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So Long, Thad

There's an optimistic CSN piece on Shved and how he looks more like an NBA player when he gets more minutes - which he should get on the Sixers considering that Jordan McRae is his only real competition for the #2 spot in the back court as of now.

- On LRMaM:
"There's value with Mbah a Moute, as well. Not so much on-court, mind you--despite being one of the league's most skilled and versatile frontcourt defenders, Mbah a Moute is such a negative on offense that he's proved virtually unplayable over his last few NBA stops. He'll get a shot at minutes on these Sixers, unless we buy him out or find some way to redirect him, but without a reliable three-point stroke or anything resembling a post game, he's a spacing killer that a team without a lot of floor-stretching to begin with can't really afford."

- On Shved:
"The part I'm most interested in with this deal, though, is Shved. On paper, the Russian wing is just about exactly what the Sixers need: A two-guard with good size (6'6") and decent athleticism, who can both shoot and make plays off the dribble. The problem is that Shved the player hasn't exactly been following the script through his first two years in the Association--after a pretty good start to his NBA career (which got him invited to the Rising Stars Challenge two seasons ago), Shved hit a rookie wall and has yet to really recover. His numbers last year--four points and one assist a game on 32% shooting--were positively Bennett-esque, and after having spent over a half-decade playing professionally in Russia, he's already 25 years old, to turn 26 early in the '14-'15 season. So what would be different on the Sixers? One thing, really: Opportunity. Though Shved's numbers for his career have been pretty terrible, they have been better the more minutes he's played, to an almost shocking degree:"

There's a table showing this but basically:

"...13 and six on 43% shooting (35% from downtown) in 16 games of 30-something minutes"

Also, in his time on the floor with Rubio (a pass-first PG with a broken shot kinda like MCW) Shved had also upped his production. Only problem was that Shved was mainly used to give Rubio a breather as opposed to being paired up with him.
"...Shved saw fewer than 100 minutes on-court alongside Rubio all last season. In 2012-13, when they played over 300 minutes together, the Wolves were +4.2 points per 100 possessions, when the team was -2.5 for the season."

With MCW that should be different. And although his 3pt percentage is awful, as Brian pointed out, his corner 3 seems to be there - 41 percent on 41 attempts for his career. Brown recognizes the value of that shot so hopefully he'll just make him stand there. That way Shved doesn't get the urge to take the ball and "create" some shot where he's falling out of bounds with a hand in his face while 16 seconds remain on the shot clock. Defensively, they'll have to hide him behind MCW somehow because Shved's idea of defense is standing around and jumping a passing lane from time to time (1.4 steals per 36 isn't bad though).

http://www.csnphilly.com/blog/700-level/could-alexey-shved-be-steal-thad-young-trade

I still don't expect much out of Shved but I'm actually ok with them not attempting to sign Bledsoe and just going into the season with a hole at the 2 guard spot. As injury prone as this team's core is already, I can envision a scenario where they are never able to put it all together because of injuries if they add another young but fragile player like Bledsoe to the mix. If he was healthy I'd be all for it considering his solid numbers, defensive ability, and how well he's played out of position next to guys like Dragic, Paul, and John Wall, but there's nothing to worry about anyway if saving money really is their top priority.

Assuming they make that Amare deal at the deadline, that 16M the Sixers owners save will likely be the difference between making or losing money for the season. As a large market, they are ineligible to be a recipient of profit-sharing. I think is this potential circumvention of the CBA that is the real source of the league's displeasure with the tanking. It takes net money out of both the players and the small market owners (who will get less profit sharing tax from the Knicks.)

I'm sure that both sides new this type of loophole would be used when they negotiated the CBA, but they probably assumed a much smaller scale. Last year the Sixers made a similar deal with the ET- Granger trade, saving the owners about 6M and pulled the Pacers under the tax. This year they are looking at more than 3X the impact to both the players and owners, with the Sixers and Knicks owners pocketing the difference. This would hurt the owners when it comes to the next round of CBA negotiations, and is likely the true motivation behind the proposed lottery changes. Tanking always has and always will occur, but the NBA won't stand by and have tanking cost other owners their cut of the revenue pie.

IMO, these economics are why high revenue teams like the Lakers and Celtics are the ones taking on salaries in the offseason in exchange for picks (like the Lin deal) while the Sixers have held onto their cap space. If you use your cap space before the season starts, it limits your ability to profiteer via the type of late season salary acquisition listed above.

$$$$ over wins.

In this case in think they lose games either way. More like scheming a way to be profitable while rebuilding, and then hoping to make money later if their draft picks become bankable stars. In the meantime the franchise increases its value either way.

I might be on board with all this if they had selected McDermott or Lavine instead of a guy who is either 2 years out or maybe never comes over. I would think they both have just as much or more upside as Saric does and it would have at least given the fan base something to look at and root for. Any reasoning as to why they went in the direction they did regarding this draft pick?

From my perspective, I had Saric as the 9th best prospect, with a fair drop off from 8 to 9 and then another fairly large drop after Saric. So I guess he was the right pick at 10 or 12, but I would have preferred them move up a spot or two. I don 't think McDermott of Lavine are as good of a prospect as Saric. McDermott has a better floor but is less likely to be a star, while Lavine is the reverse with star and complete bust possibility.

I don't mind Saric staying in Europe until he is 22. That is not old, and means we will get a fairly NBA ready player on a mid 1st round contract- which could really benefit the team in terms of potentially adding some big ticket players during Saric's rookie term. Some young players don't get regular minutes in Europe, but Saric will be a star for his team, playing at the highest level of competition outside the NBA. That could serve him better than 2 years of playing alongside the current Sixers mess of a team.

From what I understand, if he stays in Europe for three years, he is not limited to a rookie contract. If that is the case, my expectations are that he will.

I don't care what Saric might have been rated by anyone. A lump sum payment three years from now is not worth the same amount today. Even if someone is a 9th or 10th best prospect, he is not worth using the 10th pick if you have to wait two or three years to get him. The person who is right below him is likely to be further developed by the time he arrives and Saric might not fill the same needs two or three years from now that he does today. And, if Hinkie decides to trade his rights in the interim, you can be almost sure that he won't receive equal value.

1. You are making the assumption he does not come over for more than 3 years. The Sixers and Saric are not working based on this assumption. You could turn out to be right, but it is not the likely outcome.

2. Why would playing for a dysfunctional Sixers team that loses 60+ games a year for the next 2 years put Saric further ahead in his development than playing the same 2 years as a star at the top level of Euro competition? Did this hold back someone like Ginobili? Arguably, Ginobili would never have been able to develop nearly as well in the NBA where he would have spent his early years as a marginal bench player as opposed to being a major weapon in international play.

Ginobilli was a second round pick and he was drafted by a team that was highly competitive without him and both the team and its fans could afford to wait. Apparently, you are among the throngs of misguided Sixers observers who believe it is perfectly fine to just write off two or three consecutive seasons while fielding at least two teams well below the salary floor and minimal NBA caliber. There are bigger issues here than whether this player or that player is a better prospect.

Do you actually watch these games? GoSixers and Tray admitted that they didn't so I never had much respect for their opinions on this experiment.

So those of us who disagree with you are "misguided"? Wow thanks. I so glad you're on this site to set everyone straight and predict the future for us all.

If you're sanguine about all of this, then you are indeed misguided and there will be far fewer of you in April than there are now if this miserable season progresses as predicted.

Buke, maybe I just disagree with you. I watched every game last year and I can tell you it was 10x easier for me than watching the rudderless season before that. And this year will be easier than the last. I am very excited about the future of this team. That being said I can see why those who don't share my enthusiasm have valid concerns on whether this grand plan will work. So what...we disagree. I'm just not calling you misguided.

Six, refer to Brian's post above. I think he described the Sixers' strategy of last season and this one quite clearly and succinctly. Do you think if the Sixers' management team honestly described this course of action to the league's top officials, they would have nodded their heads cheerfully?

Again, there's a bigger picture here that goes beyond whether someone is fine with lottery picks staying in Europe for two or more years or whether someone else is fine with watching a team where the majority of players are a mix of second round rookies, marginal hangers on, or of 10 day contract caliber. This has to do with the fundamental integrity of professional sports and how far a team ownership should be permitted to go in giving the middle finger to the league, its fans, and anyone who may be connected to the team economically.

Management should get no more than a one-year pass to do what the Sixers did last year. After that, the rebuild should start. Instead, this team projects at the moment to be even worse than last year's and that is by design.

Did you notice that the Wolves gave the Sixers their probable two worst players in a move designed to shed salary and roster? They could have shed more salary by giving the Sixers Berea (who is expiring and who they've tried to trade for some time) and Budinger (who has two years). Either Hinkie didn't want those better players or the Wolves were only willing to give the Sixers their players of lowest value. I get the feeling that this team isn't very popular around the league.

Buke, I realize the bigger issue. Please, I don't need you to spell anything out. Talk to me when the NBA decides to get its own house in order. Let me know when the Association wants to set up a hard cap and make teams pay for bad contracts. And then couple that with a change to the rule that all teams can offer the same amount of money to UFA's (with the exception of Bird rights teams). How about fixing the competitive imbalance that very much exists? Until then I am more than happy to support a GM with the balls to exploit the system. This team has sucked for a decade and hasn't won a championship since I was 8 years old. Hinkie's strategy may very well fail. I get that. I am willing to take that risk and I couldn't care less about a couple of historically poor seasons record wise when I know there is plan in place.

Lastly, I personally don't much care that the Sixers are the first team NOT to hide behind a blatant tanking strategy like so many others have when it suited their needs (the Spurs aren't shit without Tim Duncan). I appreciate that the Sixers are maximizing their opportunities to accumulate as many assets as possibly at the expense of a terribly flawed system that the NBA put together (Tell me a better way for the Sixers to increase their chances at acquiring a superstar and I'll be all ears). I am different than you and Brian in that I'm very intrigued by this strategy. I get the fact that most fans are going to be put off by it. Purposely putting bad teams on the floor is tough for some to stomach. But drafting Doug McDermott (like many on this site wanted) just because he is a healthy body and a solid shooter at the expense of the team's BPA-strategy (no matter the health or contractual status) is not part of the plan. I am perfectly fine with the plan as it currently is.

You make a lot of good points about the league but I must strongly disagree with you about one point: in 2008, 2009, 2011, and 2012, this team did not "suck." It was competitive, provided lots of good entertainment during those seasons, and, on any given night, could beat most teams in the NBA. Now we really know what "sucking" looks like and I'd like to move forward after last year and at least try to suck a little less. Unfortunately, I now realize that I'm not going to get what I want.

I agree with Brian that there must be something more to this than merely trying to get great draft position and that probably is the goal of carrying a bargain basement roster for most of the season. Otherwise, why would they be so determined to "suck" so badly in the coming year? Who is it that they are sucking for? Except for the one point guard, they're all big men at the top. There are some highly rated small forwards, but they probably could be had with the fourth of fifth picks.

I was 26 when the Sixers won the 83 championship. It was an exciting year but the excitement faded fairly quickly and they lost in the first round the following year. Personally, I don't think the championship had as positive of an effect on me as the horrible nineties had a negative effect on me. All we got for all of those terrible years was Iverson. He was one of my favorite all time players but he wasn't worth all of those years of sucking.

"sucked" was overly harsh on my part in lumping in the years you mentioned, with previously poor years. I enjoyed watching those teams. I should have used the phrase "fools gold", as I never really felt that they had a shot to win a championship in those years.

And I would say that Embiid has a shot to be that guy who could make this "process" worth it.

During Thad's entire 7 year career, they had 1 winning record. 1. ONE. The fact that they snuck into the playoffs a few times because the east sucks doesn't mean that they were successful in any which way.

"Lastly, I personally don't much care that the Sixers are the first team NOT to hide behind a blatant tanking strategy like so many others have when it suited their needs (the Spurs aren't shit without Tim Duncan)"

Woah. The Sixers are not the first to blatantly tank. The Celtics, when going for Oden, had players saying that they weren't playing because the COACH was trying to lose games. John Lucas, the coach of the Cavs while they were losing for LeBron, publicly stated after he was let go that the plan was to go real young and lose to get LeBron. He said this. The coach.

We're in a very different media landscape now than we were even back then, with Twitter and blogs and internet media and whatnot. But this is far from the first time. And, if there's one thing I can say about the Sixers, it's that I never felt the coach or players did anything to intentionally lose. That, to me, is far worse than putting together a marginal roster because the NBA has such severe competitive balance issues.

I'm in agreement about the Celtics, Cavs and others for that matter. I guess your point about the media landscape is important, as that has changed for sure. However there were some real short memories in the NBA last season based on the excessive criticism the Sixers received. And VanGundy's remarks were absurd.

I agree. First off, I've been reasonably critical of the current Sixers management. There is a full spectrum of opinion from blind optimism to blind rage when it comes to this franchise right now. I don't think anyone should be belittling other fans for having different opinions about the teams rebuild. And i certainly don't feel any need to prove my fanhood with regards to how closely I watch the games and follow the team.

Well, in my view, even if they had just held on to the player they picked, Elfrid Payton (who averaged 9.2 ppg, 5.2 rbg, 7 apg, and 59% FGP in summer league), the result would have been better.

They always could have tried to make some other deal to get the 2017 pick between now and then.

My guess would be that they do not agree with your assertion that McDermott and Saric have similar upsides.

Keep in mind that Mcdermott was off the board at 12. Yes, they could have taken him at 10, but they decided that 12 and magic 2015 2nd and the 2017 first was worth more than Mcdermott.

As for why they didn't take lavine, I guess they just liked Saric more, enough to put up with his delay

They could have done something like Denver did: draft McDermott and trade him for two picks. One of those players going to Denver was also a foreign big man but he will be playing this year.

As far as I'm concerned the choice of Saric was inexcusable under the circumstances (a team that needs immediate help and development and drafted an injured player with their first lottery pick). Saric would have to be something really, really special to merit using the 10th pick under these circumstances. 2017 is a long time from now and even if they couldn't get that pick this draft they might have gotten it back by doing a different trade between now and then.

Chicago waited for three years for Kukoc but they didn't need him when they drafted him and he was picked in the second round. San Antonio waited a couple of years for Splitter but he was picked 28th and they were coming off a NBA championship. Minnesota waited a couple of years for Pekovic but he was a second rounder and they already picked up Kevin Love (and Mike Miller in a trade) in that draft.

