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Might Be A Starter

A.C. Green wasn't overly impressed with Noel's defense last night. Neither was Dyan Cannon. And the ghost of Fred Schaus rolled his eyes and elbowed Ray Felix.

Lin did 'em in. "Alex, I'll go with 'Harvard Brainiacs' for the win."

Hawks. Can shoot. 53-17.
76ers. Can't shoot. 17-53.
Compliment of PeekAnalytix.

I love what I've seen from Noel since the deadline. And his hands have actually improved along with every other aspect of his offensive game.

Give me Towns for the pick. He's the best fit and best talent. I want no parts of Okafor.

i want towns

kristaps porzingis is a really good fit next to embiid but unless they get the lakers pick he probably wont be available

Despite the 3/19, I'd still take Russell and it isn't close. If they don't have a viable 4/5 combo after using 4 lottery picks in 2 years on the positions, Hinkie should be lit on fire.

I still haven't made up my mind (Russell, Towns and Okafor are fairly close IMO and in a tier of their own - all 3 of them would be nice picks to be honest), but i am slowly leaning towards Russell too. Everything about him just screams future allstar guard IMO. And if the modern NBA taught us anything is that guards that can really shoot off the dribble and pass have a great chance to be successful in the NBA.

Anyway, i just hope the team lands a top 3 pick and is in position to pick one of them - any one would do. A case could be made about top 4 - i don't like Mudiay all that much, but since many like him quite a bit i guess i'll live with a top 4 pick. But anything below 4 would be a disaster IMO (there are some intriguing guys projected to go 5-10, but they also have some serious question marks and after a season like this i want someone who has a clearer path towards stardom).

Btw, which is the 4th lottery pick spent on a big? I only count 3. Noel, Embiid, Saric. The 4th one was a PG - MCW.

You're right, I was already counting this one.

I would take Russell as well with the first pick (second choice would be Stanley Johnson or Justice Winslow). With the Miami pick, I would take Jerami Grant's brother( but I'd give a thought to Kaminsky with that one if were available).

Whatever else may be said about Hinkie, he has managed to assemble a decent core of young forwards for the future if Embid is anything close to what people say he can be and Thomas Robinson is retained. He doesn't have a starter caliber guard on the roster though so he should concentrate on drafting there (although a small forward with high potential could be tempting).

If Hinkie had just kept the player he drafted last summer (Payton) instead of insisting on being too clever by half with the Saric deal, he'd already have a decent young point guard to add to his core of young players.

If the Sixers win the lottery, I would take Towns if I were them.

Problem is that if the season ended today, they'd have only a 15.6% chance of winning the lottery and only a 46.9% chance of even being in the top 3. Two more wins (assuming the Lakers don't in turn win themselves), and those numbers fall to 11.9% and 37.8%, respectively. Either way, I think Towns is likely going to be out of reach as he will likely be off the board by pick #3, so my contingency plan would be: Okafor, Russell, Hezonja in that order (I think Okafor is also gone by pick 3 and I can't figure out if Hezonja is worth drafting or if he's just a European version of J.R. Smith).

The two guys I don't want are Mudiay (same fit concerns as MCW) and Porzingis (malnutrition).

Who do you want Brian?

Russell, then Okafor, then Towns probably. I stated above why I want Russell, if he's off the board, then I'm just leaning toward scoring talent. This team needs to think about putting points on the board at some point, I'd start now. I'm sure Hinkie's looking for the guy most likely to be a redshirt, though. Not sure who that is, maybe Towns blows an achilles in the tourney and clarifies things for him.

lol no way Hinkie has the balls to pull the same crap 3 years in a row, he probably would get lit on fire

I don't really think Hinkie cares all that much if the player is injured or not, but i do agree that the chances of drafting another injured player are pretty low considering none of the top 5-6 ranked players is injured right now and we don't even know where the Sixers will draft.

He'll draft Mario Hezonja with the 6th pick.

12 games left

4 vs SAC, DEN, LAL and NYK

the other 8 are vs teams in the playoff picture or jockeying for position


Admittedly, I don't watch much college ball, but from what I've read, this does not look like a terribly strong draft. A bunch of guys have either major risk/flags, or are only one way players.

Okafor is the surest thing in that his offense and passing will translate. But I don't think he will ever be a good enough defender or rebounder to be a superstar. KAT is more well rounded, and likely has the top ceiling- but I'm not sure he ends up as a dominant NBA player. But I guess at #1 I'd pick KAT and figure at worst he will be Favors with a better touch.

Mudaiy and Russell both have me really worried. Mudaiy, because PG is stacked and he is not much of a shooter nor is he super-explosive. I think his ceiling is more a tiop 10-15 PG (Jrue range when healthy.) While Russell has only played a couple games against real NBA athletes, and the most recent one did not go well for him. Also, despite Russell's passing, he lacks the ability to blow up a defense through drives- which is a critical skill the Sixers need if they are keeping Noel and Embiid.

I would pick Russell over Mudaiy though, because his shooting means you can play him at SG or in a 2 PG system. But that still leaves them in need of a PG who can penetrate and shoot. I guess that is what the picks and caps space are for.

After the top 4 I prefer Mario- although he might be a bit overhyped at this point. He did nothing in the FIBA tourney, on the same team where Saric was one of the best players. But I guess as a athlete/shooter his game translates better than Saric. As for Stanley Johnson, I think next year he steps in and is basically LRMAM. the question is how much better he gets over time? While Kristaps has the highest chance of being out of the NBA in 3 years (not because he will stink, but because he might be positionless in the NBA but be a great fit in Europe.)

I agree with pretty much all of that but I also don't watch college ball.

I think the upcoming Towns vs. Okafor debate is shaping up to be a parallel of last year's Wiggins vs. Parker debate.

Athletic two way star who may have not gotten the chance to fully showcase his abilities due to limitations imposed by his college coach and system vs. offensive juggernaut who is more of a sure thing but with a slightly lower ceiling, pudgy physique, and projections of being only a one way player.

Now all we need is to end up with Mudiay at #3 after he tears a knee and take Porzingis with the Miami pick after his announcement that he wants to stay in Latvia until 2019.

I rarely watch college basketball too, but i do follow the draft process relatively close.

I think the strength of the draft depends on where you'll draft. I actually like the top 3 quite a bit. Towns, Okafor and Russell are all worthy of top 5 picks in any draft. Maybe noone is a superstar talent, but we only really get 1 true superstar talent every 5 years (LeBron, Durant, Davis...), that's not really the norm. And Towns, Okafor and Russell are in my opinion better than most top 3-4 picks (that are not superstars) in recent years. In a way the #1 pick is weaker than usual, but the #2 and #3 are stronger.

The problems i have with this draft are in the #5-#10 range. I think more or less all of the guys projected in that range are really #10-#20 guys in other drafts. Johnson, Oubre, Kaminsky, WCS are all very overrated IMO. Porzingis is a typical late lottery high risk/reward guy. Turner is fine in the late lottery, but not in the top 10. Winslow and Hezonja are the only ones that i can see as top 10 picks from the ones projected to go in that range, but they are not some spectacular prospects.

Outside of that #5-#10 range that i think is weak, the rest of the draft looks pretty average to me - neither good nor bad. There is some talent available there, but nothing spectacular.

I was trying to look back and find players similar to Noel in terms of low usage guys who get you reb/blk/stl. You just don't find many. I think Noel in his prime has a decent likelihood of putting up 10/8/1.7/1.7 (if not better.) NN for the year is 9.5/7.8/1.9/1.8 but trending strongly upwards over the past 2 months.

Looking at 10/8/1.7/1.7 over the past 40 years and you don't find similar players. It has happened 16X, 10X by Hakeem and 2X by Robinson, who are a high volume scorers. The other 4X are Dr. J, Bobby Jones, Kemp and AK47... but again, they each only did it one season in their careers. If NN can consistently put up that type of production it will make him a unique low usage contributor that could be an impact player alongside higher usage guys (hopefully Embiid and an impact wing TBD.) That at least has to be the hope.

It's interesting that Kirilenko came up in the search, because i've had this thought for a while now, that Noel really is like a big man version of what Kirilenko was as a combo-forward. Very versatile and effective defender, unique and somewhat limited offensively. I wouldn't be surprised if he had a similar career, possibly slightly more valuable because he's a big. Talking about pre-injuries Kirlienko, he was a borderline max guy in his prime that simply never got to play the right role on a really good team. First he was miscast as a no.1 guy on a bad pre-Deron Williams Utah team. Than he transitioned to a role where he was not the focal point on offense but was forced to cover for everyone on defense, considering he was playing with defensive sieves like Boozer and Okur up front. Made the allstar team once. Pretty good unique player overall, that had a very short prime because of injuries and was generally went under-appreciated because he didn't fit the norm of what good players are like at the time. Made some all-defensive teams during his 4-5 year stretch when he was good.

I expect a similar career path for Noel, hopefully with better health and longer prime.

That's a list of excuses. Maybe his game was too weird for words. Like Noel's. Had talents and the nickname but I never knew what to make of him as a player. Bobby Jones Light? Top notch players inspire, create a trust, engender team coalescence. He never struck me as one who was inspirational. Predictability matters. I didn't see a pattern. Some nights AK47, others, AK4.7. My opinion.

Kirilenko less effective in playoff huggermuggers. Check out the numbers.

I go Russell but this is a sixers specific answer. I'm going to want to see a team that has pieces next year and would prefer this pieces to be at different spots.

I think Towns has the highest ceiling. I wonder how he will compare to a Drummond.

Okafor would be interesting because I think he will be great offensively.

Noels emergence makes me think he can be the third best player on a contender. Down the line.

Noel emerged last night to limit Cousins to a double-double 1st half and 33 and 17 (in 36 min) for the game, after holding him to 39 and 24 (in 40 min) a week and a half before. 6 Noel blocks were entered into the log of a 16th consecutive road loss. Cousins' 19 misses from field were offset by 19 foul shots (17 makes); 20 FT v. 6ers last time... his 2 highest totals of the season. When DeMarcus sees a pork chop, he goes at it.

And when Embiid takes care of the bulk ground work next season (an untested assumption), Nerlens will redirect a dozen from the weakside, enthusiasts of Flat Top say.

lakers vs t'wolves tonight!

This just in: somebody has to win. YESSS!

For what it's worth, Chad Ford Re: Mudiay and Russell for the Sixers:

Q: If you were GM of the Sixers and had to choose between Mudiay and Russell, who you pick?

Chad Ford (1:38 PM)

I think Mudiay is ahead of Russell on their board. And he probably should be. He's been ranked ahead of Russell on our Board all year. That's never changed and I don't see it changing. Mudiay's elite athleticism trumps Russell's superior basketball IQ.

With a schedule assist, the Sixers have now won 5 of their last 10. And 2 of those 5 losses were in OT. This with a team featuring 2 guys who would be in a typical NBA team's core rotation (NN, RC3) and a few more that would be 9th men (LRMAM.) A bunch of their players have performed at or above that level- but previously have rotted on other benches (Ish, Canaan, TRob.) Other rotation guys like Grant and Hollis would not be getting minutes on most teams.

The wins are not completely welcome, especially if they don't end up with a top 4 pick. But right now NN and Covington have almost single handedly raised the team to competitive (much like they had been in the run up to the trade deadline through team defense.) Noel's production in month of March is better than even optimists project for him in his prime. In 14 games:

13.3pts/10.8reb/2.4blk/2.6stl/50.3%FG His FT% is 70% on his last 100+ attempts (4+ per game.)

It is surprising that the team has found a measure of success of late featuring a 216 pound center and a bunch of cast offs, UFA and 2nd round rookies. I'm really unsure how Noel projects once he shifts to playing more PF and hopefully has increased his strength a bit. He never will be able to handle the league's biggest C's, and his speed/quickness advantage at PF will not be as big as it has been at C. But on the flip side, his growth on both ends has been meteoric. Guys just don't improve this much on offense and as rebounders over the course of a season. Sort of as uncanny as how Jerami Grant has gone from the worst shooter drafted to a reliable 3pt shooter. That is just not supposed to happen.

