Friday, May 31, 2013

The 76ers need a coach; what are they waiting for?

Check out the original article on Pattison Ave:

"For a team unsure of how the lineup will look next season, without a coach, and with a lottery pick looming, the Sixers have kept things considerably quiet since the hiring of Sam Hinkie.

The silence is not necessarily a bad thing, as it is very possible that Hinkie has a plan in place. Maybe he is waiting for permission to speak with an assistant on one of the remaining playoff teams (Brian Shaw anyone?), or maybe he is simply keeping his ideas under wraps until they become more concrete.

However even if Hinkie does have a plan prepared, seeing several coaches who were mentioned as candidates for the Sixers’ vacancy get snatched up by other squads is somewhat unnerving.

Cleveland snagged Mike Brown, Atlanta signed Spurs super-assistant Mike Budenholzer, and the Phoenix Suns recently named Jeff Hornacek their new head coach; all candidates that the Sixers were reportedly interested in.

Although this early in the offseason naming a new coach is not absolutely imperative, a selection needs to be made, and the sooner the better. While the activity of other teams may not provide enough impetus to make a move, the approaching draft and following free agent frenzy, should.

While the franchise’s front office is capable of scouting players in the coming weeks, ideally you would definitely like to have a coach in place by draft day.

One would like to think that the new head coach, whoever he may be, and Hinkie will develop and grow together, helping to build the future of the franchise. Decisions on players, personnel, plan and direction should be achieved in accord, beginning with the draft decision.

This is idealistic, but it would be nice if the Sixers could retain a coach for longer than three seasons.

Whoever is going to be tasked with coaching this team and building a line-up should at least have lottery input. Free agency begins shortly after the draft, and again, a coach needs to be in place in order to pursue players and properly develop a game plan. Naming a coach after serious personnel moves have been made seems counterproductive to what the team is trying to accomplish.

Again, if Hinkie has a plan in place more power to him, and the team should preach patience. However, recent reports say that the Sixers have yet to interview a single candidate for the job, and that Hinkie is spending his time continuing to familiarize himself with team personnel.

So either Hinkie is keeping his plans on the extreme down low, or the team is slightly behind the curve when it comes to naming a new coach. Obviously this is an extremely important decision for the future, and not one that should be arrived at quickly or haphazardly, but the sooner a coach is put into place, the sooner the franchise can focus on building a winner."

Thursday, May 30, 2013

76ers should consider McCollum

This was posted on Pattison Ave. earlier in the week. Considering the uncertainty surrounding the Sixers pick it seems fitting. Check out the full article here.

"The Sixers desperately need some size, an issue that will only expand if Andrew Bynum is not re-signed this summer. The team is without a legitimate low-post option, and considering the Sixers’ struggles on the offensive end this past season, it is an issue that desperately needs to be addressed.

However with that being said, the Sixers should still strongly consider Lehigh guard C.J. McCollum if he is available.

Coming off of an injury-shortened senior season and a college career largely lacking big conference competition, McCollum is a question mark, but one with a high potential to pay off.
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McCollum has shown that he can put up points, averaging over 21 points per game over his final three collegiate seasons, while twice being named the Patriot League Player of the Year (2010 & 2012). He was also a two-time AP All-American Honorable Mention and probably would have been a lottery pick had he declared for the draft last summer.

In addition to having excellent anticipation (McCollum was top 5 in steals in 2011), he also improved upon his shooting percentage each season, and while his assist numbers weren’t eye-popping, he proved capable of running an offense.

However, despite his obvious attributes, some still label McCollum as the draft’s most intriguing mystery, due to his lack of a clear-cut professional position and the caliber of his college opponents.

Will he be able to play point guard in the NBA, or should he be used as a shooting guard because of his scoring mentality?

Can he have the same type of point production against the NBA’s elite that he did against some small-school college kids?

The questions exist, but are the Sixers in any sort of position to ignore any affirming answers?

If he is able to translate his game to the professional level, McCollum has the opportunity to be an all-star caliber scorer, which is something the Sixers have been searching for.

Similar questions existed last summer about Damian Lillard, and the way he responded this season should say something to the Sixers.

There are those that say that Jrue Holiday is better equipped to play off the ball as well, and in that case Holiday and McCollum could complement each other. Although undersized, the two together could form a formidable backcourt and spearhead an explosive offense.