You don't agree that he was clearly the best player on the board. And that is really what it comes down to. Are you honestly saying it is inexcusable for a bad team to pick the clear best player because they will have to wait 2 years?

The Spurs were pretty bad when the drafted Robinson knowing they would have to wait 2 years. They won 28 games the year the drafted him... and only won 21 games 2 years later while they were still waiting for him. By your logic they should have drafted the #2 guy, Armon Gilliam, and that way they would have avoided so many losses while waiting.

Even though you're only comparing logic and reasoning processes here, I don't think it's fair to compare Saric with David Robinson...if the Sixers passed on guys like Lavine and McDermott to wait on a David Robinson type of prospect, I'm sure everyone would be all for it. I just don't see the star potential in Saric. He's not going to be an above average athlete in the NBA and that would be okay if he was a lights out shooter or something but right now he can't really shoot all that well either. That's the real reason why some people disagree with the selection, because Saric's ceiling isn't "star" but rather 'useful point forward' type of player like Lamar Odom. On the other hand, his floor is pretty low, not only because of the chance that he comes over, gets overwhelmed by NBA athletes, and ends up going back to Europe with his tail between his legs, but also because he may not even come over at all. Not to mention his fit on the team. Way too many question marks to wait for 2+ years on a guy when the potential payoff isn't all that great.

Yes, that is true about Robinson but he was considered a generational player at the time and I've read absolutely no one suggesting that about Saric (in fact, even by your own purportedly very high opinion of him, you rated him as only the 9th best prospect). Besides, the Sixers already drafted the delayed potential franchise big man at #3 so they shouldn't have compounded that risk with another one at #10.

No, it doesn't "come down" to what you suggest. What it comes down to is my belief that someone who is potentially the 9th best prospect is no longer the 9th best prospect if there will be a minimum two year delay in having him join the team and that goes double for a terrible team that has traded all of its veterans and needs its high draft picks to play.

I would have been quite happy with the Saric pick if he decided to join the team this year. In fact, he was the player I hoped they would draft with the 10th pick until I found out that he was unlikely to join the NBA for at least a couple of years.

Again, to me Saric is a clear tier above the other guys available at 10, and I think he will come over in 2 years. I certainly could be wrong. I don't think my opinion on this has anything to do with Hinkie. Like I've said before, it is amusing that at this site I am called blindly pro Hinkie, while at LB I am probably question the rebuild as much as anyone. There are parts of the rebuild I support, while, I worry that they are digging the hole too deep. I don't question their intentions in a conspiratorial way as some do here. But I can see where both sides are coming from, even if I don't see how people can be so convinced the other side is blind. IMO, we just won't know enough to pass conclusive judgment on Hinkie and the new owners for a couple of more years.

As for Embiid, I feel like that was a really bad break for the franchise to have him get injured when they had the #3 pick. Personally, I would not have had the courage to make that pick, but it remains to be seen if it was right or wrong. Not picking him would have meant choosing a much lower tier player, but taking on less risk. I personally don't think wanting to lose this year entered the equation.

Basically I think Saric has a much better chance of being a star than the other players taken after #9. The Sixers feel that way and you do not. We don't agree, but that does not make the pick or player eval some sort of mockery.

"They could have done something like Denver did: draft McDermott and trade him for two picks. One of those players going to Denver was also a foreign big man but he will be playing this year".

Except for the detail that all foreign big men are not interchangeable.

"Saric would have to be something really, really special to merit using the 10th pick under these circumstances''.

We didn't use the 10th pick on him.

"2017 is a long time from now and even if they couldn't get that pick this draft they might have gotten it back by doing a different trade between now and then".

Seriously? By this logic, all trades for future firsts are bad trades, cause maybe you could have gotten in the future, so why trade for it now.

Yes, They might have, but its really really unlikely, without giving up something really valuable. This was a perfect storm of a team being desperate for a guy that they gave up and being desperate to get good soon that they gave up an unheard of amount to move up two spots. its not like this is some first that will be 27-30th. This is a valuable first.

"Its not like this is some first that will be 27-30th. This is a valuable first."

This makes me chuckle. Hinkie apologists have been so brainwashed that they don't even think his plan is going to work and they're perfectly fine with that. You're defending Hinkie as this mastermind and at the same time saying that our 2017 pick is going to be extremely valuable. Just to break this down for you, if our 2017 pick is at the top of the draft, Hinkie will have put a shit product on the floor for 4 consecutive years. We won't have even ascended to the fringe of the playoff picture while MCW and Noel are on their rookie contracts. Absolutely cracks me up.

I think this is part of the "savior" effect that has been hypothesized many times before. Some dream of a savior and when someone comes along who is a bit different from some others in the past and talks about a different sort of plan, he is immediately given an undue amount of faith.

However, I think the flock will have shrunk by April.

Its sad how disrespectful you have become to everyone that disagrees with you. Not defending Hinkie as any sort of mastermind. I didn't in any way, shape, or form mention his name.

Your the one that seems to have obsession issues with the new ownership/management and can't discuss substance without personal attacks on management and people who disagree agree with you on this blog.

I think Getting the 12th pick, 2015 second from the Magic, and getting our own 2017 pick back is a great deal for the 10th pick. I have never seen a team get so much for moving back two spots in that draft range. If you disagree that getting all that for the 10th pick is a bad move, fine, I'm willing to listen your point of view respectfully, its too bad that you have lost the ability to respectfully discuss anything regarding the Sixers with others.

I think getting back a pick that was top 11 protected in 2017, than Top 8 protected in 2018 is valuable. (And of course, you completely ignored the context of what we gave up to get this, which is what my post was about)
Not because I think we are going to be terrible in 2017, but because A) its a valuable possible trade chip and B) I don't know how good we will be. We might be a playoff team. We might not. If I had to guess, I think we are an up and coming young playoff team at that point, but I don't think 27-30 is likely at that point. There is a range of possibilities, With a lot of factors to consider.Not all early first round picks work out. I'm Hopeful regarding Embiid/Noel/Saric ect. But I don't expect every pick to work out and I don't expect Embiid/Noel future Freshman drafted to develop overnight.

The point about getting their pick back for trade purposes might turn out to be a big deal. If they ever do start becoming major buyers, then you need to be able to trade away a first rounder or two in order to get involved in a bidding war for a star on the trading block. But obviously that is putting the cart before the horse right now. They need to see their recent lottery picks turn into impact players first.

I didn't say anything about the trade, I merely commented on your evaluation, possibly unwittingly, of where Hinkie will have this team after four years of asset collection. I mean, you're absolutely right, the pick will probably be valuable. As for the trade? I don't really care. Saric was most likely a wasted pick, and he has about as much star potential as McDermott, but either way Embiid is the only pick Hinkie has made that matters. If he gets healthy and progresses, it doesn't matter how badly he blew the other pick. If he's Oden revisited, Saric certainly isn't going to save this franchise in 2020, when he's finally ready to face real competition.

And I never said anything about the top of the draft, because that is impossible, considering the protections that this pick had on it when we traded it.

Some of us have been proposing this sort of rebuild since before Hinkie came here.

Some of us had Noel ranked as the best prospect in the draft before Hinkie drafted him in 2013.

Some of us had Embiid ranked as the best prospect in the draft before Hinkie drafted him in 2014.

And some of us had Saric rated as a top 10 player before Hinkie drafted him.

For some of us, our confidence in the plan and the players he is selecting does not come from Hinkie worship, but in it matching our own opinions and evaluations.

(and I have recorded proof of all of these being things that I supported before Hinkie).

yeah well, you also told anyone who'd listen that Evan Turner was the next coming circa winter / spring 2010

your opinions and evaluations don't always turn out so rosy

What does that have to do with his point? Derek is saying that being for these picks does not make you "a Hinkie apologist" as Brian asserted. He is saying he is happy with the Sixers picks because they were the moves he would have made... and not because he has blind faith in Hinkie. His proof is that he is on the record with rating these players highly prior to Hinkie picking them. Derek and Hinkie could turn out to be wrong in these player evaluations, but that is beside the point.

And for the record, I had Saric as the best player available when he was picked. I'm not sure about Embiid, because I don't have enough information to go by with his health outlook... but he certainly has the most talent on the board at #3. Nerlens was a no brainer at #6.

But overall, I felt like the Sixers could not catch a break with this draft. The Embiid injury likely cost them Wiggins at #3 and put them in an uncomfortable position of either taking the risk with Embiid or missing out on one of the top tier players. Equally, I was really hoping that someone like Smart or Vonleh slipped, and wished they could have traded up a slot. But they didn't, so Saric was the BPA IMO. I'm not sure how that opinion makes one a Hinkie apologist.

I was for the Bynum trade and the Brand signing. I was clearly wrong in both cases... but that certainly did not make me a Stephanski or Collins apologist in the least.

My comment had nothing to do with being wrong or right. My comment had to do with whether or not my opinion (regardless of whether it was right or wrong) was influenced by Hinkie. But, great job staying on point! Always easier just to lob an attack.

Besides:
1) I never claim to be 100% at predicting anything. 100% isn't possible for anybody who puts predictions in a public place with their name attached to it.
2) 29 out of 30 NBA GM's had Turner ranked #2. Everybody at the time had Turner in the top 3. Nobody had Turner, coming out of Ohio State, projected as a bust.

So, by process of elimination, nobody knows anything about basketball!

Or maybe your argument is just weak.

That's great. I didn't accuse people of being apologists for their recorded prospect rankings. I was actually laughing because this particular commenter was stroking Hinkie's cock for retrieving this particular pick, not because of the trade implications, but because it was obvious to him that the Sixers would still suck in 2017 and the pick itself would obviously be of great value. He's since done the math and been coaxed out of his ignorance, but the comment speaks for itself. Now, if you're saying this team is still going to suck in 2017 and you're still backing Hinkie's plan, then I would consider you an apologist as well.

"Seriously? By this logic, all trades for future firsts are bad trades, cause maybe you could have gotten in the future, so why trade for it now."

Ah...no...that's only by your specious logic. I said nothing about "all trades," only this one.

i like how a lot of people assume that the sixers could of done the same trade the nuggets and bulls did on draft day

Why couldn't they?

each team values each pick differently, it seems pretty clear that they value saric pretty high and they werent going to pass on him

Oh well then they could have made the same trade, they just didn't. Personally, I think they should have.

Isn't it better to have the 12th pick in this draft and our future 2017 back than 16 and 19 this year?

This draft already happened so your question is: is it better to have Saric in 2017 and a 2017 1st rounder whose value and slot is yet to be determined, than whoever they might have picked at 16 and 19? My answer would be no, it's not better because I'm not that thrilled with Saric as a prospect and I have questions about his fit and when/if he's coming over. I'm guessing you like him more than I do and believe that 2017 pick will be high enough to mitigate those concerns. Who knows?

Bingo! (although I would have been happy with Saric if he joined the team this year).

Would I be happier with the 16th and 19th pick from this year's draft instead of player who might arrive in 2016-2017 along with another draft pick of uncertain status at the end of 2017? Of course I would. I can't imagine why anyone wouldn't be happier.

And as I've stated before, if they really wanted that 2017 pick, they probably could have figured out another way to get it between now and then.

"And as I've stated before, if they really wanted that 2017 pick, they probably could have figured out another way to get it between now and then".


Probably not without trading something more valuable than we gave up on draft night. As I stated before, its unprecedented to get that much for moving back two spots in that draft range.

Orlando really wanted Payton and must have been convinced someone else was going to take him before #12. If he ends up a great PG for them then it likely was worth it. Personally, I don't see him as a superstar PG, and non superstar PG are plentiful.

That wasn't my question. I asked what is better 12+2017 pick back or 16+19. Since in this example you are saying what you wished the 76ers had done, I thought it made sense to be consistent with you still deciding who we pick. I don't think it makes sense in a hypothetical to have you change the trade but then not decide who we draft.

Okay, yeah I would have been more happy with a number of combinations that were still left on the board at 16 and 19. Nurkic and Harris were the picks and I would've been alright with them. But also James Young, PJ Hairston, Kyle Anderson, Rodney Hood, Cleanthony Early, and a few others would have been good fits with decent potential.

If his summer league performance is at all indicative of his longer-term potential, I would also add Jordan Adams to your list.

Someone wrote on Philly.com the other day that there were two types of people posting there: those who enjoy watching basketball and those who enjoy fantasizing about picks. For a team that is coming off a 19 win season, that is going into a season 23 million below the salary floor, whose manager refuses to sign anyone in free agency, and that may perform even worse than last year, I want to see players with good potential playing NOW, not two or three years from now.

Timberwolves shed Shved, go 86 route with M'bah a Moute, unleash quick, ambidextrous hypothetical on the Philadelphia 76ers, eccentric roadside collector of unicorns and other bric-a-brac and no longer Young at heart; land 3 real live first round picks who will require uniforms and attract attention.

Cavaliers turn serious. At last, "King" finds Love.

Drexel calls to schedule a home game with Sixers on December open date.

Timberwolves shed Shved, go 86 route with M'bah a Moute, unleash quick, ambidextrous hypothetical on the Philadelphia 76ers, eccentric roadside collector of unicorns and other bric-a-brac and no longer Young at heart; land 3 real live first round picks who will require uniforms and attract attention.

Cavaliers turn serious. At last, "King" finds Love.

Drexel calls to schedule a home game with Sixers on December open date.

Good luck Thad!!! I've been away for a while and i return to find my guy traded. Fortunately he's traded to one of my favorite teams in the West (that also has my favorite NBA player - Rubio), so will be able to keep an eye on him every now and than,

Thad is my favorite Sixer of all time. I know it might sound strange. But i'm a Sixers fan since the mid to late 90s and i started following the team more closely in the mid 2000s. I was never a huge fan of Iverson and his peers, so Thad naturally became my favorite Sixer with both his basketball ability and off court behavior. Unfortunately, he's gone now. I don't really care about the particulars of the trade (it's not a good trade in a vacuum, but i do understand why it was made), but here's my opinion on it:

- LRMAM: Good specialist perimeter defender. But a rebuilding team is the last place where he'll have on court value. All of his value is about helping Embiid transition to the NBA. Certainly a much better option than getting Barea as an expiring contract.

