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A Bill of Goods

Brian, you may have gone through this in a previous post, but what would you have done differently in this year's draft given where they fell?
You mention you wanted McDermott, and I personally agree with you that selecting Saric doesn't exactly thrill me. However, you have to admit that getting the first rounder back to swap to 12 and still get the guy they were looking at was a strong move. The team also wanted Vonleh and tried to move up to 8 with the Kings to get him but they didn't bite on 10 and a couple 2nd rounders. Then, Charlotte takes him right before at 9, what can you do?
As for the 3rd pick, would you have done the 3, 10, and 32 for 1 deal to move up and get Wiggins? Or are you going Exum or somebody else in that spot? Clearly, the team wanted Wiggins and was just unfortunate the Embiid injury threw the draft board out of whack the last week. Otherwise, their guy looked to be falling to them at 3.
I agree with some of what you've said: they definitely waited too long to unload Turner and Hawes, and the Saric selection at 12 left me unenthused. Still, given where the lottery spit them out and the Embiid injury, I think the team did about as well as one could expect on draft night.

Ok, i'll bite.

I think it' a pretty good article more or less summing up the state of the franchise and most of the important stuff Hinkie has done so far.

Here's a couple of thoughts that i agree or disagree with (first about the prospects and than some general thoughts):

MCW: I don't think anyone expects MCW to be more than a starting PG on a contender and a 3rd option on the Sixers. He went from a late first rounder in a terrible draft to a guy who has a realistic outcome of starting PG on a good team and 3rd option. That's a major win for the team, not a loss. And if he realizes his defensive potential AND improves his shot to an average one..., big ifs but not impossible.

Noel: I think you're a little lower on Noel than most people are. I don't know what his realistic expectation is, but a healthy fully realized Noel, isn't Sanders/Jordan - that's probably closer to the realistic expectation not his ceiling. A fully realized Noel is Joakim Noah type of player with less bulk but more athleticism.

Embiid: I'm with you on Embiid. While i do see why he's rated so high and what his upside is, the type of injuries he's had are very scary, much much scarier than Noel. I don't think it's possible to know what happens with him in the future health wise, but if you are right that he has about 40% chance of being healthy and a fully developed superstar, that's a great thing to have, no?

Saric: I think you are selling Saric a bit short. He's not a sure thing to translate to the NBA, sure, but noone really ever is. I think the Saric is the closest thing we've seen to Odom recently (best comparison of them all IMO). And Lamar Odom was a key part of a multiple championship team as a starting SF, finishing PF. That's the type of role i see Saric playing on the Sixers. And his upside is actually even higher than Odom if he ever fully realizes his potential.

It's important to note here that they don't all need to pan out. Even if only one of the 4 lottery picks fully realizes his potential and the other 3 end up as busts, you'll have something tangible to build around in free agency/trades (which is more than the Sixers had prior to Hinkie). And that's probably close to the worst case scenario as it's unlikely that everyone busts out (MCW is already a decent player).

The one thing i really disagree with your logic however is about what realistic expectations really mean. No prospect ever has a realistic expectation of becoming a top 10 player. No team has the realistic expectation of becoming a contender with 4 lottery picks. Even the Thunder with rookie Durant, rookie Westbrook, rookie Harden and rookie Ibaka didn't have a contender as a realistic expectation. What they did is beat the odds. And the sad truth about the NBA is that in order to become a contender you have to, in some way, beat the odds. Whether it's Durant's major lack of strength, Curry's lack of anything but a jump shot, Love's lack of athleticism, Wiggins's lack of a handle or Embiid's danger of being injury prone, there are always issues that can prevent prospect from fully realizing their potential. With some it works, with others it doesn't work (Oden, Beasley, Turner...).

Is all of this going to work out? Nobody knows, but i think Hinkie did manage to maximize the chance that the Sixers get a future quality core in the past year and a half. They just need to get a little lucky now to separate from the pack.

P.S. I didn't love the Embiid pick, but I'm generally on board with what Hinkie is doing. He hasn't been flawless, but the idea is sound. The one thing i like about him is his attention to detail, which i think will slowly help the Sixers in the long run.

This pretty well sums up my take. Sure there are Hinkie acolytes at LB and some analytic sites, but I have not seen them here. I thinknthendraftbwent the way it did because Embiid was injured and they had the third pick and tenth pick in a draft where the sure things were gone after pick 2 and the second tier was gone after pick 9. I don't thi k this eas the culmination of some grand plan to tank next year.

I do think Hinkie and the owners are much less averse to drafting a BPA who won't be available right away, so maybe it is not all that surprising that those types of plsyers keep falling to them. I would have to see some sort of analysis of how those types of picks turn out as compared to the players drafted right after them. The Sixers point to David Robinson being drafted first despite him entering the Navy for 2 years, but that was a no brainer and more of a sure thing in terms of coming back healthy and willing.

To be fair, LB was not unanimous in how they liked the draft. Jake P and I had a pretty good discussion of it up at the draft. He was extremely bummed.

I probably overstate my distaste for other blogs. LB has a bigger commenter and readership base which results in more over the top and annoying comments. I find a more selective and interesting discussion here, but its definitely not without annoying comments as well.

My favorite opinions to hear are you, Brian and Rich Hoffman. And honestly, Jake has a fine future ahead of himself if he wants it. Lots of hate for age but he does a fine job.

Well, when responding to tk, I wasn't even considering the comments / community. I could understand if it's not your thing.

I couldn't agree more with what you said. When I think of the other option - acquiring vets to field a "competitive team" that will likely end up being mediocre, I cringe.

If Philadelphia was a free agent destination like Miami or LA, I'd be on board with what Brian is saying. They're not, so this is our best option if we ever want to be relevant.

I don't see any proof of this theory. Not in the early returns from Hinkie, nor from any other team in the history of the league. The only true cohorts are expansion teams.

Is there proof of the opposite? Say we fielded a team capable of winning 45-48 games. Would we be able to lure guys like Kevin Love? I find this less likely as the past has shown.

Would we have the assets to trade for these types of players? Generally there are a few things that teams want in return for their star - equal talent, young/promising talent, high draft picks. If we're going to obtain a star via trade, how are we supposed to trade for these players without these assets? But then you have to question why would the other team trade this star - is he past his prime? are there nagging injury concerns (i.e. Bynum)? is he a pseudo-star (i.e. Rudy Gay)?

There are an equal amount of holes if a team wants to go this route as well. And this is besides the point. How are we supposed to acquire the assets to land a star in a trade if we don't suck first?

So we're back to trying to lure in free-agents. Again - why would Kevin Love and/or Kevin Durant want to come here if we're a middling playoff team? What's our pitch? In the last ten years it worked for...Elton Brand. Had the team decided to tank after it was evident that he wasn't the same player he had once been, perhaps we sixers fans would be a lot happier today. Right now I think we're suffering for those mistakes and not because the owners are cheap and secretly want to move across the river.

Separate the ownership motives from the equation. That's a different issue and only tangentially related because they're enabling Hinkie's experiment. I'm glad you bring up Love, though, because Hinkie's draft these past two years has been extremely reminiscent of Minny's drafts back in those years. They pulled off a tanking trade with Washington, then ignored position in the draft. They stocked up at one position and even stashed a can't miss stud in Europe. The two differences I see between that situation and this one is Kevin Love wasn't injury prone, and Kahn was perceived as a loon while Hinkie went in with the genius moniker, and people are blinded by the MBA

As a Minnesotan, I've been thinking the same thing for some time now: the similarities between Hinkie and David Kahn and how the two could share the same fate. Kahn had a law degree from NYU so I'd say that the grad degrees are similar in prestige.

Like David Kahn, and unlike King, Stefanski, and Thorn, Hinkie is the type that won't get another GM job if he blows this one. Of course, his former boss might give him his old job back.

Why was Kahn perceived as a loon, though? Certainly not for drafting Kevin Love. Perhaps partially because he was unable to field a contender around Kevin Love?

Will Hinkie be able to field a winning team once/if these prospects pan out and the tanking train comes to a grinding halt? That's the real question, and anyone who praises Hinkie should certainly not be praising him for what he supposedly will be able to do, rather for recognizing what wasn't working in the past and establishing a seemingly sound strategy.

I'm patient enough to at least wait and see, but I will be as angry as you are if we draft a Kevin Love-type and he can't build a winner around him.

Patience is my whole point with this. Fans complaining about the GM and his process at this stage is like nagging the architect/builder of your house during the entire construction phase.

At some point you need to trust that he knows what he's doing and wait to see what the finished product will be.

If it turns out to be a piece of junk, then complain away, I just don't see the value in it at this point in the process.

i dont think Kahn was a good GM but if he takes curry over flynn people probably look at him a tad differently

You do realize that Kahn didn't draft Love right?

Kahn drafted:

Wesley Johnson
Derrick Williams

in 3 consecutive years in the top 6.

He also made dumb trades highlighted by two separate trades of mid first round picks for Webster and Budinger.

I think it's pretty obvious why he was a terrible GM. And it's also the reason why Minnesota never became good. They somehow managed to pick 3/4 busts with their 4 top 6 picks.

Yes and he didn't draft Pekovic either.

That is an impressive display of concentrated drafting failure. However, I would say that Jonny Flynn's rookie year wasn't much below MCW's and it's not impossible that MCW's performances could go downhill from here.

In all fairness, Kahn traded Luke Babbitt for Martell Webster so I would say that he got the better of that deal, but he also traded the Trevor Booker pick for Lazar Hayward. He also acquired Chandler Parsons in a trade but traded him for cash afterward.

If you look through his overall record, though, you'll see a similar type of general strategy: an emphasis on trading current players for picks and an avoidance of signing any free agents of stature. Also, the poor performance of the team during his tenure may have been coach related to as there was an immediate improvement during the last two years with the hiring of Adelman.

I believe Flip will do better but his first pick, Shabazz Muhammed, wasn't too encouraging. We'll just have to see about LeVine.

Basically all you are showing is that Kahn had high picks and consistently drafted horribly. That shows he executed a strategy as poorly as possible, but does not show the strategy to be terrible.

And to equate MCW with Flynn- who is not even an NBA rotational player, seems hateful IMO. That would be like equating Nick Foles with Ryan Leaf, and saying they had similar rookie seasons.

There's nothing hateful at all in what I said. You're letting your emotions rather than your mind interpret words. I said "that it's not impossible that MCW could go south." Flynn had a pretty fair rookie year (rookie second team; same as James Harden), not so far below MCW. I'm sure most Timberwolves fans at the time wouldn't have thought he was incapable of being an NBA rotational player after a couple of years.

Brandon Jennings and Darren Collison were the first team rookie guards during Flynn's initial season. I've always liked Collison but he doesn't generate much enthusiasm on this blog and I can't imagine anyone on this blog ever wanting the Sixers to acquire Brandon Jennings.

Sorry, I did not even remember Flynn ever being a viable pro- even his rookie year, nor did I remember a major injury. I have not followed his career closely. Regardless, IMO MCW has already shown enough to suggest he will be an above average NBA player for his career. Beyond that a lot will depend on his development and the players around him.

I actually think it would be funny if we did deal for Lin. Mostly because one (I wont say who) could make the case that Hinkie is doing Morey a favor again AND that the ownership gets an asset who brings in a ton of money. I mean it's such an easy spin to make. I have to imagine Lin is a great return on investment even with that contract.

Hinkie did an interview with some of the more reasonable WIP guys that was good and informative to me. Ill try to find a link. His discussion on Noel, MCW, etc is all very reasonable.