Drafting a post player would seem to make the most sense, however this draft isn’t the deepest, and assuming Cody Zeller and Norlens Noel are gone by the Sixers selection, the team should at least consider McCollum; a small-school combo guard with a big upside."

Friday, May 24, 2013

Players previously selected 11th overall provide some hope for the 76ers

Be sure to check out the full version of this post over on Pattison Ave., where it looks much nicer with images and a slideshow.

"So the Sixers reward for struggling through the 2012-2013 season is the 11th overall pick in this June’s NBA draft; not high enough a pick to secure a certain superstar, yet  just low enough to make the “who to draft” decision extremely difficult.  

Such a low lottery pick is disappointing for a franchise that needs to build a foundation for the future, considering that the best way to develop a team is through the draft. 
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However, all hope is not lost just because we have to wait for ten teams to have their pick of prospects before the Sixers select. 

Yes the most obviously talented and NBA-ready will be taken, but the Sixers could still strike it big with the 11th overall selection.

Here are some other players, including a couple of all-stars and a hall-of-famer, who were selected 11th overall in their respective drafts and went out to have extremely successful, productive NBA careers. 

Kevin Willis, Atlanta 1984

The second-oldest person to ever play in an NBA game, Kevin Willis enjoyed a productive career that spanned an astonishing 21 seasons. Highlighted by an All-Star and All-NBA appearance in 1992, and a championship in 2003 with the San Antonio Spurs, Willis was an extremely consistent contributor throughout his career, retiring with overall averages of 12 points and 8 rebounds per game. 

Reggie Miller, Indiana 1987

Remembered by many as the greatest sharp-shooter of all time, Reggie slipped all the way down to number 11 before being selected by Indiana, the team he would spend all 18 of his prolific professional seasons with. Miller, a five-time NBA All-Star and recent Hall-of-Fame inductee, was one of the NBA’s most polarizing personalities during his playing days, famous for feuding with film director and Knick-nut Spike Lee, along with having some historic postseason battles with the Bulls and Knicks. Miller, who was recently surpassed by Ray Allen for most three pointers made in NBA history, currently serves as a sideline announcer for NBA on TNT.

Robert Horry, Houston 1992

Known as “Big shot Rob” for his consistently clutch shooting in important moments, Robert Horry was part of more championship teams than anyone outside of members of the 1960’s Celtics dynasty. With seven championship rings to his name, Horry is largely considered one of the greatest clutch shooters of all time. He holds the record for three-pointers in the NBA Finals with 53, and he is also the leader in playoff games played, tallying 244 playoff games in his 16 seasons.

Allan Houston, Detroit 1993

For the better part of a decade, Allan Houston was one of the most respected shooters in the league. Highlighted by all-star selections in 2001 and 2002, Allan spearheaded a notable Knicks offense, as he never failed to average less than 14 points per game for the franchise from 1996 to 2004. Knee injuries forced him to end his career early than intended, but Houston was still extremely productive for a long period.

Klay Thompson, Golden State 2011

Labeled as one half of the “greatest shooting backcourt in the history of the game” according to his Coach Mark Jackson, Thompson has already made a name for himself in two short seasons. Combined with point guard Steph Curry, the “splash brothers” connected on an NBA-record 483 three-pointers this season, while helping to will the Warriors to the Western Conference Semi-Finals. Named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team in 2012, Klay who had to wait to hear his name called on Draft night, is well on his way to becoming an extremely productive NBA player."

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Michael Jordan made his best post-basketball decision by bringing back the Charlotte Hornets

Michael Jordan is making his best decision yet as owner of the Charlotte Bobcats, but unfortunately for the franchise, it has nothing to do with players or personnel.

The team is probably still going to stink, but at least they will have a cool, nostalgic nickname. 

Yes, Michael Jordan has started the process of rightfully renaming his team the Hornets, which has been pretty much every NBA fan’s wish since the New Orleans announced it would be renaming its team the Pelicans. 
"They're bringing us back?!"

David Stern’s heir, Adam Silver previously said it could take "about 18 months" for the Bobcats to change their name, meaning Charlotte could once again become the Hornets by the 2014-15 season.

For an entire generation, the Hornets were a classic NBA franchise, boasting a bunch of exciting NBA players, and having one of the coolest color schemes in sports history. 

