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Hi Brian,

I have some people in mind that might be available that could help the team but am having a hard time putting a workable deal together (either that I think they'd go for OR because of the matching rules).

I was thinking a first need would be for a younger, pass first PG, preferably one who could defend too. My pick would be Ramon Sessions from the Bucks. He isn't their starter so he might be able to be pried loose. He's a great passer, decent scorer, decent defender and decent rebounder. He is quite athletic and has size so he could serviceably stay with most PGs in the league. I think we could trade them Smith as they don't have many real PFs (Charlie V. is soft, Luc is undersized). Unfortunately, Smith makes too much money. The ones we have that make that little money they wouldn't want. Lowry (Memphis) or Fernandez (Portland) are others who would help. Lowry would pass and is a good, albeit undersized defender and Fernandez can shoot.

If we need another shooter maybe we could try to get J.J. Redick. He ought to be able to space the floor at least. Whatever happened to Salim Stoudamire? We could probably get him cheap.

I haven't seen Sessions play enough to get a great feel for his game, but judging by his numbers, he can't shoot. If we're going to move Miller, I would hope it would be for a point who is pass first, but can also knock down the three. That might just make Iggy as your shooting guard start to look like a good idea.

I like the Daly-J-Rich one, if we get J-Rich we'd have someone who can actually score consistently from the perimeter and perhaps play small, with something like Brand/Young/Iggy/J-Rich/Miller. Or we could throw Speights in there, Speights/Brand/Iggy/J-Rich/Miller with Young as a sixth man.

It is highly unlikely that we have enough bait but if it were to happen it would sound good to me.

Like you guys I've been bitterly disappointed with the start to the season, everything that could go wrong has gone wrong. Maybe it is time for a change.

The big question is whether Larry Brown (or MJ, if he's still pulling any strings) would do it. I don't think Charlotte would get a ton of production out of an Okafor/Dalembert front court, but they'd be very good defensively down there.

From what I've heard, they're trying to move Gerald Wallace, and he's not a guy I'd want.

I don't know how much value Brand has - I mean, how many teams can you conceive of who'd want to trade for him? I suppose the Clippers wish they'd managed to re-sign him, but they've got a full frontcourt now. Only a contender would do it, so that rules out a ton of teams. But of course, most of the contenders are satisfied in the power forward department. Boston, Orlando, Toronto, Detroit, Atlanta, even the Nets with Yi - I guess you could make a case that Brand could put Cleveland over the top? He'd be an improvement on Ben Wallace, he fits their style of play, but they're already way over the cap and I don't know what the deal would be - Sczerbiak's expiring salary? I guess that's one possibility. But they're playing so well I hardly see them doing it. Then out West, the Lakers, Blazers, Spurs, Mavs, Suns, Jazz and Hornets obviously have 4 covered, I suppose Denver's got to be encouraged with what they've seen from Nene, certainly Houston doesn't need a fourth star, Golden State and Brand don't mix, even bad teams like Minnesota, Sacramento (Hawes/Thompson), and Memphis (Arthur) have promising or in Minnesota's case dominant post players - I guess the Thunder don't have anything in the way of a post presence? Can't see them trading for Brand though. I suppose the Bulls could use him, and I could see the Bucks, maybe, showing some interest. Though there's really no one you could take off their hands that's remotely comparable in talent, or even some big expiring contracts - we certainly don't need RJ or Bogut, they wouldn't give us Redd, that leaves spare parts. So really only Chicago and Cleveland.

I'm going to have to disagree with you about some of these teams:

Miami would trade Marion's expiring deal for Brand in a heartbeat, they've wanted him for years and he'd give them a true PF, Beasley would shift to SF.

Orlando would trade Hedo to be able to slide Rashard Lewis to SF and have a true PF next to Howard, this would also probably make them legit contenders in the East.

Detroit would probably value its upcoming cap space too much, otherwise a Wallace for Brand deal would make a ton of sense. I agree with you there.

The Nets would gladly trade VC for Brand. Yi's 11 per game wouldn't stand in the way.

Atlanta would want him, but the only way to get a deal done would probably be Joe Johnson, and I don't see that happening. Agree with you there.

Would Dallas do a Dirk for EB swap? Probably not.

There's no doubt in my mind Denver would prefer Brand to K-Mart and/or Nene.