And yes, we can find GMs with the same strategies who have different results. Lots of GMs have tried the Pistons approach with different degrees of success. I honestly think that the current Pacers are similar to those Pistons, for the record. I think less teams have tried this bold of a patient rebuild like us. And it can evolve over time, it's very clear that this ownership group will adapt based on opportunity (Bynum vs rebuild) and Hunkie has at least expressed that he is the same way... Open to FAs when the right opportunity is there.

Morey is the one guy that I think we can use as a comp given the ties. And while I think he did well in creating a core, I think he is going in the wrong direction to finish the job. I would be disappointed if I were the rockets going after Melo. Get me Deng and some other defense. I also don't like the culture and that worries me with Hinkie. Very inclusive of the stars but very quick to dismiss role players and publicly slap them in the face (Lin). Meanwhile San Antonio has guys like Danny Green who doesn't want to play anywhere else but the spurs. And Haslem who gives up lots of money to keep that heat team together. That would be my biggest worry.

Numerous teams have tried the Sixers current strategy. It hasn't been rare at all during this century. You could say that in any given year, at least three or four teams are trying a variation of it. The only distinction of Hinkie is the sheer brazenness of his tanking behavior and his unwillingness to make any hedging moves whatsoever. If he fails, my prediction is that he will never get another GM job.

Now enough about that. I also would like the team to acquire Lynn. He has two rare characteristics that make him a natural target for fan support:

1) He is an Asian American in a sport where players of that demographic are virtually non-existent;

2) He is a Harvard man in a league where Ivy leaguers are virtually non-existent.

It depends how broad you want to talk about strategies. The non hedge is the biggest part to me, I read that as patience and consistency. And it's really only been 13 months of that and I already think its very differentiated from what others have done. Are there many other cases of that? Multiple season, non rush, developmental rebuilds?

Honestly I disagree about Hinkie not being able to get another job after this. We can have this argument and never prove each other wrong, but these would be my points.

If Hinkie were fired today, what GM would not want to take this job? He has left the organization with cap space and (what I consider) plenty of assets. If Billy Kin got fired, who would want to take that job? Now, lets just pair Hinkie's acquisition aggressiveness and analytics work with someone more pushy on timing... It's easy for me to think that could can extract value from that alone and he would have demand in that aspect. And finally, how much press are the sixers getting now versus the iguodala years? I'd argue more, and yes it's controversial press. People who own teams are entrepreneurs , risk takers, etc. Whether its right or wrong, people who go against the grain being attention and liking. Merrier anther ( or whoever ran long term capital) Aubrey McClendon , tom ward, corzine, etc etc. Plenty of these guys are just blow things up and get more opportunities. Someone would give Hinkie another shot, but with different terms.

Lastly, Johnny Flynn had a career endin hip injury. He never recovered and it stopped any development. That could happen to any of our guys, yes.

Rusty, I said I didn't think Hinkie would get another job if he is fired after failing. David Kahn got four years and I suspect that Hinkie would get that much even if his tenure is a failure. If he was fired right now, he would be viewed as a courageous GM who didn't get a fair chance.

Yes, the Sixers have oodles of cap space but nowhere to spend it. Hinkie will have to spend some of it. He probably should try to get Lynn regardless of other considerations because he's only a one year commitment and right now Hinkie has nothing on his roster other than Noel to generate any fan interest.

There was a report yesterday on the Sixers' interest in Kent Bazemore. More recent rumors have Bazemore involved in more advanced talks with the Jazz. On a 1 to 10 rating of free agent stature, Bazemore surely would rate no higher than a 2 or 3, but even twos and threes aren't very interested in signing with the Sixers.

Yes, I did not clarify. I meant he created a more attractive organization already in terms of GMs who would want this job now, versus when he came in. He has the unique position where ownership supports him so that is worth something. But I think his approach is differenat than Kahn's and you can point to decisions Kahn made that would be very un-Hinkie like based on his words and history.

As for the cap space, maybe I am wrong but I think we COULD get guys here. If we wanted Bazmore, we could pay him. If we wanted Braldey we could pay him. It would cost a premium, but we could do it. And honeslty, I think we could have gotten Lowry if we wanted.

Tim Duncan hasn't been a "superstar" for some time. What he's continued to be is a smart, physically conditioned, and skilled player with great size. He doesn't make spectacular plays. He just makes the right plays. Yet San Antonio has continued to be a contender (and a multiple outright champ) throughout this century with no high draft picks and no trades for stars.

Detroit was a contender during the middle years of the last decade without having players regarded as all star caliber. They just assembled a team of very good players in their primes.

Building a contender the way Oklahoma City did is no easier than building a contender the way Detroit did during the middle years of the last decade. In fact, I can't think of another recent team to pull off the Thunder experience whereas I can think of numerous failures.

What amazes me is how there are legions of fans who are all in with trying to duplicate the Thunder experience by tanking for as long as it takes but those same fans refuse to consider the Detroit experience as even plausible.

My feeling is that if a team tries to replicate the Detroit or San Antonio experience and fails, well, the likely outcome is the Atlanta Hawks or the Mo Cheeks/Doug Collins Sixers. If a team tries to replicate the Thunder experience and fails, the likely result is Sixers from 92-97. I know which alternative I would prefer. As much as I enjoyed the Iverson era, he wasn't worth all of those lousy seasons before him.

And yet, going the Detroit way (interesting you bring them up as they're the only example that really fits your argument) or the San Antonio way (although I consider them to be a bit of an anomaly and chalk it up to having the best front office in the NBA...I also disagree with you assessment of Tim Duncan) leaves you mediocre. And as we all know, being mediocre is the worst place to be in the NBA. It's the biggest criticism of the Sixers since Ed Snider wasn't able to keep his mouth shut about trading Iverson.

Why is this more desired than being crappy, which puts you in place to start collecting valuable assets again?

Again, you're just repeating the same mantra as the herd: "Detroit is the only example!!" Obviously you didn't bother to consider what I wrote as you were completely focused on your side of the conversation, par for the course in the Philly style of bloviation. Glad I moved away as a young man.

My message was that OK City was the only recent example of success using the tanking strategy, so both strategies had about the same probability of success. If my team is going to fail at their strategy, as a fan I'd rather be left with the Atlanta Hawks or the playoff Sixers of the past decade than the Minnesota Timberwolves of the last ten years or the Sacramento Kings. I don't view an 82 game regular season as meaningless and the difference between a first round loser and a conference final loser is only about two and half weeks of playing time.

We fundamentally disagree here. Having experienced all of them, I view the Timberwolves of the last ten years or the Sixers of most of the nineties as far worse than the Sixers of the Mo Cheeks and Doug Collins vintage. In fact, with a few prudent moves, the 2011-12 Collins' Sixers might have taken the next step to approximating the Detroit team of last decade but they swung for the fences instead and here we are.

If I want to follow the Sixers, I have no choice but to follow the current path. I just don't have any particular optimism about it and that lack of optimism is empirically justified.

LOL - "Philly style of bloviation":

I live in LA, but have it. Funny how you say we have a fundamental disagreement, but I'm the one being accused of bloviation. And you are correct...it probably is good you moved on.

I didn't accuse "you."

"Again, you're just repeating the same mantra as the herd:"

So because it comes from "the herd" does this invalidate the point?

Depending on your definition of success one could argue that plenty of teams tanked (either intentionally or not), landed a star and went on to have many good seasons. I don't think OKC is the only example where a team was bad for a number of years before getting a star talent in the draft and assembling a roster around him. The Clippers were 19-63 the season before drafting Griffin. The Cavs finished 17-65 the season before drafted Lebron. The Magic were 21-61 before drafting Howard. There are other examples as well. Again, I don't know why OKC is the only team brought up in examples - is it because they happened to get multiple all-star talents in the draft? Credit that to their front office and a bit of luck.

You're right - we fundamentally disagree on what type of team we're satisfied with seeing, and that's fine. They're just preferences afterall. I prefer a team that can acquire young assets. Will those young assets lead to a contending team? That's up to the front office. Citing the Timberwolves and Kings are two examples of what happens when you draft young assets and your front office is inept. So I suppose if you're going to follow the "OKC model" you better hope the front office is capable of putting together a winner with those assets.

Most front offices are not good, though, so what separates the current sixers front office from the rest of the pack? I guess we'll have to wait and see. I'm fine with doing so. You're not, and that's ok.

But this current regime is simply trying to accumulate as many quality assets as possible to increase the chances that they have more hits than misses. They are not trying to copy SA or OKC. They draft the best player available. Since when is the BPA strategy faulty?

OK, lets do exactly what the Spurs did to build themselves into a perennial contender:

From 1983-1979 the Spurs had a slow decline from 37 down to 21 wins. Then they jumped to 50+ wins for (almost) all of the next 25 years. The lone exception was a 20 win season where they got to Draft Duncan... but lets go back to the start of it all.

After the mid 80's decline the Spurs lost enough to win the lottery in '87. They also traded for 2 other late 1st rounders. They drafted David Robinson, a guy who had committed to leave basketball for 2 years and work overseas. It was an easy decision, as Robinson was healthy and dominant.

During those 2 years waiting for their center the Spurs further declined, being awarded the #3 pick and drafting Sean Elliot. the other year they traded away their 1st rounders so did not even get lottery picks for their 51 loss season. By that time they had gone 6 years without breaking .500 and 4 years averaging 55+ losses and were still waiting for their center... who was not even playing basketball (instead serving.)

Robinson finally joined the team at age 24 and the Spurs started their run. But those early years the Spurs drafted horribly, and after hitting with their 1st overall and 3rd overall (Robinson/Elliot) in the tanking years of '87 and '89 they failed to add even one quality player through the draft for the next 8 years. But the team was good enough to be an up and down playoff team, signing, cutting and then signing again Avery Johnson, and acquiring some old vets.

Then Robinson got hurt and Elliot had nagging injuries, and the Spurs lost 62 games. They were awarded Duncan (one pick ahead of the Sixers) and finally won their first title 2 years later by utilizing 2 dominant, athletic centers. After that they went on to embrace drafting multiple international players who they would stash for several years before joining the team. They also drafted an unknown Euro PG and taught him to shoot. Most recently they have embraced analytics and won through a strategy of shooting a ton of 3's and never settling for midrange shots. They also have developed a star who was drafted as an athlete who could not shoot (or do much else other than defend.)

...I look at this history more as something the Sixers are absolutely trying to mimic- not something they are trying to ignore.

I think you are going back a bit too far to demonstrate a point. I don't even know whether the NBA had equivalent financial structures in place thirty years ago. Furthermore, Popovich just might be one of the greatest coaches in NBA history and he's only been around since the latter nineties.

But, you wrote some things about the Spurs of recent times that should be part of any front office's mentality: maybe good coaching, a system maximizing ball movement and quality shots, and most importantly, player development matter more than your team's draft position.

I would say they matter equally - without the system in place the potential star can't develop well enough to meet his potential. Without the potential star, the system doesn't move the needle enough to get you to the finals.

But going back that far sort of is my point. Other than the Celtics and Lakers, every other franchise is really crappy before they acquired the cornerstone players they built around. maybe that is just the cyclical nature of things, I honestly don't know.

But it is frustrating when I read people pointing to teams like Miami, Chicago and SA in order to criticize "tanking." I'm not referring as much to your specific post as to the general mantra when rebuilding teams are criticized.

Totally agree. Leaving Hinkie completely out of the equation, the idea of a total tear-down and rebuild is absolutely the way I'd want this team to proceed.

I don't understand the desire to add middling pieces to a team not good enough to truly compete.

This is however, a lengthy process. We are now entering the 2nd season of said process. Why on earth would you be upset now? It's not even remotely completed. We have no idea what will happen moving forward, what trades, free-agent acquisitions, signings, etc will occur. There's now way you can honestly think that the master plan is to continue to acquire injured players and stashable Euros just so you won't have to pay them right away.