Again, until some serious changes are made to the team itself, the Bobcats/Hornets are going to continue to stink, but at least they will stink in classically cool uniforms, and maybe the change will probably inspire some pride out of a faltering fan base. 

Now they just need to bring back the Hornets Starter jacket

To get mentally prepared for this new Hornets team, check out this Nostalgic NBA Fan's guide to the Charlotte Hornets of the 1990's.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

The hiring of Sam Hinkie should improve the Sixers' offense

 Originally a Pattison Ave. post from Friday afternoon, check out the full article there.

"It’s no secret that the Sixers’ offense was painful to watch at times last season.

Okay, it was downright difficult to watch a lot of the time last season.

A lack of offensive weapons was part of the problem, but shot selection was central to the Sixers’ struggles.

If you found yourself second-guessing a lot of shots within the Sixers’ offensive sets and wondering why so many  possessions ended in missed mid-range jump shots, you're not alone. The Sixers actually led the league in field goal attempts from the 15-19 foot range, which is widely considered the worst or least-efficient shot in basketball.

Thus, considering how many of the Sixers’ shots stemmed from this low-efficiency area, it is no surprise that they were also tied for dead last in points per game; an ode to offensive futility.
At an average of 93.2 points per game, only the Washington Wizards and Chicago Bulls (who boasted one of the league’s best defenses to balance out offensive deficiencies) put up points at a lower rate.

Houston however, Hinkie’s former franchise, had the second highest-scoring offense in the NBA this season, putting up a blistering 106 points per game, and employing an extremely exciting style of play.

The Rockets ranked third in the league in shots attempted from less than five feet away from the basket, and were tied for first in three point attempts; obviously indicating a premium on high-percentage shots.

Not only did Hinkie’s Houston team place a premium on those shots, they also largely avoided low-percentage shots. The Rockets ranked dead last in shots attempted from 15-19 feet; the polar opposite of the 76ers.

So with Hinkie at the helm it is safe to assume that the Sixers will dial back their dependence on maddening mid-range shots, and instead focus on higher-efficiency areas.

“I don’t even care if [a shot] goes in or not. I’m all about, ‘Should it go in?’ Hinkie told in a 2008 interview.

“I can live with randomness. I mean, if it’s a close game in the end, yeah, I’m just like anyone else. But I just want us to play the odds all the time.”

This quote alone provides insight to Hinkie’s approach.

Translation: He wants the team to attempt the best shots possible. If they don’t always go in, that’s okay, at least the odds were in our favor.

An elevated pace can be expected as well. The Rockets led the league in possessions per game, and offense early in the clock was emphasized.

The Sixers fancied themselves as a fast break-type team a couple seasons back, so increasing the tempo shouldn’t be too difficult. Jrue Holiday is capable of pushing the pace, and wing players like Evan Turner and Thad Young are able to keep up in the open court.

So while we may not have a clear idea of exactly how the Sixers lineup will look next season, we do have some insight on what will be expected of the offense, and if Hinkie can install a system similar to the one seen in Houston, it will be an enormous improvement."

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Kobe Bryant told Michael Jordan that he could "kick his ass" one on one

Phil Jackson is coming out with another book, and I for one can’t wait to read it. Phil’s insight and approach to the hardwood translate well to hardcover, as few players or coaches can convey their ideology as well with the written word. 

The new book, aptly titled 11 Rings: The Soul of Success, supposedly focuses a good deal on Kobe Bryant, and it even finds Phil discussing the Kobe/Jordan comparison; a topic he has largely shied away from in the past. 

Considering Jackson was the man that led both MJ and KB to all of their NBA titles, it will be interesting to hear his insight on the issue.  
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According to Jackson, Kobe’s desire not only to be great, but to literally be better than Michael was evident from the beginning. In 11 Rings, he reflects fondly on a face-to-face meeting between Michael and Kobe during his first season as head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers.

"Kobe was hell-bent on surpassing Jordan as the greatest player in the game. His obsession with Michael was striking," Jackson stated.

"When we played in Chicago that season, I orchestrated a meeting between the two stars, thinking that Michael might help shift Kobe's attitude toward selfless teamwork,” he continued.
After they shook hands, the first words out of Kobe's mouth were, 'You know I can kick your ass one on one.'"

