I have spent an inordinate amount of time watching and reading about Sixers draft targets. Rather than cast a wide net, I’ve tried to drill down on the four most likely ones: Josh Jackson, Jayson Tatum, De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk. I’ve concluded that each represents a compromise of sorts.
Jackson is a terrific player with a lot of upside who has shown off an improving but concerning shot.
Tatum is a really good small forward with NBA-ready skills but plays an old-school style of basketball and doesn’t appear to have a very high ceiling.
De’Aaron Fox has superstar potential but is a very poor shooter at this stage.
Malik Monk is the perfect role player the Sixers need but doesn’t have much of an all-around game and his ceiling is probably Klay Thompson-lite (not necessarily a bad thing).
Both Markelle Fultz and Lonzo Ball, who are projected to go 1-2, are very good fits with the Sixers– they are ball-handling but not ball-dominant guards who can shoot. If either falls to three or is available to the Sixers through other means (cough, cough trade), then they’re your guy. End of story. Fultz is safer than Ball, who displayed a concerning lack of competitive fire twice going up against Fox this year, and has a dad who is, without exaggeration, actively working against his son’s interests. But both players fit the Sixers well. So let me get this out of the way: If the Sixers can trade up and get Fultz, or Ball falls to them, then that’s their guy. There won’t be any compromise to be had.
Assuming those players aren’t available, though, they’ll have to consider which compromise they’re OK with. Do you take Jackson and wait for his shooting to develop? Or do you reach for Monk because you know he fits a need?
Additionally, the Sixers’ draft decisions will obviously influence their free agency and trade options. If somehow they land Fultz or Ball, you could make an argument that they wouldn’t need to make a splash in free agency this summer. But if they wind up with any of the more likely picks, then they will be compelled to spend big or make a sizable trade to accelerate the process, which Bryan Colangelo seems hell-bent on doing. Any big-name signing, too, would represent a compromise.
There are a lot of options, and each will dictate or influence another. Few are ideal or what you would draw up in a perfect world. Alas, our world isn’t perfect. So, what are the best options? What SHOULD the Sixers do? I have made my decision(s). Continue Reading
Need a cool breeze? Lean in to your screen and hit play:
Forget about the pitching, bullpen problems and a pitching coach who, for all we know, has been instructing his players to throw games for over a decade. Let’s talk about the offense, which some may claim is the least of the Phillies’ problems.
They’re 24th in the league in runs scored.
Just like the pitchers aren’t improving, most of the hitters aren’t getting much better either.
Maikel Franco: I could rest my case after showing you that swing, but I’ll go further.
2015: .280 AVG, .343. OBP, .497 SLG
2016: .255 AVG, .306 OBP, .427 SLG
2017: .221 AVG, .281 OBP, .377 SLG
Gross. Part of the problem is Franco’s approach and swings like the one you just saw. But at what point do you blame the organization for not being able to better develop his talents?
Tommy Joseph: The 462-year-old catcher-turned-first baseman is hitting at an almost identical clip to last year and has shown no improvement at all thus far this season. He’s a mediocre player who is almost the definition of replacement-level. Good thing Hunter Pence has his rings and can now open the gaming and coffee shop he’s always wanted.
Odubel Herrera: Color me shocked that the Rule 5 guy with an aggressive bat flip regressed after his All-Star season last year. He’s hitting .232 with a .284 OBP. That’s downright dreadful.
Freddy Galvis: He appears to have plateaued as a useful and frustrating middle infielder who struggles to get on base and opts to swing for the fences with a smallish frame. He’s also the only qualifying shortstop with an OBP under .300 and OPS over .700, making him a sub par small-ball player with average power. SWELL.
Only Cesar Hernandez and Aaron Altherr appear to be developing at all. Hernandez is consistent if not unremarkable, while Altherr appears to have genuine star potential.
And about that pitching? Matt Klentak somehow manages to defend Bob McLure, who has done nothing other than tell Zack Greinke to starting throwing a changeup over a decade ago:
— Stephen Gross (@SteveGrossMCall) May 22, 2017
OUTSTANDING AT WORKING WITH YOUNG PLAYERS! Vince Velasquez and Jerad Eickhoff are on line 1, which is what they’ll be answering when McLure’s bastard-fucks their careers to the bullpen. Justin Klugh over at The Good Phight has a really good in-depth breakdown on McLure and how awful he’s been. Spoiler: BAD.
I’d write more and go more in-depth, but honestly, who cares? A few years ago, you could’ve made an argument that a number of players on the current roster could be part of the Phillies’ long-term plans. But now? Other than Aaron Nola and Aaron Altherr, who actually looks like they could be a key piece moving forward? No one. The Phils are neither good nor bad with a purpose. They just suck. Most of their players have a shitty approach and seem clueless on how to win games. Matt Klentak is beginning to appear out of his depth. And the coaching staff continuously fails to get the most out of their players’ ability. Yuck. The Phillies suck.
ESPN Radio is now experiencing some off-camera issues of its own. Multiple ESPN staffers, including current and former employees who have had roles with the show, told SI.com last week that the once-warm relationship between partners Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic has turned icy over the last year, prompting a number of ESPNers to predict that the show will conclude long before this December’s contractual end. The sources said Greenberg and Golic are not talking to each other off the set—and hardly at all before the show or during commercial breaks.