Next year NN will likely split his minutes between playing PF next to Embiid and playing C (next to TRob) when Embiid is on the bench. I think it will be a rough adjustment when playing PF... but I also think he could absolutely dominate games during his minutes against other teams second units (maybe with Ish as 2nd team PG.) Especially now that he has shown himself to be an actually player on offense.

After spending more time watching Russell and watching the sixers, I really am "all in" to go with DR. I really cannot draw a massive difference versus Towns or Okafor on overall impact, so this would not necessarily be an "all-in" for him being #1 for Minny or NY,

I really don't mind all of this push-back against Noel coming from this forum. It appears there is some acknowledgement of the change, hence the title of this post, so we all have hope into 2015. As someone mentioned, the improvements made in-season are unlike anything I have seen. It is actually strange given he had such a long rehab offseason and I find offseasons are definitely where the big gains are made. I even expected his body to really wear down over the year, but that does not seem to be happening. Simply put, he has a chance to be someone totally different and a great player. To that extent that you think Marion, Noah, etc. were "great" players....well Noel has that potential. I am feeling pretty good that he is going to get better and better....21st birthday in April.

DollarBill - a 25 year old rookie had the tough task of defending Patrick Ewing in 1991 and gave up 30 points, 16 rebounds, and 4 blocks. But Dikembe Mutombo turned out just fine. I really don't care if Nerlens gets punished by someone like Boogie. If he wasn't getting punished then we would probably be a playoff team.

Jerami Grant continues to go overlooked in my opinion. I honestly think he has as much upside as anyone. He can actually shoot. This is not a joke, he shoots it well, he defends well, he makes good passes.

Brown had some interesting comments about Nash. I think that is exactly what he wants in a PG. Someone who can get an easy bucket when needbe, who can make great passes on the pick and roll, who can stroke. Not the non-scoring PG. Sign me up for DR.

I'm with you on Grant. He's my favorite player on the team to be honest. I have no idea what he'll be when all is said and done, but i do think he can be a significant piece of the puzzle if he develops properly. There's a lot of prospect/rookie Kawhi Leonard in his game and we'll see if he can match Leonards great development curve. The big difference between both is Leonard being allowed to do only the most basic stuff as a rookie and slowly adding responsibilities to where he is. Grant is the opposite. He's allowed to test his limits (which often leads to failure, but sometimes to some incredible plays). We'll see how everything works out i guess...

I really enjoy watching Grant attack the rim and aggressively go after blocks. Even when he fails or fouls a guy, I think it gets the opposition thinking, which affects their play. Nobody wants to get blocked or dunked on.

Thad Young was one of my favorite Sixers. But I did not like the fact that despite his size and athleticism he rarely tried to dunk on people or get blocks in the half court (although he would get you an occasion chase down block.) Also, Grant is clearly more explosive around the rim then Thad, and looks to be a better 3pt shooter. Both are supposed to be high effort/character guys that work on their games.

Matt Moore, the national NBA writer for CBS Sports lives in Denver and was at the Sixers/Nuggets game the other night. He commented on this very thing. The Sixers length and willingness to play aggressive defense is a real problem for opponents who don't match their intensity at that end of the floor.

Granted, the Nuggets are a total mess at this point, but the sentiment still holds true. Noel and Grant had a bunch of blocks in that game and it really discouraged the Nuggs from penetrating and getting to the rim.

spencer hawes revenge game?!

noel blows an alley oop but tips in his miss

grant jumper

if JaKarr cant stay with redick he is useless and hollis should be in

and j-rich comes in instead

ish to noel alley oop

big rolls hard, j-rich hits open 3

big rolls hard, lrmam misses an open 3

lrmam 3

hollis 3

spencer checks in

3 seconds on him

cp3 is so good

down 34-20 end of the 1st


noel tip in

i gotta go

hopefully they stop leaving redick wide open(hes missed some open shots)

Tough loss. Only down 8 at the half, got overwhelmed in the 3rd Q.

If Nerlens keeps putting up numbers like this, he might actually remind Dollar Bill of someone good. Or remind Brian that Depression can be treated.

30-pts, 14-boards for the 20-year old. First Sixers rookie with those #'s since Billy the Kid. Last NBA rook to post these #'s was Blake Griffin lo those many years ago.

You've come a long way baby

As the saying goes, "haters gonna hate". And Noel's incredible progress will no doubt NOT change those people. But fuck them. This kid is putting up numbers that should absolutely turn heads. He's creating his own path because he's a unique talent. Forget about how he's going to fit...he belongs in the NBA in a big way. What else can you ask from a high pick? He's at the point where he's blown up most of the progression scales that people who actually like him have set(me included). We are now in unchartered territory and it feels good.

I second those who love Grant as well. He's is so aggressive and it's great to see. I loved Thad but agree that he was just not that type of player. Grant has some serious potential.

From a draft perspective I am still Towns #1, but if this team ended up with Russell I'd be thrilled. It just seems like his IQ is so far superior to others. He'd be a great fit. I just don't don't know enough about Mudiay to make any kind of a judgement. But Okafor is a terrible fit and I don't think he's better than Towns. Let's hope for the best.

On NBA TV they were showing highlights from last nights game and after mentioning Noel's numbers the host asked if he was close to catching Wiggins for ROY. Dennis Scott is one of the "analysts" on the show and said something like "Oh no no no...not until he puts up some more 30-pt nights"

Fitting that a guy who was totally allergic to defense when he played completely discounts defense as a metric for ROY.

Just shows that the general public still mainly looks at PPG as the be all/end all.

On side note, Noel's PER was around 10 back in December. It's now 15. His progress has been really great and a pleasant surprise to many.

Noel has been playing some tenacious ball recently. This is not to discredit his output in any way, but I was thinking about this and wanted to ask to see how guys felt. It was thrown around last year that MCW had inflated numbers because of playing on a bad team as a miscast go-to guy and the pace at which the team played. Arguments were made that he was flawed but propped up by situations that led to favorable numbers.

Again, not to discredit anything Noel is out there busting his ass doing on his own, but is this also a case (to what degree, if any?) of bad-team pace-inflated numbers?

Yeah that's above my pay-grade. On the advanced stats page of Basketball Reference they list the league leaders in each category. On the defensive side of the ball, he's ranked 5th in the entire league in multiple categories (Defensive Win Shares, Defensive Rating)

He's top 10 in both blocks and steals, but he's also 6th in Block % and 5th in Steal % and I don't think they are affected by pace?

I think his defense has gone well past pace inflated #'s. Now his offense is growing as well, but that may be pace inflated. Maybe someone more educated in these stats than I can chime in.

From my perspective, the big difference between MCW's numbers and Noel's is that MCW got his by dominating the ball. This isn't the case for Noel. The majority of his points are still the result of ally-oops and cleaning up around the rim. Recently he's been putting together some improved post moves and jumpers, but this team isn't exactly running its offense through him. But we all know where Noel shines is on defense. Nobody can argue that his blocks and steals are "counting stats". And he's only going to improve. I'm so impressed by progress this kid has made. All that being said I'm still not sure how well those numbers will translate to the PF position next season, but at least there can now be a legitimate discussion.

20 games since Ish replaced MCW:
13.9 PTS, 2.7 BLK, 2.4 STL, 1.7 AST, 10.3 REB, .688 FT%, .510 FG%

Last 5 games: 29.3 PER , 124.6 ORtg, 92.8 Drtg, 63.6 TS%

He would not be putting up anything close to that he was in Washington or Toronto.

His raw numbers are undoubtedly inflated. He is the current centerpiece of their offense and their only legit big- which should never again be the case. But that does not diminish his improvement or the fact that he is doing things now that seemed unlikely earlier this season. Also, this improvement suggests he should continue to add to his game over the next few seasons in ways we maybe did not expect in terms of his ability be score and rebound. But a lot will still depend on whether he can put on weight and get stronger.

Assuming Embiid is good, then Noel won't be getting the same amount of rebounding chances. His isolation scoring will go down, although his dunks and fg% might go up if there is another big drawing the defense's attention. His blocks and steals on the ball might drop, but again, he might be freed up bit more to chase blocks and steals off the ball.

The main thing is that the opportunity to put up big numbers has been there all year (and is always there for young bigs on 20 win teams.). But over the course of the year his improved play (and the improvement in PG play) has led to increasing production. It means he is evolving from a terrible offensive big you need to hide to a guy who can be part of your offense moving forward. Same thing can be said about his rebounding.

I'll bite. I don't think MCW's situation is all that comparable with Noel. While MCW was essentially a go to guy offensively that can pad his counting stats to some degree threw high usage rate and fast pace, Noel plays a vastly different role for the team. Most of his recent success has nothing to do with very high usage or fast pace.

I no particular order here are a few observations:

- MCW had great counting stats, but his advanced stats were mostly poor or suspect. That's not exactly the case with Noel who rates pretty well in a lot of advanced stats categories, especially on the defensive end where he already rates as an excellent defender.

- Swapping the MCW/Wroten/Shved trio for Ish Smith has definitely helped him on the offensive end. His ability to penetrate, get separation from his defenders and draw the defense has been a major help for Noel. Whether he can develop similar chemistry with a better PG (who will presumably be the PG of the future) remains to be seen.

- From a purely body-language standpoint, a lot of Noel's success seems to be channeled by higher energy and higher confidence level, which he has definitely hit over the past couple of months. This is not uncommon among the best players in the NBA, so baring any injury setbacks i think there's a good chance he won't regress in that area.

- MCW started really strong but kept going in a downward direction (for the most part) after the opposition scouted him well enough. Noel has kind of been the opposite, constantly growing his game. I think the latter is a bit more promising about the future of a player.

- Over this last stretch he's really doing more or less the same stuff defensively just with a little more energy and confidence. Offensively though he's definitely improved. He's more aggressive and as a result getting to the line a lot more (which is probably directly connected to his FT% going up and giving him confidence). And his "hands" have improved a great deal (still not great but much better than earlier in the year when he had arguably the worst big man "hands" in the league). How much of that is on Ish Smith remains to be seen, but i think it's mostly confidence + better awareness.

- I'm not sold on his improvement in rebounding yet. That part of his numbers might be somewhat unrealistically inflated. He's still not boxing out and relying on athleticism and increased energy to grab more rebounds.

- A somewhat neglected aspect of his success has been his move to full time C. Earlier in the year he was playing PF next to Sims in the starting lineup. He struggled quite a bit defensively as a PF (losing stretch 4s way too often). He's been worlds better as a C. How much of that falls on the fact that the PF minutes were early in the year when he was still adjusting is hard to say right now.

- The spacing on the team has been much better since the allstar break. That probably is a big reason for his improvement and i would say is sustainable as long there is space for him to operate.

Anyway, he's such a unique player that any type of projections based entirely on the past will probably be wrong about him.

Yeah, the improved spacing has really helped. I'm not impressed by Canaan, JRich or Hollis as players- but they undeniably space the floor better than when they had MCW and Wroten.

Also, like you said, Noel seems more willing to drive after his FT shooting started to come around. His drives to the basket have been more direct, which makes it harder to push him off his line and more likely he will draw a foul when he does get contact. This is a huge improvement from earlier in the year, where he tried to avoid contact, and then would end up throwing up terrible shots after he was pushed further off line.

Recently he has even bulled his way to the basket a few times- which is actually surprising given his frame (even though he tends to do it against scrubs, like Hedo last night or the Knicks.) This bodes well if he ever bulks up to where he can bulk up a bit to where he can do this against typical NBA PF's.

I’d like to make a case that Nerlens Noel should play C, and Joel “if healthy” Embiid should play PF next year.

1. Based on my (admittedly unscientific) eye test, Nerlens is clearly more comfortable at C.
2. Nerlens stats are much better at C than earlier in the year when he was playing PF next to Henry Sims. I know much of this can be attributed to Noel’s general improvement, but not all of it, in my opinion.
3. If Healthy likely has a better outside touch, more suited to a PF.
4. We all know about Noel’s struggles with jump shots, and his range is more suited for a 5.
5. Defensively, Nerlens is better at C. Quote from Brett Brown: “That was Nerlens' problem when we played him at four. He's so used to just running to the rim, he'd lose Dirk (Nowitzki), he'd lose perimeter people. It wasn't natural for him. Maybe he can guard a five player (better).”
6. This is completely untested and extrapolated, but defensively, if Healthy should be able to hang with 4s, due to the athleticism everyone seems to rave about. (This is the weakest part of my argument.)