You can either choose to believe that there is a real, viable plan in place or take the incredibly cynical view that the current ownership/management team exists solely to cut costs and operate on the cheap.

I choose to think that there is a good plan in place.

In Brian's defense, I don't think he was a fan of middling free agents.

Brian - your preference would have been to do whatever was possible to get Wiggins, right? I respect that opinion but I am glad we didn't. If we HAD, I would have been okay with it and make the same points as I am making about the Saric pick. Not my preference but I can understand the move.

I also really disagree about the whole cheap franchise argument. I honestly feel the exact opposite. How much are they even saving with the cheap roster? Does that offset the loss of ticket sales? I honestly don't know answer to that but between the practice facility, Brand amnesty, continued rebuild... It points me in the opposite direction.

I think this is a very rationale post and, even though I don't agree with everything, I can definitely accept those views. I think at other sixers blogs you see a lot more universal love for everything Hinkie. I think people are much more critical here and view each decision in its own conditions. I'd rather have this post than everyone's snarky/sarcastic back and forth. That's why I like this blog and have been a long team reader.

I give more weight to Hinkie doing things like developing a bunch of international assets. The Royce White trade was never about Royce White, it was Furkan Aldemjr. I can understand if you don't give a crap about a guy who may never come over... But look at the Scolas, Splitters, Asiks etc. that do. With Saric, Aldemir, Micic and Kazemi, we now have some international assets. Something very new for Philly.

Even the development of "trash" players as you refer to them.... It matters. I think people on this blog really underestimate the amount if development that can happen. A lot of "pieces" on championship teams have been other teams "trash". Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu get you there but Danny Green and Diaw play huge roles in closing it out. This is where a guy like Thompson could fit in, in my view. And McDaniels and Grant as well.

As you have said, we have a lot of potential complimentary pieces although some of these have more upside than I think you are giving them. Someone made a great point about Paul George had a 0% probability of being Paul George. Either way, you have a potential superstar in Embid. Top 1 at his position potential. And 3 other guys that can be big difference makers. Lots of risks here but that's how the league works. We aren't getting superstars without taking major risks.

I love this:

"Paul George had a 0% probability of being Paul George"

Explains everything that is wrong with us when evaluating the draft prospects perfectly. That's why i always say that putting floors and ceilings on players is ridiculous. Realistically we can't know what they'll become. The draft is all about drafting the best combination of size, skills, athleticism and mental ability at a given age. The rest is plugging him into your system, helping him develop as much as possible and wait to see what comes out.

It's funny but the spurs recently said that we give them too much credit for their drafting ability. RC Buford said they just take who they think is the best prospect at the position and go from there. They have no idea what the prospects will develop into, they are just there to help them.

Finding a superstar is the key for any rebuilding team. Other than that you basically want tradable assets so that once you have your cornerstone then you can build around them and hopefully add another top star. In this draft Wiggins was the best option, and he would have fallen to the Sixers a week earlier prior to the Embiid foot injury. Parker might be at that level but is not really a two way player in the way that most of the champion starts have been. Other than that you had a bunch of guys with some star potential like Smart, Exum and Randle and a bunch of elite rotation guys like Vonleh, Gordon and McDermott. So my take is that if you are going to take a huge risk, you might as well take it on Embiid a 3 since if it pays off it pays off big.

Basically, there may be a better overall chance that the players taken after 3 are better pros, but even with the injuries, Embiid has the best chance of being a top 5 NBA player of anyone taken after 3, and Saric is probably right with Smart and Exum in that same regard because you don't have many players dominating Europe at age 20.

So in the end the most likely outcome is failure. And that is the case with any tanking team. But I'm OK with taking a huge risk on Embiid and Saric if the payoff is potentially equally huge. As for next year, I'd certainly prefer to watch the recent top picks, but that oversll is of minimal concern to me as compared to the big picture. I would have loved to have seen Embiid healthy voibg go Cleveland and let them deal with the risk and have Wiggins fall to the Sixers. But that was not an option once Embiid hurt his foot.

@SpearsNBAYahoo Kings agree to terms on three year $16 million contract with Clippers free agent PG Darren Collison, source said.

Looking at examples such as this makes me realize that tanking in the west would appear to be even a more sound strategy than tanking in the east. I highly doubt the Kings make the playoffs this year, but will likely end up with a late lottery pick in a weaker draft than this past one.

This brings me back to the Kings "war room" discussion on whether to draft Payton or Stauskus (see the Grantland video). I hope for their sake that Stauskas (who I like) turns into one hell of a player, because Payton seemed like a real nice fit.

A bunch of you guys are still missing the point. It's not that Hinkie failed to identity the best rebuild strategy, it's that he's had several significant mis-steps in trying to execute it. Why weren't Turner and Hawes moved in November instead of at the deadline? Both were playing above and beyond their mediocre selves at the beginning of the season, so from that point on, one would reasonably expect for their trade values to almost certainly drop - which they did - while an extra few wins were tallied in the meantime cause Turner would have his occasional good shooting night or Hawes would look like an NBA starting center because pay-year. In fact, wasn't that pretty much the featured debate of the season on here? "Do the Sixers suck bad enough". Ultimately - next to zero return on Hawes and Turner, and a horrifyingly risky and unpredictable yield from the draft. The latter - partly because of the questionable decision to voluntarily roll the extra dice on Saric and his Adriatic situation (I agree that it was really unnecessary). And in part because of more or less 'having' to roll the dice on Embiid at 3, due to bad luck/failure/inability to get their preferred targets (Wiggins; Parker).

Point is that neither Brian nor any other Hinkie sceptics here are arguing for the signing of some middling, over priced free agents ala Brand as a strategy. Virtually everyone agrees that the Holiday trade - & more importantly the rebuild strategy it signified - was the correct and necessary move to make. Hinkie deserves his credit for making it. But evaluating his tenure so far isn't a zero-sum calculation. You could say he identified a proper macro strategy (throw the season and maximize the odds of getting a franchise player from the hyped 14 draft class), but in terms of actually executing it thus far, it certainly can't be said that he's acing it.

P.S. let's stop talking about Hollis Thompson as some revelation. The Sixers cycled through damn near 30 scrap-heap players last season. odds are they would have found 1 or 2 that would stick in some capacity at least. Hinkie didn't find Ginobili here

Agree on Hollis. The only revelation gleaned from his play last year is that he's your typical middling spot-minute bench player.

Ok - I agree with you on that the Turner and Hawes missteps, but are your other claims that consensus?

Considering what you can control.... we lost the second most games, maybe (?) a fail because we could has lost more if we dealt turner and hawes earlier. But lets clarify that it would not guarantee us the pick the bucks got. I think it was a misstep, but 3rd pick was always a possibility.

We drafted two guys who were best player available on our board with our picks. One with incredible upside. Is that a misstep in this plan? Honestly, I think he may have come out with the #1 and #6 talents in this draft. With the 3rd and 10th pick. And we may have backed into a blessing in disguise of getting Embid to fall to us.

I agree its not a zero sum game. I would be pissed if we sign Kent Bazemore, but I am not docking him for the strategy in the draft. High upside assets based on where you are. Try to trade up if you can (sacto 10+ two 2nd rounders) but don't overpay.

Well articulated! Pretty much the way I feel about the current situation. Everyone accepts the tank (there really isn't any choice anyway), but one year into his tenure isn't too early to start the rebuilding. Since the team already had Noel, I wasn't thrilled with the Embiid decision but I admit it was completely justifiable. Compounding that pick with the Saric decision was unforgivable at this point in my view.

For year 2, Hinkie needs to give us some new players worth watching (other than second rounders). He still has a chance this offseason to do that. If that results in 26 wins instead of 18 wins, so be it. The team had about that many wins when it got the second pick in 2010.

1. We are not saying that Hinkie is flawless. He's made some mistakes, but fortunately they've been on the minor side of things.

2. You are making it out as if you knew the Sixers could've gotten far more for Hawes and Turner in December. You know what other GM's thought in December? Lets see if they can do this for a longer period of time. Otherwise we are not giving up assets. We don't even know if anyone wanted them in December.

3. The Sixers weren't winning too much. They finished with the second worst record and you could argue that finishing with the worst record was practically impossible considering the amount of injuries and organizational ineptitude of the Bucks. Going on a major slide after the allstar break was fully predictable. Actually everything went according to plan except for the first 5 games of the season.

4. Sure Hinkie cycled through a lot of players last year to find something. That was the whole point. And he found a few that might stick long term. That's a win. The whole point of doing that was to have potentially useful rotation players in the future on non-guaranteed minimum dollar deals. And he got that. Bare in mind very few players are willing to agree to that type of deal, a deal that is extremely beneficial to the team if the player pans out.

I can rebut all 4 here.

1. If Parker is clicking for 30/game in 3 years while Embiid is on IR, there'll be nothing fortunate or minor about this.

2. a) Well they couldn't do it for a longer period of time, so we did find out that nobody wanted them. Only it took till Spring. Surely you don't believe that waiting to strike until long after the iron was hot, getting a couple non-factor 50s picks and Danny Granger's carcass = "maximizing value".

b) No I don't believe they could have gotten more in December. They could have gotten less for all I care. you still have to make those trades (and maybe even sell low on Thad if you have to) - because the point isn't to speculate on the size of the bundle of late 2nd rounders you might get back for Turner. The point is to fully commit to the losing process on all cylinders if you made the decision to tank for the top pick as your strategy in the first place.

You just made me recall that Bucks game in November where Spence hit a fall away prayer 3 to beat Milwaukee in OT. That prompted me to finally comment on here (replying to one of yours I believe) after 2 years of just reading, about how the trades need to happen now [November] before their [Hawes & Turner] inevitable spirals ruin any positive trade value they may have gained, but only after their hot streaks will have irreparably dented our lottery odds. What possible reason was there to hang on to ET and Spence for as long as possible when neither one of them even remotely figured into the team's plans beyond the season? That's the better question. Their trade values were clearly at a peak in Nov/Dec, realistically with nowhere to go but down; while their solid play was hurting the L column. If you ask me, you have to kill two birds with one stone right then and there.

3. Who knows. Considering that last season Milwaukee was trying to win while the Sixers were trying to lose, I'd say "impossible" is too strong of a word. Maybe it could very well have been possible if Hinkie played his cards better (see point #2 for example). Maybe not. Regardless, it's "process over results", as the Hinkie apologists like to say, right

4. What you just described there could be accomplished by any GM if they hold an 82 game try-out for two dozen D-Leaguers and UDFA's. "Discovering" Tony Wroten last season is akin to sifting through the dumpster and "discovering" some empty beer cans.

And I'm actually very much on board with Hinkie's hire and his rebuild plan as it was presented in theory. The list of things I like about him is longer than my list of complaints. It's just that I think all these concerns outlined above are completely legit, even at this early formative stage of the process. Simply bringing them up for discussion shouldn't be taken as a sign of short-sightedness or impatience or anything like that by others. Just kickin' stuff around..

I disagree about a lot of these stuff.

1. The value of certain players isn't what the fanbase thinks their value is. The value of the players is what opposing GMs are willing to pay. It's perfectly conceivable that NOONE wanted to trade for Turner for example in December. Most teams hold onto until February to make trades and simply aren't interested in making changes before than. So you's "he didn't trade them when their value was at the highest level" is completely theoretical because you don't know if that was even possible. That's what i'm arguing.

2. Noone can predict the future. It's very difficult to project what's the best possible offer you can get for a certain player. You are making calculated risks here. Sometimes you;ll be wrong. That doesn't mean you are not executing the plan the way it should be executed. That's what process over results mean. And every single GM in the league has made a mistake at some point.