Golden State wanted him badly enough to offer more than we did in the offseason. I'm not sure why that interest would be gone now.

This is probably a meaningless exercise, he isn't going anywhere, but I think you underestimate his value to a lot of teams.

Tray reply to Brian on Dec 1 at 12:14

You're probably right, both about some of those teams and that it's a meaningless exercise. I do think, though, that it's at least conceivable that Stefanski could wake up one day and realize that no team built around Brand is a real contender.

Is the Brand statement based on a theory you have, or just past history? The same was said plenty about KG before last season.

Tray reply to Brian on Dec 1 at 17:08

Fact, theory? Obviously isn't a fact, it's just something I think. Brand's no KG. I don't think anyone ever doubted that he was a franchise player who could win a 'ship with the proper support, and his team looked pretty good that one year until Cassell went down. (Same thing, ironically, happened to Brand, but Minnesota got farther, and Garnett had less talent around him.) So no, never ever compare Brand to KG. That's just boosterism. If Brand were KG, I don't think we'd be 7-10 right now.

John reply to Tray on Dec 2 at 14:19

I'm confused - how would KG make up for the piss poor offensive efficiency, stupid substitutions and lack of plays in an actual playbook.

Would KG get Speights on the floor sooner and more often?

Would KG have talked to ed in the off season and said 'look ed, it won't work with andre miller...you need a better back up plan thatn royal ivey and louis williams"

The sixers are a mess and KG versus Brand won't solve half the problems with this team

Tray reply to John on Dec 2 at 19:14

He'd make us a .500 team. He wouldn't make us good.

There's no point in talking about trading brand because it will never happen, at least this year or next. They try to get JR Smith from the Nuggets who cant seem to get out of George Karl's doghouse. He may just need another change of scenery. He would reallllly spread the floor and knock down a ton of threes when teams double down on EB. I agree that Jrich is intriguing. Hes a consistens 20 ppg scorer on the wing, just what we need.

I'd love to get Smith, he's got the same BYC problems, though. Although the Nuggets have trade exceptions. I'll try to run some numbers on a deal w/ the Nuggets if/when I do a potential trade targets post.

I think the Sixers need to decide what their identity is. Teams that make the finals and won titles have minimum of one superstar or else they play amazing defense like the 04 Pistons. Brand is a great player but not on the level of Duncan, Shaq (in his prime), KG, Kobe, etc. I don't see any superstars becoming available (unless we tank which I don't want to do).

So we either have to become a defensive, half-court oriented team or else go back to the run-N-gun (which doesn't win titles but at least Phoenix showed you can be relevant). Right now it seems like we're somewhere in between -- we have a good offensive half-court player in Brand but no one else so when he is doubled we look lost. We're only averaging 93.9 points/game, 2nd worst in the Eastern Conference.

If we go the defensive-oriented route, we should move Iggy to the 3, trade Miller and try and get some guards who can score. If we run, then we need to commit to it and see how Brand does -- if he fits in, great. If not, we should move him. Personally I would rather keep Brand and try to find players who can play in the half court.

One other note about coaching -- I like Cheeks and think he should be kept. It's a players league and the players seem to like him, so that's half the battle right there. Plus I think a coach's impact is overrated -- how did Doc Rivers do before he was gifted with KG and Ray Allen? How did Larry Brown do when he had slop to work with in New York? If anything maybe we could bring in an assistant who is a defensive specialist (like Tom Thibodeau is for the Celtics).

Brand's presence shouldn't hinder the running style. Even if he can't run w/ them, which I think he can, the rest of the team can get out in the open floor and he can trail, he'll get a ton of wide-open jumpers from the line if he's trailing, and he can drill that shot.

His defense and rebounding should also really help them get out and run.

Last year, they were a hybrid team. They played tough, aggressive half-court defense and tried to run on everything. The Suns, on the other hand, played no defense and tried to run on everything. I think they can still be successful with the defend and run philosophy. That should still be the team's identity, the difference is that with Brand when they're forced into the half court they shouldn't be as lost as they were last year. They have an option now.

To me, the biggest problem with the offense is that they've gone away from that aggression, when was the last time you saw them try to run after a make? They did that all the time last year. The mindset w/ the players seems to be that they're a half-court team now, when that isn't the case. They should be running, using their athleticism to get easy opportunities.

There are some drastic changes they can make in the short-term, without trading anyone, which may help them get back to this type of play. I'll get into that in an upcoming post.

