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The Sixers Will Be Fine: Organized Thoughts on the Colangelo Press Conference

Kevin Kinkead - June 7, 2018

I wrote out the CliffsNotes from the Josh Harris and Brett Brown press conference earlier in a sort of stream of consciousness style, kind of like a Ghostface verse from a Wu-Tang song. There are a lot of words, and they all sort of work together, but you then have to slow it down and run it through again.

So I wanted to listen to the 26 minute presser for a second time and try to focus on some of the more important quotes and come up with some takeaways from there.

For starters, I don’t really understand people ragging on Josh Harris for this idea that he’s not a great public speaker. I mean, he’s a wealthy businessman, not television star. He’s not Joel Osteen or Dr. Phil. What do you expect? Do you expect unparalleled eloquence and word weaving? The guy responded to everything we asked. He may not have given much of an answer in some cases, but he also didn’t try to overtly bullshit us. It’s not like he has tons of experience doing a press conference answering questions about an executive who was fired because his wife was running fake Twitter accounts.

Anyway, Brett Brown, of course, is always articulate and well-spoken, and he joined Harris on the dais.

That said, here are my organized thoughts on today’s press conference:

1.  Harris used the term “general manager” throughout the availability, so I don’t knew if they’ll slap on the “president” label that Bryan Colangelo held when they bring in a new person. It doesn’t really matter, I guess. Seems like semantics to me, though “president” suggests a larger role when we know the person is really just a player-personnel executive.

2.  There were two questions about Jerry Colangelo. Mike Sielski of the Inquirer asked if he held any influence during the investigation.

Harris:

“Jerry was not involved with the process in any way. I’m aware of the press report, which is not true. We did give Jerry a heads up at the end of the process, this morning, just before seeing you all, but Jerry was respectful of the process we had to go through.”

Later, Harris was asked if the elder Colangelo would continue in his “special advisor to managing general partner” role:

“So that’s not today’s issue. I certainly appreciated Jerry’s counsel. His deal goes through the end of the year. We’re going to be talking about that and it’s not today’s issue. We’ve enjoyed having Jerry and this is unfortunate, but my respect for him is certainly not colored by this unfortunate situation. “

I don’t think this is as big of a deal as most people are making it out to be. Jerry is just a faux-figurehead with no true day-to-day role on the team, so they can essentially ignore him, ice him out, whatever, and just let him walk at the end of the year. If you wanna buy him out and move because you think that’s healthy, go for it. I’m sure some people feel like a purge of the Colangelo name is the way to proceed, but I don’t think it really matters that much.

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The Press Conference: Josh Harris and Brett Brown

Kevin Kinkead - June 7, 2018

There’s gonna be a lot to digest here, so let me just type out key notes as I go, and we’ll circle back and double over the more important things that come out.

It’s Josh Harris and Brett Brown at the podium, and Harris begins with an opening statement:

  • difficult day for me personally, love the team and our exciting future, this is a disappointing situation for everyone, want to thank everybody for the patience while we conducted a fair and thorough investigation
  • investigation determined that Colangelo failed to safeguard club information and he offered his resignation understand how that affected us and the ability to do his job
  • Colangelo has “positioned us well for future success”
  • Brett Brown will oversee basketball operations on an interim basis, we have tremendous confidence in him and our staff, looking forward to strengthening the team through the draft and into the offseason
  • will interview internal and external candidates for the GM search, will “take our time” and try to position the franchise for longterm success, “it’s not about making the choice quickly, it’s about making the right choice.”

Questions now:

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Sixers Draft Prospects: Michael Porter Jr., Lonnie Walker, Grayson Allen

Kevin Kinkead - June 7, 2018

I know you’re dying for Bryan Colangelo news, or more Eagles vs. Donald Trump content, but let’s take a quick break to look at a few more Sixers draft prospects.

This is part three of a series that I’ll keep doing until I no longer feel like it. We’re going three players at a time, and started on Monday with Mikal Bridges, Miles Bridges, and Jevon Carter. Tuesday I touched on Wendell Carter Jr., Trae Young, and Collin Sexton.

Today we’re gonna take a look at Michael Porter Jr., Lonnie Walker, and Grayson Allen, and that’s the bottom line, because Stone Cold said so. 

Michael Porter, Jr. (Mizzou)

There’s always some guy who enters the draft with injury concerns, and this year it’s the 6’10”, 210 pound Missouri combo forward.

Porter played just 3 games during a freshman season that was almost entirely wiped out due to spinal surgery. In fancy medical terms, he needed a “microdiscectomy of the the L3-L4 spinal discs.” In layman’s terms, he was suffering from herniated discs in his back, went under the knife, and missed the majority of the year.

Drafting a guy with injury history might be a non-starter for Sixer fans who are weary from the Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons situations, but look at how those guys turned out after getting healthy. There’s an element of risk involved, certainly, but the upside is there, and Porter was seen as a potential lottery pick coming out of high school.