3. They had the second worst record in the league!!! The plan was to guarantee a top 5 pick in a super deep draft at the top. They did that. The points you are arguing about are why didn't the Sixers win the lottery! That's LUCK. Not a plan. Would Hinkie have done a better job if the Sixers finished with the 9th worst record and got the #1 pick? NO.

4. How do you know that they would've taken Parker at #2? From everything i've read so far, Parker wasn't even in the top 3 on the Sixers board. On the other hand, assuming they ended up with the worst record and took Parker what happens if he turns out to be a bust? Would he still have done a good job?

5. Sure he found the "gems" because he actually tried. You know what other GMs do? They sign similarly useless veterans on one year deals. Would that have been a better strategy?

And finally, process over results means you are judging the strategy, not the luck based outcomes. The only possible failure you can say Hinkie has had so far is losing 5% of the combinations in the draft lottery to Milwaukee and it's not even clear if not losing them was even possible. That's it. That's an extremely small hypothetical loss. The rest of the major transactions of what he has done is drafting MCW, Noel, Embiid and Saric with lottery picks. MCW is already a win (considering how bad the draft was) and Noel, Embiid and Saric are yet to be decided. The point is if you want to judge him by the results WAIT for the results. You won't know until 2017 at the earliest if Hinkie's plan was successful or not. It's impossible to say if he's right or wrong at the moment. It's not like he made an obvous major reach in the draft. Quite the contrary he took the guys who were falling.

i know it's beside the point, but Hinkie didn't facilitate the Harden trade with the Royce White signing. it was to obtain Dwight Howard.

i'm a little bit more optimistic but for the most part i agree with you Brian. at this point in Philly if Hinkie doesn't make your dick hard it means you're not intelligent enough to understand the super complex strategy of acquiring assets (who aren't even movable assets when they are probably eternally injured or playing in another country)

Well said! However, my guess that a random sample of Sixers' fans would find a lot of variation in opinions of Hinkie.

Ugh, you're right it was Howard. I should fix that.

I think the biggest misconception is that there is no in between. I gave Hinkie a 'B' for the draft. I guess there isn't much else to debate right now but agreement or disagreement , but I actually think most people on this board fall in between.

Can we seriously get a little more love for KJ though?

I read on his DX profile that he improved steadily from freshman season to Junior in shooting and expanding his game. That bodes well for him I think.
Most people don't realize he is quite explosive, only he doesn't have the moves to fully exploit that yet.
There are players who have an ability to get their teammates pumped up with their play and demeanor. i want at least one of those guys on my team. He plays that way.
And he had a very good FT%, so the shot may not be a lost cause.

Yeah, major fist pump when KJ was drafted. Really surprised he made it out of the first round on the heels of Leonard's success. But I was bummed that Bogdan was off the board, as they need shooting.

Very excite about McDaniels. I think he has some serious Iguodala-light potential. Could end up as a major steal in the second round. I had him much higher.

So basically, it sucks to be a Sixer fan. isn't that it?
From what I read Brian's only legitimate beef with Hinkie is the delay of trading Turner and Hawes, which in retrospect may have cost us big. We will get an idea how big once Wiggins and Parker play a full season.
The rest just seems like a dis-satisfaction with the state of things. At #3 with the top 2 gone, we made the reasonable pick. At #10, once Stauskas was gone, it was slim pickings, and again we made a prudent decision. The hand we were dealt sucked a lot to me, considering we were supposed to have the #3 and #10 in that draft. Tough breaks here and there.
Seeing as they made a somewhat weak attempt to trade up to #8, it was obvious that Saric wasn't the initial target.
Some may be in favor of giving up the king's ransom the Cavs were demanding for #1, and snatch Wiggins which is not a bad idea. Personally I don't do it. I saw enough holes in Wiggins game to make that price a bit too steep for me.

Now what are we left with - MCW who can't shoot, Noel who can't shoot, KJ McDaniels who can't shoot, Jeremie Grant.....
But in context, each of these players drafted was a good pick;
MCW at #11, Noel at #6, KJ at #32, Saric at #12 + ample compensation, ?Embid? at #3.
Individually it is impossible to fault any of the picks, you may have your own views but they are very prudent moves.

Which brings me to the central thesis; everyone gets tired of middling success and the constant 1st round of the playoffs exit and then the calls for 'Rebuild' or 'Tear the roster down' become almost universal. Well this is it! And it blows....
You stick with it and pray you dont become Charlotte or Sacramento because the drafting method is slow and unsure.

I think this is the reality of things. Hinkie is doing what he can, on what he feels is best. I thought he did a very good job (A-) in that situation. And at the same time, I thought we lost out big time when we did not get a top 2 pick.

I dont think anyone is a Sam Hinkie groupie. We are all watching the same questionable product being trotted/promoted before us. But some reserve optimism when they think of Nerlens Noel playing in an NBA game. Or Saric with his super skilled, athletic but short-armed body coming over in a year or two. Or KJ Mcdaniels becoming Iguaodala-lite. Or Embiid suiting up in 8 motnhs. Heh this one alone does it for me.

Coincidentally it's the same kind of optimism we all had when it was the 2nd highest odds at the #1 pick and a possible lottery pick from the Pelicans in a deep draft.
Stuff just sounds better in the future...

This is pretty much in line with what I've been saying. It stunk having thev#3 pick after Embiid hurt his foot. I'm not sure ifvtheybeven could have traded up, and I would not have traded down..

As for the ET and Hawes timing- I complained at the time, but in hindsight I no sure it made a difference. The earliest they could have traded them was Dec 11. At that time the team was 7-15. They went 8-25 from then until the deadline. Maybe had they traded them in December they would have gone 4-21 to tie the Bucks or 3-22 to pass them for the worst record?

The big problem was the early season wins. It was nearly impossible to get the worst record after their 6-8 start to the season. they would have needed to go 7-61 to secure the worst record after that point.

Honestly, last year was painful enough, and a bottom 2 record and getting the #3 pick seemed like enough. Then Embiid hurt his foot and now they are stuck taking on even more risk... any all rebuilds are already inherently risky.

At this point I'm excited for Summer League and have at least for next year canwatch a team without Hawes and ET. Then crosx your fingers for Embiid. At least the best case scenario is great.

Where does the December 11th date come from? Hawes didn't sign a contract last summer, neither did Turner.

I guess you are right. But that was the date that teams were fully free to trade all of their players, so I always looked at it as tbe time to expect a trade. Obviously I would have not minded them being traded the summer before.

Anyhow, I was fairly stressed when they were on pace for more than 25 wins, and felt they tanked "enough" given the lottery system and talent available... then a 3 man draft became a 2 man draft in terms of healthy players.

I actually think the Hinkie groupies do exist and there are quite a lot of them, but they are not posting on DF. The rest of us here who do agree with Hinkie do it because we think he's doing mostly the right thing. We are not following him blindly.

I for example am only arguing here because people are judging him based on "bad results", yet they haven't even seen the results (and they won't see them for a few years). They key about a good rebuild plan is being patient. That's why so many other teams failed (with the exception of those who were simply all time bad drafting).

Sam Hinkie groupies abound. Evidence, the atop overweening analysis of some diploma-ed Okie from Muskogee, author of 19 wins, intramural basketball whiz. Too much. Tedious after awhile.

Hinkie reminds of 'Chance the Gardner' (who coughed while saying his name and took a quick step up in society due to the listener hearing "Chauncy") in the 1980 award-winning satire "Being There." Chance's reticence and simplicitic utterances - his knowledge is derived entirely by what he sees on television ("I like watching") - are extrapolated by 'them, the people' into profundity. Anything the Washington, D.C. resident says is interpreted as a pearl of wisdom or uncommon insight. Ever consistent in his walk, and due to others' overlay, Chance is eventually considered Presidential material. "Life is a state of mind." 3 cheers for the late Peter Sellers, who knew the buffoon in all of us.

* simplicitic: a portmanteau word that combines the notions of simple and benignly parasitic ;)

Got year of movie wrong: was 1979. Also, "Chauncy" correct spelling: Chauncey.

"Getting there is half the fun. Being there is all of it."

It may be taboo to start saying stuff like this but seriously how bad can we be next year?
I doubt any human force can top the debacle we just witnessed but looking at the bottom 7 teams in the lottery other than us;

New York
Which of these top bottomers is likely to repeat the trend and compete for top lottery honors?

Assuming Melo stays put, Cleveland will be not be in the conversation, and LA will find a way out of misery being that they have a financial incentive to win.
Utah and Sacramento are in the Wild Wild West so check on those two.
Parker and the Greek Freak with NBA hustler Jason Kidd, is probably too volatile, so they end up bottoming out too.
Same with Orlando even though they have a better squad.
New York will sniff the playoffs or barely miss at least.
A wild card will be Detroit.

with the last two being in the West = 5 or 6 guaranteed tanking rivals next season.

Considering how filthy and apathetic the East is, what balance of developing your players (MCW + Noel + KJ) by actively trying to win and developing good habits or just focusing on getting those ping pong balls?
Clearly, with that group it is very possible to win games. they are 2 plus defenders in that squad already; they will win games in the East.
So what % nurture and what % fuck it?

I've lost so much confidence predicting performance after what the Suns and Raptors did last year. I also think we may have some of the highest variance in the league given how young our team is and the step they can take. I'm not talking 15 win to 45 win variance, but 15 win to 30 win variance.

To me it really comes down to MCW and what he can work on over the summer... Unfortunately this shoulder injury has me less than optimistic as he has missed a couple of months of potential development time. Hinkie made it very clear that this is the biggest test for MCW, to see what he developed over the summer.

I could easily see us being just as bad as last year , or in the 25-30 win range. Is guess 20 wins if I had to. It also depends on what we do via trade or free agency for the remainder of the summer.

Say no to Kent Bazemor. Say yes to a Terrence JOnes, Jeremy Lamb, Ben Mclemore or something like that in a cap space accommodating trade.

Noel play is the X factor in win total. Along with an imported shooter X, if such arrives.

MCW: given health, minutes and Brown's same push offense dictates/permissions - similar numbers to last year I suppose. Touch foul NBA is his friend. Plus with added months of memorization practice, refs' names will be better embedded for political gains.

ha! MCW has an active political mind. We will see how far that gets him.
Not a bad idea at all...

Don't lose the sarcastic, tongue-in-cheek, negative writing style Brian. It animates discussion and makes the entire personality of this blog. I'm not sure what everyone's recent complaining is all about - it's been the signature element the entire time. You'd have to go full-blown emo before people reach the point where reading Bauser21 comment about road-head and couches and delusional friendships with NBDLers and etc. overtakes their blog preference.

Happy 238th Birthday, Americans! God bless our country, an exceptional nation of stragglers, hagglers, strugglers and heroes through many hugger-muggers.

For the encased delicacy of today, I recommend Nathan's or Hebrew Nationals. Hot diggity dog!

Enjoy the holiday, folks. I'll be throwing dogs and burgers on the grill all day (if the rain doesn't drown me)

Pretty good blog here. Im a long time Sixer fan but the team has bored me with their mediocrity over the last decade. I'm not sure what Hinkie is doing is going to work, but I applaud his effort to stray from the norm and select high upside players vs guys who may give you 5-7 more wins this year, or worst case knock you out of the lottery and lose your draft pick. If the Sixers are bad for another year, so be it. IMO, they have been bad for the last twenty five years(minus one or 2 seasons, really only one and that season they were not beating the Kobe/Shaq lakers) , and when I say bad I mean no legitimate shot at winning a championship. Outside of the first few picks, the draft is a crapshoot as is the 2nd year development of players. MCW could substantially improve, as could Noel from his college days. You just dont know. No one knew Kawhi Leonard would be who he is after his first year, so you just have to give it time. After all , what choice do you have ? I like the path they are on, and honestly its the only one available to them. No superstars are coming here. Not now.