One could never claim that Kobe lacks confidence, and it is bold, brash statements like this that have made Kobe such a polarizing player. 

I can’t wait for some more gems like this out of 11 Rings, which will be available next Tuesday, May 21st.

If they stink for another season, the 2014 NBA Draft could be big for the Sixers

This article originally ran on Pattison Ave. a couple days ago, check out the original there

"Although it sits over a full season away, the 2014 NBA Draft could be big for the 76ers.

The franchise, currently shrouded in uncertainty, is in rough shape after this disaster of a season, and this summer doesn’t seem to offer any worthwhile, reasonable relief.

Sure the Sixers have some cap space and a lottery pick on lock, but this summer’s free agent crop is underwhelming, as is the draft class. Although an obvious reaction to the poor play this season would be to retool the roster, this may not be the summer to sign away the future of the franchise.
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While requesting patience from Philadelphia fans is pointless, (and realistically why should they be patient with the last title coming thirty years ago), it is important at this point.

Let’s be realistic; nothing short of some miracle management could catapult the team into contender status next season, and as far as I know Adam Aron doesn’t moonlight as a magician.

Superstar FA’s won’t be lining up to take a pay cut to play in Philly, and while the team may not be too far out of the playoff picture, it is miles away from calling itself a true contender. The franchise needs more than a single summer can fix, especially considering the Sixers’ current salary cap situation and potentially weak draft prospects. So, don’t expect a title out of this team next season.
If the Sixers are smart they will limit their spending this summer, and set their sights on building a strong foundation starting with the impressive draft class of 2014.

Instead of approaching this offseason looking to add some fringe free agents with hopes of pushing back into the playoffs, the Sixers should, well, stink for another season, and have some high hopes for the 2014 draft.

Honestly, no combination of free agents that the Sixers could sign this summer, outside of Chris Paul and Dwight Howard, could turn the team into a true title contender. What some mid-level signings will do however is eat up cap space and help to keep the Sixers in extended mediocrity mode, which is the equivalent to NBA purgatory.

Sure, rebuilding isn’t ideal, but there comes a point where a team needs to suck it up and stink for a season or two, in order to improve. We’re not talking “tanking,” rather just playing the season out largely as is without taking on many additional contracts this summer in order to remain relevant next season.

The Sixers were able to avoid playoff positioning this year, and another similar season next year should land them in good standing for the lottery, which boasts some potential star power.

Andrew Wiggins, currently the country’s top-ranked high school player figures to be available, along with fellow prized prospect Jabari Parker, and Oklahoma State standout Marcus Smart, who would have been a lottery lock had he declared for the draft this summer.

Wiggins, who committed to Kansas on Tuesday afternoon, is an extremely versatile wing player, and has drawn on-court comparisons to Hall-of-Famer, Scottie Pippen.

Parker and Smart have drawn more contemporary NBA comparisons, with the former being compared to Carmelo Anthony, and the latter showing similarities to James Harden.

There is, of course, no guarantee that the Sixers will land any of these players, but it is important to point out the potential. While the 2013 Draft may not offer too much relief to the struggling Sixers, the 2014 Draft may be full of franchise-changing faces if the Sixers happen to be in a similar state next summer."

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Oklahoma City needs Russell Westbrook, along with Kevin Durant, to be a true contender

The Oklahoma City Thunder, a popular pick to represent the Western Conference in the NBA Finals this season, were eliminated from playoff contention last evening. While the Memphis Grizzlies have done an excellent job of giving the Thunder all they can handle, the main reason for Oklahoma City’s struggles is the absence of Russell Westbrook. 

Russell served as the offensive initiator for the team, and his attacking, aggressive style kept defenses off balance, while helping to open up the rest of the floor for Kevin Durant to do his damage.

Although still dominant on the offensive end, Durant is finding it much more difficult to find an open or even semi-contested look. Without Westbrook sending the defense back peddling to the paint, Memphis perimeter players can hang around the arc and put additional pressure on Durant. Although he is still putting up points, it is clear that he is laboring much more to do so than he has throughout the course of the season. With Russell out, the defense can really key in on KD without having to worry about that explosive other option. 