“It’s really a poisonous atmosphere right now,” said one longtime ESPNer who has worked on the show. “Most of us don’t see the show lasting through its contractual end [which is believed to be the end of December]. But I give both these guys immense credit because when the light comes on, you would not know what’s going on. They are pros on air.”
Deitsch went on to explain that the animus likely stems from Greenberg’s decision to leave the show to start his own morning TV show from New York without filling Golic in on his and the network’s plans, of which Golic reportedly found out by reading SI.com. That sounds familiar.
I know there were a whole bunch of reasons why Peter Laviolette’s time in Philly was coming to an end, and he dared to start that one season 0-3, but I still marvel that this sentence is fully accurate and not in the least bit satirical: The Flyers fired Peter Laviolette in favor of Craig Berube.
In the annals of all things Philly, the Flyers firing a guy who has now taken three teams to the Stanley Cup in favor of the ultimate OB goon with virtually no prior coaching experience is maybe the most Flyers thing of all-time.
And he’s still got it:
It’s truly remarkable what Laviolette has done. I mean, I can’t believe he’s only the second coach to do so:
I don’t like taking credit for crawling inside someone’s head, laying an egg and then waiting for it to hatch, but I’ll let you do it for me:
So what happened here? The full story is on the podcast today, but here are the basics: At around 2:30 on Friday, a caller brought me up to Mike Missanelli and said I run a “Blogspot” and that Mike should call me out. Mike said he wasn’t going to take the bait, as he took the bait. He proceeded to call me a weasel for not coming on to do his show (I never declined), created a straw man argument about me claiming sports talk radio was easy (which I never did), and dismissed blogs as being unworthy of sports talk radio, which is “legitimate,” according to Mike.
I didn’t hear it, but was informed by you, the reader, on Twitter and followed it up with these two Tweets: Continue Reading
Reader CC (@CforClarity), whose handle I will supplant cookie with in the Sesame Street Alphabet, informs me of a Marcus:
— CC (@CForClarity) May 22, 2017
Marcus Hayes wrote words today. This is the gist of them, as best as my standard bachelor’s degree in Communications can discern: Howie Roseman had a good draft and made decent, relative-value signings to aid a rebuilding team in the short-term while not limiting future success. Therefore, he’s probably going to get the coach fired.
What? Exactly. Herrrrrrrre’s Marcus:
No one was more surprised than Roseman that he was able to sign free-agent receiver Alshon Jeffery for a base salary of $9.5 million. There’s a reason Jeffery took a $5 million pay cut from 2016. Nobody thought he was worth it. Sure, Jeffery can make another $4.5 million if he goes to the Pro Bowl, but, since his last trip in 2013 he’s been creeping further and further away from it.
Torrey Smith, Jeffery’s free-agent bookend, has never been to the Pro Bowl. Roseman spent $5 million this season for Smith and his big-play pedigree. To his credit, Smith has averaged a little more than six touchdowns in his six seasons . . . but, to his detriment, has caught more than 50 passes just once. He has 53 catches since 2014.
Nelson Agholor has 59.
And what exactly is wrong with LeGarrett Blount? What does the rest of the league know? He led the NFL with 18 touchdowns for the Patriots last year, but was still was jobless until last week. Only $400,000 of his $1.25 million with the Eagles is guaranteed; again, this brilliant work by Roseman, who can cut him out of training camp with a minimal loss.
No, Blount’s bargain price does not prove that Blount cannot be a red-zone battering ram or a 300-carry workhorse.
I actually agree with him on Blount. But his conclusion is that the Eagles are a 7-8-win team that won’t make the playoffs, will likely finish at the bottom of the NFC East, and that Doug Pederson will get fired, all of which will be Howie’s fault. The same Howie he commended for an excellent draft. The same one whom he credits here for finding low-risk, high-upside value veterans to give the Eagles the tools to compete in the near-term and flexibility to build for the long-term. The Howie he would blame for getting Doug Pederson fired if the Eagles don’t make the playoffs.
If all that’s confusing and doesn’t make sense, that’s because it doesn’t. I’m not sure what the point of the column is. The implied alternative is that Howie could’ve gone full 2011 Dream Team in an attempt to, what, compete in the NFC and save Doug Pederson’s job? No one thinks that’s a good idea, not even Marcus. We can nitpick any one signing or pick, but the fact is the Eagles are shaping up to be a decent if not good team next season if a few things work out. Further, there’s almost nothing the Eagles did this offseason that could be considered foolish from a cap standpoint. Did the Alshon signing feel a bit weird for a team in rebuild mode? Yeah, but they took a shot on a top 5 wide receiver talent who was hampered by injuries and a shit team the last two seasons. You can certainly do worse when trying to give your young quarterback a target to throw to.
This is a bad column.
I don’t have anything to add– just like the picture.
Let’s hit it! Continue Reading
Kyle, Adam and Russ discuss the beef with Mike Missanelli, the tense phone call with Matt Nahigian, and what they want the Sixers to do for the draft.
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