- Shved: I like to call him the European Tony Wroten. He's a typical Hinkie reclamation project IMO. Odds are it won't work out and Shved will be back to Europe next summer, but he does have skills and talent, so it is possible that he figures it all out. It's a no risk, medium reward situation as Shved's participation in the trade was only as a contract. His issues are mostly mental (confidence related) and a new pressure less environment could be just what he needed.

- Miami's 1st round pick: It's not a great get for Thad, but it could be worse. I actually think the Heat will still be good (Spoelstra is underrated IMO and Bosh is still a major offensive weapon), but considering the strength of the Western conference, it's not inconceivable that all of the Western playoff teams finish with a better record. This will most likely be a pick in the 18-20 range, which for a player that i think was worth a pick in the 10-15 range is not horrible, especially considering that the pick could be higher if Wade, Deng and the rest struggle with injuries all year long (which is possible).

All in all, Hinkie's new era roster is finalized. All of the guys who were supposed to get traded are gone. The on court product this year will be horrible, but hopefully it's the necessary evil towards a future decade of being a contender.

I agree that Thad had to be traded and that taking this deal likely was far better than waiting until the in-season trade period began. I don't have a problem with Mbah a Moute. In addition to whatever intangibles he may bring, he's better than Davies and possibly even another of his competitors. I'm trying to keep an open mind about Shved, but hearing him described as the "European Tony Wroten" isn't helping.

Minnesota is my home base team but I haven't warmed up to them during my time here to the same degree that I've warmed up to the U of M Gophers. Given that they've acquired Thad, the last two #1 picks, LaVine, and Robinson III in this off season I'm feeling a lot warmer.

Welcome to 82 game Palookaville II.

Contender-dreamscape snag: Sixers don't operate in a vacuum. "New era roster" will be competing with 29 other new era rosters. And I remind you that, contrary to a lodged legend, Hinkie's not the only GM who thinkies.

MaM - defender-ESL instructor
the Ruskie - hasn't been Putin the ball in the basket
Heat pick - sea swimming

Thaddeus Young - a credit to the game [Good luck, Thad! Glad you passed through here. Sorry about the 5 head coaches in 7 seasons and the revolving rosters and roles.]

"the Ruskie - hasn't been Putin the ball in the basket"

And, hopefully, he gets off to a fast start here and won't be stal' in' the attempt to revive his career.

Good to hear from you. I was a little worried.

If so, I'll gladly take to calling him Doctor Zhivago.

Chances are though his droughts in the middle of winter will drive us to dust off our Dostoyevsky novels, leather-bound ones of course.

The Sixers could use a leading forward like Alexander Belov, '72 Olympics winning-bucket maker.

Thanks, Buke. Not being a Hinkie Trekkie, had to take a vacation from his mindbending journey into red, white & blue nothingness. August marked the spot.

What really is there to say at this point? The GM, with the owner's blessing, has successfully decimated the hapless Sixers of this teenaged century. He's betting the house on basketball babies with athletic tendencies. Scouting wisdom and talent maturity rate and coalescence and fan tolerance/interest are X factors. Hard competition is a known.

I read one analyst who believes the Sixers have their solid core around which to build in place - - Carter-Williams, Noel, Embiid. I'm highly skeptical that wretched 'greenhouse' basketball and an allotment of time is a model for success as unpredictable developments are all too predictable.

They simply didn't qualify. The competition in Europe is fierce and Russia is just one of many teams that are at a similar level. There are around 25-30 teams in Europe that could potentially beat any other top European team and fight each other for World Cup and Olympics qualifications. Of course none of them are anywhere near the US level, but the European teams along with a few of the teams in the Americas are the next best thing.

P.S. Believe it or not the Russians are struggling to qualify for next year's European championship. They are in great danger of failing to be one of the top 24 teams after some horrible performances in the qualifiers.

I'm a little confused about how teams are allowed to pretty much buy players for the FIBA tornament, like the Philippines with Andray Blatche and the Ukrainians with Eugene Jeter. I don't think that should be allowed

Rumor: Sixers wanted bulky, balky, soon-to-be-booming Bennett. T-Wolves held out for a Lord & Taylor's "Sticky Fingers" gift card. Sixers offered them a Chili's 'buy 1, get 1 half-off' luncheon coupon. Result: no go.

The Sixers will field a terrible basketball team next year. But there are 3 factors that led to this, and this combination makes me reserve judgment on Hinkie. Rehashing what we already know:

1. In an attempt to win now, Collins traded away Iggy, their two most recent first rounders and two future first rounders for nothing (Bynum and Moultrie.) And this was a couple years after wasting the #2 overall pick on an absolute bust in ET when 5 of the next 8 players picked have gone on to be good or great players.

2. The majority of the assets the Sixers have acquired in the past 15 months have yet to play for the team. Noel and the second rounders will join this year, while Embiid, Saric and the rights to 3 additional future 1sts will join the team in the next few years (the Miami 1st and the Sixers 2015 and 2017 1sts were both lost due to those Collins trades, and now the Sixers have them back.)

3. In his 15 months on the job, Hinkie has traded away Jrue, Thad, Hawes and ET and has chosen not to sign any NBA ready vets.

It is a combination of all 3 of these factors that brings us to the team fielding horrid teams last year and this coming season. But when one GM (Collins) guts the future in a disastrous attempt to win now and the next GM is in the first 15 months of a rebuild I sort of expect this type of fall out.

I don't know how the team will be in 2 or 3 years. It could be a disaster, with a new GM brought in to clean up the mess and the owners selling their stripped down team for a profit. Or it could be the early years of a new gold age for the Sixers... or a new age of mediocrity. I've watched enough down years to be willing two watch another one while we wait to see how it all turns out. In fact I find it interesting this range of possibilities, as compared to 2003-2012 where there was a treadmill of change that got the team nowhere and did not ever seem to have that much of a ceiling.


Thank you for the summary. I could not agree more. For whatever reason those on this site who keep an open mind about Hinkie are labeled as either "brain washed", "misguided", or worse. I accept that there are real risks involved with this strategy. I see both sides of this debate as having valid points. It's a good debate. And I don't like having to watch a team that I know is going to struggle to win 20 games. But I am willing to do it because this plan is based on a sound foundation. Going back a couple of years....I LOVED the Bynum deal when it was announced. Loved it. I could not wait for that season to start, and it was an utter debacle. We did the quick fix and I was in favor of it. Now I want to try Hinkie's plan. It's laughable to be criticized for keeping an open mind about the mere possibility that this could all work out, and be willing to extend some time for man to put his plan in place. Only on this site can one's OPINION about the direction/future of the Sixers team be wrong.

"Only on this site can one's OPINION about the direction/future of the Sixers team be wrong."

Don't be ridiculous. Any website that wasn't that way about any subject involving controversy, would be the rare exception.

Hinkie's methods also qualify as "quick fix" in a sense. They're "quick fix" in that the major strategic decisions were made pretty much upfront. Where they are not "quick fix" is that improvements will come more slowly than with other strategies.

Hinkie's strategy is also pretty simplistic and depends a great deal on luck. If you're terrible, you get a high draft pick and, if you get enough of them, some of them will have to be good. There was also no "genius" involved in Hinkie's top two draft picks so far, only significantly greater risk taking. Both of those players were considered the #1 pick prior to their injuries. He then takes another big risk by wasting (for the time being anyway) a #10 pick on another big man who won't play and a draft pick three years into the future.

Obviously, some people didn't do their homework when it came to Bynum's health evaluation, but a healthy Bynum had demonstrated that he was one of the top centers in the league. Expectations for a healthy Bynum aren't nearly as speculative as the expectations for Noel and Embiid.

So far Hinkie has done little more than take draft risks, behave as cheaply as he can get away with being, and show a dogged determination to erase all traces of his predecessors' actions. If summer league is any indication, he's done a couple of nice player evaluations with second rounders so I'll give him that. I'm still not sold on MCW and believe that he was given far more latitude and opportunities to shine than any other rookie last year.

Comments:

1) At the time, the substantial majority of observers cheered the moves to acquire Bynum. Yes, it turned out to be disastrous, but very few predicted that at the time. You could blame this move on the same visceral reactions of dissatisfaction with a team that is competitive and entertaining but isn't at the most elite level in the league. These same knee-jerk reactions are the basis for so much praise for the current regime. If you're not one of the greatest, you might as well be one of the worst if it gives you the slightest chance of being one of the greatest some day.

I think I've made it clear that I disagree with that view and I think more fans will be moving toward my view after what promises to be another unredeeming and unremmittingly godawful season. In all walks of life, many people get spoiled, greedy, and always want what they don't have. In their quest to get it, they often make a mess of things and learn to appreciate what they had after they experience enough time without it.

ET was the consensus #2 pick in 2010 and was the overwhelming choice of Sixers' fans as revealed by polls. During his last two years of college, he often looked like a man among boys (and, no, he wasn't playing against a bunch of freshmen as Brian seems to insist on claiming regardless of the actual facts). He looked like a great pick at the time. It was the fault of ET for not living up to expectations, not the fault of Stefanski for picking him.

2) Yes, and that is a big part of the problem. The risk taken for Noel looks good so far. The risk taken for Embiid is justifiable. The risk taken for Saric is not.

Deliberately fielding two successive rotgut teams and taking what is likely a minimum of four years just to be in contention for a lower playoff should not be considered acceptable. After losing Iverson and Webber, this team was in the playoffs the next year. After winning 27 games under Jordan, Collins had this team competitive again and playing good basketball in his first year. One can be more patient if a team decides to go the young player developmental route, but a GM should try to put as much of a core in place as quickly as he can.

3) The Collins regime didn't make much of a longer term mess of things as Hinkie apologists suggest. Much of Hinkie's cap space is the result of inheriting the lapsing contracts made before he arrived.

I don't know why the GM didn't choose to sign a couple of younger free agents with some promise during the bargain summer of 2013. I guess the answers are 1) an absolute focus on achieving the worst record and 2) the determination to carry the relatively lowest cost roster in anyone's memory. I don't know if Hinkie had the exact same motivations in the summer of 2014, but, by that time, it may very well have been that no free agent with any other offers was interested. The fact that a career scrub like Byron Mullens renounced his player option says a lot. Hinkie may run into the same attitudes next summer.

First off I was for the Bynum trade and was OK with picking ET. My point was not to question those moves, but to point out that those moves turned out horribly, thus crippling the team.

When Hinkie arrived the team was bad (29 wins) and was built around Jrue, ET, Young and Hawes. Jrue was about to start making 12M a year, and they were looking at having to give raises to ET, Hawes and Thad Young in the next 2 years, which would have eaten a big chunk of the cap, leaving space for one big signing (maybe someone like Stephenson, Bledsoe or Monroe in a sign and trade where you give back assets.

They had already given away two of their next three first rounders. They had zero prospects on the bench (unless you count Moultrie.) However, they did have the #11 pick, and with Jrue still here I expect they would have passed on MCW in favor of best case the Greek freak or more likely Steven Adams. Guys like Nerlens and Embiid would not be on the roster. Someone like Saric or McDermott would have been in the likely range of this years pick, or they would have given away the pick had they made the playoffs... I just don't see that as a very appealing path.

Your comment pointing to being back in the playoffs a year after the AI trade pretty well sums up the difference in our viewpoints. To me the handling of the AI trade was a disaster hat set the team back for nearly more than 5 years. They had by far the worst record in the NBA at the time of the trade and AI was a valuable asset hat could and should have been swapped for promising young players and future picks. That would have put the team in position to try and be great in a few years, maybe a contender had they lucked themselves into Durant.

Instead BK implemented his famous 3 year plan. He added a pair of good 30 year old vets in Miller and Joe Smith. The team was 5-19 at the time of the trade, worst in the league, and had no NBA players aside from Iggy and Sam. It was the time to embrace a true rebuild... and instead they added two quality players who were 30 years old. Those two vets led to a 18-7 finish to the season that dropped the Sixers from a top 5 pick to #12. They were 30-28 after the trade, and let Smith walk after the season, meaning his addition only served to move up from the worst record to a late lottery pick.

They did get 2 first rounders in the trade, one of which Comcast sold for cash. The other was used to move up a slot and pick Jason Smith. They picked well for #12, but by playing .500 ball after the trade they lost their shot at Durant and Horford. Yes, draft picks are risky, and Oden proved that. But getting a top pick would have at least put them in a position to pick Durant, Horford or Noah. Adding bandaid vets means you continue to pick outside of pick #10 and miss out on a shot at an impact player the year when you need to rebuild... but hey, they made the playoffs the next year!

Between 1999-2009 the Sixers had one pick at #9 and no other picks higher than #12. That was all fine and good when they were on the rise. But from for 2003-2009 they broke 500 all of one season out of Seven, and that year won only 43 games. They won Zero playoff series. They needed an infusin of young talent and a roster rebuild. Instead they waited until late 2006 to trade AI... and traded him for 30 year old good players who were not stars, but were just good enough to keep the team at .500 were they were not going to get a high pick and they were not going to get out of the first round. It was a disaster that they are just now finally breaking out of.

I think you meant to say that from 2004-2009 they did better than break even only once. They surpassed break even in 2003 and made the second round of the playoffs.

Miller proved to be a tremendously valuable piece who is still in demand at the age of 38. He is one of the best point guards of this century and a player who made everyone around him better when he played for this team. When they let him walk, the deterioration in the team was immediate. Preferring more draft picks over a thirty year old Andre Miller is the epitome of dreamy fantasy.

There were mistakes made after Miller was acquired and there were previous decisions that held back the team. The worst problems were that they still owed Webber about 20 million and McKie about 7 million in 2007-2008 and those liabilities handicapped them to free agents no better than Reggie Evans (who, nevertheless, helped more than his price tag might indicate). Dalembert's contract size and length also didn't help. King had four draft picks in 2007 but only 2 played with the team and only Thad was of much long-term value. Stefanski then picked Speights despite the known red flags (he had a pretty good rookie year but deteriorated quickly afterwards) and, desperate to make his mark quickly, paid both Brand and Iguodala too much for too long. Brand played a grand total of 29 games in his first Philly year and after that Miller was gone.

I'm not against a rebuild per se but Hinkie has taken the concept too far by designing an even more hopeless team in his second year. This team is poised to be pretty awful for longer than is necessary. But, as long as there are enough fans like you, he won't feel much pressure.

