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To me the bigger story is that Minnesota got Mike Miller. He really could've helped us. As for Speights, he's about as good a pick as they could've made. Not the hardest-working guy, but the same is true of Arthur and pretty much every talented big man left at that point in the draft. At least they didn't throw us for a loop and take McGee or Jordan, or Ryan Anderson (where did that come from??).

Thompson was the biggest shocker, then Anderson.

Like I said, I'm pretty happy with the player they got. It does suck that Mike Miller went to Minny.

I like the pick; I think he will be a fine rotation player eventually. The thing about the weekend that stings is the players I liked (Mike Miller, Jose Calderon...) started to become unavailable throughout the draft. Maybe it was a long shot we'd acquire them but still. What would I like from here on out?

1. Brand (or a comparable big who starts)
2. A three point threat
3. Point guard of the future (in case Andre Miller leaves)

If Stefanski can accomplish 2 of the 3 this summer, I'd be happy.

I'd probably settle for one of the three.

I like the pick as well. I think he is a project that can contribute some right away like Thad did this year. A project that is decent now and can develop into great. If nothing else, this gives them frontcourt depth and hopefully slides Thad into his natural position (and slides Willie Green to the bench).

I want Elton Brand but it sounds unlikely that he will opt out. I've heard that the only reason he would opt out is to play for Miami. The buzz is that Josh Smith is a strong possibility though. Atlanta has a max of 11 million to offer and we can start our contract at 11 mill. Defense wins championships.

I still think it's unlikely Atlanta lets Smith go.

A couple of comments...

1.) While he needs to polish the defensive side of his game, Speights has the tools to be a good defender and a decent shotblocker. So I don't think we're looking at a defensive sieve by any means.

2.) I wonder who the other eight players were?

3.) Pretty much completely agree with everything, which saves me from doing my own wrap-up. Thanks Brian, I can just point everyone here!

I dont really get the logic with wanting to draft Arthur. He seems like he is small and way too skinny of a frame on a deep deep Kansas squad. To me drafting him as the power forward of our future would be the same as drafting Anthony Randolph. I say we keep what we have, which is a two headed monster between Herb Hill and Speights. In free agency we need to find a 3pt specialst, maybe Kareem Rush or possibly JR Smith and then find a nice role player, perhaps Kurt Thomas to help groom our big guys. Then sign Iggy to long term money. Then all we are waiting for is one or two years for our youth to develop. We will be in the playoffs with this core for about the next 5 years at least. We find our point guard of the future next year if we cant resign Miller.

James Jones opted out today, or at least announced he's going to. He's an interesting option. I'm not too high on Kurt Thomas, I think I'd rather see the minutes go to the young guys, Smith, Speights and Hill. If they're going to get a PF, I want it to be Brand.

the more I read about it, the more I like it.

I think the Sixers have a good character team, and the players are "getting it" they had a taste of success, had a taste of how much more work needs to be done. The Sixers' team leaders will erase questions about Speights' work ethic. Do you think any 20 year old kid wants to p*ss off Reggie Evans. For some reason I see him as the next Charles Oakley.

I'm a little worried about them in this free agent market, it seems a bit too light. I'm willing for them to sit out this year - a 35-45 win season would be fine with me. A successful team with cap room can get better quality FA for less money.

The only problem is that I don't think they'll have as much cap room after next season as they do this season. Lou Williams and Iguodala will both be signed long-term. Miller's salary will come off the books, but I doubt they get $11M under the cap again next year, unless they move another contract or two mid-season (Willie Green would be a nice contract to get rid of, but it won't happen).

It looks like Chad Ford thinks the sixers could have an excellent pick on their hands.

link

He writes:

"
Round 1: Marreese Speights (16)

Round 2: None

Analysis: Speights is a really nice pick for the 76ers. While I had him rated slightly behind Darrell Arthur, Speights might be a better fit for Philly. He's the kind of low-post bruiser and rebounder they need. And he's much more skilled than people realize. If he stays in shape and works hard, he could end up being like Sixers forward Thaddeus Young, one of the steals of last year's draft.
"

All in all, that is pretty good commentary

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Tray reply to Max on Jun 27 at 14:34
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The thing with Thad is everyone was horribly disappointed by his freshman season, said he seemed lazy, undisciplined, often disappeared from games, would try to showcase the weaker parts of his game to scouts, etc. Then he becomes the hardest, smartest playing guy on our team. Point being, that sort of thing rarely happens. Only other recent examples that come to mind are Gay and Villanueva, and Villanueva went back to underachieving his second season. If Speights didn't get the most out of his potential in college, he probably won't in the league either. But who knows, maybe Cheeks is a master motivator.

PhillyFriar had a good point about Speights' motivation:

"I love this little tidbit from DraftExpress re: Speights' alleged poor work ethic..."

[H]ow bad could his work ethic be if he went from barely being considered a top-50 high school recruit to one of the most skilled big men in the draft and a potential lottery pick in the span of just two years?

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Tray reply to Brian on Jun 27 at 16:18
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Maybe he just got overlooked. You're assuming that he really did improve a whole lot in that time span.

Odds are he isn't going to amount to much. Honestly, I think this was just a horrible draft, talent-wise. Rose probably wouldn't have been a top-5 pick if he was in last year's draft. Jason Smith would've been a top 10 pick in this draft.

Speights has a chance to turn into a productive player at a position of need, which is really more than you can hope for at #16 in a weak draft.

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Tray reply to Brian on Jun 28 at 0:29
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Well, I feel like he has a 50/50 chance of panning out. And I think he'll be better than Jason Smith. To tell you the truth, probably the guy I liked the most at that point was CDR, I just think he'll be a very effective Rip Hamilton type in the league. But since we supposedly already have our shooting guard...

