49
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So you think he should trade Asik for a perimeter defender or two, I take it. (Or maybe a backup center who's actually a backup center?) What if he thinks they're so far from contention that he can't put them over the top this year with some perimeter defender, and that what's more likely to put them over the top in 2015 or 2016 is a talented first-round pick? Houston's a pretty bad defensive team, and I doubt trading Asik for some role players is going to make them good enough on defense to contend this year.

Couple of thoughts:

- Waiting for 2015 or 2016 is very risky given Howard's recent injury history. He is not going to get better when he starts losing his athleticism.

- I don't think they are that far from contention. And eve more importantly, no team wants to win a single title. They want to win as many titles as possible. You don't waste years just because you think you'll have a better chance later.

Lets face it, it's still early especially about Morey. There's time until the deadline. And Morey and Presti overall are among the best in the business. A lot of this is in a way nitpicking. But you need to nitpick when you are going after the ultimate goal - a title.

P.S. I'm not really talking about 15 minute role players. Players like Deng, T.Young, Afflalo etc, could've been theirs already if the just spent some of their assets. But they don't want to.

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Tray reply to Xsago on Jan 17 at 12:23
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Orlando would have given them Afflalo for Asik? Chicago would give them Deng for Asik? I thought those teams have centers they're happy with. Or do you mean some other assets they refuse to spend?

I think Houston is kind of far from contention, the more I think about it. They're a middling defensive team, we know this. But perhaps not for the reasons we think. Looking at their four factors, they give up a pretty low shooting percentage. Their problem is actually a possession problem. They have the league's seventh lowest defensive rebounding rate, and they turn teams over less than all but two teams. What can they do about that? Their center is a great rebounder; their power forward is a good one. Terrence Jones's defensive rebound percentage is about equal to Millsap's, Horford's, and Anthony Davis's. The problem is that they don't play big men off the bench - when they go to their bench, they just go small - and everyone else on the team doesn't rebound. Their point guards average 2 defensive rebounds per 36 minutes, Parsons gives them 4, as does Harden, Garcia's worse, and so on. Trading for Lowry would help a little, though I don't think he's still available, but that's just one extra rebound a game. One or two of these anemic rebounders has to go to really put a dent in the problem - or they need to stop fetishizing smallball lineups and get some big men who aren't shooters. Creating turnovers is even more of a roster-wide issue; they're led in steals per game by Beverley and Harden with 1.3, and only four players average one steal. Even if you added Lowry at 1.7 steals a game and gave him Lin's minutes, you're still creating very few turnovers.

I'm not only talking about Asik. I'm talking about their assets in general. Both Morey and Presti keep their asset and don't want to spend them on anything. They haven't so far, except the Harden trade and neither team is in position nor should be in position to make another trade like that.

I'm not going to go deep into the type of trade that makes sense "for both teams". Who knows what other GMs are thinking, there are three-four team trades, other assets etc involved. I'm talking about Presti and Morey needing to realize that they should waste some assets on the now. I'm not talking about acquiring 36 year olds like the Nets did. I'm talking about acquiring good player in their prime. There are a ton of such players available this year, with so many teams tanking.

Deng, for example could've put the Rockets over the top. I'm sure Morey could've had him if he wanted to considering what he was worth.

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Tray reply to Xsago on Jan 17 at 16:46
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Like I just said, Houston has a very simple but very serious problem; they let their opponents take way more shots than them. Their opponents get 5 more shots/trips to the line a game than they do. (By which I mean trips to the line, not foul shots; I multiplied their FTA by .44 to arrive at this number.) Houston uses its possessions much, much better than their opponents; they have a .528 efg to their opponents' .478, and their free throw rate is 28% to their opponents' 19.5. They don't have a problem scoring points when they have the ball, or even with stopping their opponents from scoring points when their opponents have the ball. But they have this huge possession disadvantage. Closing that gap will be hard, because they've constructed a roster of shooters who don't rebound or steal the ball. Throwing Luol into that roster (where he would take minutes from Parsons, a better offensive player and a better fit) might make them better at guarding people, or better at scoring, though I doubt the latter. But it wouldn't make them a much better rebounding team, or make them better at turning teams over. Deng isn't even a particularly good rebounder or ball-hawk. When it comes to those two things, their problem is they have about two good players at doing either and are lousy 3-12 at both. What they need is a roster revamp.