The counter argument to Noel at the 5 is that he has a more slender frame than Embiid and will get pushed around by opposing 5s. My response is that Noel has held his own defensively even against bigger guys (Boogie cousins being the notable exception). With another big guy like Embiid helping him at the 4, there is a chance his defense will even improve at the C position.

Is anyone with me?

I think on this team, in a Joel Embiid world, Noel is going to have to learn to play more PF. Much depends on who they draft of course, and Brown may elect to split them on offense/defense (where Embiid is 5 on defense and 4 on offense and Noel the opposite). This will be the most effective way to use those two when on the court at the same time.

As far as Noel at the 5 on defense, he's going to have to bulk up quite a bit, and looking at his legs, I'm not even sure where that bulk goes. The other thing he'll learn to improve is his technique. That being said he'll still get bullied by bigger, stronger guys. Vucevic pretty much did what he wanted against Noel, same for cousins, and any other big 5 who will go against him.
Embiid is the future at this position, but that doesn't mean that the two can't coexist, and it also doesn't mean that Noel won't play his share of 5 when Embiid is resting. There are enough minutes to go around.

Yeah, I expect one will be on the court at all times. Thaws leaves 16+ minutes a game for Noel at center.

Offensively where they play is mostly irrelevant, but you probably want Embiid in the post most of the time.

Defensively, i just don't think Embiid can chase people around the perimeter. Noel has a much much better chance at accomplishing that.

Assuming Embiid ever sets foot on the floor, it's going to be a challenge to play them together on the offensive end. You're either going to wind up playing Noel away from the hoop, where he's useless (and the other team knows he's useless and won't hesitate to double off him), or you're going to play Embiid away from the hoop, which really isn't what you want to do with a 7-footer, unless you enjoyed the Spencer Hawes era. Ideally, you'd have a four who can knock down a jumper to go along with a post presence, Noel is never going to be that. Doesn't mean they can't play together, but I think they'd probably get more mileage out of staggering their minutes, like maybe 12 minutes together, 20 minutes alone. Switch up the way the team plays dependent on which one is on the floor. Something like that. Would be interesting and tough for other team to contend with a team that plays insane up-and-down for 20 minutes/game, and then pounds you in the half court for another 20.

I hope we get a chance to talk about this issue in real terms, rather than just theoretically. If they land the top pick, I have a feeling Noel is going to be on the way out of town by this time next year.

I think they would draft Towns and play each of their bigs 32-34 minutes a game. Even if they all played 2 games (which they won't), that still leaves 32 minutes each.

I don't expect they would keep all 3 long term- because that would be sort of insane. But I don't think there would be a rush to move one either. If they did keep all 3, it would be a novel way to have "big man" insurance. Look at Cgicago- they have 4 great bigs.

Also, spending all of your top picks on the same position and ignoring the obvious questions it raises seems like something Hinkie (and a lot of other arrogant front office types) would do. Sort of like how he drafted 2 injured lottery players in a row and then Saric.

I like this idea about changing the draft:


It is a bit harsh on the fans of a terrible team- but would work as intended.

Sixers lost 86-87.
The game went scoreless for the final 4 minutes. The Sixers couldn't score on their last 7 possessions.

Two possessions where both Jerami Grant and Robert Covington missed two free throws. Two possessions where Ish Smith missed wide open 3s. Two possessions were Ish Smith missed layups. And the final possession was a Noel post-up that went in and out.

Robert Covington is the MVP of the Sixers season. Without him and I think this team has 8-10 less wins.

That was oth their best example of not tanking... and tanking with the missed FT's. Really played dead even all game. Nerlens forced a ton of misses in the lane down the stretch while the Sixers missed FT's and open 3's.

Agree about RC3- and Ish as well since the break. If Canaan was their main PG they lose every night. Canaan can shoot, but he is a terrible PG on both ends of the floor. Second rate guys like Lin put him in the chamber.

Also, Furkan! What a first half- did he even get minutes in the second half?

BB stated at the half that he plans on playing Noel at PF (and likely Furkan at C) the rest of the season.

@tmoore76ers #Sixers Noel: 'Honestly, Ish is the first real point guard I've played with.'

Translation: 'I like Ish because he passes to me a lot.'

id like to think he wont care because they will be winning more but i wonder how he is going to react over the next few years when he is going to be touching the ball alot less

I'd don't get why he had to take a shot at MCW

It looks like Tom Moore may have misheard/typed his full comment. It was closer to "he is really the first TRUE point guard"

It still seems like a jab at MCW, but perhaps not as direct. I definitely think there was some butting of heads between MCW and the rest of the locker room. I never liked how the team markets certain players as a core rather as it clearly alienates others. I understand the revenue dynamic but to me it just seems to do more harm than good.

Yeah, i agree with this. You can't be part of a core before you show you are worthy of being part of your core. Draft status alone might mke it more likely to reach that status but can't be enough and i am worried that it could lead to some problems down the line, especially with immature kids like Embiid.

Some thought as we head down the stretch. Brown is clearly experimenting as he should.

He is how I would like to see the team constructed heading into next year:

PG - Deangelo Russell - I just really think his combination of 1. Shooting 2. Next Level Passing 3. Size is the ideal recipe for a backcourt star. I understand some athletic limitations, but he has shown the ability to be crafty with the ball in his hands and at 19 I am will to bet on this kid. I think Mudiay has the athletic John Wall/Rose/Westbrook type future while Russell may be closer to a Nash/Parker floor general type. I am all in.

SG - Devon Booker - I think he makes a lot of sense if he is there with the Heat pick. We know what shooting can do for bigs. He has the reputation of a solid defender (although my eye test has been very mixed with that). I understand handing the keys to start is probably ambitious in which case I might start Ish Smith and use Russell as the off guard.

SF - Make a run at Kawhi Leonard - Robert Covington - he fits the mold of the team. Kawhi's last question mark is that 3pt shot which we will get a close eye of in the playoffs. I know likelihood is small but perhaps Brett Brown has a relationship there. I think Butler and Middleton will be overpriced so I am reluctant to lunge at anyone else. If not, I really think Covington can start on a good team. Keep in mind you have bench options if his defense is being exposed and his shot is off.

PF - Noel - I am not super optimistic that Noel will be maximized at the 4, but I also don't see him as a liability. I think I should just lable him "front court"

C - Embid - stay healthy.


Jerami Grant - Good 3/4 position optionality. I actually see potential to be a "put the ball in his hands" type scorer in years down the line. Play him in a Thad-like role for now.

Ish Smith - I am a personal fan of keeping him. I understand backup PGs may be a dime a dozen, but he seems to have good chemistry with raw athletic players...something the Sixers specialize in. Maybe not the long-term solution, but he would be my backup guy.

Thomas Robinson - I can see the allure of this guy. Sheesh, it really is amazing he can't catch on anywhere. Perhaps he has a "come to Jesus" moment and figures out how valuable of an energy big he can be. I have a low expectation that he does say, but I would like him in the rotation with the starters.

Hollis Thompson - I could see him sticking around just because he gives you glimpses. The shot seems real and his has gotten comfortable with the quicker release. Good size for a 3 and does not bring any attitude issues

BIG - Henry Sims/Furkan Aldemir/Draft Pick - I think Sims could actually see another day. As much as he sucks some nights, he would be a fine 4th or 5th big off the bench in my opinion. The midrange jumper is not awful and he battles underneath. I think its Aldemir or Robinson - I would take T-Rob but I know Furk is the more likely.

11th man - Pierre Jackson/Isiah Canaan - so much for Canaan being a valuable acquisition. Yikes. Maybe things open up with bigs who can post up, but I don't see him as anything more than a spark plug backup shooter. Which can certainly be valuable but no longer the asset I am looking for. I think Jackson will be fun, but he seems to have some overlap with Smith. I don't have much background on Jacksons shooting ability so I could be off.

12th man - Mbah Moute - I actually expect someone to go after him in FA. He does not seem to be super tight with Embid but that is coming from the 35 seconds I see him on camera (who knows). I think he is still a valuable guy in the league just misplaced on our team. I would like to keep him, but doubt it.

13th/DLeague - Jakarr - as someone mentioned, it really is incredible to see Sampson develop from "this guy belongs nowhere near a game" to "he could be a quality 11th man". We follow a bizarre team, but whatever, I would like to keep him around.

OUT: Wroten, Richardson, Furk, Canaan, GR III

Trade possibility: I could really see us go after Stauskus. Call it a hunch. More of a stretch would be us going after Boogie, but I would not doubt it. The last one I would highlight is Bradley Beal. I still see a possibility of that as the Wizards crap out.

FA: Chase Kawhi

Glad I got that all on paper.

I'm on board with the logic and have had some similar views over the past 2 months. It's still early till the summer, but this is how i stand right now:

- go hard after Russell in the draft (trade up or trade down depending on where the Sixers pick. I'm not on board with reaching based on fit though)
- try to move up with the mid first rounders and get a guy like Hezonja/Winslow in the top 10. Other wise go for value with them (MIA/OKC picks likely 16th and 19th). It would be smart to get someone who is falling. Almost every year there is someone projected to go top 10 or so that falls in the 15-20 range. Someone like Hezonja, Porzingis (international guys), Turner (weird ways of running), Looney or anyone that might make a steep fall for some reason. If noone falls, from the ones ranked in that tier i like Jones, Booker, Poeltl and Dekker best. Guys that would be backups early on until they prove their worth for a bigger role (which of course might never happen).
- In the second round i am going for draft and stash with every single pick, whether those guys are international or US born. My personal favorite is Cedi Osman.

- In free agency i really have just a few names and they more or less play the same position - Wings. I'm on board with offering Leonard anything, but the Spurs will match so i don't really bother with him. My targets are Middleton, Danny Green and potentially Matthews. 2 unrestricted, 1 restricted FA. Matthews used to be no.1 on my list but Achilles injuries are really dangerous so he's now a risky move, but one that Hinkie might be able to take advantage of with a smart contract given the Sixers huge cap space. I'd offer Middleton the max and Green and Matthews 8 figure contracts (would've gone max with Matthews to prior to the injury).

- The cap jump in 2016 might make some of the contracts signed this summer ultra cheap long term, so i'm also on board going after nice rotation guys on steal 4 year contracts.


- If the team ends up drafting Towns or a wing in the draft (which i wouldn't be opposed to as long as it's not reaching), than they'd need to get a PG on the trade market IMO. Guys like Lawson, Teague, Rubio, Conley, Holiday are worth monitoring as they could become available given the right circumstances. This is especially true about Lawson who i think is a lock to get traded in the summer, with Teague also in the mix (i think there's a chance the Hawks trade him considering they already have his successor in Shroeder). For the right price all of these guys could be the PGs that carry this team in the next half decade (even if i am not a big fan of some of them).
- I'm also on board with going after failed talented guys with low ball offers (second rouders maybe?). Stauskas was a perfect example and i agree that there's a high chance Hinkie goes after him this summer, especially considering there were rumors that he may have drafted him in other circumstances. Others that fit the bill: McDermott, Vonleh, G.Harris, J.Adams, Porter, McCollum, Karasev, Ross, Lamb, Harkless etc. Harkless especially i think is already largely available and a very good fit with the Sixers.

- If you can get them on 3-4 year low dollar offers i'm fine with keeping Ish and Robinson. They are good for 11th-15th man material on a good team and in the meantime they can be serviceable in rotation roles. I'm on board with figuring out what happens with Sampson. Aldemir will probably stay for another year as a 4th-5th big - he's ok in that role. I can't stand Canaan. He can really shoot, but i think the team needs different PGs and i am only keeping him as a 14th/15th man. I'd be ok with keeping J-Rich and LRMAM (especially LRMAM) but i'm not sure there will be enough space for them and LRMAM might get a better offer from someone else. I like Sims, but i think his days are numbered.

