What Now?

Photo Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

LeBron James is a Laker.

Paul George is a Thunder, or whatever you call someone who plays for Oklahoma City.

Kawhi Leonard is… still a Spur for now.

So that’s two misses for the Sixers and one N/A, assuming they even took a swing at PG13 in the first place.

I finally saw Avengers: Infinity War over the weekend, me and the five other schlubs in the Delaware Valley that still hadn’t seen it. Without spoiling it for any other schlubs out there, I’ll just say that the ending was sort of a stunner, but it left you with some hope for the future.

I guess the Sixers are the Avengers here and LeBron is Thanos, because he’s decimated the NBA, taking the imbalanced conferences and making them even more weighted than before, if that’s even possible. You’re now looking at a west that includes LeBron, the Warriors, Paul George, Russell Westbrook, James Harden, Chris Paul, Anthony Davis, and wherever Kawhi ends up.

The east has the Celtics, the Sixers, and I guess the Raptors, who might actually get by the Cavs this year. This half of the NBA looks like it will be, at most, mildly interesting as we track some young draft picks this season. But the winner is still gonna be smoked in the finals, so it’s important that we realize that and understand that right now, on July 2nd, 2018. I don’t see any Eastern Conference team winning more than one game in the finals.

What now for the Sixers? Do you make a run at Kawhi on a one year rental, knowing that he wants to play in his hometown of Los Angeles? Of course you could take a crack at that and hope the buzzing Philly atmosphere convinces him to sign a long term deal, but there’s no way I’m doing that. It’s waaaaaaay too risky to give up future picks and/or a player or two just to be living on a prayer, as Bon Jovi once said.

So I think you kick the can down the road a little bit and focus on these things instead:

Re-sign JJ Redick

Not one year at $22 million, but 2-3 years at a lesser number? He’s obviously a great fit for this team, a knockdown shooter and the club’s 2nd highest scorer during the regular and post season.

Redick turned 34 last week, so a three-year deal would carry him to age 37. I don’t know if his motivation is to make as much money as possible before his time runs out, or if he really did enjoy playing here so much that he’d take some sort of discount in order to get another crack at the finals. Either way, if you did want to do another one-year overpay for him or someone else, you do have the cap room to do it and hit the reset button next season, just like the Sixers did with his contract this year.

Let Drew Hanlen do his thing

Hanlen might be the most important piece to this Sixers offseason. If the renowned shooting coach can get Markelle Fultz to look like the player we saw at Washington, you’ve now got that direly-needed shot creator and third piece to the core, a guy who could assume Redick’s role as the starting two-guard and grow together with Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid.

For real: Fultz can change everything if he gets his head on straight, dumps whoever is giving him bad advice and sticks with the program. I’d shove him into a dorm room with a Playstation 4 and tell him that the only things he’s allowed to do this summer are rediscover his shot and play video games and/or watch Netflix. That won’t keep the pointless media clips from coming out, but whatever, it is what it is:

Build a bench/add a two-way wing

Trevor Ariza, Will Barton, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope are off the board.

I think you take a look at an Avery Bradley, Rodney Hood (RFA), or Tyreke Evans as somebody who can play a bit of defense and replace the scoring you got from Marco Belinelli off the bench. I’m lukewarm on Wayne Ellington since he’s a one-dimensional non-defender, and you saw how much of a liability Belinelli was in the postseason.

Still, you look at the bench and see the same issues you saw at the beginning of last season. It’s a bunch of catch and shoot guys who can’t create their own offense. Justin Anderson, TLC, Furkan Korkmaz, Jerryd Bayless (though it’s easier to buy him out now or stretch him). We’re back to square one here.

RE: Bradley, I don’t think you have to go overboard. Here’s a player who made $8.8 million last year at age 27 and is coming off an abductor surgery. He’s a 14/2/2 type of guy with ferocious on-ball defense, something you know Brett Brown values. Plus, maybe he wants a crack at the Celtics after they traded him last year to work out the Gordon Hayward contract.

Bradley’s career numbers:

Evans will come cheaper but doesn’t give you the defense Bradley does. He’s a Chester native, 28 years old and coming off a really nice year for a terrible Memphis team:

Joel’s backup?

Richaun Holmes? Jonah Bolden? Not sure Richaun has the defensive chops to play the five, though I like him at power forward alongside Embiid. Bolden is a total unknown at this point.

There was a report out there that the Sixers had some interest in Kyle O’Quinn, which would make sense I think. I don’t want anything to do with Nerlens Noel and I don’t think Brett Brown does either, based on some things I’ve heard about their past relationship.