I do worry he is digging the hole too deep. Having 4 lottery picks in his first 13 months on the job is great, and the key to their future success or failure. But making all those picks starts the clock ticking. The rebuild has to be near completion prior to it being time to resign those picks... which means making moves no later than summer 2016 to be sure stars are in place. I also worry the team is too pathetic to be able to properly develop and evaluate their young talent.

But I don't mind waiting a year or two for lottery picks to join the roster. And having to endure 2 or 3 seasons of horrid basketball is OK to me if the return is having a 5-6 lottery picks and another mid 1st in those 3 years and then a ton of cap space to add additional stars and support prior to having to resign those picks. Especially as I don't think we would have had much quality basketball in those same 3 seasons given they had no picks and minimal talent to build from. They may have crawled back to respectability by going after guys like Al Jeff and Bledsoe. But they still would be without a franchise player and stuck in mediocrity.

"1) At the time, the substantial majority of observers cheered the moves to acquire Bynum. Yes, it turned out to be disastrous, but very few predicted that at the time. "


http://articles.philly.com/2013-07-01/sports/40288205_1_andrew-bynum-knee-surgery-bynum-mess

in particular: "Who says I cleared him".

Outside observers did not have access to this information, management did.

A lot of the arguments on this website act like poor management has not been unheard of for this team, when basically, since I started following this team when AI got drafted, it's been a disaster zone. But I will take the same approach I took with this prior trade with the current management: I will give them the benefit of the doubt in the course of their action. I would also say that if it's poor management then it's par for the course - Hinkie kool aid, is the same kool aid we've been drinking for a while now.

As for Hinkie - since he's taken over - when players are traded there have been no "scoops" on how terrible the players were or false rumours spread, they stepped up for Pierre Jackson, all levels of the organisation are working together in the same direction, the ship floats with no leaks, he chose a coach who for whatever his faults are is passionate about developing players rather than the W-L, player's health is a priority, and they have been honest with the fans (unlike, say, the Eddie Jordan year, where it was all Sammy Dalembert's fault). All of this is a change to what has gone before, and indications of me of a better management environment - they are also tangible and not the aether dreams of a Hinkie acolyte.

They've absolutely run a tight ship and been professionals about their business. I'll give them that. They're running the Sixers just like how you'd think Apollo runs every business they acquire...which could be a good thing, or the problem in and of itself, depending on your POV.

Dario to Mario from the Croatia - Slovenia game earlier today:

http://youtu.be/r6gehwqujjk

And a slightly more concerning story about Saric:

https://sports.vice.com/article/the-hague-croatian-nightclubs-embezzlement-and-biggie-smalls-the-dario-saric-saga

Well at least the team is no longer boring...

So I've been out of it, but did I read the Sixers got Thabeet and cash for nothing and they're most likely going to cut Thabeet? Why cut him? I'd keep him and play him at the five so Noel can play the four and get ready to pair with Embiid.

Yeah, his deal would have been fully guaranteed for 1.3 mil in 14-15 if he was on the roster by Sept. 1st. So basically Philly got cash, OKC got the player trade exception in exchange for their cash, and Thabeet got nothing which is exactly what he deserves. Other than being an African tall guy who blocks a shot every now and again, he has nothing in common with Embiid so I agree with kicking him to the curb. Let Sims simulate Embiid if that's what Noel needs.

emulate, rather. Sims simulate sounded better for a second

Well, Sims isn't a center and he isn't a guy who's going to present any kind of deterrent on the defensive end for opposing drivers. I'd rather have a guy who can play the position and give you a bit of what Embiid will on one side of the floor. And it's not like they don't have the money to keep him. He's also got more experience than everyone not named Jason Richardson on the current roster, I believe. I guess Mbah a Moute, as well. How sad is that? I don't see the point in cutting a center when you don't have one on the roster and you'd like to get Noel minutes at the four.

well you have a point. Sims looks more like Embiid offensively but not defensively and he isn't a true C. But it's too late anyhow, they already waived him

Help me understand something about this trade. What are the true motivations for us making this trade being that Hinkie is all about collecting as many 2nd round picks as he can, yet he gives one up only to turn right around and cut the guy? I realize we receive some cash but is that really why he would pull the trigger on such a silly deal like this? Just for however much dough OKC is forking over?

From what I read, there are restrictions on the 2nd-rounder that basically make it turn to dust. It's never going to change hands.

Thabeet's contract wasn't guaranteed, so this is pure profit for the Sixers. They get something for nothing. OKC gets a small trade exception for some cash.

This deal doesn't matter at all, it's just another way for Hinkie/Harris to abuse the system to line their pockets. Personally, I think they should've kept Thabeet for reasons stated above, but I guess they're happy w/ the roster the way it is (and keeping him would've cost money).

At the same time though, let's say that you're Hinkie, you have zero interest in Thabeet, and you have the opportunity to make this deal where you lose nothing and just make some cash. Wouldn't you do it? I know you wanna say that this is just another move that's indicative of the larger, vulture mentality of this regime and how they want to make money off a shitty product on the floor. But in a vacuum, isn't this a non-issue and wouldn't they be stupid to pass on a no-lose opportunity to make a few extra bucks?

Yeah. I'd definitely do it, of course.

I think the larger issue is you could say they're intentionally not spending money on improving the team so they can be in a position to profiteer on the loopholes of the system...like this one, the one they used when they got (and bought out) Granger last year, and the one they're probably going to use to get Amare this year. In a vacuum, this isn't a big deal at all. Neither is using the #12 pick on a guy who you won't have to pay for two years, or passing on a number of deals that would've netted you the same thing as trading your best player when all it would've cost is some of the cap space you aren't going to use anyway, or choosing to build your practice facility across the river for tax credits.

In a vacuum, none of those things are a big deal. When one team has done all of those things in the past six months...well, what do you make of it? You all know where I stand.

hey remember the time this team had EB, AI9 AND Bynum on the books? How did that turn out again?

Considering that time never existed, I really can't tell you how it turned out (AI9 was traded in the Bynum deal).

If they do acquire Amare at the deadline, would you guess that they would buy him out without playing a game (as they did with Granger) or have him play for the rest of the season?

I'm assuming that I would have little or no interest in watching the team by February, but I might be willing to tune in just for the novelty of watching Amare in a Sixers uniform. I guess the likely answer should be fairly obvious given what they did with Granger last year and what they are doing with Thabeet now. This management would rather save any amount of money than give the fans any reason to watch.

Amare, Spencer Haywood II ... auspicious early career, big payday, starts elsewhere but becomes NY Knickerbocker, relationship with supermodel, has moments but devolves into a pretty good also-ran through time, injuries and outside interests/distractions. Coulda, shoulda, woulda. Tremendous at peak.

I assume, like with Granger, he would demand to be bought out so that he could join a contender.

Yeah, I can't see him swimmin' with our guppies either, unless turnpike commute and mere minutes & shots satisfy. At this stage in his career, it'd be like adding Cliff Robinson along with some hoopla.

Danny Granger (Limbo), Stewart Granger (Villanova), Granger Hall (Temple), Farley Granger (Hollywood).

I liked Cliff Robinson. He played until 40. Amare would have to put in 8 more years to equal him.

Bu Amare has the knees of a 60 year old.

Picked the wrong one. Was referring to USC Cliff, former drab-as-a-stalk-of-broccoli Sixer forward who was served to this city with a mangled, overcooked pork chop named Jeff Ruland on the Harold Katz-John Nash 'Blue Plate Special' of Draft Day '86. The later UConn Cliff was a solid scoring, weak rebounding Western Conference stringbean who hung around about 3 yrs. after results screamed, "retire!" Combined, the 2 Cliffs wore more uniforms than the Village People (11; 6 & 5) but not as many as Chucky Brown, Jim Jackson, Tony Massenburg and Joe Smith (each wore 12).

I wonder how player insurance works and if it's another loophole the Sixers use to save cash. If Jason Richardson's contract is insured and he doesn't play for the entire season, I wonder how much of that $6.7 million the Sixers would have to pay out.

Sixers made 100 grand on the Thabeet catch and release. In case anyone cares

That's how much $ the Thunder sent w/ Thabeet? That's barely worth the paperwork.

I was surprised at how low it was too.

and top 55 protection on that pick.

Every penny counts when your model is to spend as little as possible and benefit from a system based on the naive assumption that teams would want to win games.

1 cigarette boat for Jason, 1 for Sam, a shopping spree for the wives.

Fans, $0, per usual.

Who's Jason?

2maydo, 2mahdo; Jason, Josh. Thanks for asking.

jordan mcrae signed overseas and will not playing for the sixers this year

"What a revoltin' development THIS is!"
- Chester A. Riley [William Bendix],
"The Life Of Riley" TV show

That is actually disappointing. He seemed NBA ready... or at least Sixer ready.

Now this is really odd and strange to me.

A team full of borderline D-Leaguers already with no legit 2-guard to speak of, and you're a second round pick that had a promising summer league and a chance to prove to yourself and everyone else that you can achieve your dream of playing at the highest level, on a team that just gave tons of minutes to Eliot Williams/James Anderson type players, and you want to go play somewhere else halfway across the world??

Just seems weird as hell to me.

I'm guessing that after the Shved acquisition the team encouraged McRae to play overseas by telling him je might not get a roster spot.

Anyhow, the Sixers acquired 7 players at the draft. Two will be on the roster this year (Grant and McDaniels), who both don't seem NBA ready. Two are hurt. Two in Turkey, one in Oz. From last year one in Iran and the another in Turkey.

Yeah, the more I think about it the more I'm convinced Hinkie and co. are behind this as a way to save some money while still retaining his rights (don't they?).

Is Eliot Williams signed for next year? Seems that management would want to take a look-see at McRae since they should have seen enough of Eliot last year.

Could this possibly mean that J-Rich is going to shake off the dust and build up some trade value to acquire another second round pick (or some cash)?

EWill has a team friendly deal with three option years at under a million each. If he could play it would be a steal. Davies and Thompson have similar deals, while Sims is a RFA after this season, and eligible to sign a poison pill deal of he warrants it.

http://www.basketball-reference.com/contracts/PHI.html

Correction, at about a million each.

I'm beginning to think that this guy has some sort of personality disorder compelling him to see how far he can push the line in disappointing fans.

He uses his second lottery pick on a guy who won't play for at least two years after he already picked an injured player who can't play this year. Then, a deep second rounder performs beyond anyone's expectation in summer league and his reward for that is to be banished overseas.

And adding to what tk just said about only 2 of the 7 drafted being on the roster this year, we're adding Grant and McDaniels (who I agree with tk about being questionable NBA ready) and Nerlens Noel. Swapping out Thad, and to a lesser extent Turner and Hawes.

And I seriously thought that mess I tried to watch for half a season last year was shitty. Ugh.

Gotta love my Philadelphia Seventy-Shitters!

Hinkie's Twinkies.

This year will be brutal. I'm hoping against hope that Embiid plays half of the season.

Even better considering Apollo Management, who essential own the Sixers) own Hostess. Definitely some similarities between the two failed franchises.O

the guy who was willing to pay elton brand to go away so his coach can go over pay kwame brown and nick young is a cheapskate, sure that makes sense

Yeah, the Brand buyout seems like ages ago now. This ownership team also green-lit extensions for Jrue and Thad (Thad was right after they bought the team). I think Jrue's contract was the last investment the team made in the roster, if I'm not mistaken. Since then, every move has lowered personnel expenses, in one way or another, I believe.

brand was amnestied not bought out but same difference

and they havent really given me a reason to question their willingness to spend but that could change when hinkie starts signing players and the sixers are pushing the tax line

you mean you haven't been convinced how cheap these guys are by their buying a minor league team and the practice facility and...something something somehow that means they are cheap?

Buying things like minor league teams and practice facilities is simply adding to the value of the franchise when they sell it. The moves they're making, or not making, in terms of roster "construction" seem to be more focused on utilizing loopholes in the CBA to line their pockets than winning games. That's the criticism.

"That's the criticism."

Yes, of course, but to those who think in terms of only two colors, criticism is tantamount to a desire to remain in that "mediocre" 7th or 8th seed in perpetuity. You see, there are only two ways of doing things: that way and this (the Hinkie) way.

boy oh boy when will those cheap carpetbagging cheapskates actually spend some money on something for the fans rabble rabble

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-08-28/76ers-devils-buy-technology-to-boost-pre-post-games-correct-.html

I get your point and don't think the owners are cheap, but I don't understand what this technology does. The article is vague on that.

well then check this out then: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_6iOlYfE4ro

Thanks. That's actually pretty cool. Seems funny that it costs $1M since it's basically just a giant projection.

besides saric being on Croatia, kazemi is on Iran and aldemir is on Turkey but im not sure how much either of them will play

all games will be on ESPN3, USA games on ESPN/ESPN2 and some of the games will be on NBATV but dealyed

Watched Saric today, and you can watch the replay online at watch ESPN. Clearly the most talented player on his team, although he makes some 20 year old mistakes that get him in foul trouble- mostly aggressive closeouts on shooters taken at the wrong angle. His overall game in terms of passing, handle and feel for the game on offense reminds me of a young Kukoc.

One thing I really liked is that he makes really quick decisions with his passes. He is not a guy like ET who needs to dribble the air out if the ball to be effective. More like Bird as a passer but without the pure jumper (I wonder how good Bird would have been if he was an average shooter?) I guess maybe Diaw is the closest I can think of in terms of his skill set and style of play... But he definitely needs to continue to get stronger and improve as a defender. He has serious size, and I think he will be a great stretch 4 if he gets strong enough to defend the position. His shot is developing, but looks promising.

Do you see him as a three w/ Embiid at the 5 and Noel at the 4?

Right now I don't see him as a SF. But I have not watched him enough. Given how quick Noel and Embiid are, they might be able to get away with that lineup. I guess they could hide him on a weaker wing the way the do with Korver... but Saric is big, like legit PF big. His standing reach was measured as 9'1" two years ago, and he has a solid frame.

I just see him as a very skilled PF. If that does not fit perfectly with Embiid and Noel, so be it. If they all turn out to be really good but don't fit together at age 23 then that is not a bad problem to have. I see how he needs to improve his game, but we are talking the Sixers here, and he could arguably be their second best player right now if be had decided to come over. Not sure what his ceiling is. Could be a sixth man or a star. Has his weaknesses, so it depends how he adapts to NBA athletes. But I think his Euro performance at age 20 suggests that NBA size won't be a problem.