So all in all i am hoping for something like:

PGs: Smith, Jackson
Guards: Russell, Wroten
Wings: Middleton, Covington, Thompson, Booker
Forwards: Grant, LRMAM
Bigs: Embiid, Noel, Poeltl, Aldemir(Robinson)
utility guy: Sampson

The rotation would be something like:

Russell / Wroten / Smith / Jackson
Middleton / Thompson / Booker
Covington / Grant / Sampson
Noel / LRMAM
Embiid / Aldemir(Robinson) / Poeltl

A possible exception is if they can somehow bring Saric next year. Than i'd drop one of the PGs or Sampson for him.

It seems like next year there won't be nearly as many minutes free for player development- especially given the number of picks coming in and the possibility of a FA signing. It might be better if a few of their potential 1sts don't covey until next summer, and I would definitely trade away seconds to either move up or for a future pick. I just don't see how you can add 5 draft picks and a FA to this roster and hope to have minutes to allow for development of the rookies. Maybe they will use the Sevens more next year?

I'd keep Ish, not so much because he has a long term answer, but in the short term he seems perfect for teaching Noel and Embiid how to get open and run the P&R. for the same reason, I agree that Lawson would be a nice pick up. He is only 28, and I take it he sort of is a rich man's ish in terms of pace and setting up bigs for lobs and off the P&R. Having a quality PG would help accelerate the rebuild and everyone's development.

Yeah i agree. Getting young non-elite cheap talent might be more important in the future than now. If you can't give them playing time it's pointless to have young players on the roster especially if they were actually first round picks. I'd be on board with trading up, trading for quality established players or even trading them for future similar draft picks. I'm assuming mid-late first rounders will be very valuable to the team when "the core" (whoever ends up being the core) starts signing their second contracts.

I'm not a huge Lawson fan to be honest, but i do fully agree with you that he could be a very interesting fit with what the Sixers are doing (that's why i mentioned him to begin with). And on top of that he could actually be very available (there were rumours he was shopped at the deadline). And you are absolutely right that Lawson is kind of a rich man's Ish Smith so if the team appears to do well with Ish running th point, i'm assuming Lawson would be even better for the development of the Sixers young players especially the bigs. The Sixers could even make the playoffs with him next year depending how the offseason works out in the East.

I notice you broke out Russell as a G and not PG. My view is that he is likely to be a PG and that is the best way to use him. I can understand bringing him into the league as an off ball guy, but I even question whether that makes much sense versus just letting him develop as a PG.

I thought the upsidemotor Arizona highlights were perfect for showing his PG ability. It was one game, but I think it had its positives and negatives that were in line with what we saw most of the season.


When i say "guard" i don't mean a SG, i mean a guy who can more or less play both. I like Russell's passing quite a bit too, but he can also play off the ball and since he can guard 2s, there's no reason why he needs to be solely a PG. I actually think there's a decent chance Russell will play in a "2 PG" type of setup in the NBA. Being able to adequately play bth positions is one of his biggest strengths.

Okay - I figured that was the case. I actually went from being a bit unsure if I thought he could be a full-time PG, to definitely thinking he could be a full-time point guard. That said, I agree that he has the nice versatility to play as an off-guard and/or in a 2 PG set.

Something we talk about quite a bit on this board is the surplus of PGs in the league. Given the way the game is moving, using smaller 2 PG sets is a very reasonable strategy. Russell being 6'5 helps offset defensive issues. The important thing is that they can both shoot.

Paging Mr.(Dollar) Bill:

Tell me about Slammin' Sam Lacey. He was about a decade before my time, and seems like the one guy I've found who statistically sort of resembles Nerlens.

I don't think Khris Middleton, Jimmy Butler or Kawhi Leonard are going to be on the market. They will get max deals from their teams. I think the guys who have the beat chance of moving are Greg Monroe, Afflalo, and Reggie Jackson.

Leonard and Butler i agree with. Middleton, i'm not 100% sure yet, which is why he's my main target. I wouldn't be opposed to give him the max.

Of the Monroe, Afflalo, Jackson group, i'm not really interested in any of them. I used to have Afflalo at the back of my list early in the year but i dropped him a couple of months ago. He'll get overpaid and is not going to make a major difference on the Sixers.

As for the Monroe, Jackson and Knight (i'd add him to this group as well) i do agree that those are the guys that are more likely to move. But at the same time, i don't think any one of them makes sense for the Sixers and i wouldn't go after them.

And honestly i fully expect to see all of the key young FAs (Leonard, Butler, Middleton, Jackson, Knight and Monroe) to get maxed out. I'm just not sure if every single one will be maxed out by his current team.

Shit, did I fall for an April Fool's joke? Read that Embiid is playing tonight, rushing home to watch. Has to be a joke, right?

you got got.

That was a good game to rush home for

Heh, nice one.

FWIW, we re not seeing Embiid on the court until summer league. If they were considering playing him i think they would've already done it. If i understand this correctly he's only doing one on one and two on two stuff right now. Hasn't graduated to full 5 on 5 practices yet.

I am just looking at the estimated cap impact, as mentioned above, in the summer of 2017. That seems to set up a SERIOUS adjustment to this years free agent class.

Just the rough estimate of 90mn from 63mn today. You can spread that out however you'd like (i.e. give more to the top), but seriously a 50% jump???? That is incredible.

I had previously mentioned Leonard above, but you can absolutely make a case for Middleton in this scenario. I would say the same for Brandon Knight although I know there are mixed emotions on him.

To be honest, I am a bit surprised that there has not been more focus on this from a Sixers focus or general focus. I am not implying that this 2017 summer impact hasn't been talked about over and over, but the significance of this summer versus that summer.

Given we are one of the only franchises with cap room, something has to give. Every team will have access to the top free agents in 2017. I know we are not a sexy destination, but it seems like there has to be some opportunity here.

These are all the teams that will have at least $10 million in cap space this summer. Listed as well are those teams' key free agents:

Clippers- (DeAndre Jordan)
Pelicans- (Asik)
Mavericks- (Rondo, Chandler)
Grizzlies- (M.Gasol)
Spurs- (Kwahi, Green, Duncan)
Blazers- (Aldridge, Matthews, Afflalo, Lopez)
Pistons- (Monroe, Jackson)
Suns- (Knight)
Magic- (Harris)
Hawks- (Milsap)
Bucks- (Middleton)

Unfortunately I just don't see many good players that the Sixers could significantly outbid another team for.

Middleton, Butler, Kwahi, Draymond and Knight are RFAs that will have any offer they receive be matched by their teams

Dragic, Aldridge, and DeAndre will probably get max offers from their teams.

Wesley will get a max offer somewhere.

Love, Aldridge and M. Gasol signing with other teams is a possibility, but it won't be the Sixers.

The one big free agent I could see the Sixers signing is Rondo. He fits the type of PG their looking for and there's no one like that in the draft. But he's got character issues and he's already 30.

Maybe they can sign away Afflalo or Danny Green with max offers.

The guys I'm not interested in are Reggie Jackson, Greg Monroe, Brook Lopez, and Tristan Thompson.

Oh man I do NOT think Danny Green or Aaron Afflalo are max players. I'd hope Hinkie would agree with me.

I don't really see there being any massive free-agent moves the Sixers make this summer. I see that happening with the following year's FA class.

I'd guess the draft and trades will play big roles this summer on how the roster is going to look in November. Not to mention Summer League and Embiid's health moving forward.

There is a good chance teams will want to hold onto that space for the big boys next summer. As Xsago mentioned above, Middleton is an interesting case because I believe giving him a poison pill max contract would really affect the Bucks in the Giannis/Parker offseason signings.

I doubt Matthews gets offered the max somewhere, but I do think he would go to a contender over us.

The point of giving him a max contract is to lock him into a long-term deal before the cap jumps significantly. $16.5 million/year might not seem like such a huge overpay towards a $90 million cap.

But Matthews tore his Achilles tendon, so if he doesn't get a max contract, it will be because of injury concerns.

I don't think Rondo is the type of PG they are looking for AT ALL.

I'm not saying there's a guarantee they will be successful, but the Sixers cap situation and long term possibilities are such that i think it would be smart to try and sign some guys this summer. Like i said above, my list is Middleton, Green, Matthews. I might even be able to live with max contracts for any one of them, though i think only Middleton deserves one (maybe Matthews depending on the injury).

Next summer virtually every team will have max cap space and i don't think waiting for 2017 will be smart at all. We will see dozens of mediocre players getting massive contracts in that summer IMO.

I would absolutely give Danny Green a "max" offer. If he gets ~$15M/year, that won't look so bad when the cap is $90M. He's a 27 year old sharpshooter with experience who seems great off the court and plays defense. Every team could use a guy like that, and Philly has plenty of money.

Oh I love Danny Green's game, dgmw. You said it perfectly that he's the type of player that every team could use.

That being said, I think of Max players as superstars and I don't see Danny Green as that. I see him as an excellent complimentary piece and he'd fit perfectly with Noel/Embiid but I just can't wrap my head around him being a Max player.

That's just semantics, though. I'd have no problem paying him $15M (just a guess at what his max would start at). He's not getting a Kobe/Melo deal.

The Sixers should have plenty of cap room to play with, and I see Danny Green as a relatively sure thing that can fit with any roster. I'd rather sign him for $15M then someone like Afflalo for $10M, because I see less downside.

tonight is a pretty big night with regards to ORL and LAL

the magic face the t'wolves and the lakers face portland

right now there is 1.5 game difference

magic have 7 games left

lakers have 8 games left



Not a good day.

Orlando is 3 games ahead of LAL with only 7-8 more games left in the season.

OKC fell a game behind Washington for the 19th pick.

Boston put themselves a half game behind Miami for the 15th seed.

hopefully memphis can return the favor and beat WSH tonight

no j-rich or t-rob tonight and rc3 starting for jakarr

no jefferson, MKG or zeller for CHA

ish to noel alley oop

alot of missed shots

grant 3

hollis 3

play him more

down 19-16 end of the 1st

hollis fouled shooting a 3

made all 3

lrmam to the line

made both

covington to the line

made both

noel got cut and is headed to the locker room


hopefully that gets him going

Noel has right lower eyelid laceration. His return is questionable


i have no clue how the hornets are 2 games out of the playoffs

hollis to the line

made both

up 51-49 at the half

hollis 3

winning this wouldnt be the worse thing as it keeps CHA away from MIA


down 1

grant to the line

made both, up 1

up 1

CHA ball, timeout with 23 seconds left

mo misses and open 3, grant rebound, ish to the line

missed both

timeout CHA, 10 seconds left

hendo drives and scores

timeout sixers with 6 seconds left

sixers down 1

ish misses at the buzzer

lost 92-91

@NYK tomorrow

the heat just blew a 15 point lead with 5 minutes left and lost to DET

WSH beat MEM

now 1 1/2 games up on OKC

BOS beat TOR

paul george back tomorrow

this next week is going to be super stressful

magic beat the bucks so that dream is likely dead

I've been rooting all year for Miami's pick to be in the 11-12 range. But every time it gets there I get nervous that their pick will fall into that protected range.

I've kissed the dream of getting LAL's pick this year goodbye. I'm not too worried about their pick next year. LAL could go out and get Rondo and Love this summer and still be a lottery team next year.

The OKC pick is not looking good at all. They're two games behind Washington.

OKCs final 6 games:

WAS' final 5 games:

noel and j-rich will play

lrmam, t-rob and canaan will not

ahahaha yes, the same way Byron Scott should be in the Coach of the Year conversation.

I think "biased" was a typo. He probably meant to say "based", as in doped out of his mind

We're getting down to point where we all become Sixer fans who are on the same page. Not sure which picks we'll actually get but at least we are legitimately in the running for three first round picks. I'm looking forward to the time when we can get back to discussing non-Hinkie related basketball topics on this site and I think we are close to being there again(humor me on that point). It will also be nice when Brian is interested enough to comment again as well.

We have A LOT to look forward too over the next few months including summer league. But first Let's hope we get a healthy Embiid as well as some favorable pick/lottery odds. Then let's talk again. I'm so thoroughly excited about how good this team can be. Obviously we don't all agree on that point, but we're all fans and time will sort out the rest.

Agree with you, more or less. Now that the first two years of the Hinkie regime are almost over, I don't have the same level of hostility.