This trend is important to point out in light of all the criticism that Westbrook has taken over his career for being on attack too much, and not deferring enough to Durant. Popular pundits, such as ESPN’s Skip Bayless have long suggested that the Thunder would be a better total team if Westbrook was more of a traditional point guard and allowed almost every position to run directly through Durant.

However Westbrook’s absence in the Memphis series has painted a very different picture; one where Russ’s attacking attitude draws defenses away from Durant, allowing him to operate. Durant has been the beneficiary of excellent point guard play, even if it is not in the traditional sense of the position, and it has become clear that the two completely complement each other. Durant is a scoring machine, and his job is made much easier when Westbrook is out on the floor doing what he does. 

For as good as Durant can be, the Thunder are not a true title threat without Westbrook, which is important to point out, and not forget, going forward. 

If Durant is Batman, than Russell is Robin, and they are both necessary for Oklahoma City (or Gotham for the sake of the analogy) to survive and thrive.

Monday, May 13, 2013

With a GM in place, head coach is the next step for the Sixers

Originally posted on

"The signing of Sam Hinkie was the first piece to the puzzle sitting in front of Sixers’ ownership this summer. Josh Harris apparently got his main man, and now we will have to wait and see how Hinkie handles having the fate of the franchise in his hands.

With a GM in place, the next logical piece to the puzzle for the Sixers is a head coach. The organization has already got the ball rolling in this regard, considering possible candidates, but with Hinkie now at the helm, expect the search to take on a a more focused, and furious feel.

After dealing with the stress and burnout that was apparently an everyday aspect of Coach Collins, it is safe to say the organization may want a fresh face ready to embrace the rebuilding process and willing to teach a young team.

So, despite rumors about a Larry Brown reunion and quiet requests for Phil Jackson or Stan Van Gundy, it would not be shocking if the Sixers went with someone without NBA head coaching experience.

Brian Shaw, currently an assistant with the Indiana Pacers comes to mind. Shaw however is highly regarded around the league for his basketball mind, and he should have several suitors this summer. Considering the mess that the Sixers made last season, they are not the most desirable of destinations, and it wouldn’t be shocking to see Shaw opt in elsewhere.

The same line of logic can be followed for Spurs top assistant Mike Budenholzer, whose name has popped up as a potential target for the 7-6. Budenholzer however is also highly regarded due largely to his long, successful stint next to legendary Spurs coach Gregg Popovich. Many think Budenholzer will even serve as Popovich’s successor, making the likelihood that the Sixers will sign him pretty slim.

Warriors assistant Mike Malone is another option, although the team’s strong performance this postseason will certainly generate a bit of a buzz around him. Alongside head coach Mark Jackson, Malone has helped turn the Warriors from a lottery team to one of the most exciting and competitive teams in the league. Malone was a candidate for the vacancy in 2010, but was eventually passed over for Coach Collins. Malone is knowledgeable on both sides of the ball, and could represent that fresh face with a sharp basketball mind that ownership is pining for.

Sixer players, including Jrue Holiday have already voiced their support for current 76ers’ assistant, Michael Curry.

“Curry is somebody I trust, and somebody I’d love as a head coach,” Holiday stated simply. "Obviously we were defensive-based, which is big for us. That was our calling card, and Mike was responsible for that."

For what it’s worth, Evan Turner agreed. “He was great because he was calm in certain situations, and that helps,” Evan added.

Curry’s head coaching resume is slim, consisting only of a single unsuccessful season in Detroit. Despite the lack of success, some feel that the 44 year old deserves another shot, and his familiarity with the Sixers’ system, along with apparently having the support of its players should serve as a plus.

Curry however, worked under the Collins regime, and it is possible the organization will want to make a clean break away from that era, continuing to leave Curry on the outside looking in.

You have to think that the Sixers would like to have a head coach in place by June’s draft date, so expect the search to surge with Hinkie calling the shots. Hinkie’s first major decision will have an enormous impact on the direction of the franchise going forward; let’s see how he handles it."

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Sixers searching for a scorer

The Sixers need a scorer.  It seems like a pretty simple sentiment.  In fact, there will be those that criticize this post as being too simplistic.

“Of course, every team could use a scorer.” 

“We want a name!”

The point of this post isn’t to postulate about potential players, but rather to point out a decade long problem.

The Sixers have not had a legitimate go-to-guy since Allen Iverson was shipped to Denver, which happens to be about the same time that the franchise’s success stalled.