Patrick Patterson back to the raptors(3 years 18 million)

@WojYahooNBA Free agent Spencer Hawes has reached agreement on a four-year, $23M deal with the Los Angeles Clippers, league sources tell Yahoo.

That seems like a bargain, although I think he fits better on some other teams.

It's a little crazy but Hawes contract is actually the best contract handed out this offseason. Everything has been terrible so far.

summer league starts tomorrow

the sixers game should start at 1:00(depends if the game before runs long), will be on TCN if you are local or NBATV

Sixers PR guy tweeted that KJ McDaniels is a late addition to Sixers Summer League team in Orlando. Good to hear!

Great to hear. Looking forward to the games. I'm actually most interested in seeing Noel's handle and BBIQ. I think he can to a bit more than he showed at KU based off of his HS scouting.

It's hard not to be excited about Noel. A super athletic big who runs the floor? I'm in.

One thing I remember about his freshman season at Kentucky was his hustle. As the #1 high school player coming out of HS, I was surprised to see him diving on the floor and out of bounds. Reminded me of AI in that regard.

Heh, Gordon is such trash.

he just really, really can't shoot.
I think that first free throw didn't catch any iron. hurts the eyes.

Steal by Noel and he leads the break.

Then he turns it over and commits a dumb foul.

Pierre Jackson looks quick, at least in comparison to these guys.

Jackson hurt. Noel dunks in transition when they get the ball back.

Noel really ugly with his left.

Circus finish by Noel, thrown to the ground. Hits the freebie

Noel floater

Noel giving way too much ground to Dedmon

Noel lost in transition D.

Overall impressed with Noel.

He looks real quick esp that first step on the +1 and the first dunk. Moving well and actually looks a bit better on offense than defense. Does he have a rebound yet? He wasn't getting in good position on a couple shots on the defensive end.

That's funny, because just about all the comments leading up to that were negative.

Not all. I was impressed with the athleticism. Wasn't sure what he'd look like after the injury and the long layoff. He outclassed everyone on the floor athletically, which is a good sign. Now I'd like to see him go up against some NBA players, then if like to see how that translates to an actual game, but what I saw impressed me. Good first step.

I was just referring to the comments during the game before that comment I replied to.

It was like
"turns it over and commits a dumb foul"
"noel really ugly with his left"
"noel giving way too much ground to dedmon"
"noel lost in transition d"
"overall impressed with Noel"

Yeah, also a few positive comments in there. Mostly what I saw was a really athletic guy who covers a ton of ground and is extremely active on both ends. Pretty much as advertised. He's going to have a big defensive impact if he can play within a defensive system and avoid gambling all the time. Offensively, it's tough to project him as more than just an opportunistic finisher. If he turns out to be good from the free throw line, then something like dalembert at his best offensively.

Hopefully with a much higher BBIQ than Dalembert.

Yeah, that goes without saying. But Dalembert was a good finisher/offensive rebounder and good from the line

24 mins of disorganized basketball trending organized and then back.
Noel looks and moves a 100% as advertised. good touch around the rim too.
KJ has barely touched the ball. He needs to buy Casper Ware a drink. one block to his credit.
Haven't watched summer league since Thad was drafted. Lots of bricks.

all that and some sort of Lin deal is about to go down apparently

That's been sitting around the rumor mill for a while. Since before the draft, the Rockets were saying they had landing spots for Asik and Lin (if they needed the cap room).

Bucks also rumored to be open to taking on Lin, but supposedly the trade will only be made if they get one of the guys they want (Carmelo or Bosh, if i were the rockets, I'd want Bosh over Melo, Bosh fits their team better

Yeah. It's basically agreed to, but that doesn't mean it's going down, because it's contingent on them being able to use that space.

Still in the first quarter, but noel showed some quick hands defensively a few times already, though early in the game i watched him get pushed like 2 feet off the block but that big guy the magic had (on the sixers offensive end) that was disturbing to see.

Initial report is a ruptured achilles for Pierre Jackson. Shame. He looked good today.

That's disappointing to hear - after how he was jerked around by the pelicans last year - gave me a nice 'bench scorer' vibe from how he was playing.

Noel's jump shot looks a bit awkward; however, he's knocking down the freebies - 5-5 FTs so far.

I'm just finishing up the 3rd (I hate commercials ;) - I have been impressed by his instincts on defense with getting at the ball - though he doesn't stay under the basket as much as I'd like on defense either. So far I'd say it's a pretty good debut for a guy playing his first competitive basketball in 16 months

Agreed. Very impressed. Active hands on D, but you can see him having trouble getting position on the block for rebounds. I think he only has 1 total so far.

Looks very quick and footwork looks good. No signs of ill effects from the injury so far. Promising debut.

Sorry didn't mean that Noel comment as a reply to yours.

I agree on PJ. He seems like a guy (maybe the only one) to produce points off the bench. I haven't watched him play much, but he just looks like a guy who can get them in bunches.

great debut for Noel.
7/7 FT shooting. form looked as good as the result.
His ability to defend the pick and roll has me excited. It's like having a bigger Thad. He just need to learn the nuances.
Only 1 game so far, but much to like.
Add in an NBA point like MCW, and his game can really start to develop.

KJ looked lost; was making cuts forgetting what kind of bbal game this was. Looked comfortable on a pull up.

Casper Ware will be the first off our bench this year when MCW needs a rest. Poor vision as a point though.

Hollis Thompson; he looked good, and active through the entire game. keyword = continuity.

Unfortunate news about Pierre Jackson, if he heals right he looks to have a future as an NBA player for sure.

I very much like the 7/7 from the FT line for Noel - he also showed great hands defensively and some pretty good court vision.

After 3 I was tempted to say the KJ's best contribution to the game was his Clemson sneakers but he showed some things in the fourth that made it not completely a lost cause.

I know it's only summer league, but I wish the sixers had looked for more of a distributor to run the offense so I could get a look at the guys who mattered in a half court set.

(Any one else surprised by the defensive intensity in this game?)

Definitely agree that thompson showed energy

I know Noel didn't get a lot of boards but it also didn't feel like the sixers were killed on the defensive glass either...not sure if that means anything.

Couple things on the other side

Victor Oladipo should maybe get some refs calling him for the use of his off hand when he's got the ball - I mean it seemed every time he was pushing off.

Aaron Gordon demonstrated the shooting expected from him.

Payton didn't really look like a guy worth giving up a first (even if it ain't yours) and a second to get.

I know it's only summer league, but I wish the sixers had looked for more of a distributor to run the offense so I could get a look at the guys who mattered in a half court set.

Yeah it's unfortunate, you could see the calming effect even Oladipo, who is a combo guard at best, had on the rhythm of Orlando's offense. Had MCW been healthy, it would have really helped KJ, Grant and all the other guys who were standing around the perimeter waiting for Ware to get sick of challenging Oladipo and pass.
No lobs thrown in this game.
He's hustling to make the team, so can't fault Ware.

just started the game

will give some thoughts when im done watching

Some initial reactions:

Really unfortunate news about P Jax. Looks like the achilles is torn and probably out for the year. He looked good in the few minutes out there. Strikes me as someone who can give you some instant offense off the bench.

Noel looked great overall. Very quick. Good footwork. Active hands on defense. Biggest blemish was rebounding. He appeared to get pushed around a lot and could never establish good position. Only finished with 1 defensive board. Otherwise, a promising start. Shot looked great at the line (7-7), but form was a bit rough on a couple jump shots that I saw. But the FTs are a very good sign he's put in the work. Showed great footwork around the basket on his first dunk and had an +1 that showed off an amazingly quick first step. That was a strength that scouts had noticed coming out of his senior year in HS esp since he played mor facing the basket and even handling the ball before being moved to the block at KY. If he can work on that 15-18 footer... look out.

Thompson and Roberts were active around the glass and played pretty well.

Not a terrible effort considering the imbalance between the teams' talent levels on paper. Orlando's roster had 7 drafted guys to the Sixer's 4 and 3 lottery picks to the Sixers' 1. Had one of the Sixers' better scorers made it past the first half, the final score might have been different. His injury is just another lousy break for this franchise.

Obviously, Noel made a terrific physical recovery from his injury. He looked like the most athletic player on the court. He'll be a strong candidate for rookie of the year.

Once he got going, KJ looked pretty good. Grant and Aaron Craft played some nice defense between them during the middle of the game and I thought Craft did a pretty fair job for the most part at the point. Ware definitely is quicker and more aggressive offensively but was also erratic. Watching the game today, I wish the Sixers would have drafted Devyn Marble instead of Jerami Grant.

Whose idea was it to have Travis Bader on the team?

Great debut for Noel today. His timing was a bit off on his block attempts (went for a lot of pump fakes), but his quick hands look even better than advertised. And his timing will come back. For a guy who hasn't played in so long(18 months?), I was very impressed.

From Orlando's perspective, Payton looked positively Turner-esque is his summer league debut. They better hope he shows some positive signs over the next few days.

I'm excited for the next couple of weeks.

Of Orlando's three draft picks, Iowa's Devyn Marble played the best. Gordon looked exactly as advertised: extremely athletic but limited in offensive skill. Payton did have a rough day, but his struggles won't worry Orlando as much as Turner's worried Philly. Payton wasn't player of the year, wasn't drafted second overall, and Orlando has lots of developing young talent on its roster so less is needed from Payton right now than was needed from Turner.

Not a bad day for the three Big Ten guards: Oladipo, Marble, and Craft.

Marble did look good. And my comments on Payton are partly in jest. I am clearly still scarred by Turner's performance. But I agree with you on Payton. He has time and lower expectations.

The other thing about summer league which can be tough on rookie PG's, is there is a lot of pressure D all the way up the court from the opposing guard(s). And a lot of times it's from a typical "summer league-type" of PG...tough, hard-nosed defensive player who may be a bit undersized or offensively challenged, but is damn well going to show high effort on D. So players like Payton, and other PGs can sometimes come off looking a little worse than other position players.

I think we've all been scarred by Turner. For the most part, the Sixers' draft picks over the last decade have satisfied expectations, but when you had one that had fallen as short of expectations as Turner, a shadow of pessimism can fall over subsequent draft picks for awhile.

There are a lot of hungry guards looking to find a place for themselves in this summer league and many of them are more mature and experienced than a rookie like Payton. The experience is probably a little tougher for someone like him who played most of his college games against weaker competition than the majority of other NBA rookies.

Noel is a better passer than i expected , nice to see him hit those free throws, he moves really well defending the pick and roll

like everyone else has said its a shame about jackson, thought he could be solid bench scorer

looking forward to the next couple of weeks watching these guys

It's early, but Noel doesn't look like a Sanders or DeAndre Jordan on either end of the court. He's more like a bigger, bouncier Thad. He's at least as helpful defensively on the perimeter blowing up pick-and-rolls as he is protecting the basket, and he's quick and nimble enough to help on offense. I think he and Embiid could play extremely complementary roles on defense; offense could be a problem because Noel still has no shot. Great to see he can make free-throws though.

I thought McDaniels quietly outplayed Aaron Gordon and was pretty solid, if unaggressive early. Bader doesn't look like he can be a Korver-like diamond in the rough.

"a bigger, bouncier Thad"

Not a bad observation! Wish I would have thought of it.

Noel does have some of the same kind of freakish athleticism we saw from a young Thad only he's a lot bigger. Unfortunately, for today anyway, he also shared the same tendency to end the game without many rebounds.

Nevertheless, it was an impressive debut from him. Now that we have a bigger, bouncier Thad, maybe we don't need Thad anymore. Perhaps Hinkie should grab another middling center, a backup power forward, and let Nerlens start at the 4 this season.