I am pretty concerned about the very real possibility of losing the Miami pick because I think that pick may influence how Hinkie decides to treat the upcoming season. If he only has one first round pick, then he may very well treat next season as a slightly more serious continuation of this season's approach. If he can get two first rounders of relatively good positions, then he may be a little more serious about trying to get most of his core in place for the upcoming season.

According to Hoops Hype, there are 30 different players who have ended up on the Sixers' payroll this season (I realize that some of them never saw the court). Except for Robert Covington and Thomas Robinson (and maybe Ish Smith depending upon one's view), this rotating tryout approach hasn't uncovered much in the way of keepers.

I agree that hopefully next year is not another wasted year of waiting. That won't be the case if they have Noel, Embiid and their 1st on the court.

I'm not opposed in principle to good value trades and waiting for picks if they are BPA (like Embiid and maybe Saric.) But on the flip side, unlike many at LB, I did not really enjoy this season very much, and am excited to be able to watch meaningful basketball again where you actually root for your team to win games. I don't care if they are in the playoff hunt next year, as long as they are on the ascent- which is often then most fun part.

"I don't care if they are in the playoff hunt next year, as long as they are on the ascent- which is often then most fun part."

Agreed. At this point, a 30 win team next year would be such a big jump that it would almost seem like a playoff team. That and watching at least four or five guys who one reasonably can believe are intended to play for the team for multiple years should create considerably more interest.

I think we should've learned our lesson when it comes to getting attached to players, whether we're on the ascent or not. I'd love it if they'd put together a core of 4 or 5 and keep them together for 5 years, but I don't think we'll ever see that again...or at least not under current management. That doesn't mean they won't improve, but continuity isn't high on their list.

I agree with you on this and it is probably what I am most disappointed about. I would prefer to watch a team grow together. I understand that some turnover is inevitable, but I hope its not constant deck chairs. And I know that if Embid is great then he is very unlikely to get dealt, but I would rather see some stability around the rest of the floor as well.

You are probably right about the fringe role players, but i'm not sure that holds true about the team's core. As long as a true high end core is formed i think there will be lot more stability with the top 4-5 players on the team than you think.

I could not agree with you more on this. I am really hoping we land Russell in the draft. I also think, if it comes to us, the Miami pick could be used for an impact player. That could be at that spot or using it to move up.

I hope for the day where we can all have basketball debates like:

Embid and Noel performance on the court together

Embid settling for too many outside jumpers

Inconsistent play from the backcourt

Should X be playing over Y

Something tells me we will get there next season.

Okafor looked soooo slow last night, I wanna revise my top 5 draft board.

1(a) Towns
1(b) Russell
3. Okafor
4. Winslow
5. Hezonja

If they could come out of this draft with Russell and Winslow I'd go back to writing every day and rushing home every night for game threads. Assuming Hinkie didn't trade away Embiid and Noel for conditional first rounders (and Embiid actually plays next year).

That's a tall order. You'd have to move up for Winslow, I think he played his way into the top 5 in the tourney.

Would you do the Miami pick + the rights to the Lakers pick in 2016 for him? Assuming the first conveys this year and the latter doesn't.

Yeah, absolutely. I kind of doubt that Lakers pick will be top 10 next year. I'd definitely do that deal.

I'm not as alarmed about Okafor as you are but i'm more or less with you on this. Not really a fan of Mudiay either. Mostly i jut really think that the Sixers really need to somehow come out of this draft with either Towns or Russell. What happens with the other picks (if any of them even get conveyed) is far less relevant. This is what matters and i think those two have the best chance to be offensive stars that would complement well around the good players/prospects already on the roster (Embiid, Noel, maybe Covington).

The players I'd like to see on the Sixers are Townes, Russell, Mario Hezonja and Winslow. The I'm not putting them all on the same tier, but they all seem promising and have certain elite skills that might help separate the Sixers from other teams once they are competitive. But I'm also not convinced any of them will be a star. I think this team is really relying on Embiid to be their superstar.... and obviously that is a bit of a roll of the dice.

This is the only reason I still have Okafor in my top 3, despite all the questions about his fit, defense, FT shooting, and mobility:


Layne Vashro ‏@VJL_bball
"Subset data to bigs w/ 30+ pts-per-100. At just 19, Okafor looks like the best NCAA post-scorer in the past 25 years:"


"Justise Winslow (1st 20) EWP = 4.5 and 3% "Star"
Justise Winslow (next 17) EWP = 15.3 and 85% "Star"

Makes it tough. I think Winslow is the next Jimmy Butler and would be a great fit here.

Winslow intrigues me, but to be honest, i don't think Butler would be all that great a fit in Philly. I think going forward the perimeter players for this team will have to either be penetrators who can create for others, great spot up shooters or both. At least that's the way Hinkie appears to be building this team and the worst thing in the modern NBA is to amass key players who can't play with each other when it matters.

i dont get the questions around the Lakers pick for next year

to me there is a better chance that they wont get it cause it lands in the top 3 than the pick falling outside the top 10

best cast for them is what?

sign love, dragic and get 65 games of kobe?

thats not making the playoffs in the west

and its no like byron scott's coaching ability is going to steal them any games

They can't sign Love AND Dragic. They have like 20 or so million left in cap space after you take into account Kobe's contract, the other remaining contracts, the 2015 pick and cap holds.

There's really very little chance for them to become much better next year. They'll be better most likely, but not by much. I suspect in the end it's still going to be a pick in the 7-10 range.

I see the Lakers as a premier destination for free agents, particularly Love. They're also a team that won't intentionally linger at the bottom. I think their floor is in the 30-35 win territory.

That floor seems high for a team coming off 2 55+ loss seasons, 4 coaches in 3 years and who last won more than 30 geames when Dwight, Kobe, Odom, Gasol and Peace were on the roster 3 years ago.

The only way they make that kind of jump is if they trade away their lottery pick for an established player- which would be a bold move given the draft is before FA. Looking back at the Cetics, you can rebuild overnight, but what assets does LA have other than cap space and their pick?

I wouldn't be surprised if Love left for LA, but I think it would be better for him to opt in for next year and take the bigger deal the following summer.

Other than Marc Gasol I don't see any free agents they can sign that will make them playoff contenders.

Maybe they can package Randle and their #1 pick for another player. I just don't know who would be on the market.

It's really hard to predict what's going to happen to the Lakers to be honest. The only big name that has a realistic chance of ending there is Love (and i'd give it a 35% chance that he's a Lakers next year), but other than adding him i'm not sure what they can do with their team.

Right now they have what? Kobe, Randle and Clarkson. Plus a bunch of mediocre free agents to be and mediocre to bad players under contract. Add Love to that core and in the current version of the Western conference 35 wins is closer to their ceiling not their floor. That would look something like this:

Love / Randle

+ their 2015 draft pick + around 3-4 million in additional cap room (and that's if the renounce/not resign everyone they can).

That team is going to be a horrific defensive team again with little chance to be higher than average offensively considering the state of Kobe and Young at the moment.

So, all in all, while i agree that they are a destination and will probably do everything in their power to make the playoffs next year, it's just hard to imagine them being better than any one of (Golden State, OKC, Houston, San Antonio, LA Clippers and New Orleans). And if they retain their free agents (which is very possible IMO), you can add Dallas, Portland and Memphis to that list. They'd need to be better than 2 of these teams to make the playoffs. And that's before we even get to Phoenix, Utah and Sacramento that already have quite a bit of talent under contract and will be in win now mode too.

I agree that I do not expect them to finish outside of the top 10 next year, but I think they are always a possible destination for the "unexpected trade".

I think Cousins and Westbrook are the two unexpected guys that could get moved via trade.

anyone have updated scenarios for whether the Miami and OKC picks are conveyed this year? from what I understand now there's a good chance we won't get either...

Yeah OKC and LA can't stop losing so those two are very unlikely to transfer over this year. Miami just won though and are currently 11th from the bottom in the standings, half of a game up from 10, so as of right now their pick would convey.


Here's a good site to follow the picks, they update every 10 minutes supposedly.

That's a cool site since they show playoff matchups, key games tonight, and "draft power rankings."

I use this: http://www.basketball-reference.com/friv/proj_draft.cgi

At this point i think it's highly likely that Miami's pick conveys and the Lakers pick and the OKC pick move over to next year.

Those top 6 picks are going to be nail-biters. Especially when they announce #6. I guess we will already know if 2 higher seeds jumped LA (making the Sixers getting their pick possible) but we still would have to wait to see if LA jumped into the top 3 or if it goes to Philly.

On the flip side, if two teams jumped LA, then we will really be sweating at #5 and #4, as those 2 team could have pushed the Sixers back. Overall, if we see LA moving up, then it is fairly likely that this will be a very painful lottery (unless Philly also moves up.)

wall isnt going to play tonight

It definitely feels like our guys have lost their legs. Grant and Noel have digressed in the past week or so. Covington looked quite good.

It would be interesting if we have get something similar to the 3 and 10 last year. I have already started to move to my combo picks as I did last year. (I was personally a fan of Wiggins/Stauskus or Parker/Gordon - this was before Gordon really spiked up the charts).

I think my current choices would be:
Russell + Booker
Russell + Lyles
Russell + Turner
Towns + Booker
Towns + Oubre

And please trade for Stauskus if he is cheap.

That's interesting considering Brown is on the record saying that he thought they were getting Wiggins+Stauskas prior to the Embiid injury.

And yeah, i too think Stauskas is a good buy low target for this summer. McDermott too. And Harkless, who might even be avialable for free.

Noel bad sprained ankle. I imagine that is all she wrote for his season. He exceeded my expectations and I hope he can be a piece of the core.

He played in a lot more games than I expected him to this season, I'll give him that.

"As of Monday morning, 205 players had attempted at least 100 midrange shots, but none converted at a lower rate than Noel’s 27 percent"

from this column:


MCW also made the list

Fab Four ode to Nerlens Noel, the latest in doleful line of Sixers mixed up, shook up "pearls":

Here come old' flattop
He come groovin' up slowly
He got joo joo eyeballs
He one holy rollers
He's got hair up to the bees
Got to be a joker
He just do what he please
Come together
Right now
Over he.

.462, 9.9/8.1


But wait... yonder over the hill comes climbing a new savior from Kansas and Cameroon who's already played 17 games of basketball in his life and is more tech savvy than Olajuwon and Clifford Ray combined.

Hinka Dinka Doo.

woah a cultural reference from dollar bill that's only 45 years old, you're getting better at this!

It was a close call. Almost went with Tumbling Tumbleweeds or Woodchopper's Ball.

IND and MIA tied for the 10th pick right now at 35-43

going to post teams schedules for the rest of the year that are around MIA

IND(35-43) @DET, VS OKC, VS WSH and @MEM

MIA(35-43) VS CHI, VS TOR, VS ORL and @PHI

UTAH(36-42) VS MEM, @POR, VS DAL and @HOU

BKN(36-42) VS WSH, @MIL, VS CHI and VS ORL

BOS(36-42) @CLE, VS CLE, VS TOR and @MIL

also lebron is probably resting those games vs boston

What a pathetic way to watch basketball.
Been injured on the job? Call Harris, Hinkie and Brown. Get you what you deserve! The unbearable tightness of rims & the uproarious revolving roster. Brett, please tell me what I should think about what I just saw. And sprinkle it with dandyisms.

Btw, tk76, in response to your earlier prompt, Sam Lacey was seldom seen on TV here in Phila so I don't have much of a memory of him as a player. Saw the Cincy Royals at Convention Hall but he wasn't a factor at that time. Never saw Kansas City-Omaha Kings in person. He, Jimmy Collins (1st round pick of Bulls) and Charlie Criss (ATL Hawk) took the NMS Lobos a long way when college basketball was strong but dominated by Wooden's talented toy soldiers... late 60s/early 70s. Post-mortem reflections on Sam were praising and appreciative of his efforts and impact. Generally speaking, a solid second tier NBA center fwiw.

NN: an amalgam of the best of Al Henry, Luther Rackley, Shelton Jones and Calvin Booth. Aiming for Harvey Catchings and Leroy Ellis levels of play.