AllPhillysports on Dec 1 at 13:56

Just like a Philly Fans'has soon has thing don't start out well,we won't yo bail out.there's is something called building a chemistry.and i belive the sixers will start to do that.

Not bailing out. Just taking a look for down the road if changes need to be made, what pieces does Stefanski have to work with. I'm not saying any of these guys should be traded, just taking a look at their value.

Fine... chemistry. No one doubts its importance. The big problem with this team, however, is that it can't shoot worth a damn. We have four key players in our backcourt: A. Miller, A. Iguodala, L. Williams, and W. Green. How many of them do you trust shooting the ball outside 15 feet? If you're like me, the answer is "one"... the much maligned Willie Green. Worse than that, I wouldn't trust two of them (Iguodala and Williams) shooting anything but a layup... and Iguodala doesn't even do that very well!

raffaele reply to AllPhillysports on Dec 2 at 6:12

I totally agree with you, brian.

Whats's left me puzzled most so far is the unnecessary transformation this team has undergone from last season: they play like they're a half-court team when this is not their identity and should not be.

Sixers did not bring brand in to change the nature of this team but with the idea this style of play could benefit from his defense & rebounding. Plus, we could use his post skills WHEN could not get a fastbreak.

So I don't undertsand why they lost that agressive, defense-first, run-whenever-you-can attitude that was so useful last year. It should not be because of Brand, 'cause, as you say, he could perfectly fit in that style.

That's the reason of my perplexity about the current identity (or lack thereof) of the Sixers.

Sometimes they figure it out, and when they do they go on monster runs. Like outscore the opponent by 20 in a quarter runs. It's those spurts that keep me believing this team is a legit contender. Unfortunately, we haven't seen many of them over the past week or so.

Yeah i think the nets would trade VC for Iguodola in a heartbeat. They seem to have an unstoppable point in Devin Harris so maybe dont need a scoring SG so much. I dont think I would want VC though...I follow the Nets too and he is playing well now but I fully expect him to miss 20-25 games. Brand is going nowhere...
If we could unload Iggy for a Michael Redd(I mentioned this 4 weeks ago. No one liked the idea then...how bout now ? :/ ) I would do it.
I would unload Iggy fro any SG who can score...we have enough shot blockers to have one guy who cant defend on the floor. Iggy isnt THAT good on D anyway...hes above average....but certainly not lockdown.
Oh and please never ever compare Brand to KG.
KG is an all league player who elevates his entire team...Brand is a pretty good PF but not the leader that KG is..Its like comparing Iguodola to Kobe...

Eh, KG was a very good player who never did jack in the playoffs until last season, now he's a god because he got gifted onto a team with two other superstars. I think if you asked Minny fans they'd have something to say about how well he elevated the players around him when the players around him sucked.

Brand is really getting a lot more criticism than he deserves around these parts. He's actually the only one who's played well during this losing streak, he's 31/56 from the floor (55%) over the last 4. The fault doesn't lie with him.

Maybe Williams got fat and happy with the contact.
He’s got to be better than this, right?

Also, why would anyone believe Iggy could become something he’s not?
After four years you are what you are.

Take a look at Rip Hamilton's shooting numbers year over year.

Tray reply to Brian on Dec 1 at 21:40

Hamilton was always a shooter, he just expanded his range.

Actually, Rip is a below average 3-point shooter for his career (35% being average). He's only had 4 above-average seasons in his 10-year career. His overall shooting percentage isn't great either.

Tray reply to Brian on Dec 2 at 2:45

But what is your point? Over time, he honed his mid-range jump shot, a little, but it was never this disastrous mess, it was always pretty decent. Now it's great. 82games, on the other hand, is claiming Iguodala's shooting 33% on jump shots, just jump shots. That will go up, but his being an awful shooter will never change.

Just checked Iggy's stats at 82games, he's actually down 8% on jumpers from last season. That has to correct itself, doesn't it? Ugh.

Tray reply to Brian on Dec 2 at 19:17

It will correct, but 41% is still pretty bad. I mean, that includes mid-range shots. If I were Cheeks I would never let him shoot outside of 16 feet, much less draw up a play for him to take a jump shot, which Cheeks continues to do.