Guess we'll see in a couple years. Stretch fours have to be able to stretch to the three-point line to be effective in the NBA, so that's going to have to be priority number one in the next couple of years.

Yeah, was going to say something similar in that there is no reason to put him at SF unless he really polishes his 3pt shot- which only became decent in the last year. I don't think he needs to be a ball dominant point forward to be effective, but his passing and good instincts off the ball should be at least as effective as a PF then as a SF. Rich had a nice short post at LB about how he has been used as the outlet off of the P&R, and I think ?that would fit well in a lot of sets.

My best case, probably unrealistic, scenario has Embiid and Noel starting with some pure shooting wings, the Saric as a star off the bench as sort of a PF sized Ginobli type role alongside either of the starting bigs. I think getting his 30 min off the bench fits with his question marks about quickness and his high intensity level. Let him beat up partly against second teamers. And I also think Noel won't ever be a really high minute player, given his frame and the his similar high motor. But against second teams you could slide Noel to C next to Saric. So basically divide the 96 minutes of 4/5 between Embiid, Noel and Saric.

I think if Saric was on the Sixers this year he would generate more dunks off of passes for Noel (and Embiid?) than anyone else on the team including MCW. You would have a MCW-Noel P&R. MCW would pass it to Saric in the key, whose man would be covering up on Noel. Saric would take one dribble and pass it to Noel for a dunk.

How far off is Odom as a comparison? Odom may have shot better, but he had the type of all around game I keep hearing described.

Odom was a pretty phenomenal athlete at that age, and one of the most versatile defenders I'v ever seen also. I'm not getting the impression that Saric is either of those things.

Yeah, I don't see the Odom comparison because they are different athletes. But I think Odom took a few years to learn to harness his game and become less ball dominant. Odom was also a really top notch rebounder. While Saric is not like Odom athletically, and we will have to see how his league leading rebounding translates (which you have to think it should.) I also think Saric will adapt quicker to a non ball dominant role.

Basically, I can see Saric being used the same way Odom was used in the successful second half of his career. But as players, they are a bit different, but the end result might be similar? I hope that makes sense...

Your points may still be valid, but for what it's worth I was thinking more of the ~30 year old Odom from LA's title teams. He was still a great athlete, but his versatility is what really made him special.

I think I see what you're saying TK, at least on the offensive end. Brian may be right in that their defense is incomparable.

Odom was my favorite comparison going into the draft. Sure he's not as athletic as Odom which kind of limits his ceiling i guess, but there are a lot of similarities in their games. Odom is more athletic, Saric shows far more intensity.

Odom is also part of the reason, why from a system point of view i see the future of the Sixers as a combination of the Bynum-Gasol-Odom Lakers and the Spurs of the last 5-6 years. How that would work out i have no idea, but that's where the team is likely headed.

The thing that made Odom so valuable (when he was actually interested in playing) was that he could run the point and defend pretty much anyone on the floor. Since it doesn't seem like Saric is capable of doing any of those things, I think we need to find a different comp for him. I can't really think of a skilled PF who moved the needle a whole lot without either being a top-notch defender or a legit stretch threat...Gasol would be one candidate, but his value really came from the back-to-the-basket and mid-range game, plus the passing.

I watched some of the Fiba action, like most international competition, I have an extremely hard time drawing any meaning from it. It's a bunch of guys who don't have anywhere near the size/athleticism of the NBA running up and down the court playing a different game altogether. Saric's defense looked lackluster, at best, to me. Seems like he's going to be a liability on that end, so his offensive skills better make up for it.

Very interesting that you mentioned a PF version of Ginobilli. I've been having the same exact thought lately. There are a lot of similarities in how they approach the game IMO.

Serious question. Any way McRae just decided to go overseas because he didn't want to play for this team? Seems like it would be out of the question usually, but is there a ton of allure to playing for a team that looks like it's going to be one of the worst in the league's history?

I doubt that second round fringe prospects are that picky

I doubt that second round fringe prospects are that picky

no i dont buy that

Yeah, I agree.

It's the opposite. There are actually reports that McRae doesn't want to go but the Sixers want to send him there.

What is interesting about projecting quality young international players is seeing bow they adapt to the NBA. I was thinking about Saric, KVH and Laettner. In some ways they share similar skillsets, with Saric not yet the same level shooter as the other too, but more physical. But the US players developed as stars that dominated the ball, where Saric has been a star forced to play in a system, and will have to even more so as he steps up a level next year.

I guess to some degree Laettner was also system bound in college, but he still was very much the man at Duke. So you have these guys that dominate at the collegiate level like ET and McDermott, and you wonder how they will adapt their games to being more of a role player off the ball since their midling athleticism precludes star treatment in the NBA. But the Saric situation is a bit reversed. If anything, the NBA game might be better suited to his game and style, even if he is off the ball most of the time. But you just don't know how someone will adapt to the athleticism of the NBA until they get there.

Saric returning to lead his team after getting six teeth knocked today should at least win him over some old time Flyers fans.

interesting....I was wondering why he was waiving over for a sub. The announces missed that play, unless I did. I thought I heard them say "he 20 years old, what does he need a sub for?".

Six teeth? My man.

I enjoyed watching Saric against Argentina. He's got a unique combination of a bruiser's mentality on the boards but you can also see the advanced game vision, decisive passing, good movement without the ball. His 3pt shot doesn't go in much at this point but it doesn't look bad. At 20 years old he'll be fun to follow and I can't wait for this kid to get over here. I think his shot will improve and it will be a joy to watch the way he'll create for others at the next level. I don't see any shot of him playing the SF in the NBA(save certain match-ups). He would have a lot of trouble defending that position. Plus you really notice his size out there and I don't see him getting any smaller. His athletic ability is better suited for the four. But you can see the incredible talent this kid has.

The reviews of him sound very good. He might well have been the best prospect available to the Sixers with that second pick. Still, since I expect at this point that he will maximize his compensation after buyouts by choosing to spend three years overseas, I just can't get too excited about him.

Like most Hinkie residuals, he's academic. We're gonna be powerful in theory, you just watch.

6! That's a lot o' Chiclets to eat at one time. Elbow must have been a telephone pole. Could be worse for future rebounding vigor than a shredded ACL. Good thing he's already got his Superman t-shirt which he modeled on draft night.

I read that Phoenix is shopping Bledsoe. Any chance the Sixers will make an offer for him? And if so, what do you think a fair offer would be?

When you say "shop," that indicates that Phoenix wants something in return and I don't know what the Sixers have at this point other than Noel (probably off-limits), Embiid (ditto), and MCW that would interest them. A trade for MCW might make sense for the Suns given that they could retain him cheaply for multiple years, but I'm not sure why it would make sense for the Sixers because Bledsoe would probably walk at the end of the year if he just takes the qualifying offer.

As far as what I think he should be worth to a team on an outright signing, I would say at least $8-$10 million per year but he has a better offer than that on the table from the Suns should he decide to accept it. I believe he has until October to take either the Suns qualifying offer or the 4 year, 48 million deal. I have a hard time believing he would be worth it to Hinkie at that price.

Well how about a package centerpieced by Saric :)? Let's say Saric, Richardson, and giving the Suns a right to swap 1sts in 2015 for Bledsoe. Would you do that if you had a commitment from Bledsoe to sign an extension here?

Well, given my attitude about having to wait two or three years for Saric, I might say "yes" except that 1) I think he is high risk for 48 million over four years and 2) I have my doubts he would agree to an extension with the Sixers for even that much money. I don't think there is any likelihood of that sort of thing happening because, with 48 wins last year, the Suns likely want players they can use now and Hinkie would shock the basketball world if he actually paid that price.

The Sixers don't have to give up anything for him. They can just outbid Phoenix. If they were interested it would have happened already.

I think it's a bad idea. He's not worth what he wants.

Isn't that, 4/48, about what Jrue got in last contract?

He was offered 4/48, he rejected it. He wants the max- 4/63.

Has improved every year, is dynamic. 63 is a lot o' scratch though for a guard who has to wait years for bigs to suit up, grow up, catch up. Somebody'll give it to him (or a number closer to 63 than 48).

I kinda doubt it. If the offer hasn't come yet, who's going to give it to him? The team would have to have cap space, unless Phoenix is just fed up with the situation and willing to do a sign-and-trade with a capped out team and take something moderate in return for making it happen. If the Sixers were really interested, they would've just made an offer by now. They don't need to do a sign-and-trade, they can just make the offer.

I'd like to see them get him, simply because it would be a reason to watch. The contract would be movable, if they needed to move it, and really it's not like they're going to need that cap flexibility any time in the next four years anyway. They won't do it because the money is better off in their pockets. As a fan who might want to watch a game or two, adding anyone above replacement level would be a gigantic leap in the right direction, but they won't do it.

It would be nice to get a legit force, like when George McGinnis came to town ['75-'76] and turned heads and a team around, until ceding some of his frontline territory and top billing to Doc the next two years.
_____

Former Sixers GM Pat Williams: "George was the turnaround factor in pro basketball in this town. Julius put up the walls and a roof, but it was George who built the foundation." - Bruce Newman, SI, 3/82, "Oh, What Might Have Been" ... fine article, a recommended read.

I remember that as I was living in Philly at the time. His acquisition figured prominently in their radio commercials telling fans that this was a new Sixers team that was determined to rise from the ashes.

I wonder if and when Hinkie & Co. will run ads trying to convince fans that they are determined not to be bad anymore.

For actual McGinnis footage as Sixer, YouTube 'McGinnis was Lebron in 1976!'

Billboard: "By George We've Got It!"

Bonus: buckets by Steve Mix, Fred Carter And Harvey Catchings.

It takes a special player to average 32.3 points, 15.9 rebounds and 8.2 assists in 18 playoff games as George did in '74-'75. Also had 52 & 37 in one ABA game.

On my favorite Sixers 2nd Team.

I want them to do something interesting with their cap space. Whatever Phoenix is getting in return for Bledsoe is what the Sixers are missing out on.

Sam Hinkie has a different definition of interesting when it comes to cap space than you and I do.

Yes, the Hinkie policy manual states ----

The preferred use of cap space is for acquiring contracts at the trade deadline necessary to meet the league specified salary floor. Under favorable circumstances, cap space may be used at other times as an incentive to acquire other teams' surplus contracts in exchange for future draft picks. Cap space will not be used to acquire free agents for current duties who require compensation above league minimum levels.

Except there's no guarantee the contract will be movable with Bledsoe's injury history. That's the main reason why i don't think going after him is a good idea. He's a risk even at the price the Suns are offering him.

7/8/14: Suns beat writer Paul Coro says Pistons, Lakers, Mavs, Bucks have cap space, are possible Bledsoe suitors. Changes have happened since but one of the mentioned may come strong to the table. And surprises occur. I think his accountant will need a new abacus. Just a hunch.

It's certainly possible. I think he'll probably be had for what will amount to be a fair price for a young, explosive PG who isn't allergic to the defensive end. There are quite a few players in his ballpark in the league at that position, which is why I don't like the idea of using a high draft pick on a PG. It's very easy to fill the position through means other than a high lottery pick. I assume we'll be having this same discussion when the Sixers are eyeing Mudiay with the #3 pick next summer.

There is also a freshman small forward who will play at Kansas (Oubre) rated among the highest draft prospects. That's certainly a position of need for this team.

I think the Sixers are the only other team that can offer him what he wants this off season. Problem with him is that he has some injury issues. Only played 40 games last year and had knee surgery that removed part of his meniscus.

The 4 teams mentioned by beat writer can't?

Wade and Paul had similar arthroscopic procedures done.


It doesn't look like it link.

Atlanta and Orlando could get close if they got rid of their cap holds.

Thanks for link.

And Bledsoe is from Birmingham, Alabama. Could factor.

IIRC, he had knee issues even before last season during the time he was with the Clippers.

Sixers future getting ready to watch Dario Saric play...

https://twitter.com/JoelEmbiid/status/507237616899870720

Football season starts tonight! Who wins a championship sooner: Eagles, Flyers, Phillies, or 76ers?

1. Eagles
2. Sixers
3. Flyers
4. Phillies

1. Eagles
2. Flyers
3. Sixers
4. I don't follow baseball so I'll defer to you. Phillies

I think the Mars colony will win a championship before the Sixers do

Another cool pic. Embiid, Nerlens, Dario and MCW.

https://twitter.com/joelembiid/status/507631415471517698

Hah, not the best game for Dario or his new NBA fan club.

Really? I didn't watch but his numbers look pretty darn good!

Dario Saric finishes with 15 PTS (5/5 FG), 4 REB, and 3 AST in 14 minutes in a 103-82 Croatian win over Puerto Rico. #TogetherWeBuild
1:58 PM - 4 Sep 2014

I find this little trip by Embid, Noel and MCW to be interesting. This is a new era of media where we know what guys are up to all the time, but I can't remember seeing something like this in the past. It seems like a legitimate recruiting trip.

The fact that it is Brown, Hinkie, and those 3 all there to watch Saric. I mean what is the explanation for that? Maybe this doesn't get you excited but can you really make a negative spin about this?

MCW and Noel have clearly bought into everything. Embid seems to be in his own world right now but following as told. I am hoping he buys in over the course of the year because, in my opinion, he could be the REAL difference maker in all of this.

This is of much less importance but I hope this does not alienate any of the other players. I think there is a fine balance between keeping a core (ala Spurs) and keeping a core and slapping everyone else in the face (Houston). We are a long ways away before that matters though.

Also - yes we got some bucks on the back on the Thunder deal (looks like $1bn), but we funneled that right into the stadium with this video technology. You can say what you want but I REFUSE to believe that the new video technology will result in >$1bn of additional revenue, let alone an attractive return.

Something tells me this Spain trip isn't on the players dimes either. And Hinkies constant international travel. And the practice facility. And the amnestying. Just because they might make a SMART financial decision and take a tax break, doesn't mean they are scraping something clean.

Hey - if nothing else we get to see Chip on Sunday.

MCW didn't seem too bought in when they drafted Payton. Nothing wrong with this trip, though. Nothing meaningful and nothing wrong. I wouldn't get too attached to anyone.

text: "I'm a basketball player. I can play with anybody."
subtext: "Dang. I may be traded. I thought Hinkie loved me. "

Saric looks like he is big enough to play PF next to either Embiid or Noel. Keep in mind they are all 20 and should continue to get stronger. If anything, Noel has to get stronger.