This is not a coincidence.

Every team that has found extreme success in the NBA over the past decade plus (Heat, Mavs, Lakers, Spurs, Celtics) have a clearly defined go-to-guy.  This is also not a coincidence.  The best NBA teams are well-structured and well-rounded, as a one man show rarely makes it very far (save for an ’01 Iverson and an ’07 LeBron James).

However, in the final minutes of a close game these teams know who to turn to.  For such squads it is no mystery who is going to get the ball in the game’s final minutes; this has been a guessing game for the Sixers over the past several seasons.

The Sixers are facing an extremely uncertain future, and need to make signing legitimate scorers a priority.  Enough of the hybrid position players like Iguodala, Young, Turner, who are great fits for already-established teams, but not ideal for a team without an identity.

Sure, signing a high-caliber scorer is easier said than done, but it is not impossible. The player does not have to be a “superstar,” just someone who can consistently put the ball in the basket. J.R. Smith, an upcoming free agent, is an example of a strong scorer who has not achieved superstar status; so yes they exist.

Snagging a scorer through the draft may be the team’s best option.  That could mean taking a chance in 2013 on LeHigh’s C.J. McCollum, who was an explosive college scorer.  Or it could mean playing well below .500 ball for another season and trying to capitalize on an impressive 2014 draft class, which contains some potentially franchise-changing faces.

While the Sixers have a lot of issues to address this off-season, securing a solid scorer, who is unafraid of crunch time, should be a top priority.

Originally published on Philadunkia

Friday, May 10, 2013

Did the NBA find a new worst nickname in the New Orleans Pelicans?

Posted on Pattison Ave. this morning: 

"The team formerly known as the New Orleans Hornets is comprised of a young, athletic, up-and-coming core. 

Anthony Davis, Xavier Henry, Eric Gordon, and Austin Rivers highlight a nucleus looking to put New Orleans basketball back on the map. 

With both eyes clearly focused on the future, the franchise felt that they should use the youth movement to launch a complete re-branding campaign, with a new name and all.

The idea wasn’t awful; fan bases can often be re-energized by a new franchise identity, especially if it is meant to represent the entering of a new era. Plus, the city wanted something that was more representative of itself, since New Orleans is not especially known for Hornets, having inherited the name from Charlotte. 

It all made sense. The organization had the opportunity to come up with an exciting new nickname that encompassed the spirit and energy of the young squad, while serving to intimidate opponents, at least a little. New Orleans’ newly-named team could resonate as “cool” with an entire generation of kids, just as the original Charlotte Hornets did during the 90’s.

So, after weeks of deliberating and pondering the organization produced the best possible nickname; 

The Pelicans.

Wait, what?

My initial reaction to this announcement was amusement, which was only amplified upon seeing logo designs. 

Yes, New Orleans boasts a plethora of pelicans, not all of them pleasant, as I found out on my lone trip to Louisiana last year. But, is that really how the franchise wants to portray its team and players for the foreseeable future; a big gang of pelicans? The name doesn’t quite serve to inspire fear in other teams, of even a tad bit of intimidation. 

We have to go play the Pelicans;” sounds scary. 

The franchise’s former All-Star point guard is one who is not in favor of the new name. 

Pelicans? I’m not rolling,” Chris Paul stated in a tweet, and he was not the only one who was somewhat skeptical of the change

In reality, team name has little proven connection with on-court performance, and at least pelicans are relateable to the region. However, you would think players would prefer an identity that they can be proud of, and it is yet to be seen if The Pelicans will inspire pride."

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Where does Thaddeus Young fit into the Sixers' future?

A lot of questions surrounding the Sixers this summer. Check out the original article on Pattison Ave.

"Thaddeus Young has been one of the most consistent and productive players during the dismal string of seasons the Sixers are struggling through. He has done just about everything the organization has asked from him since they selected him after just one season at Georgia Tech.

He has been a 35-minute-a-game starter and also accepted a reserve role. He has played multiple positions and has adapted his game to fit the needs of whoever happened to be the Sixers’ current coach. Despite his lack of a clearly defined role, his production has remained incredibly consistent, as he has averaged between 12.7 and 15.3 points per game throughout the past five seasons. Thad’s effort is always evident as well, which is more than can be said about some of the Sixers’ current crop.