Rusty, your point on Mutombo's early schooling taken. Never a big fan of his. Nice timing, fire in belly but feet like Lawrence Welk and a shot like Al Aorter. It's hard to believe he's in running for the HOF.

correction: Al Oerter

Bulls 20 12 33 24 89
Heat 18 33 8 19 78

Looks like the Heat just decided at halftime that they want to keep their 1st rounder this year.

i think if they go 1-2 the last 3 the sixers will still get it but i will feel better if they go 2-1

have the Sixers commented on Noel's injury? i know he's out tomorrow but haven't heard if they're shutting him down for the season...

Only official word from a team spokesman is that he is out for Saturday's game. Considering the Sixers' conservative handling of injuries, I'd be surprised if he plays again this year.

Kevin Pelton – ‏@kpelton

USA PG Isaiah Briscoe measured with an amazing 7-3 wingspan at 6-2.5 without shoes. No wonder he's wreaking havoc defensively.
6:53 PM - 10 Apr 2015

Is that even possible? He'd look like inspector gadget.


Anyone have any lime?

Poignant on several paragraphs. Good synopsis, both sides laid out. Sounded like Brian for a bit there, ha.

Haha! for real.

"It’s no different from how a private equity firm would gut a struggling company: strip it, lower the operating costs, profit short-term while figuring out what to do long-term, target cost-effective assets, then hope an improving market boosts the company’s value (which is exactly what’s happening with Philly)...

...if you’re asking me to find positives, it’s tough. The Sixers just became the first NBA team ever to say, unapologetically, “For two straight years and possibly three, we aren’t going to give a damn about the product we’re putting out … but by all means, please keep spending money on your seats.” Check out their season-ticket page: “THIS STARTS NOW” in all caps. What starts now? Giving a shit? You just stole money from your fans for two straight years.


Sixers fans need luck with (a) the 2015 and 2016 lotteries, (b) the health of Embiid and Noel, (c) the Lakers pick, and (d) Saric. They need to know whether Embiid and Noel can actually play together. They have to hope that Sam Hinkie knows what he’s doing … and considering that he just punted on MCW after a year and a half, who knows? They have to trust that their owners, at some point, are going to spend money. It’s the illusion of hope, personifed."

Brian, are you ghostwriting for Bill Simmons or is he just plagiarizing your work?

The Sixers aren't really stealing money. They've been pretty open for the past two years that the team isn't going to be good. So if anyone buys tickets and feels cheated about the product they saw, its their own fault.

Every team needs luck. The Celtics with the way things are going will spend the next 5 to 6 years being a 6th-8th seed. For them to be elite again they need to be in a situation where:

1. A marquee player wants out and they're willing to give up more assets than any other team

2. That marquee player is willing to sign a long term extension with them.

3. Brooklyn's first round picks are in the lottery

4. They get an all star with one of their mid-round picks.

They're only so far that Boston can go with Stevens' "stellar coaching", Sullinger, Olynyk, and Marcus Smart.

"The Celtics with the way things are going will spend the next 5 to 6 years being a 6th-8th seed."

Seems like I've heard that refrain many times before, particularly when people have mentioned the Atlanta Hawks.

Yes, the Celtics, like any team need some luck, but I've watched that team about four times this year and they're an enjoyable team. Stevens has done a great job using his roster and getting contributions throughout his it. He's said that he focuses on what his players can do rather than what they can't. He's even managed to use Evan Turner in a way that exploits his strengths while limiting the damage from his deficiencies.

The Celtics are an interesting team to debate. I think Danny Ainge is one of the better GMs in the league in terms of having a plan in place and making moves within the parameters of that plan. I believe he has a very good grasp of where his team is now, and where it will have to be to legitimately compete for the East again. And he's done a predictably good job of collecting future 1st rd picks (9 I think over next five drafts?), so he has the Celtics in position to make moves when available.

From a talent perspective, this is absolutely a 6,7,8 seed type team for the foreseeable future based on current players and draft position(s). They don't have a single player on that roster who projects to be a franchise-type talent, and most of the picks they acquired could very well fall out of the lottery. They have zero rim protectors, and with an upcoming draft that is relatively rich in that department, they've managed to find their way to a 7th or 8th seed and will likely fall out of the running for a Cauley-Stein or Myles Turner. Now they can always trade up, and my suspicion is that they will do exactly that (especially for Cauley-Stein), but he's not a franchise talent IMO.

The other issue, Ainge was very fortunate that Kevin McHale was GM of the T-wolves when that Garnett deal went down. Those type of friendly, "Celtic-family" moves won't be available this time around. Plus with no Al Jeffersons to offer, I can't see then trading for a Demarcus Cousinsif/when available. I mean, let's say the Sixers and Celtics were both after the same player in a trade scenario...which team's talent/assets would you rather have if you are an opposing teams GM?

I guess what I'm saying is that Ainge is smart enough that I think he will find a way to get the Celtics competing for the East again, but it will be a lot more difficult job than it was when he already had a Paul Pierce on the roster and some high picks at his disposal.

Ainge is legitimately good.

And the Celtics are a sneaky Love contender this summer.

Yup...Love would make a big difference to their plans if they could get him via free-agency. Then you can bring in some others.

"From a talent perspective, this is absolutely a 6,7,8 seed type team for the foreseeable future based on current players and draft position(s)."

I can't disagree with that, but I would make the following statements/observations:

1) I cut my League Pass this year so I've seen the Sixers only twice while seeing the Celtics about four or five times. The Celtics have been fun to watch for the most part. The Sixers not so much.

2) I've lurked on "Celtics Blog" a number of times and I'm reading posts from mostly happy fans. The only happiness from Sixers' fans comes from dreaming about a possible future. The Celtics fans are watching a young team develop. That current team may not have the potential to develop into a 60 win team, but it's developed into something a little better than most neutral observers and possibly even the majority of its fans thought it would be at the beginning of the season.

3) A 6th through 8th seed in the East probably wins somewhere between 38 and 44 games in an average year. To me there is a big difference in the entertainment value of a roughly 40 win team and an 18 win team.

This all depends on what one values. Some value the potential for championships so highly that they are willing to sacrifice two, three, four, maybe even five years worth of entertainment value if that gives them the best chance of landing the most elite picks. I just don't feel that way. Now that the first two Hinkie years are water under the bridge, I guess I don't care as much about them but I've missed having the incentive to watch the Sixers this year and at least half of last year. We'll see what happens in the off season to see if I have any incentive to watch them next year.

Yes, I would agree with you 100% on the importance placed on what one values. Celtics fans have won a lot in recent years so they won't have the same thirst for a teardown as many Sixers fans. I'm sure many of them are very happy with the development of that team. Plus Danny has proven he can deliver.

Two years into the Sixers plan, I think a fair amount of the "tanking capital" Hinkie had been allotted has been spent. Nobody in this town wants to be a punchline, regardless of how fair/unfair the criticism has been. Even the fans who support the plan will need to see some significant growth in this team in terms of talent development (wins not quite as much just yet)over this next season. And Embiid really needs to be healthy. We'll see what happens, but next year should be fun.

I agree on that Tanking Capital point. I admit I probably can't handle another year of stalled development. I would welcome an 8th seed where I thought we had growing talent. If Embid is healthy, I would be pleased with Grant, Noel and Embid together.

I think the Celtics are ultimately fine. As you have mentioned, it is a sleeper spot for Love. Ainge has some assets and it has rich and recent history to attract FAs.

There is certainly no "one size fits all" formula to this.

I don't mind a critical piece about this team, but this is joke coming from Bill Simmons. He would have zero issues if Ainge had taken this approach as he was unapologetic about the Celtics' tanking in the past. Throw in the fact that he desperately wanted both Embiid and Saric to fall to Boston last year...please. Him ripping the Sixers is a joke. He would trade teams in a heartbeat. Nice try Bill.

Simmons knows exactly what he is doing. He is a brand and he needs to continue to build that brand. His homerism is part of his brand and his trolling is part of his brand as well. Just spin his words around:

"It is no different from how an ESPN media personality would make convicted one-sided arguments towards one team, ignoring the possibility that this may apply to several other teams on the list, knowing it will attract attention from the two extreme sides of hte fan base that continue to follow the team."

While most people on this board I find to be "moderates", I think most of the fanbase is on opposite sides of the spectrum. The Hinkie disciples who will now be outraged by Simmons trolling commentary. On the other hand, the WIP listeners will be energized by his strong comments that support their view. He needs to have a strong opinion on it because that is why people (apparently) read things.

While the ticket prices do bother me, I hate the notion that anyone is ever STEALING your money. Our society loves to blame others for losing their money when they should just take the time to consider their purchase. It is the farthest thing I have seen from false advertising as they have TOLD us they will be losing games.

I think it would be great if they offered seat licenses so you could get in a discount and bet on the future. But I also know that these owners would not want to do that.

I mentioned this previously, but a family member had the luxury of buying regular priced tickets to the Sixers Cavs game in January. Lebron and Kyrie took the night off. The team reached out and offered complimentary tickets to a future game this season, and he was able to see the Warriors play with Curry and Klay.

Yeah, I don't get the "stealing money" thing. How hard would it be to say the truth, which is that Hinkie has forced Sixers fans to watch two consecutive seasons of dreadful basketball on the premise of a brighter future that is years away.

Hinkie disciples, WIP listeners... talk about branding. That suggested polarity is a canard. Sports fans aren't pure; they're like a tube radio that slides in and out of frequencies.

Sixers false or misleading advertising: "together we build", "this starts now"...
'together now starts we this build' is as sensible and true.

The money that has been stolen is a certain legacy of historical competitiveness or its try, spiritual cash on the barrelhead. To not admit that is self-deception.

It's not all about a June trophy. "It's got to be the going, not the getting there, that's good." ~ the late songwriter/social activist Harry Chapin

Stereotypes don't just start from thin air, chief. The polarity is not some unfounded comment, just look at the NYTimes piece this week. Perhaps it is a relative measure, but I don't see the T'Wolves or Magic getting that public attention.

Sports fans do slide around, see: Phillies attendance.

"Together we build". "This Starts Now". So you are the man who responds to the marketing, eh? You must flock when you get a chance to taste "World's Best Coffee" and the "Best Pizza on Earth" on every city block. I miss the part where they say "We guarantee you are watching the best basketball on the planet".

If you want to talk about the integrity of the game, that is fine by me and I will not argue against it. But don't turn that into some measure of money in a "spiritual cash" comparison. You don't have to go to the games and spend your money. There is no forcing or farcing involved.

If you haven't noticed, I do not have much sympathy for those that poorly manage their own money. If you work so hard for it, you should work hard to know where you are spending it.

I don't read NYT anymore; riddled with lies.

Magic, T-Wolves are't flagship franchises like Celts, Knicks, Lakers, Sixers. Peripheral in a sense, rather than primary; of less interest.

Who wrote "it is the farthest thing I have seen from false advertising"?

Gotta admit, I did fall for "a little dab'll do ya" and "take a puff; it's springtime!"

I don't go to games. Nor have I watched much of the last 3rd of the season. The product on the court IS a farce, i.e., a disgrace.

Take away the giveaways and the WFC bowl would demonstrate the spiritual cash drain that you insist on denying.

Favorite chiefs: Joseph, Halftown, Abner Haynes & Otis Taylor.

Team that signs Love has to make him the focal point of offense to maximize his talents. (Is somewhat stymied in Cleveland.) They'll need 2 strong interior defenders to cover for his defensive liabilities. Make him your Maypole, but supply good dancers too. Kid's a B+ player. And he's not getting quicker or faster from here. Would be a good get for a 'scoring big man'-thin organization, at the very least to create a semblance of an illusion of contention.

Agreed on this. Without full context of his market value, I think he could be a good get for the right team this summer. In theory he makes sense next to a Noel-esque player (in my mind).

Good example of player value differing by team. Obvious but can be very glaring.

Yes, Noel and some quick, bulk help would cover some of Love's D-deficiencies.