Cheeks draws up plays? I kid.

gdog2004 on Dec 1 at 18:37

good point Brian but I think Minnys players REALLY sucked. Still...I get your point.
Brand is not the issue here...its almost everyone around him except for Thad. Look...Iguodola may turn out to be great. But hes not this year...and he wont be until he gets a shooting coach. He better get some tough skin though...if the sixers continue to slide...which seems likely...he will get booed on a nightly basis. Keith Van Horn Boos...Toni Kukoc boos......

Yup, big contracts in Philly put a huge target on your back. The thing is, if he relaxed, played his game and only took absolutely wide open jumpers he'd be fine. Better than fine, actually. He's been awesome on the boards, I've been very impressed with his passing, he's just clearly forcing too much both with his shot (hence, the shitty fg%) and off the dribble (hence, the turnovers). I wish Mo would just sit him down and tell him to relax.

Thad seems to be a major problem actually. His efficiency is down. His free throw attempts are *somehow* down. His rebounding is way down(I realize he moved to the 3). He is forcing way less turnovers, while turning it over a whole lot more. He still can't pass at all.

I think it is great that Thaddeus worked hard on his shot this offseason(although he is falling back to reality), but he has been pretty crappy recently. I remember a time when he would help the team when he wasn't scoring. That seems to be a thing of the past.

I love Thad as much as most, but he is a problem right now. Of course Lou is the biggest problem though followed shortly by Willie.


Iggy won't get booed. There aren't any fans to boo him.

I have a theory about Thad, I'll try to write up a quick post about it late tonight or tomorrow.

gdog2004 reply to Joe on Dec 1 at 20:00

Well if you are a philly fan you know one thing.
Philly fans LOVE to hate/blame when the team is bad....and however many fans it dwindles down to(probably the poor saps who bought season tickets thinking this team was going to be good and the people taking their kids out) you can bet they will boo Iguodola hard...its coming...you will see.

Joe reply to gdog2004 on Dec 1 at 22:03

I was mostly kidding when I said they won't boo. It was a shot at the crappy attendance. All I hear when I discuss the Sixers is Iguodala hate. I think hate should be given on every player on the team pretty much.

Iggy will get booed. You are right. Lou Williams is the one who should be getting booed though.

One positive of all this? Mo Cheeks will be fired quite possibly. I think he is a poor coach, but I don't fully grasp the idea of a "player's coach" personally.

Chris reply to Joe on Dec 1 at 20:37

Well, last year Thad basically deferred to everybody and didn't try to take anyone else's shots. So, they would give him some crumbs.

This year, he is definitely looking for his shot more. Normally, he starts out hot and Mo benches him and then the rest of the guys (Miller and Iggy) barely pass him the ball. So, if he gets it later, he'll probably try to shoot just because he barely gets to see the ball plus he's lost his rhythm. Oh, I don't think he is cool with that either as Jasner asked him about it (and the fact *no* plays are run for him) and he started with "Let's get this straight...".

He is turning it over more as he does drive into traffic occasionally. I don't think he can't pass. If you watch, when he does pass he gives it to the people where they can score. He just can't pass much as he isn't one of the primary ball handlers at all. He hardly ever has the ball. His rebounding is down as now he's hanging around on the perimeter. I do agree he's getting a lot less steals. The pet peeve I do have about Thad is he should be drawing more fouls considering his athletic ability and low post moves. If Thad can get 5+ FTs a game I think he could easily score in the low 20s consistently.

If anything, I think the Mo should start running some plays for him and he should be the second option after Brand. He's still shooting around 40% 3FG and 50%FG. That still isn't bad especially since Mo isn't putting in any effort to put plays in to maximize his performance. Who did Kevin Garnett bring up first when asked about the Sixers? Thaddeus

This relates more to your last post Brian but I've been to two games so far and it seems to me that Iguodala, Williams, and Brand all overdribble. I played some basketball in college and we used to do a drill where we'd move the ball on offense exclusively by passing...no dribbling allowed. It seems to me that a similar focus on cutting would alleviate alot of the sixers offensive woes.

During the pregame last night on NBATV Eric Snow said what I agreed with gdog on a few weeks ago, that Thad should go back to coming off the bench to spell the 3 & 4 spots b/c Iguodala is definitely a 3 and should be starting there. He went on to say that even though they don't have the ideal 2, they should start W. Green or one of the other guys who can at least shoot it a little better. He stated that Miller, Iguodala, and Thad are all the same type of player in that they can score and slash but not a decent shooter which is needed now with EB.