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Bwt4FCvCMAEpmdK.jpg:large

I'll say this much: If their idea of playing him at SF turns out to be effective, that's going to be one MASSIVE lineup.

Just imagine a MCW/Hollis/Saric/Noel/Embiid lineup. I don't remember a team ever fielding a bigger lineup than that.

I'm just not sure that roster works unless we see a big improvement in shooting.

But overall, I've been reasonably happy with Saric's defensive potential both inside and out. He may not be explosive, but he does not look lead footed either. Not that his defense has looked great, but he is not as slow as advertised. And even at 20 he handles contact well.

The thing is, nowadays, when talking about a big man's defense everyone talks about rim protection and for wings it's all about lateral quickness. That's why everyone think Saric is going to be a very poor defender. But defense is definitely more than that and his team defense is perfectly fine, he absolutely doesn't shy away from contact and he has fairly quick hands (gets a solid amount of steals for a forward).

He's never going to be the defensive centerpiece of a team, but that's not really what he'll be tasked with in Philly. This is why i don't see why defense will be such a major issue for him because he really just needs to be good enough to be playable defensively and he already shows decent team defense abilities.

Yeah, my main concern was whether he would be such a defensive liability hat you could not keep him on the floor in key situations. But next to Embiid it should not be an issue. Playing Noel/Saric at 5/4 should work against some lineups.

On defense, I don't see a problem with Saric, Embiid and Noel all on the floor if you add a quality wing defender into the mix, but I'm not sure I like that combo offensively. Like we discussed the other day, it all works better if Saric or maybe Noel is you sixth man.

I'm contrasting this to McDermott, who just is too small to play PF. Saric lacks the explosiveness to be a great rim protector at PF, but he seems to have the size, rebounding and ruggedness to be slotted at PF. I don't think you can may the same for McDermott. But McDermott has the shooting that might make up for his defense and lack of position. While I see Saric as a PF who could give you some minutes at SF due to his skill set.

Oh, i absolutely agree, i don't see Saric as a SF either, but i do think the Sixers will try that lineup out.

Anyway, i think the whole situation coul easily be headed to a Lakers circa 2010 scenario. All 3 will start and Saric and Embiid will finish. It's not perfect, but it could definitely work.

And could make for some great offense-defense switches down the stretch by subbing in Noel to close the lane. MCW, McDaniels, Saric, Noel, Embiid would be a great defensive lineup in a close game. They would not only close the lane, but they would likely give teams problems getting off threes with that combination of length and quickness. And defensive rebounding would not be a problem. That lineup would also be able to run out off of stops and generate a ton of steals, blocks and rebounds.

Hmm. It's strange that you think that based on watching him play those couple FIBA games. Normally your player evals. sound very reasonable to me and generally your eye tests agree with mine, but this time I saw something totally different. Saric's perimeter defense looked very weak to me both from the technical and athletic standpoints. His "quick twitch" reflex and spatial anticipation (which is at least 50% of what makes guys like Tony Allen and Iggy so tough to attack with the ball) looked on par with U.S. high school basketball in my opinion. And the lateral movement and change of direction don't seem to be there at all, like Xsago pointed out - which cripples his recovery ability. In my opinion, that's as vulnerable a weakness as his so-so jumper and if you look at the nature of most of his fouls so far, you'll see what I'm talking about. I like his overall offensive ability and his feel for the game on that end but he would be virtually unplayable on the wing in an NBA game today, because every coach and player would immediately smell blood and absolutely work him off the dribble until he sits. Getting beat by Greek and Filipino players and chronically having to foul does not bode well for a guy's NBA prospects, even if the sample is small

I guess it is a matter of degree. I see him as a PF who can spend some time at SF if he gets to cover the weaker wing. I agree he still needs a lot more work in terms of defensive discipline and technique, but don't think he is terrible for his size in terms of quickness or footspeed from what I have seen, and that was my concern gong in. I also think his strength and size seem sufficient to defend the post.

I still think he will be a below average man defender when all is said and done. But I don't think his defense will kill a team or be a reason to take him off the floor, certainly not if he is pared with someone like Embiid.

Maybe we were watching different things but I thought his defense and footwork stood out as his Achilles heel. You have to keep in mind that it's the NBA game that we're gauging his aptitude for, not future FIBA or Adriatic League competition. I'm not just trying to be negative here, I know you and Xsago and several others on this blog really like his game. There certainly are plenty of things to like. It's just that I didn't realize how limited he was athletically & defending man to man because I've never seen him play before. YouTube highlights obv. don't give you a look at mundane things like perimeter defense, & they were the extent of my Saric knowledge until FIBA.

However, it's things of that nature that are at the heart of my concerns with international and HS prospects who possess ''uncertain'' athletic abilities. There really is no way of being sure they can be on the court with NBA athletes until you see them simply prove it.

My freshman year in college I was on the bball team (I couldn't get off the bench and quit since there wasn't even any scholarship $ for me) and one of our guys, a 6'11 freshman C/PF from Bulgaria managed to drum up an unexpected amount of interest on our 'academics-first' D2 campus where nobody gave a shit about sports. He played on the Bulgarian Jr. National team at 16, was scouted by a handful of NBA people as a result, and only agreed to play Division 2 at my school because his D1 NCAA amateur status was long compromised by the fact that he was paid to play in Bulgaria since childhood (as is common in all Euro sports). Long story short(er), his finesse big man game just plain didn't work, even on the D2 level. The 1 and 2 star rated American kids who gave up half a foot to him in height, would simply make his ankles bleed off the dribble, and on D play him very aggressively, to the point where all his smooth handles, slick passes, and pretty looking 18 ft jump-shots were rendered irrelevant. It was a major disappointment for everybody, esp. him, because watching him at practice against chairs and trainers holding practice dummies he looked other-wordly because of his size-skill combination.

He and I lived in the same hall fresh. year and still periodically keep in touch online so I've picked the hell out of his brain on bball subjects over the years, but one convo I had with him was particularly memorable. He's been on the court with fairly skilled Euro guys like Sergei Monia, Ivan Radenovic (Serbian standout who played on those Arizona teams with Salim Stoudemire, Hassan Adams, Iguodala), and a few other recognizable names at various camps and tournaments in Europe, but always tried to convince me that they weren't really all that impressive in his opinion. Rather it was Zaza Pachulia who was pretty much Shaq to him because his toughness and rugged play made him unstoppable. Pachulia and a short list of absolute no-name guys who had 0 skill but played a physical game, from schools like Northern Iowa and Missouri Southern State University (schools we played 2x/year, they suck at basketball too), were the best players he'd ever faced according to him.. just because they made things impossible by bullying him around or blowing by him. Something that simple could void all the intriguing skills that we knew he had, and he was given no chance to show them off playing a North American style of basketball.

Now obviously my Bulgarian buddy was no Dario Saric. Saric is probably the most dynamic Euro prospect since Bargnani, but the physical and athletic limitations I described above are very real and have shut down countless other European players who tested the NBA or U.S. college basketball. Not saying Saric is doomed or anything like that but I would at least say that based on watching his FIBA performance so far, the door to play and defend NBA wings looks pretty much shut as far as I can see. I would temper my expectations of him if I were you guys (tk, Xsago, Rusty, Steve) or you might be very disappointed, esp. after 3+ years of the propagated hype.

Again, I don't want to sound like a simple contrarian here to all the optimism surrounding him, but just for the sake of argument: what major things is Saric clearly better at than say, Nik Tskitishvilli? (Going by NT's scouting reports up to 2002 - i.e. before he was brutalized in the NBA)

omg longest comment ever..how you like them apples, Tray?

It will be a while before we see. Also, hopefully Croatia makes it past France and we see him against some more quality competition. His success or failure in the NBA will depend on how his offensive game and rebounding continue to develop. I had been concerned that his defense might be so bad that he would kill you, but what I've seen so far makes me think that is not the case at PF, and maybe on occasion on the wing.

Basically, I feel like on Croatia Saric has above average quickness for a Euro big, Tomic about average (but super soft) and Zorich has feet of stone. All 3 are slower than the average athletic NBA 4, and way slower than someone quick like Thad or Lebron. But I think Saric looks to be quick enough to get by if he learns to be a smart and aggressive defender. I can't say the same for his teammates.

Avg. for a Euro big? Ok yeah I agree with that, except he's not projected to be a "big". Even if he plays the 4 it'll be on the perimeter, handling the ball and working outside-in. Otherwise his key talents like collapsing the defense and creative passing and all that would be reduced to mere gimmicks and he would essentially morph into a less athletic, interior oriented version of Josh McRoberts. Either he puts on major muscle and learns to body up strong athletic 6'10 dudes without fouling, or Embiid and Noel need to grow their wingspans to pterodactyl-like proportions.

I suppose we'll just agree to disagree on this. I guess you weren't as alarmed by how he looked on the defensive end. To me it looked Hawes-esque.

Actually, he was projected as a forward. Noone was quite sure what position he'd be better suited at during the draft. Also, there's a big difference between offense and defense. On offense he can play all over the floor, as he doesn't really have a big hole in any part of his game. Defensively, he's much better suited guarding PFs. That's why i personally project him as a PF, but i'm not shutting the door on transforming him to a SF completely.

Really, like i said way before the draft, Saric is somewhere between Parker and Anderson as a prospect. Defensively, he has more or less the same question marks Jabari has. Jabari is stronger and a bit more explosive vertically, Saric is a little bigger and has better understanding of defensive concepts.

Oh and one more thing. I think we need to remind ourselves that we are talking about prospects here. Noone is a sure thing. Lots of things can go wrong. Saric is definitely not guaranteed to succeed. But neither are Wiggins, Parker, Embiid and the rest.

And as a "prospect", there's plenty to like in Saric IMO. The upside is very high and he seems to fit the idea of playing fast and sharing the ball that i feel like Brown and Hinkie are instituting on the team.

Like i hinted in the comment above, the core of the discussion IMO is his position. I don't disagree that there are doubts about his defense on the wings. But i do disagree with your insistence of portraying him as a wing. I think there's, say, 80% chance that he's a PF in the NBA. He won't need to defend wings. And his quickness defending the pick and roll as a PF is on par with a lot of PF in the NBA.

On to the comparison with your Bulgarian buddy, the biggest problem with European players is their ability to play and especially finish through contact. That's why your friend failed. It's also why a lot of Euro's can't play in the NBA. I agree with that fully. That being said, Saric shows none of those concerns as he's a very physical player himself and doesn't shy away from contact at all, especially defensively. He has more than enough size, strength and quickness to be playable in the NBA defensively as a PF. That's what my point is. Whether he can move to the wings is a question mark, but i don't think a move to the wings is necessary just because he doesn't have a 7'+ wingspan.

Anyway, Croatia is playing France next. Most of France's players are NBA athletes. We'll see how he fares against their size and athleticism.

P.S. Bare in mind when watching Croatia that they have 0 rim protection behind him. Tomic and Zoric are extremely weak defensive players (which is why Tomic for example never made the move to the NBA, despite being one of the best offensive centers in Europe). In Philly, with Noel and Embiid that will never be an issue.

This is Joakhim Noah looked like at the age of 20- https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2385/1837296383_7029c1ec26.jpg

I think Noel will get stronger

I don't know if that is the best comparison. Noel has much better length but Noah always had a bigger frame to build upon. But I think Tyson Chandler was closer in terms of frame when he entered the NBA.

This is Chandler at age 20:


http://ww4.hdnux.com/photos/07/75/14/2085647/5/628x471.jpg

@WojYahooNBA: Detroit restricted free agent Greg Monroe has signed the qualifying offer, league source tells Yahoo Sports.

He is going to have to pay for a big insurance policy in case he gets hurt before next summer.

Tough game for Saric in their elimination. Finished the tourney averaging 11.7/6.7/2.3/1.7st on good percentages. Per 36 numbers 16/9.3/3/2.3 50%/33%.

At age 20 those numbers are great. Basically identical to Marc Gasol in the same minutes but with more steals and less blocks. He still has a ways to go, but already a very good player at 20 in a tournament where young players like Exum, Mario and the Greek Freak generally don't put up numbers. #16 in eff for the entire tourney, when the only other player around his age in the top 50 is Anthony Davis.

I enjoyed watching him play over the past couple of weeks, although I'm not sure why they didn't try to get the ball in his hands more to create for others. One thing I learned is that after his incredible vision, the best thing about him is his intensity and aggressiveness. I'm not sure how anyone could watch him and feel he is a "typical soft euro". He is anything but that. And at 20 yrs old?? Wow. Hell, right or wrong, Hezonja is 19 and can't sniff the court. Saric is 20 and the best player on the team and sometimes the floor. Really excited to watch him develop and I think he'll come over when eligible.

I'm left feeling decidedly unimpressed. Seems like he's going to be an extreme defensive liability no matter where you put him, and nifty passing (maybe) is going to be his biggest contribution on the offensive end. I'm still confused about when I'm supposed to get excited about euro ball stats, and when I'm supposed to ignore them. I guess I'm supposed to be excited because he's only 20 and he shot 50% from the floor playing, literally, against like 2 guys who will be in the NBA. Saying "he's only 20" doesn't really do much for me, either. Considering guys who are any good in the NBA are putting up better numbers than this IN THE NBA when they're 20.

We'll see if I'm wrong in three years, I guess. Seems like a wasted pick to me unless they can flip him for someone who will be able to compete in the NBA.

I'm not quite sure what you could reasonably expect. He is not Lebron or Shaq, who were top 10players in the world age age 20. But he was one of the best players in the tourney not on Team USA, and you really can't say that about any other international player under age 24, let alone age 20. You can only measure him against who he is playing against. It sounds like he won't earn anything in your eyes until he plays in the NBA, which I guess is valid for anyone who has not entered the league, but it is hardly grounds for criticism.

Look at France, It is not like Diaw, Batum or Fornier have lit it up in this tourney. Their FIBA numbers are right about in line with there NBA production (none over 10 ppg, all with high TOs and lower shooting percentages.) I can't say that Saric's FIBA numbers prove anything, I just don't think it was at all a negative performance, and Include his defense- where he made some mistakes, but seemed the most athletically gifted and physical defender on his team by a wide margin.