no lavoy tonight whose right calf injury is good and now has a sore left knee

any word on Moultrie for tonight?

not playing

would really like to see MCW guard wade throughout the game tonight

*************MIAMI GAME************

no birdman for Miami

expecting to lose by alot so we'll see how this goes

bad shot evan but it goes in

anderson steal and finish

et splits the ft

nice cut by anderson

anderson to the line

2 on wade

down in the section right under the basket and irs probably 80% heat fans ugh cmon man

evan made a good pass!

thad makes both ft

good move thad

mcw to the line

did a bad job with the hedge on the first p/r

made both

miami's ball movement seems like its in turbo speed

et jumper

thad has gotta go up stronger

woah Davies made one!!

wroten 3

davies post moves!

down 10 end of the first

MIA getting a alot of open 3's

MIA getting a alot of open 3's

Can't you say that almost every game, just substitute the current opponent for MIA?

bad start to the 2nd 9-0 run MIA

timeout sixers

3 on wade

williams to the line

Zach Lowe tweeting from the game. Pointing to the quality of our bench, hah.

Wow that colonial race is even dumber than I expected

sixers blew a 3-1

williams and 1

made the ft

t on hawes

not mcw best half

Hmmm well if lebron goes down. ..maybe a playoff run isnt such a terrible idea...

hawes missed a putback dunk

et jumper

down 17 at the half

Sixerfan - you seem to see the most game action. Does Hollis Thompson have a future? He seems like he has really stalled these last few weeks but I know much of his value is tough to measure in a box score (what I see).

I need silver linings amidst this stack of steaming shit we call a roster.

he has a good idea of what hes doing

knows when to drift to the corner, when to cut to the rim

he just isnt hitting shots and the defense still needs work

et to hawes alley oop

mcw lazy d there

mcw to the line

sissy jumper

thad hook shot

charge taken by thad

thad steal and finish

wroten to the line

split them

down 18 end of the 3rd

wroten splits the clear put foul ft

whatever big fakes the screen then slips will be the first

lebron pulling a wade and arguing while the sixers score

dedmon splits the ft

wroten to the line

thompson 3 and 1!

dedmon and 1 on a putback

missed it

thompson o-board

dedmon putback

thompson tip in

lost by 15

at Chicago tomorrow who lost at Washington tonight

Kevin Pelton, in his chat today, said Embiid is the best prospect in the draft, and that Eddie Jones is a good comp for Wiggins.

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TwoSense reply to Tray on Jan 18 at 1:04
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I tend to agree; at this point.

Noel adds 21 lbs of muscle during his rehab, impressing fame seeking Dr Andrew's long time physical therapist according to this report (on bleacher report)

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tk76 reply to GoSixers on Jan 18 at 12:21
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A bit misleading, as he lost about 10 pounds due to the injury. He weighed about 10 pounds more in HS than he did at the NBA draft combine a few months after the injury. I'm sure much of that weight loss was atrophy of his immobilized leg. It makes sense that the muscle regrows during rehab, meaning maybe 10 pounds of additional gain elqhrre on his frame over the last year.

He added 21 lbs of muscle during his rehab - that's not misleading - whatever muscle mass he had at the beginning of the rehab is the starting point - and it's still a net change of 11 - so - it ain't bad

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Tray reply to GoSixers on Jan 18 at 13:50
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It's misleading because atrophied muscles grow back without much work, once you start using them. He's saying that merely walking on an immobilized leg is what got him half of the 20 pounds back.

And 10 extra pounds distributed over a nearly 7 foot frame is like you or I gaining half that.