It seems to me that Mo is trying too hard to incorporate our existing team (the guys from last year) into EB instead of just rolling with the momentum from the end of last year and incorporating EB into the continuity and flow developed last spring. Instead of trying to fit everybody in with him, just let him fit in with us.

Tray reply to Bryon on Dec 1 at 22:16

Well great, let's just bring our best player off the bench. Why not make Iguodala the sixth man? Thing is, every minute of Thad or Iguodala you substitute for a minute of Willie Green or "one of the other guys" is a mistake. We'd be buried by the end of every first quarter if Green was starting for either.

gdog2004 reply to Tray on Dec 1 at 22:24

Right now we are one of the 10 worst teams in the league...could it be any worse ?

Tray reply to gdog2004 on Dec 1 at 23:14

A, yes, and B, you're assuming that the starters don't start playing better. Which they will. I mean, I hate Iguodala, but I don't expect him to go the whole season without scoring 19 points in a game.

Bryon reply to Tray on Dec 2 at 13:51

Well if you say it is a mistake, then why did we go on such a tear down the stretch at the end of last year with said Willie Green starting at the 2. I remember huge runs and high scoring from 1st quarters last year albeit this was with Thad starting at the 4. But we won a fair share of games with Reggie Evans at the 4 also. Iguodala does more intangible things on the court than Thad does at this point so to make him the sixth man would be counter productive. Dislikes for Willie aside, we won 40 games last year with him starting there while he also averaged a career high.

It's hard to hate on Rush yet as he hasn't been given the slightest of opportunity. I said a week or so ago on here that if he was good enough to start all those games for O'Brien last year and set a career high for 3's made then he can't be that much of a defensive liability to not earn consistent minutes whether starting or not.

Willie is a career 41% shooter from the field, 31% from three. Neither of those numbers screams shooter to me.

If we had a real shooter on the roster, I'd suggest dropping Dalembert from the starting lineup, sliding Thad and Iggy down a spot and inserting the shooter. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like Rush is that guy.

Bart reply to Brian on Dec 2 at 9:10

Yeah, we talked about the "bench Dalembert, start a shooter" option weeks ago, Brian. I still think it's our best bet right now, barring a trade of some sort. And, honestly... it's probably wrong to say that Rush isn't the man for the job when he's been given so little opportunity to work with the first team and prove himself. I would bet some money that given the opportunity to work with the first team, it wouldn't take him long at all to prove he's the right man for the job. Maybe I'm wrong... who knows? But it upsets me that we brought him on as a shooter and aren't really giving him the opportunity to show his stuff.

He hasn't really impressed me much, so I can only imagine that Mo isn't too pleased with Rush. Then again, like you said, he hasn't really run with the starters much. I'd definitely like to see him get a look or two. His shot has been off recently, but no action can do that to a guy.

I am all for the "start a shooter" mentality but you guys are under the assumption that Brand would be accepting of getting pounded every night by true centers. Brand has shown time and time again that tall opponenets give him fits...well every night would be a tall opponent if he were playing center.
Thad/Iggy are both too good to sit...but they both play SF.

Good point. He'd be facing taller guys for the bulk of his minutes. He did well against KG/Perkins and even Camby/Kaman recently, but it does play to a weakness of his.

The sixers FIRST have to decide what they are doing at the top - if you're firing mo (hopefully soon, dude is a mess) you don't screw with the roster until you see who the new coach is and what players fit into the new system.

I disagree that Miller has 'excellent' value - his game is for shizzle this year and I know 'expiring contracts' are supposed to be hot but I remember what the sixers got for their last 2.

The sixers need a point guard, but the sad part is, the blazers seem to be looking for a short term upgrade at point as well and have a better expiring deal AND better young talent to put together a deal...the sixers are fracked

I'm guessing the Sixers have absolutely no chance of even entering the LBJ sweepstakes in 2010?

Here's a question for you... when Iverson's contract expires, do you think we could get him for a year or two for a song and would we want to?

They'd probably have to let Miller walk and trade two of these three: Brand, Iguodala, Dalembert. And they'd have to get back contracts that expire before the 2010 Summer.

I don't know who's going to take the plunge with Iverson, but I doubt it'll be the Sixers. I think he may even retire, depending on how the rest of this season goes. He's not doing well in Detroit.

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