Sixers should look hard at Chris Loften. He had cancer all last year. Before that, his numbers were amazing. He is undersized, but can flat out shoot. It would be a 0 risk move imo. Of all available players still, he is tops on my list. He would be another great character kid with a great work ethic. If they did this move, I would be ecstatic, even though I don't expect him to ever be more than a 9th man if that.

Free agents I like on the cheap... Ronnie Price, CJ Miles. Former is a good backup point. Latter is a good shooter. Both were on Utah which means they are good.

2009 offseason:

If the Sixers don't sign anyone to major deals, they will have more cap space next offseason than this one marginally from my numbers. I could post them, but don't want to blow out the comment box more than I already am.

Other teams with cap space... Miami will steal a great FA(Brand or Boozer) most likely.(might do it this offseason) Memphis? Not so much. Clippers? Jury is out still. Pacers? Haven't looked.

So the Sixers shouldn't force any moves this offseason. If they don't get Brand, I want no one else, except Monta Ellis maybe. sml has a terrific article about the 2009 free agent class that I have looked at many a time. It is first result on google search for "2009 nba free agents". Take a look. I think patience would be smart. the 10 free agent class is ridiculous and we could be players if we are extremely, excessively maybe, patient.

How much are you figuring on for the combined salaries of Iguodala and Lou next season?

I see Miller coming off the books @ $10M. And Booth coming off as well. Here's my breakdown with Iguodala at $11M next season (which is probably low) and Lou at $4M (which might be low).

Dalembert $11,360,000
Evans $4,960,000
Green $3,682,000
Thad $2,105,400
Carney $2,539,935
Jason Smith $1,418,880
Amundson $1,000,000
Herb Hill $1,000,000
Shav $1,000,000
Speights $1,381,900
Iguodala $11,000,000
Lou Williams $4,000,000
Total: $45,448,115

So that might be $15M under the cap, depending. Numbers for Shav, Herb Hill and Amundson are league-minimum because you have to have 12 guys counting against your cap.

The only problem is that if the Sixers stand pat, and sign Iguodala and Lou for $15M combined, they'd have $15M to plug two holes next offseason. They'd need a starting PG and a PF, unless Speights has some kind of miracle progression.

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Joe reply to Brian on Jun 27 at 15:46
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Well their salaries would be for year 2, not year 1.

So I had Iggy at 11-12 and Lou from 3-5. So I would go with 16 million combined since I am a negative person.

I had similar numbers to you initially, but then I took the negative route again haha. I assumed they had 2 first round picks, might be 1. Take out Shav who is supposedly gone according to Ed. Take out Amundson. The 2 picks would combine to be around 3 million. Speights' 2nd year will count against next years cap as well. I would think his salary would be around 0.3 million less than Thad's this year, so I have him at like 1.7. The other pick will be like 1.2 mil, so round up to 3.

My numbers go like this...

Dalembert $11,360,000
Evans $4,960,000
Green $3,682,000
Thad $2,105,400
Carney $2,539,935
Jason Smith $1,418,880
Herb Hill $1,000,000
Speights $1,381,900
Iguodala
and Lou: $16,000,000.
first round
picks: $3,000,000.
Total: $47.5ish

Well, unless Speights or Lou have a miracle progression... lol

The cap is probably going to be 60-61 mill. So they may be 13-14 under the cap or so.

I'm sure ill crunch the numbers exactly once Lou and Iggy are resigned.

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Joe reply to Brian on Jun 27 at 15:49
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Good news though. No cap holds!!

As long as they renounce Miller and Booth, you're right. No cap holds.

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dcrono reply to Brian on Jun 27 at 16:51
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Well, technically they only need to plug one hole with the 15 million as long as they resign Miller. All they have to do is sign Miller after using up a of their cap space as they can go over the cap for him.

Yup, if he'll re-sign with them, which is a big if.

Oh, and David Thorpe, who's a pretty smart guy and spends a lot of time around the Florida team, says this:

Marrese Speights at 16, he's the second best offensive big in draft, behind Beasley. It'll be interesting. It's possible that he'll find his role on the team. He's athletic and skilled. But it's also possible -- he'll be playing, presumably, behind Jason Smith who was drafted in a similar spot last year -- that two years from now you will never remember his name. He could spend time in D League this year.

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lucky smith on Jun 29 at 15:46
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WHEN YOU CONSIDER THE FACT THAT FOR THE NEXT 2-7 YEARS AT THE LEAST,THE SIXERS FRONT COURT WILL HAVE TO DEFEND AGAINTS GARNETT,HORRY,HOWARD AND JAMES JUST TO GET OUT OF THE EAST. I THINK THE GUY THEY REALLY WANTED AT 16 WAS ROBIN LOPEZ,WHO IS PROBABLY THE BEST NBA READY FRONT COURT DEFENDER IN THE DRAFT.NO,HE IS NOT A SCORER BUT AS A BIG ENERGETIC,REBOUNDING,SHOT BLOCKING DEFENDER PAIRED WITH SAMMY AS A TANDEM THEY WOULD LOWER THE SHOOTING % OF THE GUYS MENTIONED.ED STEFANSKI IS A FRANK GUY AND ONE DAY HE WILL ADMIT THIS FACT.

I'm not really worried about defending against Horry to get out of the first round to be honest with you.

I wasn't really big on Lopez. The Sixers' problems aren't on defense, their problem is they have plenty of guys who can defend but can't score. Speights can score, that's why I'm not upset by the pick.

http://sports.yahoo.com/top/collegebroadcast/teams/jps

Florida basketball games online... should check it out Brian and other Sixers fans. As soon as I can, I will.

I believed this was a genuinely fascinating post and I am very glad that wrote on this subject, there are not too a lot of other blogs that consider this point of view


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