All I'm saying is that physically Noel is not hugely different than what he was as a senior in high school or at Kentucky. And he has a ways to go before he can reasonably be expected to man the pivot as a center.

http://www.draftexpress.com/article/2012-Nike-Hoop-Summit-USA-Team-Measurements-3886/

Watch the Noel video and imagine 12 more pounds. He has a way to go. He is basically 5 pounds bigger than Camby when he entered the league.

I didn't know that Carter-Williams and Noel had ever played together before.

A key chemistry element will be Noel's comfort level with point guard Michael Carter-Williams, his former AAU teammate with the Boston Amateur Basketball Club.

Yup, best friends on their high school team. The story was a big deal after the draft. Not sure it matters that much but it's nice when your two key young prospects are friends i guess.

Must have missed that one, but it can't hurt that two young guys have some on court time together, even in the past, so they're not complete strangers when building that NBA chemistry...

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eddies' heady's reply to Xsago on Jan 18 at 16:04
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To my knowledge, they never played high school ball together. They were just on the same AAU team.

This might sound extremely stupid but i actually don't understand the difference. I don't know what AAU basketball is, i thought it was higher level high school basketball. I am not an american after all...

Do they have any sort of 'sports leagues' in your region where you have to try out to make the teams? It's age group related - but it's not defined just based on attending school but skilled players. Where I grewup we held 'Delco' soccer - which was kids who may have gone to school together but still had to try out to make the teams. That's kind of how I always viewed it (it's also pretty corrupt and doesn't exactly encourage basketball fundamentals from what I can tell)

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

Hmm, i guess it depends on how you look at it. I'd say there are some age related leagues based on tryouts for young kids (from 8 to 12-13 years of age maybe) in some sports, but in general no there are no leagues exactly like that. Not relevant ones at the very least. The sports scene in Europe is quite different. Young players usually start and move up in the ranks of the professional teams. Professional teams have their own academies and they essentially play in national leagues for various ages (usually U16, U18 and U20 but it really depends on the sport, sometimes it's U19 and U21). It's not different at all from the senior leagues really. For the most part, it's the same teams from the senior level that have junior teams for different age groups. And there are championships for each age group. Sometimes players from these junior teams are used for the senior teams as well, if they are good enough.

To try and make a parallel to the NBA, imagine all of the 30 teams in the NBA having academies in their respective cities where really young kids (somewhere between 6 and 14 depending on the sport) can enroll and practice on almost a daily basis. And there would be some kind of junior NBA leagues for players under 14 years, under 16, under 18... There are exceptions but that's more or less how it looks like here.

P.S. The best young prospect go pro at a very young age. For example in basketball, IIRC correctly Rubio went pro at 13 or 14. He was even playing with the seniors at a very young age. There are always some 16-17 year olds playing with the seniors. 15, 16, 17 year olds often sign professional contracts.

marcus teague to brooklyn for Toko Shengelia

Tyshawn Taylor to New Orleans for a future pick and cash

according to woj

@WojYahooNBA Clarification: Nets are sending Taylor to New Orleans with cash.

MCW was punk'd last night. With Heat turned up, he didn't know whether to spit or go blind. A (preordained) ROY shouldn't vanish like that (GmSc: -1.0). In case you haven't noticed, MCW has had 5 dogmeat games (GmSc of 4.7 or less) and 4 subpar games (GmSc 6.9 to 8.8) out of his 28 of his team's 39 (participation rate: 72%). Yet accolades keep mounting as he's this year's media darling by default. An exceptional 41% shooter; even when he misses they go in, avow his legion of supporters.

Who do you like for ROY? Perhaps Trey Burke? I can see your comment now before you write it; "tough, smart, like the moxie. A young Jameer Nelson." But he's shooting 39%.

The whole comment was kind of ridiculous. Few if any had MCW as a rookie of the year candidate before the season. He got into the talks based on his play, not being preordained.

If you look at the source of the comment, are you surprised at all?

Maybe he means that, long before the actual votes are cast, he's been preordained. Like, pre-voting, not pre-season.