@preston76 Brett Brown says Ish Smith "unlikely" to play tonight; would go w/ Sampson at PG, Thompson as back-up. Noel, Mbah a Moute, Canaan also out.

the knicks scored 8 points in the 2nd quarter vs the magic, the magic only scored 7

down 2 end of the 1st

@tribjazz Jazz will rest Hayward and Favors tonight, Quin Snyder says.

that helps the sixers a ton

grant has to stop passing up open 3's

dont care if he hasnt been shooting good lately

covington might shoot 25 times

up 53-52 at the half

covington cant buy a 3

lou williams, still screwing with the sixers even though he isnt on the tema


what's he doing?

raptors vs heat, hes got like 24 points so far

down 81-78 end of the 3rd

i hate you lou

hits a long 3 to put TOR up 5 with 31 seconds left

MIA missed 20!!!!!!!! free throws

nice effort

lost 114-107, vs MIL on monday

quick thing on the MIA pick

basically the heat have to beat the magic and sixers and hope IND or UTAH lose out

i think there is way the sixers can still get the pick even if IND or UTAH dont lose out but the simplest way is for them to lose out

UTAH REMAINING GAMES: playing POR now(up 13 end of the first), vs DAL and @HOU


POR is without LMA but if they cant beat UTAH who is resting favors and heyward

anyone know what happens if OKC and WSH have the same record for the 18th pick?

I think Washington would end up with the 18th pick since OKC beat them twice this year.

Coin flip.

Best case scenario, the Miami pick will come down to a coin flip.

not if IND loses out and MIA wins out

MIA would finish one game better

That's true. I forgot about them.

Anyway, If either Brooklyn or Indiana wins another game Miami will be eliminated from the playoffs.

The fact that we missed out on the 11th pick in this draft by one game is going to bother me for a while.

Next year I expect Miami to be a 4-5 seed in the East since they'll have a healthy Bosh, a full year of Whiteside/Dragic, and the #10 overall pick.

Losing the potential extra first rounders for this season should indicate that a somewhat enhanced version of the current state of affairs will continue next year.

so going into the 2017 season the sixers will have saric and 4 1st rounders(their own, LAL, MIA and OKC) most likely added to the roster

At this point there is about a 10% chance the lottery has a team pushing MIA back from 10 to 11. Similarly, about a 18% chance LA slips geek to 6 after the lottery. So still a chance... But every team that moves up into the top 3 represents one less spot for the Sixers in the top 3.

If Miami ends up with the same record as Indiana Or Utah, the Sixers will have a 50% of getting the pick

The Sixers pick odds will be as follows:

1st: 15.6%
2nd: 15.7%
3rd: 15.5%
4th: 22.8%
5th: 26.3%
6th: 4.0%

The probability of getting the Lakers pick this year will be 17.2%.

16.0% chance of it being 6th
1.2% chance of it being 7th.

The OKC pick is mathematically gone at this point I believe, and the Miami pick will require a minor miracle to convey this year.

i.e. this sucks. I was hoping they could maybe use that Miami pick to maneuver back into the top 5 and pick up Winslow after taking Towns or Russell with their own 1st. Or at least stay put and nab Oubre or something. But now, unless they get lucky and come away with either Towns or Russell and a couple interesting second rounders, I would call this entire season a waste.

And please, no replies about Noel learning how to catch a basketball or JaKarr Sampson blooming into a 14th man/emergency utility guy in warm-ups. That means very little to me.

I would disagree. You can cry in your beer all you want about not "the entire season is a waste". I think that's a very short-sighted way of thinking. Grant's development alone made the season worthwhile. And I don't even care about "Noel catching the ball", he played healthy for almost the entire season(major question mark coming in) and was a dominant defensive presence. Those two things are significant achievements IMO.

But if you think that was a waste, so be it.

"Grant's development alone made the season worthwhile."

You serious? You have a very low bar for what worthwhile is.

Grant's value over replacement for the year is -0.4, with 20 of the 25 players they've had on the roster this year ahead of him. His shooting splits are .358/.329/.603

Noel is about what I expected overall. His play the last 1/3 of the season has been encouraging and he's a good weak side help defender, but that's the least you'd expect from a 6th overall pick and the "best prospect from his class". Going by PER he's just a league average player, and I have questions about how he and Embiid will coexist offensively without clogging up the lane for one another.

I won't start crying in my beer until they miss out on Towns and Russell and draft Mudiay but I got the Kleenex ready.

"Going by PER he is a league average player."

Seems like an odd stat to use for a rookie that has played starters minutes... as PER for rookies is often lower.

But using this measure and looking at rim protectors... here is a list of the 21 rookies who played 28+ min, had 1.7+ blocks and a PER over 15: http://bkref.com/tiny/dWdFy

If he plays the majority of his minutes the next couple of years (+) as a 4 next to Embiid at the 5, I would be happy to see his PER stay around 15. The last handful of games his best attributes were significantly muted when he was used to play power forward and drift further away from the rim, and that's his projected role on this team going forward. This is true based on the few games I caught and I'm sure it's backed up statistically as well (you can correct me if I'm wrong since you watch them play more than I do).

Ultimately, it's still Embiid + Towns/Russell + another long term piece like Winslow or someone. That's what I meant by "means little to me", in regards to Noel or whomever else this season. Without those names, this team is just one league average player who's a solid defensive contributor in Noel and one solid spot up shooter on a team friendly deal in Covington, surrounded by a barren roster. After 3 years.

First off it hasn't been 3 years, this is only the second year of Hinkie's stewardship. He was hired in May of 2013 and traded Jrue on draft night.

Regarding Noel losing effectiveness as a PF, it's virtually impossible to grade his performance for a couple of reasons. One, he only played a few games at PF before spraining his ankle (after a remarkably healthy rookie season). And two, he was playing next to Henry Sims. I tend to think he would look quite a bit different playing next to a healthy Embiid.

I was counting next year, in the event they don't come away with a healthy draft crop.

To your second point, Noel's strongest areas to me are his defensive "at rim" %, when he's in the right spot and not being pushed off the block that is, and his presense as a shot blocker at the rim. If Embiid is on the floor, you'd want him at the basket on both ends, that reduces Noel's areas of strength and places him in a different role, which he projects and looks much less effective in (expectedly so considering his skill set).

I agree that Noel was much less effective at the 4, but did you really expect that? Everyone seems to point towards him being a natural 5 on defense; however I never thought that was the definite case.

I feel like what separates Noel on the defensive end is his ability to move his feet and make quick reaction plays (i.e. second jumps on block attempts). I can certainly understand what he is super effective just anchored underneath waiting to swat, but I always though his biggest gamechanging ability would be far beyond that.

I don't really have a conclusion here. I too am nervous that he does not fit next to Embid on the defensive end if he can't guard 4s. But I think he SHOULD be able to guard 4s (all types) REALLY well based on his athleticism. In fact, if Embid can be a difference maker underneath, I think a roaming Noel could be a huge impact. So we kind of know he can at least be a really solid 5 on d, but I am hoping for more.

He looked like crap in the experimental games at the 4 but I am hoping his steep learning curve continues.

"I agree that Noel was much less effective at the 4, but did you really expect that?"

On defense, no. But on offense,


This is why I like Towns as much as Russell. Russell is a more immediate need but Towns is a better fit next to Embiid.

"Everyone seems to point towards him being a natural 5 on defense; however I never thought that was the definite case...I think he SHOULD be able to guard 4s"

That's where I was too. On the other hand, while I didn't "expect" him to be that much less effective as a 4 on the defensive end, it does make sense because, again, his greatest value on that end is challenging shots at the rim. He does have a knack for getting a hand on the ball and harassing passing lanes away from the basket, so I thought he wouldn't play too poorly in that role, but like you said, he doesn't look very good there.

We just look at players differently I guess. "Low bar" or not, I was thrilled with what I saw from Grant. He looks like an core member of this team going forward, and I don't even think it's a question. Incidentally, I would also add Covington to the list of player development stories/reasons why this season wasn't a "total waste".

Would I like to have those extra picks this year? Absolutely. And like you I'm disappointed that we likely won't have any but our own (this year). But I can't agree with you that this painful season did not produce some very positive outcomes.

Covington - .396 shooting on season
Grant - .358 shooting on season

Discovered: one limited 3-bomber and one aggressive D-leaguer, for the time being.


McDaniels (in the lion's den) - .399
Sampson (as Delilah) - .418

TONIGHT'S WEATHER: 1 snowflake.

37 victories in 2 years. Can that be? Are you sure Hinkie didn't attend Stamford?

It's kind of pointless to argue about whether or not this season was a waste because when you pursue a strategy like Hinkie and win less than 20 games two years in a row, you are pretty much by definition throwing away the regular seasons.

I like Jerami well enough and I'm sorry that we won't have a chance to draft his brother. Covington is a keeper and so is Thomas Robinson but when you have 30 players on your payroll at one time or another during the season, you're bound to uncover one or two decent-to-good ones. As they say, even a blind pig finds a truffle now and then.

Of course, one doesn't have to have a terrible season to uncover these lowly rated contributors. I would say that Lavoy Allen had a better rookie season than Jerami and Lavoy was just low cost roster filler for a playoff team.

Covington the "keeper" - 10 turnovers and 1 assist in 33 minutes tonight... that's a rare feat.

There's a small list of players who have managed 10 or more turnovers in a game this year. The rest of the list is pretty illustrious. Normally a player of Covington's stature is neither given the permission nor the opportunities to commit 10 turnovers, but when you start a lineup like the Sixers did against the Bucs, a player like that can become his team's Kobe by default.

For $1 million per year I think he is pretty good value; much better than Furkan at almost $3 million anyway.

OK value if you want to tread water I guess. Game lacks dimensions. With ball, guarded seriously, he's in over his head.

John Drew '78 & Jason Kidd '00 share ignominious TO title with 14. Uncle Steve Hawes (Hawks) and Eddie 'Rutgers/"Princeton"' Jordan (Nets) participated in Drew's mess (strong guard John Williamson with 37; Nets by 2).

Not sure why you feel the need to cherry-pick individual game stats like they show some type of trend.

Are you advocating the team drop Covington next year? I just want to be clear on your position since you see few positives in his game.

George and I cannot tell a lie, Covington is a Johnny One-note -- he can put a 3O inch ball into a 56 inch space if given the time. I credit him for his initiative and effort but, factoring inflation, he's a quarter a dozen. A long reliever on a squad with ambition.

Haha this is like James Inhofe holding a snowball while he's addressing congress and saying, "so much for global warming, am I right???"

There's a difference between climate and weather, and like The Six said, you can't just cherry pick individual games to prove a point.

IMO, Covington coming out of nowhere has been a great find this season.

I've watched him through much of the season. Didn't take last night to form an opinion, though his 'arrow the other way' festival was certainly illustrative of his limitations for you HinkieWinkies.

A great find? What was found? Enumerate please.

"lets ignore one of the bigger things of the season to prove my point!"

noel with no hands is a better version of biyombo

noel with hands could be tyson chandler or joakim noah

IF Noel could learn to shoot, set a decent pick and stop HIS OWN man from scoring...

IF I. Smith could learn to shoot and grow 5 inches and stop penetration...

IF Covington could learn to shoot mid-range off the dribble and develop playmaking creativity/alternatives to hot & cold J...

IF Richardson could graciously retire...

IF M'bah a Moute could teach Canaan how to be involved in a game without jacking it up and to play some D...

IF Tony Wroten returns with a Dick Barnett touch on shot and a Guy Rodgers touch on passes...

IF Aldimir could get in great shape, become a little quicker, meaner, more athletic...

IF Grant could recognize scoring opportunities from STOPortunities and return in 3 yrs with some added sense and brawn...

IF quick, lanky Sampson could find more experience somewhere else, learn the game more thoroughly and develop a jumper THEN return...

IF the Embiid roll of the dice could reap expected rewards...

IF 2015 ping ping balls would settle fortuitously for Sixers...

IF the braintrust would pick a healthy,two-way, 'ready for prime time' player...

Then the Seventy-Sixers would be more of a man, my sons.

True, but Miami is 2 games behind each of these teams with 2 games left to play. I'm not convinced Miami even wins each of its next 2 games- despite the competition.

I won't commit to designating the current season or success or failure, but I will be massively disappointed if we enter next year without a consideration for making the playoffs.

I believe our pick alone won't do that for us. I would be excited with Russell and Embid into next year, but I am hoping for much more than that. I share in the disappointment of 1 first round pick this year. My only hope is that we could turn the future draft picks into a present asset....I won't hold my breath.