Nurturing the draft picks

Not being able to package the 2021 1st rounder this offseason makes the Mikal Bridges trade look a bit corny right now. He’s a guy who would have been able to come in and contribute right away, but Zhaire Smith does have a ton of upside and we’ll get to see him soon in Summer League. Same with Landry Shamet, and who knows what Shake Milton looks like when he comes back from injury.

Think about next year

Kemba Walker is an unrestricted free agent. Klay Thompson might change his tune about the Warriors. Maybe some sort of conflict arises, or he becomes bored and looks for a new challenge.

Here’s the thing, the east is garbage this year. So I don’t think another 50 win season and playoff run is out of the question. You’ll probably get another crack at the Celtics, so there’s a lot to be excited for, even if the “star hunting” resulted in zero stars coming to Philly. Maybe you use your cap space to take a crack at a restricted free agent like Jabari Parker and see if the Bucks match. Worst case scenario, you keep developing Embiid and Simmons, hope Fultz becomes the player everyone expected, and remain flexible heading into 2019-2020. Keep that “optionality” intact, yeah?

But until then, let’s be happy for Lakers fans. They deserve LeBron. They’ve really suffered for a long time.

Here they are updating their social media profile pictures:

Edit: they also need to hire a GM

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23 Responses

  1. Here is my prediction for the 2019-2019 season.
    More fuck ups, most big talk, more boisterous bullshit
    and no championship for the sixers.

  2. O’Quinn will be a n excellent upgrade to a very decent Amir. He is younger, very aggressive, with a chip on his shoulder and is a fierce guard around the rim. Grab him!

  3. If the Sixers sign a 3rd superstar will you, Kinker, agree to stop letting your SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOULLLLLLL GLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOW. Get a real haircut, sheesh.

  4. LA “suffered” for a long time? Be happy for that franchise that does nothing but get stars because it’s LA and ONLY because LA? Yeah, LA has REALLY suffered. Give me a break. This makes the NBA one notch above WWE.

    1. P.S> All those guys you mentioned as bench players? All BC picks or trades. What a freaking dunce he was.

  5. Screw them fraud ass, fake ass processors. The Lakers had the #2 pick in the same span the Sixers went 3,1,3(trade up to 1), but didn’t get the same media derision. I give them credit for Kuzma. Hart is a nobody. They are making some nice moves with Lance Stephenson and KCP who will be tough once Kawhi gets there. But ef them babies out there. Lonzo Ball said it best, “yall really thought he wasn’t gonna come here”, what a bunch of entitled pusses. Not surprised at all Lebron went there. I’m gonna assume he made a decision to settle his family and kids. Maybe Lavar Ball can give him more advice on how to raise his kids into “stars”. Lebron has always been a fraud personality wise. I was getting tired of the Warriors, but I really hope the Warriors and Rockets sweep they asses now.

    1. The Lakers won’t be nearly as good as those teams and would get swept even with James. LBJ is waiting on Leonard for the year after next. Then they will be ready to give those teams a run. They could even wind up with Durant.

  6. Kevin – I think the Sixers take a step backwards next year. Say what we will about Ersan and Mario but their added offense also helped provide the necessary spacing on the floor and opened up more plays. Before them, we were headed towards a 42-44 win season.

    The remaining FA’s don’t give the Sixers the same dimension, especially with Ersan. We had a shooter who fit perfectly until BB decided to get cute and trade him.

    Relying on Fultz to find his shot and Ben to actually develop one seems to be a stretch. Ben is busy in LA and Fulton continues to display a lack of maturity. We are further away from the Celtics than we were 2 weeks ago. Maybe next offseason.

    BTW – the Suns look like they could give the Lakers a run for most improved. This probably leaves the Kings dead. I hope so. Would love to get that first pick.

    1. finding a stretch 4 who can spell Dario is a big deal. remember the difference between Trevor Booker and Ersan? yeah, exactly

      1. You are right about signing JJ. It is critical now. If they don’t, the Sixers lose the ability to stretch the floor and become 1 dimensional. This is a shooters league now something I am not certain Bret Brown understands. Simply cannot believe we traded away a tall wing who can hit contested 3’s and plays D for a project and a wish. Damn.

  7. Maury's Wigs - don't come off..even in hurricane winds.........but what about 6 days of 97 degree heat? says:

    Hey Maury,

    Did your rug adhesive melt during this heat wave..and the rug slide off?

  8. With Lebron coming here, we can save a few buck and get rid of Molly. Nobody will even notice.

  9. The young kids(Joel, Ben) need a rest. We all take a year off, forfeit all the games, get the first pick, and start again. The kids can practice their inbound passes, short range shooting, and post moves. Markelle gets his confidence back, Ben gets layed, and the lion gets courage. The NBA owes us this much after that Jerry and Brian show.

  10. The commenters at Liberty Ballers would have done well at Jonestown. I have never seen such collective denial in my entire life. It is a comedy reading their comments.

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