You got it, Tray. Derek demonstrates reading comprehension difficulty on occasion. He appears to be good at dictation though. I don't pay much attention to courtrimmers.

Hulabaloo after Game 1, after Magic Johnson spout, after game 10, 15 or 20... I'd say that's pre-ordainment in a season containing 82 games. The excess of honking geese.

I think he's had a very fine rookie season and that rookies often struggle with their shooting. If the season ended today he would be my pick for ROY. Very few people are saying he's the next great point guard, just that he has a shot.

I think he's had an exciting, freestyle, spotty rookie season 39/28 gms in. Sixers PR machine is in overdrive for the kid. Brown, Zumoff, Rose, Lynams, some yakkers, some scribes, many fans are doing their part too. .073 WS/48. O Rtg 100. D Rtg 105. I reserve my vote until April.

In any event, you would know better than I, but it seems to me that all the best rookies this year are having major shooting struggles, and MCW, of the contenders - him, Burke, Oladipo - has brought the most to the table beyond scoring. He's been the best defender of the three and the best passer, while Oladipo has probably been the most exciting but the most flawed of the three.

As I said, he's a ROY candidate by default. That is, the whole lot of rookies are showing unfinished games. Burke, Oladipo, MCW... getting acclaim due to spasms of good play, because their teams are dreadful and minutes/stat accumulation are theirs; league vacuum of truly outstanding rookie play nominates them. The whole '13 draft club is disappointing to date. Trophy by relativity, not elevation, this year.

Did you see the above coming, clairvoyant one? Didn't think so. Have billed you for .5 hrs... I round off too ;)

This happens every year. The best rookies almost always amass stats on terrible teams and show great inconsistency. They all have unfinished games, and a lot struggle shooting.

I like Embiid so much more than the other top prospects. It's a shame we can't really play him with Noel. And that we won't get a chance to pick him anyway.

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Rusty reply to Tray on Jan 18 at 17:50
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1. I don't think it should stop us from drafting him. We really don't know what we have in Noel yet and I agree he stands out that much versus the others as we'll.

2. How often has the team with the worst record had the 1st pick? A bottom 3 record makes anything possible... Unless your just keeping your expectations low which is reasonable.

It doesn't happen that often, and it shouldn't really happen that often. While the worst team has the 'best' chances at getting the #1 pick, the odds are 3 to 1 against them getting it - personally, I've always felt the opposite of people who think they know how to fix the draft lottery. I think it's too balanced - the worst team, or maybe the top 3 worst if you want to make it a little more 'chance related' should have at least a 50% chance (combined) of getting the top pick.

The NBA draft lottery should probably only involved the worst 5-7 teams - in my opinion - and the weights should definitely be heavier towards the worst teams...

I know Cleveland was the worst teams when they got Lebron - in the 'current' (14 team) lottery I believe they were the second time the worst team got the pick (and no one screamed oh my god it's a conspiracy that Lebron is playing for his home town team, but I always found it ineresting that THAT lottery specifically rewarded the worst team ,when so often it doesn't, when their home town hero was the obvious #1 choice).

I think if the sixers won the lottery this year and Embiid continues to be the #1 prospect they're sitting in the cat bird seat - trade the pick, trade Noel if he shows some flashes - or keep them both (if you think it can work - but I'm not sure it can) - the options are plentiful...

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Stan reply to GoSixers on Jan 18 at 18:35
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The following year Orlando got the 1st overall pick(Dwight Howard) after having the worst record in the NBA. Since then it hasn't happened. 4/9 of the last winners were in the 5-6 range of worst record in the NBA. The only other times it has dipped below 5 was to help out Cleveland and New Orleans.

Were people screaming conspiracy when Chicago landed hometown hero Derrick Rose despite having a 1% chance of doing so? I don't remember.

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Tray reply to Rusty on Jan 18 at 18:34
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Yeah, 75% of the time, the team with the worst record isn't going to get the first pick, but I'm not saying that the team with th