The Mavericks are starting Charlie Villanueva, Richard Jefferson, Amar'e Stoudemire, Raymond Felton and Rajon Rondo against the Jazz today.

Anyway, if the by Wednesday night the Heat manage to have identical records with either Indiana or Utah, we should know who wins the tie breaker by Friday.

the nets are going to lose CHI and if MIA wins there will be a one game difference

but the nets face ORL to end the year

Do they not go by head-to-head record? I believe Miami lost the season series to Indiana. They won the season series against Brooklyn (who lost tonight) and they are tied with Utah.

The two teams each get the same number of lottery balls, but a coin flip decides draft positioning assuming neither win a top 3 pick. Head to head has no effect.

hopefully the wizards dont rest their team vs the pacers tonight but the wizards have nothing to play for

The Wiz are playing everyone and are on the record saying they hope to knock the Pacers out of the playoff hunt as retribution for losing to them in last year's playoffs.

Big game....let's hope the Wiz back that up.

They tried.

Randy Wittman is so bad

Awful coach. This team will not come close to a championship.

Ughhh Wizards Pacers OT, 81 all

Wall is having a rough night offensively

the things that have happened for MIA to keep their pick this year are truly something else

Heh no kidding. Before the season, I actually thought their pick would be too low because they'd be comfortably in the playoffs. And that was without Whiteside and Dragic.

MIA officially eliminated so they might rest everyone tomorrow but a BKN loss and heat win still gives the sixers a coin flips chance at the pick

also if you cant tell, im grasping at straws

Indy 99 Washington 95 2OT.

Yeah I'd probably blame Wittman here too. Pretty bland, conservative offensive sets from what I saw. Kinda Doug Collinsy

I guess if Brooklyn loses and Miami beats the Sixers, there would still be a coin flip chance to get the pick.

So this sets up a truly head shaking pair of disincentives to win. If the Sixers want a chance to get the extra pick, they can't beat Miami and if Miami wants to assure ownership of their pick, they can't beat the Sixers. I almost wish I didn't cancel my League Pass for this year so I could see this game. May the worst team lose!

I won't watch either but I'm hoping it'll look like that South Park episode where they play baseball.


Calling Alex English, Dan Issel and Kiki Vandeweghe: Sixers have scored 100 or more in just 15 of 81 "clashes" this season. 30th of 30 in both offense and attendance. Wonderful Year 2 coming mercifully to a close. What in Sam's hill have the Sixers become? The ringing in your ears should subside in a few weeks.

In his final NBA season at age 36, Wilt shot 426 for 586 FROM THE FIELD (.727)! Plucked only 18.3 rebounds per game though.

Quin Snider 38-43
Brett Brown 37-126

Jazz roster also full of youngsters. How much is on account of Frenchman Rudy Gobert, the Stifle Tower? Draft day default to Favors was a favor (thanks again, Doug). Hayward occasionally makes scoreboard go haywire, frequently gets to the line. Exum, Burke & Burkes: Is backcourt firm flimsy? Utah, 14th in D & O. Less fanfare, more fruit.

Spelling corrections: Snyder, Burks.

OK, I'm tuning in for this abomination. How blatant do you think the teams will be?

Well Beasley is at Center.

I'm more interested in the Knicks game. If they beat the Pistons and the Sixers lose this one, there'll be a tie for the second worst record.

Need to keep an eye on Brooklyn too. They're down 20-12 vs. Orlando now

The Bease!

I'm out, going to watch the Spurs/Pelicans. Might be inspiring to see a team actually try to win.

Pels are burying the Spurs. That place is going nuts.

OKC scored 47 in the first quarter. Wow

It would be pretty funny if Orlando ends up beating Brooklyn, but the Miami pick doesn't go to a coin flip because the Sixers beat the Heat.

Down 75-71

Through 3 quarters, Miami has used only 6 players and Philly used 7. Walker, Ennis, Beasley, and Johnson have been on the court for Miami the entire time and Haslem checked in for Zoran Dragic for 7 minutes.

I cannot think of a time that I have been more twisted in the head. Tonight just sucks dearly.

I honestly reread Brian's post ahead of Game 7 versus the Celtics two days ago. I NEED to have this team at least battle for an 8th seed next season.

If we draft a stud with our pick then who gives a shit what role player we don't get with Miami's pick. (telling myself this over and over).

I know its more of a psychology thing and it has zero to do with the situation, but its remarkable that these guys stay so enthusiastic on the bench. I could make 10 cases for why these guys should hate each other before I get to 1 for them cheering each other on.

Alright BK should pull through against ORL. Up 10 with 2 and change to go. NYK is getting hammered by DET so Sixers will stay at 3.

This one will be a photo finish, worried the Heat might be gassed with 4 starters playing the entire 48

Might as well win at this point. No downside.

Yep. Brooklyn won.

So the "shit my pants" scenario exists where the 6th pick card shows a 76ers logo and we do not know if it our pick or the Lakers pick.

Even though it would have the Sixers logo, it will also say it's a pick from the Lakers. That happened with the Pelicans pick last year. No worries.

What a season. Brian, I thank you for doing what you did these past two years. I cannot blame you or anyone for turning off the lights on this team. Even the monthly posts were enough to keep a reasonable community of commenters here. I respect whatever you decide, but I would love for another season of doing the same, although this time with a quality damn team.

I will be pulling for Jrue and the Pelicans this offseason. Whatever that may mean versus the Warriors. I will always be curious to see what Jrue looks like next to a superstar.

I am going to spend time thinking about a potential trade list. I do believe at some point Hinkie will go after "WE ARE WHO WE THOUGHT THEY WERE" guys. He mentioned it in an interview. IF players struggle early on for the exact reasons you thought, then they can often become forgotten. Stauskus is the obvious example but I think we have over-referenced.

The long damn ugly offseason awaits. Ill enjoy some quality Western conference playoffs in the meantime.


Keep it going Brian.

Last draft's gargantuan get may yet turn out to be fortuitous and propitious and lavish and "pump you up." I'd be more confident in such an outcome if Embiid had a plumper basketball resume and a clean health history. It's hard to deny that he carries a certain air of immaturity and entitlement. Wrinkles to be ironed by Brown and staff or textures to wear throughout? (Coaches tend to indulge/spoil such personalities, as long as they're central to ambitious dreams, even sharp-minded cock o' the walks like Brown are susceptible.) Bold, which has its positive outcomes, doesn't translate to wise. Bucking conventional grammar, I say 'greatness' is an action verb. Against taut, motivated competition. Joel Embiid, the fulcrum. We shall see.

Brings to mind the late, great, saucy Al McGuire and his war coinage of correlation: aircraft carrier!


~ the Sam Hinkie Okie-Dokie 'Zealous & Jealous' Pied Piper Orchestra, following 127 drubbings in 18 months and a glimpse of head coach steam and disgruntlement from being issued 47 "gypsies" for encampment & ascension in a metropolitan region that knows bonafide basketball from Walter Mitty dream manuevering

Looks like Derek left LB to focus on his own Sixers blog. Here's a pro-management article on the team's strategy that I know some of you guys will enjoy.


Nothing new in there really, but at least it's reasonably written and doesn't have a bunch of nonsensical Hinkie Church of Optionality posts or some "trade Noel & draft pick for Anthony Davis" numskullery I've come to expect from his previous blogging domain.

"When?... the question has been answered. Repeatedly."

On that I call B.S. 'When' implies a moment in time for an occurence. The question has been answered only in the most general and convenient of terms by the organization... 'when we secure enough elite talents' - - which will be WHEN??? The wished-for matter in time - a collection of top talent - doesn't pertain directly to the question of when.

The article, while carrying some interest value, is an ingratiation, another assist in the buying of time for the Wall Streeters who run the Sixers, more sucking up to the powers that be. Its weakest point is an ending which quotes Jason Harris on the subject of basketball, which is like quoting Curly Howard on the subject of party manners.

Jason, Joshua, Justin... often guess wrong when I get to the owner's first name.

Who do you like in the draft Bill? Wanna get you on the record so you don't immediately start ripping on them as soon as they get drafted.

What? Me rip? Whatever makes you anticipate that?

If you want someone who can score like Popeye and rebound & defend like Olive Oyl, Okafor's your manchild.

The athletic Texan greenhorn from Duke should serve a team pretty well in this soft era of gambling D, run, 3 and pick & pop or roll. Though I don't know anything of his j shooting

The hyphenated big guy at Kentucky I've seen too little of to draw ANY conclusion.

Mudiay is eliminated from consideration because he comes recommended by Larry Brown, who ultimately didn't coach him, either the right way or the wrong way.

And isn't there a peppery European guard who is drawing raves for what he may become while having a tough time fitting his head through door frames? Pass, even if he shows a passport.

The kid at Wisconsin who looks and plays a little like Van Horn. No thanks. Make that a double no thanks.

I'll take his teammate, extra-long Frank, and slather him with supporting talent. He's got the secret ingredient... questionability. Plus personality. Was gassed, along with teammates, in Duke game 2nd half. And the refs were at the bottom of their game towards the end, much to the Rat's pleasure.

In sum, 'aven't the foggiest who will be the most successful and impacting. But I'll keep reading and watching and applauding of course.

Who do you like among the prospects?

Alright I'm with you on a lot of that. I like Winslow too, he's a safe pick with a very high floor in my opinion. Mudiay pass, Porzingis pass, Dekker super pass, even at 35 and 37 I'd pass on him.

Hezonja is a tough one, I'd probably take him at 6 if they get lucky and get the Lakers pick. His highlights generated most of the hype but I've watched a few of his games online and he looks no less promising than J.R. Smith did coming out. Hezonja's been playing against grown men in the Spanish ACB though, hopefully learning to not be an idiot. as opposed to J.R who spent his first few years getting lit and driving his car into things.

Kaminsky - meh. Questionability is his secret ingredient? What's that mean? He looks more polished and well rounded than Olynyk to me but an even lesser athlete. I'm sure he'll go late lotto though since this draft is about as bland as it gets after the first six or seven picks. Endless array of future ~7th-10th role players in my opinion. Not like last year's.

Since the Sixers could pick anywhere from 1 thru 6, my order of preference would be:
1-Towns, 2-Russell, 3-Winslow, 4-Okafur, 5-Mudiay, 6-Hezonja.

I would be satisfied with any of the 1st 3. Slightly upset at getting any of the other 3, and to be honest, I kind of don't want Okafur.

I won't be happy with anyone but Karl Towns or D'Angelo Russell. Watching basketball this bad only to end up having to talk yourself into Stanley Johnson's potential as a linchpin because they got pick 5 would be awful. My ideal scenario would've been a top 2 pick (Philly), the Lakers pick at 6, and the OKC pick at around 20. I'd be fine watching the MIA pick deferred in that scenario since there's hardly anyone worth taking in that late lottery range this year anyway. 2, 6, and 20 (plus that 2016 MIA as trade ammo) would've made it possible to get one from each tier

Towns/Russell (PHI)
Winslow/Oubre/Hezonja (LAL)
Booker/LeVert/Justin Anderson (OKC)

That would be a nice haul and essentially fills out the lineup for next season - finally ending basketball camp and actually starting the rebuild.

I am generally with you here. I am really keyed in on DeAngelo Russell in this draft. I will be really disappointed with landing anything outside of the top 3 picks.

To be honest, I would not be pumped about getting Okafor or Towns. I understand that Towns is the guy you probably have to take #1. I just don't love him to begin with and then you add in the overcrowded number of prospects in the frountcourt and nonsense in the backcourt.

A few of my reasons for Russell:
1. Shooting not a significant question. I will opt for the guy where the question is "yea, but can he get it off fast enough" every time.
2. Passing ability looks advanced. Controlling defenses with his eyes at age 18/19 may not be revolutionary, but its not something you see often.
3. 6'5 frame provides flexibility on the floor.
4. Attitude not a question.
5. Athleticism is not, in my opinion, a key ingredient for great point guards. Kidd, Nash, Andre Miller.....yes I understand some defensive limitations.

The OKC pick will not convey this year, because they will pick no later than 14.