Been saying it since he was drafted. He's not an elite level defender just because of his elite shot blocking (although that's obviously a huge positive), but because of his versatility, his ability to move his feet, and his quick hands. It's why the Noel/Embiid pairing is so intriguing on that side of the court. Normally, I'd be up in arms about moving Noel away from the hoop defensively, but since you're putting a second elite level shot blocker there in his place, all of a sudden Noel's defensive versatility becomes a huge positive.

A really interesting question is whether we play him at the four now in anticipation of the role he'll play the following season. We could start him and Sims. I would think that, if we're confident in Embiid's return, we wouldn't want to use him at the rim this season and teach him to do something entirely different next season.

I think they should. Sign some marginal center like Cole Aldrich (who appears to be improving finally) or even Greg Stiemsma to a two year deal and rotate Sims and the signee. When Embiid returns next year, the team can have three centers for insurance.

Brian, it may be my chrome browser, but I am having to sign in every time I visit the site. My browser remembers the info, so it as simple as clicking the sign in button, but figured I should pass it on.

Hmmm, I'm not seeing that, but will keep an eye open.

Brian, deepsixersuede says even though he has a signon, when he leaves a comment it doesn't make the blog. I think he use google. Maybe, you can check his profile? Thanks!

Happens with me too on firefox in a mac, maybe the session expires too early?

It's the same with me...

same with me

never mind, not the same with me

read what tk said wrong

Happens with me in firefox fwiw.

Noel averaged about 12 reb per 40 at Kentucky with a decent rebounding percentage, and that thends to translate. So I think we will see better rebounding out of him.

I was really happy to see him show some of the driving and passing he was known for as a prep prospect that he did not do much in college. It is that all around game that will determine his offensive ceiling and whether he can thrive on a twin towers lineup.

Noel had a rare combo of steals, blocks and rebounds in college matched only by Hakeem and Robinson. Hopefully the rebounding shows itself more as he gets comfortable.

@BobCooney76: Per source, Sixers will give Nerlens Noel the day off today after his impressive performance yesterday.

Too bad, OKC is starting Steven Adams at center. Would have been a good test. OKC's also playing Lamb, Perry Jones, Roberson, and Nolan Smith.

Yes, but they all played yesterday and were drubbed by Memphis anyway.

There are some YouTube clips of Noel going against Adams in HS in Massachusetts.

no hollis due to a sore left knee

Isiah Thomas and Rick Kamlaa

I'm not sure a worse commenting duo has ever occurred, in any sport, in this quantum state, or any other

yea they have been REALLY bad

I like Kamla. What he lacks in basketball smarts he makes up for in enthusiasm for this low-quality basketball. And it's funny to hear Thomas praise every bad transaction.

Roberts seems to have some poor man's Thad potential.

Like that philly plays hard. that's 2 straight games; makes you almost forget you are watching a summer league game.

KJ looks like a 3 & D guy at worst. Needs to work on those handles. No left at all.

Roberts might make the team.

Ware has been the offensive force for 2 straight days.

Honestly I know Moultrie is under contract now, but amnestying him should be considered. It's a good chunk of money to throw away but he's not worth eating up the extra roster spot.
Maybe we could add Bader.

they already amnestied brand

That's true - they should just release him and eat his contract for 2014-15... plenty of room in their salary cap to absorb that relatively small hit. And it give them roster space to "test drive" a number of more hungry players.

Agree that KJ and Roberts look like keepers - they are high energy, seem to know what to do with the ball (even if they don;t execute as well as they should) and are good at finishing around the basket. Saw some good things from Grant as well.

Think that Ware could make the team after the jackson injury - but it's no great loss if he doesn't - he may be OK for the coming year but I can't see him surviving on the roster beyond a year or two.

Bader could open up the floor for our bigs with even the threat of taking 3's... however he doesn't look like he's quick enough to play NBA level defense for any extended time period. Craft actually looked like he has better skills, for what that's worth.

I don't think Moultrie can be amnestied. I believe a player had to be under contract at the time of the CBA to be eligible for that. He can be outright waived, though. His compensation isn't much.

Did the Sixers pick up Moultrie's 2015-16' team option? They're better off just waiving him at this point.

I think they have some time to make a decision on that. I can't imagine that they would. He played a grand total of 12 games last year and ended the season with a league suspension. Worst Sixers draft pick this century.

"Worst Sixers draft pick this century."

Come on now, you good and well know that easily belongs to Evan Turner.

No, because Turner actually played 3.5 seasons for the team. One could say that Turner was better than a number of draft picks this century, i.e., Jason Smith, two second rounders in 2007 that never played for the team, Jiri Welsch who never played for the team nor brought anyone through trade who played for the team, Sam Clancy, Damone Brown, and Alvin Jones. The team didn't actually draft Vonteego Cummings but he was pretty bad, too. Turner's failure just seems bigger because of where he was drafted.

But, I did speak too soon. Moultrie isn't the worst draft pick either. That would have to be Paccelis Morlende in 2003. Basically, except for Dalembert, virtually no one drafted during the Larry Brown years had any lasting value.

No, the worst draft pick is the player who underachieves the most vis-a-vis draft position. Picking Turner was a huge calamity for this franchise; had we drafted Favors we would have had an extremely valuable trade asset. Smith was a lot closer to being a decent 20th pick than Turner was to being a decent 2nd pick. In fact, I wouldn't be that surprised if Smith gets a better deal than Turner this offseason. And most 50th picks never play in the NBA, so Morlende wasn't an unusually bad pick. He seems to have had a decent career in Europe. Welsch was a pretty bad player for a 16th pick, but we did trade him for a first-round pick which, packaged with Mark Bryant and Art Long, brought us back Kenny Thomas.

"No, the worst draft pick is the player who underachieves the most vis-a-vis draft position."

That's your perspective, not mine. I don't think you quite get the idea that perspectives aren't universal. That's why you're always trying (and almost always failing) to change others' minds.

In my perspective, worst player is worst player regardless of where drafted and no player is worse than one who doesn't play. Smith did less than Turner while here and I'm assuming he was the match for Craig Brackins in the double trade and Brackins did absolutely nothing.

If we drafted Favors....blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. We could have drafted Wes Johnson (who Collins' supposedly wanted) or Ekpe Udoh, too, and we'd be no better or worse off. Turner bombed and now he's gone. Get over it.


Felt on draft night it was the worst thing for this kid staying at home in NC. Even with all the nightlife in Miami, he would have likely fared better there. Stay classy Peej...

So if LeBron signs with Cleveland, as is rumored may occur, will that make tanking look like a more viable strategy? All they have to offer him in the way of teammates is a couple of recent #1 picks and the promise of cap space. Irving and Wiggins isn't even a very compelling supporting cast, really.

If he joins them (and I doubt he will) they'll have four #1 draft picks on the team...crazy.

At one point we had AI, Derrick Coleman, Joe Smith, and Jerry Stackhouse (3 #1's and a #3) on the team at the same time. We also had AI, DC, and Glenn Robinson. Not quite the same impact, though.

Cleveland didn't tank, though. They were trying to make the playoffs.

I don't think his decision is a vindication of the tanking strategy or really even related much to his teammates. I suspect these are the primary attractions of NE Ohio:

1) Friends and family, especially his children's grandparents: his wife is also from Akron, is rumored to miss the area, and the presence of family/grandparents tends to be especially important to wives;

2) part of Lebron may want to go back to his roots for a second act now that he's won his championships.

Even superstars can be multi-dimensional in their outlooks. Not everything has to be narrowly focused on winning as many basketball championships as possible.

Arsalan Kazemi joining the summer league team

Take this with many grains of salt when you consider the source (I think a ton is appropriate)

Speaking on First Take, ESPN's Stephen A. Smith said the Knicks and Sixers have had conversations about a deal that would send Amare Stoudemire and Iman Shumpert to the Philadelphia. Although what the Sixers would send back isn't clear, it likely wouldn't be much more than a draft pick or non-guaranteed contract player, as the Knicks would do the deal to clear cap space. Newark Star-Ledger

I don't care what the sixers are sending back - the knicks do not have anything they can give any time soon that even makes that worth considering does it? I mean haven't they traded away their #1 picks forever?

Hardaway Jr? That's all I can think of in what Hinkie might want in return.

not sure what the Knicks are trying to clear cap space for; no one's coming there.
They should sign Melo to the max and be satisfied that they are even able to do that.

I'm not sure what to make of all these rumors where we're helping teams clear the cap space to land free agents. In Houston's case, I mean, we'd basically be paying $8.5m for a very late first round pick. Plus clogging up the PG slot for MCW, or forcing him to play out of position. If they took amare just to get shumpert, that seems silly to me. Who knows.

like i said before, i think hinkie wants the pelicans pick to take on lin

I would expect he'd want more than a rockets first.

They're going to have to spend that money, anyway, right? Might as well get an asset for it and not commit yourself to any long-term signings.

But then we trade Lin at the deadline for another pick.

So the Turner/Hawes scenario. Awesome.

I don't think the Turner/Hawes scenario was such a fiasco, though we should have moved them sooner, but the difference here is that we'd get picks on the front end and picks on the back end. And Lin has some value to a contender, so we might end up with a late first-rounder for taking him and a late first-rounder for giving him up. Another difference is that bringing in a semi-competent backup point guard isn't going to make more than a couple wins of difference, whereas holding Turner and Hawes did more than that. Do you know of a better use of all our cap space this offseason? I do think we should spend some money on project shooters, like Fredette, but I don't see the point in signing anyone notable. I also think our owners' apparent willingness to spend 8 million just to pick up one late first-round pick now and maybe another later belies your notion of them as cheap equity vultures.

With the Sixers below the salary floor it means that adding on a big salary will not cost the owners anything. Same with the Granger trade. They took on salary that brought them to the floor. Otherwise the same money would just have been distributed to the roster.

I'll reserve judgment until I the terms are known, but I will say this. You shouldn't judge deals like this in a vacuum. If Houston lines up a star for a contract they are desperate to move Lin. Their entire plan hinges on moving him. This isn't a situation where it should be unclear if it was a good deal for the Sixers, it should be highway robbery. No one is beating down Houston's door for Lin. If you don't exact a price for that desperation and recognize the fact that they have to make the deal and you don't, then you're just doing a favor for an old buddy.

Well it's not like the Sixers are the only potential suitor for taking Lin for a price. So you can't simply look at it as if the Sixers hadd all the leverage and Houston had zero. If they an sign Bosh, Houston will simply take the best offer for Lin...

There's another suitor willing to take $8.5m in salary without sending any back for Lin? Who?


If that's true, the Sixers shouldn't even be involved. They have no need for Lin. If a team actually wants him to play, they're going to be willing to give something up to get him. We aren't going to get something from Houston to take him off their hands.

I thought you shouldn't say no in a vacuum. As you don't know the assets involved in the deal, you can't say no (or yes) until you know what the sixers would be getting out of it. (That pelicans pick has a better than average chance of being a lottery pick but lower than #4)

There are a lot of teams with cap space to absorb picks, and there might be more than one team looking to get that space freed up (Cleveland, Houston, even the clippers though they have little to offer for a building team in my opinion) with useful assets.

If a probable top 10 pick is on the table, paying jeremy lin for one year isn't a horrible idea

What I said was you shouldn't judge the transaction in a vacuum. If they get that Pelicans pick (which isn't a lock to be a top 10 pick by any stretch), that would be a decent haul. Getting Houston's pick, which will be in the late 20s probably, would be a bad haul, imo. But if someone else is really interested in Lin, and interested in him as a player, then I'd think Houston will be getting something in return for him, rather than paying a price to get rid of him. If that's the case, then the Sixers shouldn't be involved. None of this matters right now, the best case scenario with Houston would be Melo and Bosh both saying yes, and the Sixers absorbing Harden and Lin to make it happen.

