Just saying Sam..

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Dr.J during the 2014 NBA Lottery

Sam Hinkie was in the driver’s seat. There were three top picks in this year’s draft and he had the third draft pick. He could choose from whoever was available at number three and it would be a great move.

Then Joel Embiid had to break his damn foot..

Who know’s what Sam Hinkie is going to do now. John Gonzalez thinks he should trade Micheal Carter-Williams to the Lakers for the seventh pick, then trade Thaddeus Young for a draft pick in the middle of the first round. I stand by my favorite proposed trade. Oh, what’s that? You haven’t heard about that one yet?

First things first, let’s start by addressing the rumor that MCW and Thaddeus Young would go to Los Angeles for the Lakers seventh pick and Steve Nash’s contract. Here’s what Ben Detrick had to say about that trade in one paragraph.

“If Hinkie snaked two first-rounders from New Orleans for Jrue Holiday a year ago, why would he trade a younger player with a higher ceiling and a vastly better contract for … one first-rounder? All while also giving up a useful trade chip in Young? And taking back Nash’s “Eff You, Pay Me” [$9.7] million for next season? If that occurs, expect Hinkie to rip off his plastic face, Mission: Impossible–style, to reveal the cackling skull of a Billy King turducken critter.”

Perfect..

So, what if Sam Hinkie offered those same players, plus a second rounder or two to Orlando for the fourth pick? Orlando would have to add Jameer Nelson to match Thaddeus Young’s contract. Aaron Afflalo has reportedly just been traded, otherwise he would’ve been an ideal candidate. Victor Oladipo’s skills might be best utilized as a shooting guard while MCW could slide in as the new point guard. The two said they enjoyed playing with each other at the Rising Stars Challenge. The Magic might not bite, but isn’t it worth a shot?

Next, draft Dante Exum and Noah Vonleh. You would then have two young players with a tremendous upside that can take their merry old time to develop. Noel now has a partner in the paint to compliment him. Vonleh is big enough to guard the opposing team’s center but can also shoot from three point range and spread the floor. He’s arguably the best power forward prospect in this year’s draft. Julius Randle might have been more productive but Vonleh might be the better prospect and it’s not just because of his far superior wing span and Go Go Gadget hands.

The talk about Exum is that he is MCW part 2. Depending on who you talk to Dante has a quicker first step. The main difference between MCW and Dante, is that Exum is almost four years younger than MCW. That gives Dante four more years to work on the same flaws he shares with MCW, mainly a suspect jump shot. That’s also four more years to develop till he becomes the same age as MCW, which means he’s got that much more upside.

The only issue that I have with this trade is that it leaves the Sixers with fewer assets to move the tenth draft pick into the top eight. If you stay at ten, you walk away with Nik Staukas, Garry Harris, James Young or Zach LaVine. If you move into the top eight you are guaranteed to be left with Marcus Smart, Julius Randle or Aaron Gordon.

Such is life, it is a cruel world we live in. The effort in producing a Hinkie-worthy trade is still there none the less. After all, a team with Exum, Vonleh, Noel and the tenth draft pick, might be a decent consolation prize for a Wiggin-less Sixers team and their fans.

 

NBA Mock Draft 1.0

Andrew Wiggins to Sixers at #3?

Andrew Wiggins to Sixers at #3?

 

With the NBA draft now eight days away the order in which players are selected is getting clearer although no one truly knows. Not the media, not the draft “experts”, and not even I can claim to know for sure how things will play out next Thursday night. Continue reading

Sixers Dilemma

Philadelphia_76ers_partial_logoWhat do the Sixers gain by “tanking”? The Sixers franchise has faced ridicule by many media persons and outlets. Some are praising them for their ultimate goal. Are the Sixers doing right by forming a team that even if the players tried their hardest and performed their very best couldn’t win? In the NBA now days the only way to get better is to first get worse and hopefully land a top draft pick or have an abundance of cash to land super stars.

When asked what teams should do in order to land a higher draft pick, more specifically deliberately “tanking” former Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said “Not what Philadelphia is doing right now, which is embarrassing,” Van Gundy said. “I don’t care, Adam Silver can say there’s no tanking or what’s going on — if you’re putting that roster on the floor, you’re doing everything you can possibly do to try to lose.” But are the Sixers in the wrong for doing this? Much renowned Sixer Charles Barkley offered his opinion on his former franchise stating “I like what the Sixers are doing, they weren’t going to win,” Barkley continued. “I think resting Noel is going to be a huge boost for them going forward so they’re going to get two lottery picks next year with the guy who’s probably going to be the Rookie of the Year instead of paying a bunch of overpaid guys with a sorry team. I want a young team with a bright future. I want cap space and draft picks. That’s what has happened in the NBA.”

Much of the blame for this new way of creating a successful franchise in the NBA can be attributed to former league commissioner David Stern. When Stern stepped into office he had one main goal in mind, popularize the NBA. In order to do so he needed to figure out a way teams could draw more interest. Back in the 80’s “superstars” were more evenly dispersed throughout the league. You had HOF competing against each other. What he did next coincides with the dilution of NBA talent and disrupted “fair/even” competition around the league. During his time commissioner Stern added seven franchises. By doing so he added 105 players to rosters that wouldn’t have been in the league before. To simply put it there isn’t enough talent to fill all 30 NBA teams and have a competitive league amongst all teams. He also made it easier for teams to trade players and get rid of contracts and a very soft salary cap.

So now teams are faced with a sad reality. Tank, tank, and more tanking! With the way the NBA draft is set up the first 14 teams, teams that don’t make the playoffs, all are awarded a set amount of Ping-Pong balls based on record. The worse your teams record the more Ping-Pong balls they receive and thus increasing the team’s chances of landing the top pick in the draft. Teams that do this hope to land a franchise changing and even saving (i.e. Oklahoma City) player.

The other way to resurge your team to the top is by free agency. Most recently the Miami Heat were able to sign three “superstars” at once. LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh who earned the nickname the “Big 3.” Pat Reilly, owner and GM, had a plan in place before the offseason even took place to acquire these three players. Reilly cleared cap by trading for players with expiring contracts and the team’s first round pick. In return the Heat have since been to the last three NBA Finals and won the last two- what a great investment. While the Bobcats are still the Bobcats and the rest of the league and fans suffer.

So in reality the Sixers aren’t at fault here. Philly wants a winner. We have fallen subject to a way of losing that is dictated because of how the league is structured. Until the NBA reforms there are going to be at least 8 teams every year who know they aren’t going to make the playoffs, and six others stuck in mediocrity with hopes of making the playoffs until they decide to either “tank” or do what the Heat did.