It's not that big of a deal. In most drafts, you don't expect to come out with a star at #10, you expect to get a contributor, hopefully a starter. MCW is probably a decent goal in that range. In this case, I'm putting my money on him never really being a legit starter. He seems like pretty much what I expected.

Let's look at it from a different perspective. If he was a junior in college (which is what most 20-year-olds are), with below average athleticism, really poor defensive skills, a below-average jumper without three-point range, and some nifty passing skills, would you and others be gushing about him? And, I mean, you're saying he's one of the better guys who can't play in the NBA when you're putting him up against everyone in this tourney who doesn't play in the NBA. Like, he's maybe on par with journeymen like Diaw or Pietrus. Great.

So take the Euro thing out of it, let's pretend he's playing at like Kentucky with this skillset and he's a junior. Would you be totally psyched if the Sixers drafted him, and he was going to continue playing against sub-par athletes and size for at least two more seasons before you finally get a chance to see how his "skills" translate to the NBA? Come on.

We just don't agree on what kind of player is now or in a few years. Just because the guy has good court vision and a good handle does not mean that is all he brings to the table. He is also a good rebounder, scorer/finisher who absorbs and scores through contact, can shoot and has legit PF size at 6'10 with a 9'1 inch standing reach and a solid frame. I don't agree that he a a terrible athlete, even if he is not an elite one like say, Blake Griffin or Bismack Biyambo :)

The guy fits where the NBA is going with PF. A guy who is tough and has size, but also has skills and a high BB IQ and a jumper with range. I agree with you about expectations at #12 (not 10, since they got another 1st back.) That is why I'm hoping he ends up either as a key 6th man who rotates with Embiid and Noel, or a starter with Noel off the Bench. The team is acquiring some elite athletes, and it is not a bad thing to add a guy who's talent goes beyond his vertical.

If they're going to add talent beyond a vertical, that talent should be shooting. It's pretty bold to say his rebounding is going to translate considering the guys he's going up against. I'd argue the NBA is going to quicker guys at PF who can stretch the floor. Not marginal athletes who can pass a little and might hopefully develop a three-point shot by the time he's ready to play here.

And the only way they "got a #1 back" in that deal is if they trade a #1 before 2017, because those protections are pretty much a lock at this point.

The 1st was not going to degrade into seconds in unless the Sixers finish bottom 9 through 2018. I guess that is possible for the next 4 years, but it is far from a lock and I don't think it is probable- as they will need to act in FA prior to 2017 to avoid running into the MCW and Noel cap holds.

http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2012-08-11/sports/os-magic-howard-trade-draft-picks-20120811_1_orlando-magic-sixers-dwight-howard-trade

I think leading his pro league in rebounding when he is probably 5 years younger than most of the starters suggests his rebounding will translate. But he did not play in the very top league, so his numbers this year at Efes should be more predictive. As for his shooting, it continues to improve. Most recently 34.5% from 3 on nearly 4 attempts per game over a full 38 game season with a 58% TS%. Again, he steps up a level this fall, so we will have to see if he still puts up oeague leading numbers in scoring, rebounding, ts%, FTA etc or if he takes a step back.

"The 1st was not going to degrade into seconds in unless the Sixers finish bottom 9 through 2018."

Like I said, a lock.

I don't believe you honestly think this. Sometimes I can't tell if you're joking. It's fair to disagree with the long-term approach the team has taken. It's fair to say they've drafted the wrong players. But, I don't think it's reasonable to think they'll be that awful for the next few seasons.

Why isn't it fair? They've gone out of their way to stay bad, it seems perfectly reasonable to me to think they'll remain so. Especially when they've used basically all of their picks on high risk prospects, whether it's due to injury or the fact they're committed to playing overseas for several more years. So far, they've got a guy who might be an average PG, if he can stop shooting, and Noel who might be a really good defender. They've also paid absolutely no attention to actually filling out a roster with their high picks. They used 3 lottery picks in 2 seasons to fill 2 positions. Could something positive happen in the next two seasons? Sure. Could one or more of these players pan out? Absolutely. But based on what Hinkie has done so far, I expect him to draft BPA next summer as well, and the odds are that's going to be a big man. I also expect him to move either MCW, Noel or Saric for another pick if/when they develop or another team shows interest. This doesn't seem like a four-year plan to me, but I'll save my thoughts on that for a future post. Whenever I have time to write it.

I look forward to your full post, then.

The #21 team last year was Cleveland with 33 wins. The Sixers have the players you mentioned (MCW, Noel, Embiid), a likely top 3 pick this year, and practically infinite cap space. Obviously this year they'll be bad again. But, eventually they will choose to spend that cap space and their draft picks will yield value either as players or trade chips.

Do you honestly think they can't crack 33 wins in any of the next four seasons? Do you think they'll never sign free agents, and manage to exploit the cap room in trades infinitely?

Suppose you're right in that the owners only want the team for profit. I don't see them leaving the tank in effect for more than five years (2012/13-2017/18). That won't make them any friends or any money. The Sixers can't collect revenue sharing money because the market is too large. I imagine you'll assert that they simply don't spend money, but I don't think that will work for five years. The alternative is that the owners sell the newly stripped down team to the highest bidder. That new owner will then have some portion of the next four years to build a team that doesn't finish in the bottom third of the league.

I just don't see a scenario where they're that bad for that long. Even last year's terrible roster started 3-0. A sub-mediocre roster could win 33 games once over a four year span.

I could envision them missing the playoffs. If their top prospects get injured or are busts then I'd expect Hinkie would be out after another 2-3 years, and another GM might want to start over. This is the risk that comes with a complete rebuild, that you can get stuck in a constant rebuilding cycle where it can take years before you draft a true franchise player.

On the flip side I can see them as a playoff team on the rise in 2-3 years. it is this uncertainty with an equally high ceiling and low floor that makes this experiment interesting.

And if you want to see how Saric did against his peers, this was from the Hoops Summit in 2012, the same year as Wiggins and Noel and Bennet. Saric went for 13/14/5 in the game as was regarded as one of the best players all week. Wiggins is all of 13 months younger, while Saric is almost exactly the same age as Embiid, Noel and Grant.

I think Saric made a good overall decision at the time to play in the Euroleague next year given he would have not gotten to play a prominent role on most NBA teams at 20. Unfortunately, he actually would have been one of the key players on the Sixers, so it did not turn out to be the best decision considering the team that drafted him. I'm not sure he would have gotten as much PT on say, the Nuggets or Suns.

A 20-year-old who wouldn't get PT in the NBA isn't going to suddenly be a star at 25. That's not how it works, and you know it.

No doubt he would get PT. I just think that aside from the bottom 8 teams in the league he would be asked to be role player, which would not be as good for his development into a potential elite player than filling that role in the top level of Europe. That seems to be his decision making in learning whether he was not going top 7 before signing his contract with Efes. If he has the talent, then by 22 he will be ready to step up another level to the NBA the way that players like MCW and Lillard were NBA ready at 22 more than they would have been at 20. And if he is a bum like you project, he will still be one 2 years from now...

Future MVP talents like Rose and Lebron are ready to be a focal point at 20, and nobody would argue that Saric is gifted enough to be that level star at any time in his career. While Iggy/Jrue level players are suited to limited roles at age 20 and can step into more leading roles at age 22-24. I think Saric has a decent shot at being that level of player. Basically the Sixer's Detlef Schremph.

We're essentially talking about Hawes with less size and less range on his jumper. If he was from Cedar Rapids instead of Croatia no one would've ever heard his name and he'd be heading back to Davidson for his junior year.

If you think the pro basketball in Europe and FIBA is equivalent to Davidson... and Saric's athleticism equivalent to Hawes then you are spot on.

Let's look at Rubio. When be shifted from the ACB to the TWolves not one of his raw stats or per minute stats went down. His scoring, assist, FG% and 3pt% were all the same or better starting on the TWolves than they were in Europe. It is not like he was a great scorer/shooter there and it failed to translate. He basically had the same elite assists/steals in both leagues, and the same weak shooting/scoring. That does not sound like going from D3 to the NBA as a junior to me.

Then again, Saric's FIBA and Efes competetion is closer to Rubio's ACB competition then Cibona, so this year will be a better measuring stick. I'm interested to see whether he can be a star for his new team at a higher level. Efes starts it's season in 1 month.

I see this as equivalent of a top baseball pick dominating AA and then choosing to go to AAA instead of MLB. For a lot of top prospects it makes more sense to jump to the majors. It mostly depends if you are ready and if you will get the PT needed to develop.

It's clear to me from the way you go on and on about the merits of drafting this guy (who requires at least a two year wait) is that you are incredibly invested in "your pick" rather than being invested in what would have been best for Sixers fans over the next few years. I think this is why you thought I must have disagreed with you about the Saric pick because I was similarly invested in some other player.

I would caution you against such pyschological investment in any one player. When the Sixers got the second pick in 2010 I was ecstatic because I was so impressed by Turner when watching him over his last two collegiate seasons. I've learned not to do that anymore.

I did not want them to come out of the draft with Saric as their second pick. I wanted the players who went the top 10. I also would have been fine with McDermott, because he is a pure scorer. But I was fine with Saric + their 1st back. I think he is a good prospect. I am higher on him now after watching him some... and of course I am more invested in his success now that he bas been drafted as a Sixer. While aeeing Embiid and Saric drafted was almost comic in how they both would not be ready to play, and yet IMO were the clear best talents on the board when drafted. It was a typical cosmic bad break that I'm used to as a Philly fan.

It's not about me getting proven right or wrong. I have been right sometimes and wrong others. I was really high on draft day for Iggy, Thad, Speights, Jrue and Biyombo... and Bynum I was low on Carney and Vucevic. So I'm probably right maybe only 65% of the time. It's odd how nmany timers the team has picked the player I wanted going in. But I generally really want anyone the Sixers pick to succeed, just like most fans.

No doubt I'd rather be an optimist with regards to Saric, but I don't think I am unreasonably so. He is a talented, tough kid with decent athleticism and good size, but lacks explosiveness. I think he has a good chance of being a top 3-4 player on a great team, especially alongside a healthyEmbiid.

I didn't watch him at all (I don't want anything to do with him until if and when he becomes part of the team) but the reports have been quite good overall. I definitely will give him major points for toughness. Anyone who can lose 6 teeth and continue playing can never be accused of being a pansy.

Actually, turned out to be a dental implant that had 6 teeth in it So basically he had his denture knocked out :)

Oh, and to clarify what I said above, like most people, I have an ego and like being right. And I guess I will try be a Saric backer until I'm shown to be wrong. I will try and follow Efes this Fall, and give some updates- but you don't have to listen.

I think people sometimes lump all Euro prospects- which is not entirely what you are doing, but seems part of the equation. Take another example in a bust- Jan Vesely. Like Saric, Vesely played in the Adriatic league at age 20. But while Saric dominated the league, Vesely put up middling numbers mostly based on based superior athleticism. Vesely went number 6 based on that athleticism, and he was exposed in the NBA.

Saric could end up being a similar bust, but if so it will be a completely different storyline. I'm sure if either Gasol brother was still playing in Europe people would assume they would flop in the NBA.

Well, the Gasol brothers had legit size and an interior game. I remember wanting the Sixers to take Marc w/ the #30 pick the year they took Thad (I think that was the year). You think Saric is a better prospect than Marc was back then?

Why does he have to be a star to be a good pick?

You are contradicting yourself. First you are saying you can't expect much more than a contributor from the #12 pick, than you essentially say that he's a wasted pick because he can't be a star.

I don't know what Saric will turn out to be. Noone does. We can only make educated guesses. What i do think though, is that he has a better chance to become part of a future quality core than Stauskas, Vonleh, Payton. McDermott, LaVine, Harris, Warren etc.

You're missing the forest for the trees.

My point is if this 20-year-old phenom isn't ready to play against actual athletes right now (which he isn't), two or three years against sub-optimal competition isn't going to suddenly season him into a valuable player. And I'd love for someone to tell me why Saric is a different situation from a college junior somewhere with similar skills. I have no idea why a 20-year-old Euro is considered this young diamond in the rough who's obviously going to develop into something special when a college junior with the exact same measurements and skills wouldn't even be considered a prospect.

1. Who says he's not ready to play in the NBA? He'd be a top 3-4 player on the Sixers right away and would be getting some minutes on the majority of NBA teams. What he isn't ready to do though is be a star for a team. And that's why he decided to postpone his jump to the NBA, because he wants a relatively prominent role right away. I don't think that was a good decision on his part, because he'd get all the opportunity in the world on the Sixers (and honestly he might've chosen differently if he knew he'd be drafted by the Sixers), but that doesn't mean he stayed in Europe because he can't play in the NBA right now.

2. There are no college 20 year olds with a similar skillset. If there were, they'd be considered as great prospects. But a huge majority of the US players with his level of talent (or better) make the jump to the NBA at an earlier age, as Europe isn't really an option for them. A simple comparison would be to describe Saric as a tougher, far more athletic and slightly bigger Kyle Anderson. Kyle Anderson was considered a good enough NBA prospect at the age of 20 and was drafted late in the first round. Don't you think a tougher, more athletic and slightly bigger version of him is a legit late lottery prospect?

"What i do think though, is that he has a better chance to become part of a future quality core than Stauskas, Vonleh, Payton. McDermott, LaVine, Harris, Warren etc."

Well, all of those players will be contributing more to their NBA teams over the next two (or three) years than Saric will. Unless something happens to accelerate his arrival or he is trade for a stud, you can't possibly dispute that. Now, as to your point that he will be better than all of those players three years from now - that's just wishful thinking.

Look, i understand the desire for more instant gratification. I get those who want the team to be as good as possible now, regardless of what that means for the future. I don't really agree with them, but i understand their viewpoint. That however is very different from calling a legit prospect to be better than other prospects in 3 years wishful thinking just because he won't come over right away. Plenty of Euro prospects have done the same. Were they all worse than the players drafted around them, when they did come over?

I haven't seen an analysis of this (i might be wrong), but of the top of my head i know a lot more busts from the Euro guys who came over immediately than from the ones that delayed their move to the NBA.

You said that you expected Saric to be better in two or three years than seven named players. You didn't say that you expected that he could be better than any given one of them. Perhaps this was just an error in writing but my view from a literal reading of your words is that your view was wishful thinking.