Well didn't say lock, said probably...it's the competitive west. The Pelicans haven't grossly improved over the off season (unless you think Asik is a difference maker) and injury history isn't on their side.

The thing is, the rockets aren't looking to move Lin 'for something'. The reason they would be moving Lin (and are moving Asik) really is to create the cap room to sign a max player (like Bosh). Regardless of whether the receiving team wants Lin, that team is doing the Rockets the favor of taking that weird 15 million dollars off their hands so they can sign their free agent splash. The Rockets don't want anything back, so whether the BUcks want him or not should not be relevant to the Bucks GM (if it is, that's on him, whoever is negotiating with the Rockets to take Lin's money off their hands if Bosh says yes (and he should) should take advantage of the situation to max the output).

If the pelicans pick (and maybe something else) ain't included, I wouldn't take Lin on either.

They got the Pelicans pick for Asik. In a situation where they needed to get rid of him to be able to make these max offers for Bosh, etc.

All I'm saying is the Sixers shouldn't be involved unless they're getting a king's ransom for doing the Rockets this favor. If the Rockets have other interested parties who are willing to give something up for Lin (or really get nothing in return), the Sixers shouldn't even be involved. I don't think that's crazy talk. If Milwaukee wants him to be their starting PG, I think that changes the value proposition for them.

The Sixers might wind up getting involved because of that weird $14M thing. If I'm remembering correctly, Lin gets paid $8.5M this year, but counts as $14M against the cap. So they could get Lin and save $5.5M in actual cash in getting to the salary floor. If that's the case, I could see them being very interested in him, in fact, I wouldn't be surprised if they gave up an asset or two for that. The deal would probably wind up being a couple 2nd rounders for Lin.

It is that weird contract - but I don't remember if it's what you said or vice versa (counts as 8 mil towards the cap but he makes 15 mil this year).

Jeremy Lin starting point guard, made me laugh, though the Bucks are pretty terrible anyway...but even they can't see that can they?

Who knows what Jason Kidd will do.

It looks like it's the opposite, $15M paid, $8.4M cap hit. But it's unclear whether that # is transferable. Meaning, when Houston signed him the total value of the deal was spread evenly, but I'm not sure that would follow w/ the trade. Hmmn. Someone should've reported on that by now.

Everything I've heard about Lin indicates that it's transferable, as it's the terms of the contract. It was an out of the ordinary situation due to the status of Jeremy Lin that allowed for the poison pill thing. Every time it's mentioned, it's reported 8 mil hit for 15 mil contract (approximate).

What I need people to report, as I'm trying to endure Philly sports radio for a bit during my mornings to hear the mood of the city on the sixers (which is almost irrelevant as eagles training camp starts in a couple weeks) is that they don't 'have' to hit the salary floor...there is no penalty...everyone else gets paid more is all.

Golden State gets up and down the court. And San Fran County is 34% Asian. Good fit for Jeremy there. With 6 3s he get egg roll.

Smart cager and seems like a nice guy. D-wise, he won't put the starch in your staunch, but he's no worse than the next sieve.

For entertainment value, wouldn't mind him being on the Sixers, as long as he didn't wear a long, why-am-I-here? Jeff Hornacek-like puss from Sept to April.

"The Sixers might wind up getting involved because of that weird $14M thing. If I'm remembering correctly, Lin gets paid $8.5M this year, but counts as $14M against the cap"

Backwards. He counts $8.4m against the cap, but you have to pay him $15m.

Yeah, figured that out above.

Ah. Missed that. Sorry.

No problem. If you had to guess, what do you think the package that's on the table looks like?

I don't think there's much demand for Lin the player. Especially if he has to be paid $15m. I think the Rockets are probably offering up Capela and the Rockets 1st. I think they'll have to end up giving up the Pelicans pick.

Capela and the Pelicans pick?

Would you do it?

I'd prefer the rockets pick and the pelicans pick, probably. Capela seems like a big time project to me.

Capela's not really useful to us if Noel and Embiid turn out, but if he continues to put up great numbers in Europe he'll be a very tradeable asset. So if that's the most we can get I'd take it.

Capela's not really useful to us if Noel and Embiid turn out, but if he continues to put up great numbers in Europe he'll be a very tradeable asset. So if that's the most we can get I'd take it.

Steven A. Smith is a little cooky. He thinks the Knicks have a shot at Lebron.

I like Iman Shumpert, but I wouldn't pay him $24 million over the next two years, let alone pay $23 million to retain his rights. I'd be more than happy to taken on Amare and Bargnani, if it meant holding on to Bradley Beal or Klay Thompson.

Shumpert, Hardaway Jr., and their 2016 1st round pick would have to be cn the table for me to consider taking on Amare.

they cant trade a first rounder til 2018

they can trade their 2017 1st rounder after the 2016 draft but until then the 1st, first rounder they can trade is their 2018

oops. That's what I meant. They gave up their 2016 1st round pick for Andrea Bargnani! lol

In general, I don't subscribe to the 'don't make a trade in your conference/division' argument, especially in the NBA, the league where division games make up the lowest percentage of your overall games as compared to any other league.

However, I truly hate all teams from New York (ALL OF THEM) and doing anything to help them get better just scratches at my caveman fan, unless, of course, the trade is so one sided that the knicks are in the pantheon of the ricky williams or herschel walker dealers from now until eternity.

Unfortunately NYK has so little to give up that it would be almost impossible to fleece them in a deal. I would like Shumpert more if this wasn't the last year of his deal. I'm not going to be a big fan when he's looking for that rookie max. Other than that all they have to barter with is their 1st round from 4 years from now, Hardaway Jr, and some 2nd round players.

Orlando just signed Frye for $32M over 4 years. This after Ben Gordon for 2 years and 9 million. I guess they're doing things with the cap space Nelson and Afflalo have opened up, but I still don't get it.

The "Ben Gordon shares an agent with..." (someone on the magic, I forget who) thing was hysterical, cause if it's true, then agents have even more power than I originally believed...and that was too much.

The Ben Gordon contract even for 2 years is too much money - seriously - was anyone else talking to him?

FWIW, the second year is non-guaranteed.

Well, they are in year 3 of their rebuilding process. They might be under a mandate from the owner to make the playoffs now. They probably think that between Vucevic, Oladipo, Gordon, Payton and Harris they have enough to build a core.

The same might happen with the Sixers. I fully expect the Sixers to try and sign someone next summer.

I think they have a nice group of young players that may be good enough, one day, to be some star's supporting cast. (And maybe not because no one in the core can shoot, and Harris and Harkless may not even be good players.) But they still need a great player, and I would be trying to get a top 3 pick in this draft if I were them.

Has any team in the modern 'cap' era of the NBA won a title with a max contract player they obtained via free agency?

I mean the last four years the teams that have won haven't won with max players at all because they were all playing for less to allow the teams to make more moves...but then it was the celtics and lakers who obtained their 'additional' max players by trade...

Did Lebron really take that much less? What was the max he could have taken from Miami? He signed a 6 year deal worth $109 million with Miami and that same year Joe Johnson re-signed with the Hawks for 6 years and $124 million. People make it sound as if he's making a huge sacrifice, but for a guy who has earned at least $200 million over the last 10 years, $15 million over 3 years doesn't seem like a lot.

Tim Duncan and Parker took significantly less money. I think they could have earned about $18-20 million a year.

I'm not sure when the max contract started, how much it was back in 1997, or when you consider the modern era to have started, but maybe Shaq would fall under that category?

Kobe was a max player (I think), although he wasn't originally obtained in free agency. I don't see the point of this exercise. It obviously doesn't show that teams that sign max free agents can't win. The number of max free agent signings, if you don't count teams signing their own players, is small, and a lot of teams give maxes to players who shouldn't get them.

Shaq did not fall under the modern CBA - hell - I remember his contract with the Lakers when it started at 30 mil or so.

Max contracts are very restrictive, take up a larger proportion of the cap - it was purely a thought exercise I found interesting - doesn't really prove anything, nor was it intended to.

Steve Toll has created an account, should I white list him?

Your call, of course, but there is nothing he could dish out that couldn't be handled. We're big boys here, at least most of us are.

I don't know what that means but he shouldn't get to comment. People get caught up in responding to his nonsense and it derails threads.

Brian - Isn't he the main reason you took these additional steps requiring guests to register an account?

I would say no. He sucks.

Why? He keeps it pithy.

"If all printers were determined not to print anything till they were sure it would offend nobody, there would be very little printed."
~ brother Ben Franklin

"When you tear out a man's tongue, you are not proving him a liar, you're only telling the world that you fear what he might say."
~ George R.R. Martin, "A Clash Of Kings"

"What is freedom of expression? Without the freedom to offend, it ceases to exist."
~ Salman Rushdie

"Ahhh... what's up, Doc?"
~ countryman and patriot Bugs Bunny

Would his primary purpose for creating the account be to have friendly discussions and debates centered around basketball?

Btw, he's still waiting for someone to challenge him on that bet. His money has been sitting in escrow for quite some time now.

If the owners are all in, then I expect to see them continue to absorb short salaries in order to get extra picks... Then in a couple of years just prior to extending MCW and Noel they sign or trade for 2 max players to take then to the cap, and use their Bird Rights to extend their rookie contact players at market value over the next years.

That would put then over the tax but maximize both their picks and talent. That is what OKC was not financially willing to do. I have no idea if the current ownership will sign off on that tile of plan and we won't know for a while.

So you think we're two years away from flipping the switch, so to speak? I've been assuming next summer would be the transition from "suck intentionally" to "try to make the playoffs/start to rise."

Sam Hinkie will do an in game interview during the third period of tonight's Summer League game

Will Isiah do the interviewing?

Did you see the part of our second game where he compared our team-building strategy to pretending that Santa Claus is real?

No, but I'd think Isiah would keep his mouth shut when it comes to teambuilding strategies.

Actually he likes to talk about his great finds in the draft while he's announcing.

Who was that one dude, Knicks fans loved him but he was a complete scrub. He went to Denver, I think.

Balkman, I think. Thomas was a decent drafter. In Toronto he picked T-Mac; in New York he picked David Lee at 30, Wilson Chandler at 23, Ariza at 44.

Ha! It was Balkman.

Thomas took a lot of heat for that one on draft night. Balkman wasn't a certainty to be drafted at all and Thomas took him on the first round. At the time I didn't think the pick was as ridiculous as the announcers seemed to because I saw his dominating performance at MSG in the championship of the NIT. Balkman and Derrick Williams are good examples to remind evaluators not to be too swayed by a small sample of great performances on a big stage.

Balkman did have a pretty fair rookie year performance as a rotational player for the Knicks so Thomas didn't look so crazy initially. He was picked in the infamous 2006 draft so a number of players picked before him had less accomplished careers, but the player picked directly after him was Rondo.

Williams would have gone just as high if not for the tournament. His sophomore season was a lot better than Jabari's year at Duke. It was also a weak draft; Kawhi turns out to have been its second best player, but at the time his shot was more broken than Aaron Gordon's is now.

Leonard was a 75% shooter from the line. Couldn't shoot the three, but he wasn't as broken as Gordon, far from it.

I'm going by percentages from three.

no Isiah calling the game rick mahorn instead

Noel should win most tips. That's something new since Dalembert's departure.

McDaniel got benched, huh?

If you're referring to him not starting (i'm guessing from your comment - taping the game at home) - he didn't start the first game either.

I find that odd.

What sixerfan just said - it's summer league - all sorts of weird things happen.

I wouldn't be surprised if Foul Happy Grant doesn't start either.