Young’s versatility and ability to play multiple positions has been an enormous asset to the organization, however it seems that this is a situation in which his gift may be construed as a curse.

Young’s lack of a clear cut professional position, while it has been beneficial for the 76ers up to this point, has also served as the biggest knock against his game since he came out of college. At about 6’8”, 230 pounds Young is slightly undersized, in both height and muscle mass to play power forward, and although he is a polished perimeter player, his speed and outside shooting must improve for him to be a starting small forward.

Considering the current uncertain state of the Sixers, one can only hope that all upcoming trades and draft picks are made in context of a plan to build and fortify the foundation of the franchise for the future. The team, as mish-mashed as it is, is well beyond a quick fix, and needs to build from the bottom. With that being said, one has to wonder where Young fits going forward.

It is unfortunate to even suggest shopping Young’s services considering how much he has meant to the Sixers, and the fact that he is one of the few players currently under contract that is actually worth his weight.
However if he stays, where is he going to play?

Believe it or not, the Sixers don’t want to continue to play musical starters forever, as having a consistent, defined starting five that doesn’t change thirty-five times throughout the season may actually be beneficial to a basketball team! (Apparently Doug Collins missed this memo).

The Sixers need some structure, and can’t continue to tinker with player positions. So, is Thad really a long-term solution at one of the starting forward spots?

Maybe, but based on his first six seasons, his status as a “tweener” is likely to stick.

Young is one of the players on the current roster than has near universal value and that the Sixers may be able to get something decent in return for. So, despite his fan favorite status, it may be wise for the Sixers to see what kind of value Young draws this summer. 

It does not mean they have to trade him for nothing, a la Andre Iguodala, but judging interest in him can’t hurt. If the team could acquire some young scorers or decent draft picks than making a move is something that should at least be considered for the future of the franchise."

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Is it time for the 76ers to trade Evan Turner?

The original article was posted on Pattison Ave. this morning, so be sure to check it out there. It is generating some solid conversation, so I figured I should share with ATA.

"The enigma” seems to be a fitting nickname for Evan Turner, because after three seasons with the 76ers it is still difficult for the franchise and its fans to figure him out.

Despite displaying flashes of excellence, including his 2012 playoff performance, Turner has struggled to fit in and find a role with the team. In three NBA season he has been a consistent starter and has also been relegated to a reserve, and this fluctuation has been extremely frustrating.

It seems that as far as the fan base is concerned, Turner has run out of time. The results of's Sixers Stay or Go survey illustrated that the majority of fans feel it is finally time to trade Turner, and the respondents may be right.

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Inconsistencies have defined his career, as you never know exactly what you are going to get from E.T. on any given night. Are you going to get the tenacious Turner, who can lock down a premier wing player and is fearless on the offensive end? Or are you going to get the anemic Turner, who goes 1-7 in fifteen minutes of forgettable play?

The Sixers toyed with trading Turner, along with center Spencer Hawes, for Atlanta’s Josh Smith late last season, eventually opting to hold on to the former second-overall draft pick. While the Smith deal didn’t work out, it demonstrates that the organization is not opposed to trading Turner, and with the Sixers facing an offseason of uncertainty and lacking a true team identity, now may be an ideal time to make a move.

Although he possesses the tools to be an extremely effective NBA player, Turner has not yet developed into the consistent, versatile offensive option the Sixers thought they could build around. Unfortunately, the franchise cannot afford to continue depending on his eventual development. The Sixers are in a sorry, uncertain state and Turner provides more questions than answers.

Based on his on-court effectiveness, it seems as though Turner would be at his best in a point-forward type role, or as a glue guy on a team where there are already established options. Such scenarios would free Turner up to play his game without being so heavily depended on for offensive output.
Turner thrives with the ball in his hand, in the open court, and taking it to the rim; duties already held here by Jrue Holiday. So while such skills may take a backseat with the Sixers, there are several other organizations out there that would find Turner’s skill set very valuable.

At 24, Turner is still young and has the opportunity to add a lot to his game, making him attractive to potential suitors. At this early stage in his career, the Sixers could still get some serious value for the former Ohio State standout.

What to do with Turner is a question that needs to be answered along with a fistful of other issues looming large over the Sixers this summer. It only seems logical to try and trade Turner for some value, rather than continuously trying to force him to fit."