I don't expect the Sixers to be "as good as they can be" this year, but I expected them to do more than just cast aside another entire season as something that doesn't matter. The fact that so many people seem sanguine about management treating two consecutive seasons as virtually worthless is troubling to me.

"A 20-year-old who wouldn't get PT in the NBA isn't going to suddenly be a star at 25. That's not how it works, and you know it."


Well, wait a minute, first of all, you said that he shouldn't be expected to be a "star" considering where he was picked. You said that you expect someone picked in that range to be a contributor and, hopefully, a starter. On that I agree.

Substituting "contributor" or "starter" for the word "star" in the statement made above, it is likely right more often than not, but there are enough "nots" to consider it an overstatement. Jermaine O'Neal, DeAndre Jordan, J.J. Hixson, Louis Williams, Amir Johnson, and Ricky Davis all found minutes hard to come by at age 20 but became much more significant contributors later.

I think I've made it clear that I detest the Saric pick because I consider it a giant middle finger given to all of the fans who were hoping to have some reason to watch a team taking its first steps on the road toward respectability this year. Nevertheless, I'm not convinced he can't come over here in two (or maybe three) years and be an instant contributor. Your evidence is just a probability of failure that might be greater than 50% but is hardly clear and convincing.

I just scanned the Sixers schedule and deem them the underdog in all 82 games. You may want to consider a vacation to Croatia this winter, wherever the hell it is. I predict more Fred "MVP" Carter interviews ahead.

What is euphemistically called a "reset" or a "tear down" by the Hinkie Hounds-For-Higher Altitude, is realistically called a real stain on the sport and the work of educated shysters. I am not grateful for the upcoming nursery school team.

Although I haven't done so yet, I'm strongly leaning toward cancelling my League Pass this year. I've purchased this every year since it has been available from my cable provider simply for the purpose of watching the Sixers. It isn't much of a protest, but I have to do something to refuse to reward management for these actions.

In this vacuum of real pro basketball in Philadelphia, I'm thinking of declaring my '14-'15 free agency for ambitious local GMs of Wednesday darts and Friday shuffle bowling franchises. This may be the lucky year for Mosey Inn, Otto & Hilda's Beer Garden & Dance Hall, Big Tiny Little's Taproom or The Absence Of Alice Café.

well this guy brett brown seems to think pretty highly of Dario:

http://www.eurohoops.net/2014/09/one-on-one/56838

Wait, the coach of the team that drafted Saric is saying he likes him? You mean the coach with the worst winning percentage in the history of he league? Wow. Why didn't you just say so, that completely changes my opinion.

If you need me to add a caveat like "with at least 82 games" or whatever, there you go.

That illustrious honor actually belongs to Bill Hanzlik, who coached the '98 Nuggets to an 11-71 record (0.134) in his only year at the helm. Brett Brown is actually 6th-worst over at least 82 games, behind Hanzlik, Quinn Buckner, Brian Winters, Clair Bee, and Dick Harter (which seems like a name from an SNL sketch). So...pretty good.

@daldridgetnt Hearing former St. John's forward JaKarr Sampson, who played on 76ers' SL team, has signed a partially guaranteed 3yr deal w/Sixers.

Hinkie is obviously a fan of the axiom: You Can't Have Too Many Athletes On Your Basketball Team.

JaKarr can really soar and is quick around the basket - liked what I saw in the SL. Of course, that performance has little correlation to any success in the NBA - but he does provide yet another intriguing challenge for Coach Brown... on a team filled to the brim with similar prospects.

I'm in the camp that you CAN learn better shooting technique - an easier skill to teach than other aspects of the game... now whether any of these guys are capable of LEARNING that skill is the huge question that is yet to be answered.

Except it's not an axiom, it's a canard. It's akin to saying you can't have too many athletes in a restaurant kitchen. Skills rule. Athleticism steps aside. Winter, spring, summer, fall.

I'm in the camp of master, or at least get a grip on, your craft's fundamentals, then come knockin'. You can run and jump like Edwin Moses but it doesn't make you a basketball player. 15 athletes = 15 athletes. Why am I thinking of Jonathan Bender, Stromille Swift, Darius Miles, Joe Alexander, Marko "Yugo" Milic and Rodney "The Dart Without Quills" Carney?

You know, Darius Miles is exactly who I thought of when watching JaKarr Sampson in summer league. He has jaw dropping athleticism and he could develop into a force or he could develop into Darius Miles.

I wouldn't expect this to be how he builds a basketball team. But he's not trying to build a basketball team with moves like this, he's trying to find guys with the work ethic and athleticism who can improve tremendously and perhaps be pieces down the line. If he signs a dozen guys like JaKarr and one of them turns into a rotational player, that's what he's going for. When he goes to actually build a basketball team, what he's doing now isn't necessarily the approach that he will take.

I think next summer will tell us a lot about how Hinkie plans to build this team and how long it will take. There was legitimate defensible reason for doing the rebuild this way for the first 2 seasons: lack of players/assets on the team and owing a lottery protected pick to Miami (now Boston). Tanking for the first 2 seasons was the smart thing to do and while you are doing it, you might as well try out some experimental strategies and go all in on it.

Next summer none of that exists anymore. With 5 lottery picks, incredible amounts of cap space and no risks to lose a draft pick, Hinkie will have to show his cards. His vision will need to become reality and not a distant theoretical future.

Meanwhile, all we can do is enjoy the early years of some young players that could one day be key players on a great Sixers team.

The thing about next summer, if he's actually looking to get long term pieces, it may be difficult with the impending change in the salary cap structure that the new TV deal is going to bring. Nobody is going to want to sign a long term deal when the BRI is about to go up massively.

"If he signs a dozen guys like JaKarr and one of them turns into a rotational player, that's what he's going for. When he goes to actually build a basketball team, what he's doing now isn't necessarily the approach that he will take."

As to the first statement, isn't that what a developmental league is for? Essentially you're admitting that Hinkie is using the Sixers as a farm team and that's OK.

Now, let's move to the second statement. Do you think that he absolutely must start building this team of the future next summer? Personally, I think he should have started doing that this year, but I'll yield to the more patient viewpoint for the moment. But, if you're willing to concede that he shouldn't be able to operate next off-season the same way he has in the last two, then I'm encouraged.

My guess is that the team either has now, or has rights to, or will have, enough players that next season's team couldn't possibly be as bad as this one (between Noel, MCW, Embiid, McDaniels, McRea, possibly Pierre Jackson, and two first rounders from next year, assuming he picks two players who actually will play). Having said that, it wouldn't surprise me at all if he signs no free agent next summer who is worth anything close to the mid-level, starts the season well below the salary floor again, and rents a player's salary at the trade deadline to meet the floor.

"As to the first statement, isn't that what a developmental league is for? Essentially you're admitting that Hinkie is using the Sixers as a farm team and that's OK."

With the D-League, in order for the Sixers to have control over them, they have to be signed to an NBA contract. So there's really not a whole lot of distinction, outside of using up a roster spot on the big club. And since we don't have anywhere near 15 players who deserve to be fixtures on an NBA roster, that's not really much of a concern.

"Do you think that he absolutely must start building this team of the future next summer? Personally, I think he should have started doing that this year, but I'll yield to the more patient viewpoint for the moment. But, if you're willing to concede that he shouldn't be able to operate next off-season the same way he has in the last two, then I'm encouraged."

I think he starts building the team once he knows what he's building around. If MCW shows that he can be a franchise level perimeter player this year (I don't think he is), or if Embiid comes back (I don't think he will) and shows that potential (which I do think that he has), then I think it's incumbent upon Hinkie to start getting talent. Not so much for the fans, but to enhance your franchise players development by having a semblance of talent (and floor spacing) around them.

Until then, though, I think the thing he absolutely must do is get the guys to build around. I don't see much sense (outside of a more pleasurable experience for fans) to start investing long term contracts into guys who may or may not fit the players who end up being the foundational pieces of the team.

I do think that Embiid can legitimately be that guy, which is why I was willing to take that risk (passing on him for a guy who doesn't have that ability is a risk itself), but Sam might not start fully committing to a team around Embiid until he starts showing it at an NBA level.

Ultimately, my focus is on getting "that guy", because without that guy, this is all window dressing. Free agency is putting lipstick on a pig. That's why I don't have a problem with Sam going about it the way that he has, as with 5 top 11 picks (and 3 top 6) over a 3 year span, he's hedging his bets on any one prospect.

Would I love it if Embiid came back at in January, 100% recovered, with no risk of re-injury, and starting showing the potential to dominate in the NBA? Yeah. Then sign me up for trying to be active in free agency. But if he's not, and if 2015-16 is his rookie season, along with the rookie season of our upcoming top 5 pick, then I don't think it matters much what we do next free agency, as we won't be able to draw a superstar (especially with the cap about to go up like it is), and we won't yet know who we need pieces to complement.

So basically the Sixers are going to do almost nothing outside of these insignificant moves until they're certain that they have a franchise player. What happens if Embiid or their draft pick next year doesn't pan out and it's time to give MCW or Nerlens an extension? I guess they'll repeat the process and trade them for 1st round picks.

Be patient, Stan. Kensington wasn't built in a day.

ha. That gave me a good chuckle.

Long underrated player: 'Chuckles' tray of assorted jelly candies ... cherry, lemon, licorice, orange and lime. Would clear a side, take 'Wax Lips' and 'Candy Buttons' to the cleaners all day long.

It's been awhile since I've been there, but it looks like it didn't take as long as Rome or even Brussels.

He might eventually take some of these chips, the MCW's, Nerlens, Embiid's, future draft picks, and trade them in for an established star. He might sign somebody in FA that he views as undervalued and who he can flip later if need be, but I wouldn't expect it to be an impact player.

Mostly by the NBA's design, I think free agency isn't really a good place to find value, at least not for established players. Not with restricted free agency coming off of rookie scale contracts, and especially not when everybody has an excess in cap space due to a drastically rising salary cap. It's where you bite the bullet and overpay because the guy you're signing is a great fit for your core, or where you attract a superstar looking to leave a losing situation and join a second superstar.

I wouldn't expect him to be very active in free agency until he has a core that he is ready to build around. It's possible that he's confident enough in Embiid that he considers him to be that piece without ever having seen him play in the NBA, but I'd be a little surprised.

To be honest, i don't think it's as simple as "finding the guy". Hinkie doesn't want "a guy". He wants something resembling a potential core. And he wants to maximize his assets in the meantime. And maximizing the assets means both saving as much cap space open as possible and saving the first round pick (preferably making it a top 5 one).

Next season, the first rounder won't be in danger and the team will have at least 5 lottery picks from 3 separate drafts (+ a bunch of other young lower level prospects). It's not going to be possible to keep this up much longer. He'll have to show his cards, at least the beginning of what his plans are.

"To be honest, i don't think it's as simple as "finding the guy". Hinkie doesn't want "a guy". He wants something resembling a potential core."

I mean, yes. But you need "a guy" before you can have "guys".

Yeah, but my point was that he doesn't necessarily need to find a superstar. He needs a group of players that he is confident will be good enough to build a contender around them with the desired system.

San Antonio is a good example. They haven't really had a superstar in years now, but they do have a well established core, a quality system of play around that core and suitable role players.

None of Embiid, Noel, MCW, Saric and the rest necessarily needs to become "the one". Proving they mesh well and can play quality basketball together is enough IMO.

It's not that often that I agree 100% with every single word someone writes, but I did this time. Thanks for that post.

There are so few real "superstars" anyway that a strategy devoted to finding one can turn into the ill-fated quest for the great white whale.

My own view is that the Sixers wouldn't even have to be as good as San Antonio for me to be satisfied. In retrospect, I think I enjoyed the 2001 team that lost the championship more than the 1983 team that won it and I enjoyed the 1993 Phillies team that lost the World Series more than the 2008 team that won it.

At this point I think we're mostly arguing semantics. Duncan and Parker are still tremendous, tremendous players, even at their ages. Whether or not they are superstars or just really bleeping good isn't what I'm getting at. Getting great players, and great players who can make other players better (which Parker does on the offensive end, and Duncan certainly still does on the defensive end) is crucial to winning, and that's the part in the process that it Sam Hinkie is currently at.

Also, the rapport that the trio has is not something that Sam Hinkie can build with young guys. That comes after a decade of playing together and knowing each others strengths, weaknesses, preferences, and tendencies. That rapport has been crucial in their ability to still be dominant even as their physical skills have lessened. That's not really something that Sam Hinkie can count on while he's the young talent that he's acquiring to have from day one. He's trying to build San Antonio in its infancy.

Chemistry absolutely matters. I agree with that completely. And the Sixers are nowhere near having one. But in order to develop one you need some continuity. That's why i said "a group of players that he is confident will be good enough to build a contender around". As soon as you feel confident about it, you flip the switch. You don't need to keep going through the same process until someone shows superstar potential and proves it on the court. That can backfire badly when the time for extensions and even worse unrestricted free agency after 8-9 years comes. That's why i really like the approach of having multiple lottery picks for consecutive years because dragging the process out is what kept many franchises in decades long purgatory (even though the blame is often put elsewhere).

Bottom line, i think between MCW, Noel, Embiid, Saric and next years lottery pick there's enough to build around. You can even add (to a degree) McDaniels, Grant, Wroten, Sims, Thompson and the Miami pick to the mix, as one or two of them might surprise in a big way, you can never know. Not all of those guys are going to work out. There are going to be busts, there are going to be limited players, there are going to be players plagued with injuries. But i do feel like there's enough there to be able to build a long term contender (call it a 55+ win team) if the organization behind them does it's job adequately (coaching staff, scouting staff, decision making everything).

Thanks for your thoughtful and thorough reply, Derek, but I don't think doing something just for the fans is pointless, especially after a "I don't give a shit" period of two years or more. He can't take four years or more on tryouts until everything is just right. True "franchise" players are exceptionally rare anyway and if we don't have an encouraging team to look forward to going into year three and he's doing the same things next summer, well, I don't know how you can expect fans to keep the faith.

When I say pointless, or window dressing, I'm talking in the context of getting closer to having a core that can legitimately contend. I have a very singular focus about this. As a fan, I want to get back to the days where I feel like we have a legitimate shot to win a championship. That's tough in the NBA, where parity is a relative joke. To me, that's his only real job, and that's what I want him to focus on. I understand that not everybody feels that way, is willing to sacrifice as much, or agrees wholeheartedly on how to get there, or any combination of the 3.