PS my last post had a weird arse error even if it posted

probably just trying different lineups

Noel doesn't fight for boards. Or at least he isn't right now. Standing watching.

Do you remember how he suffered his injury (I'm not being snarky, just don't remember, was it rebounding related?)

No, I was thinking that might be the reason. A hesitancy.

Noel in the open court, believe the guard got the steal, though.

Nope, it was his steal, too.

Honestly that was the most surprising thing (even with the free throws) in the first game was how quick his hands were - getting on the ball - and not getting a lot of reach in calls

Big block by Noel.

Is #14 the guy they stashed from last year's draft, or the guy they got from the Rockets in the Royce White deal?

hes from last years draft

Last years guy. Played in Iran this past year.

Looks overmatched to me.

He's beloved by many for some reason

aaron craft cant not handle any pressure

He's nowhere near an NBA player. Looks like Turner did in Orlando.

between him and ware, it's slim pickings for a good point. but I like that he looks to pass first.
Well technically passing may be his only viable option. Wow haven't seen a guard brick free throws like that.

hinkie on the broadcast

says MCW will be around the summer league team and the vegas team

I can definitely see why McDaniels fell to the second round. He's a train wreck on the offensive end. No handle, no shot, and most alarmingly absolutely no feel for moving without the ball. He has a ton of work to do, expected more out of a guy with three years of college ball.

I have been marginally disappointed with his offense as well. He certainly doesn't look comfortable out there, although I imagine that has something to do with his role and not much definition to that yet.

He showed some signs of life by hitting those two corner 3s after strong defensive plays. I won't hold my breathe on him being a strong 3pt shooter for a while ...I think anything around 33% from 3 in his rookie year will be a win.

No handle so I don't expect any signs of him creating his own shot. We definitely don't have a distributor in the summer league so I will have to bank on MCW getting the most out of this guy on the fast break and potentially in the corner down the line.

His defensive instincts are very visible. Ridiculous length and shotblocking ability for a perimeter guy. I am hoping this keeps him on the court to develop the rest of his game. Just looking at him and Noel....these guys can potentially switch off any 2-4 in the league which is saying something.

I mean, wasn't his only NBA ready skill supposed to be his defense?

I believe the sixers believe that 'shooting' is the thing that can be fixed most easily - looking for guys who put forth defensive effort since that does seem to be harder to find in the league (you know, like Carmelo being half a player)

Agreed, I think it is the offensive basketball IQ which doesn't seem there. It is three summer leagues in so I really am not reading into it. Back to back out of bounds on the sideline could mean a few things: 1. the guy isn't the brightest and doesn't learn quickly from mistakes 2. he has never been a "spot in the corner" guy.

i wouldn't read too much into it but DX listed BBIQ as one of his weaknesses on his scout report.
Even with non-existent handles, he can start as a role player because he brings so much else. If he doesn't turn the ball over, good things usually happen..
He could be top 10 in the league in putback dunks and blocks + deflections.

jkay said he's going to be better than Kawhi Leonard. Laughable, to me. Wishful thinking I guess.

yes, thanks for pointing that again.

Yeah, so he's basically where Wiggins is. In fairness to McDaniels, he barely played his freshman season, so he effectively had just two years of college basketball. And he did score 15 on 8 shots tonight, make both of his threes, and show a really pretty spin move, so I don't know how this is the game where you conclude he's a train wreck on offense. At worst I think he'll get a lot of points in transition, garbage points, and can open corner threes at an acceptable rate.

I guess box score in summer league is the best indicator. Either that or not being good enough to play as a freshman. He's a stiff, athletic guy who can't dribble or move without the ball. A Rodney Carney who plays some D, but doesn't shoot as well.

He can't *not* dribble, he just can't dribble very well. I think his ball-handling is okay for a small forward. As far as moving away from the ball, that, in the first place, is something that can take players a couple years in the league to develop, especially when they were ball-dominant scorers in crappy offensive schemes in college. And summer league seems like an extremely bad place to assess that skill. Of course any comparisons to Carney are off-base given the kind of defender he is, as well as what a bigtime finisher he is both in transition and in the halfcourt. Maybe you should watch some of his college tape before you pronounce on his game on the basis of two summer league games (both of which he played really well in!).

Chris Sheridan working hard to get traffic to his web site

A plugged-in source tells me there is a 90 percent chance that LeBron James will return to the Cleveland Cavaliers, and it will be announced on www.lebronjames.com if it happens.

I like how he pulled that number;
"Hmm...., 85, no, 90$, yeah that's it!"


I must say I did enjoy how much our length affected this game. I know its summer league and all of that, but it shows you what a disruption it can create for opposing offenses.

Noel has been a real pleasant surprise to me. Its the defensive versatility which just went far beyond my expectations. I thought I was really just trying to convince myself that Embid and Noel could work together, but if Embid even has a reasonable 15 footer (which I think he well) then these guys could be ideal fits. I think we are going to go crazy as Noel struggles on the glass this year, but I am hoping he can make up for that in other aspects of the game...and its looking like he will. The quick hands will go a long way on the perimeter and may help him against biggest/slow guys. I am hoping MCW can get more out of Noel's athleticism on the offensive end, its a work in progress. Also, I tip my hat on the FT shooting. Who knows, maybe he regresses to 50% by the start of year but sheesh, impressive form and start, eh? Honestly, Noel has the potential to be a guy who's ability is very tough to measure. I don't have a comp in mind when I think about his ceiling, almost a more athletic/less powerful Noah.

Hollis. I know many think there is no reason for any Hollis hype, but I have to say, I continue to be pleased with his progress. He definitely shines to me on the defensive end and on the glass. He actually took a veteran-like approach out there as he instructs guys like Noel and the other young guys. He continues to hit a high percentage with his feet set. I don't htink he will ever be a shot creator, but his combination of floor spacing and defense/rebounding may be valuable. Its the constant development thing that keeps me going... I am on board until he stalls out.

Grant. Eek. If he wasn't drafted 39 then I wouldn't have any interest. Too much of a tweener at this point.

REst of guys are fine. I would rather a distributor than Ware as a backup pg.

I get how Noel and Embiid fit on defense, I don't see them working at all on offense. Yes, Embiid can probably hit from 15, but doesn't stop teams from collapsing on him when he's in the post, which is the issue here. Noel isn't going to be a back to the basket scorer no matter how much space Embiid's jumper gives him, they need a four who can clear the lane a bit for the guy who will be able to work in the post, not vice versa.

That's a hypothetical problem for a long way down the road, though. For now, I'd like to see Noel come out of summer league healthy and see how his game translates against guys who belong in the league.

I think there are plenty of teams that still play with 2 traditional big men that would theoretically have that issue.

Duncan and Splitter started the majority of the games for the Spurs this year. And I know Splitter has developed a bit of a back to the basket game, but I don't know that Noel couldn't develop something with similar success. The same goes for Blake Griffin and Deandre Jordan. Deandre does not have the back to the basket game that any would envy. Blake developed a jumper and both post and faceup moves, something I would hope Embid could do.

Anyone have a take on the St Joe's kid Roberts so far? I only saw the first game and was impressed esp his ability to hit the boards. Wasn't expecting much. Read he played well again in the 2nd game. We already know about his crazy vertical. If we're looking for an uber-athletic undersized 4 that can't shoot, then I'm wondering if anyone sees him as an option for the roster over Grant. Count me as one who didn't get the whole "We got a steal at 39!" I thought Grant was drafted right around where he should have been valued. Dude should have stayed in school at least another year. He didn't really do much at 'Cuse and does anyone know if they have any alumns that became even an above-average defender in the NBA?

i dont know what the Sixers will do but Roberst will make the team before Grant does, hypothetically.
Grant's fate seems to be the D-League. I think his potential is still very intriguing.

Roberts played well again today. He definitely is one of the most valuable players for this summer league team.

I guess my feeling about Roberts is: if Lavoy Allen can make the roster of a better Sixers team, why can't Roberts make the roster of this one? Lavoy appears to be a better shooter but Roberts has more athleticism and stronger motor.

He can. But he's gotta keep playing well. It's a long way from here to Tipofferary.

Syracuse alums who were good NBA defenders: Derrick Coleman, Rony Seikaly, Hakeem Warrick

Michael carter Williams?

I'm hoping that was a joke. Those guys were all horrible defenders.

Some thoughts on this game:

I couldn't tell if Noel was doing a poor job of fighting for position on offense in the post, or if he just saw that the point guards weren't very patient/effective in giving him time to set up. Maybe a bit of both, but I thought the PG play was especially bad.

I thought KJ and Grant looked pretty good tonight. KJ started slow last game and game on toward the end. I thought he did the same today. And I like what Grant did tonight as well, although he looks like a bit more of a project to me. Overall I've enjoyed these games. I haven't checked the Vegas roster yet but I hope there is a better PG ready to go.

I don't want any part of Ware at backup point this season.

absolutely not.

I don't think he is any worse than some of the other point guards the Sixers have auditioned over the last two years (e.g., Maalik Wayns, Darius Morris), but I agree that he wouldn't be a preferred choice for the top reserve pg.

The Vegas roster at least has more depth in the backcourt and appears to have a little more firepower too. I've enjoyed watching the Orlando roster. This group has impressive length and athleticism, but the guard positions seem to have been an afterthought.

However, the Vegas roster does have Scottie Wilbekin who might be that roster's version of Aaron Craft.

Charlotte will offer the max to Hayward, Utah reportedly will match.

Gordon Hayward a Max Player???

I know, I know, no one uses PPG, RPG, or FG% anymore.

But in what world is a career 12 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 43% FG% guy a Max Player???

His career PER is 15 if you're into that sort of thing.

This is crazy!

Why use career stats when you could say he put up 16 ppg, 5 rpg, and 5 apg at age 23? He's no superstar, but his max won't be comparable to that of Lebron's or Melo's either. Plus, Charlotte has to pay a premium to get players to go there.

Obviously his Max isn't what Lebron or Melo's is. Charlotte offered him a 4 year $63M deal! You don't honestly think Gordon Hayward is worth $15.75M per year do you???

In theory, no, but in practice, yes. Hayward is a talented 24 year old and Charlotte isn't getting meetings with Lebron. They have to spend their money somewhere, and factoring in Parson's deal, I think we're seeing a changing market. More teams have cap room and restricted free agents tend to get signed a little more money in order to deter the old team from matching.

Stein: Three-team trade will see Nets acquire Jarrett Jack and Sergey Karasev from Cleveland. Boston gets Thornton, Zeller and a first

Hey look, Cleveland creating cap room, let's read into that about Lebron?:)

And let's read in what that means for the sixers...lebron signs with cleveland - probably means bosh bolts to Houston - and Jeremy Lin has to be on the move - right?

I like the move for Brooklyn. Somewhere in fantasy land, they believe they can win, so veteran guard Jack really fills the vacuum that Livingston, and Deron's status, will leave.
Jack didnt fit in Cleveland, I think they needed to unload him regardless.

Isn't Jack more of a scorer than a creator for others?

According to that Woj fellow, Cleveland still is unsure if they'll get Lebron, just clearing space in case...fall back plan is Trevor Ariza.

Remember that one NBA finals where Trevor Ariza impressed people, signed a FA contract and then, you know, kind of vanished, how the hell did he make a comeback and become sought after again

He was useful in Washington this past season, and I suppose because when teams don't get their guy in free-agency they often overpay for the consolation prize.

I suppose - though it's another 'contract' year drive - those things are always worrisome especially when it seemed to happen before.

Though if Cleveland misses on Lebron and ends up over paying for Ariza, it couldn't happen to a nicer franchise

heh Brooklyn needs both distribution and scoring.
I meant they are thin at guard, have always been anyway, after Johnson.<