For starters, he’s just got a wonderful athletic profile, a tall and fluid player who strides in transition and just makes a lot of things look really smooth. We obviously didn’t get much film from his short stint at Mizzou, but he looked like a future pro at the 2016 FIBA Americas U18 championship, where he played alongside Markelle Fultz, Mo Bamba, Jarrett Allen, and others:

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Malcolm Jenkins Isn’t Speaking to the Media, Just Holding Up Signs

Kevin Kinkead - June 6, 2018

Doug Pederson didn’t want to spend a lot of time talking about the White House controversy this morning.

And Malcolm Jenkins didn’t want to talk about it all, remaining completely silent and instead holding up signs at his locker with various messages for President Trump and critics of the demonstrations that started with Colin Kaepernick.

Here are some of the signs, which mention Kaepernick, teammate Chris Long, and other Eagles and NFL players who have been at the forefront of the social justice movement:

Some of the signs had statistics and crime numbers written down:

Reporters tried to ask questions in between sign-switching, which was met with silence.

Video:

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Grayson Allen Apparently Worked Out for the Sixers

Kevin Kinkead - June 6, 2018

Somebody emailed Kyle last night and told him that Duke guard Grayson Allen was spotted at Fishtown’s Mad Rex, a post-apocalyptic-themed restaurant.

I don’t know how to describe it; it’s sort of like Mad Max the movie meets Tupac’s “California Love” music video and the servers are all wearing steampunk and/or ripped denim and biker gear. I went there once and had a… “lengthy” experience, but if you wanna check it out like Allen apparently did, go for it:

Turns out he didn’t do a pre-draft workout for the Sixers on Tuesday, but reportedly did one today, according to the Inquirer’s Keith Pompey, who says Bryan Colangelo was there:

Seems awkward.

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Is Carson Wentz “Shockingly” Ahead of Schedule?

Kevin Kinkead - June 6, 2018

Buried in the White House and Bryan Colangelo news was a report on Tuesday afternoon that Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz is “shockingly” ahead of schedule in his return from the ACL and LCL tear.

That’s from ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, who appeared on NFL live, saying, in part:

“…from people inside (organization) who were somewhat skeptical, I am hearing that he’s not just ahead of schedule — he’s WAY ahead of schedule.

He even participated a little bit in 7-on-7 (Monday). He’s doing individual drills. He threw a ball 60 yards last week effortlessly. His legs are fast. He’s stronger. And I think now, inside, you’re starting to hear they’re not going to be surprised if he really is ready for that opener.

But Doug Pederson, everybody else publicly will say ‘We’re not rushing him.’ And there is going to be some caution. They don’t have to [rush him]. Certainly, you have to be prepared for any setback.

But right now, he’s not just ahead of schedule … he is shockingly ahead of schedule.”

Doug Pederson was asked about that report today, Wednesday, and confirmed that Wentz began participating in 7v7 drills this week:

“Again, part of rehab process with him is just giving him a little.. I don’t want to say ‘freedom,’ but a little more practice time. And so one of the controlled environments we can obviously put him in is 7 on 7 situation. So being able to sprinkle him in and watch him in more of an up tempo kind of a practice, I know situations has been good, we’ll continue to do that these next two days and next week and just keep building as we go.”

So here are some more videos of Wentz at OTAs, which you can compare to his mechanics and form and fluidity from weeks prior:

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“I was Looking Forward to Going Down” – Doug Pederson on the Canceled White House Visit

Kevin Kinkead - June 6, 2018

Not sure if you heard, but the Eagles did not visit the White House on Tuesday. President Trump canceled on Monday after it was revealed that only a small portion of the team would take part in a ceremony honoring their Super Bowl 52 triumph.

Instead, the President held a rally to celebrate America, featuring the playing of the National Anthem and God Bless America.

The White House claims it tried to work with the Eagles to “change the event” format after the team reportedly asked to reschedule. Some of the Birds responded individually on social media, but today is the first official media availability since the fiasco began, beginning with Doug Pederson at the NovaCare Complex podium.

Doug didn’t want to waste a bunch of time talking about it. I don’t know if he was “annoyed,” per se, but he tried to move the conversation forward to football topics. Still, the majority of questions obviously had to do with the canceled trip.

Notes from the presser:

  • First statement on the cancellation: “This is going to be a blanket statement and then I’m not going to discuss it further. I was looking forward to going down, obviously. We did something last season that was very special, a milestone here in the city of Philadelphia, for our organization. I was looking forward to going down and being recognized as world champions. It is what it is. We’re here today, got an OTA practice now… looking forward to getting on with it.”
  • When pressed for follow ups: “I’m not discussing it… what you’ve seen and what you’ve heard is enough.”
  • Mood of the team is great, no residual effects
  • Does it bother him that he has to answer these questions? “No, we’re a team, we’re united.”
  • “Our goal is 2018 and that’s motivation enough.”
  • Did not have to address the White House situation with the players in a team meeting.
  • On fans feeling aggrieved “We have the greatest fans in the NFL, our true fans are beside us and we’re beside them, we love everything about the people who love and support us. Can’t say enough about the good things they’ve done for us.”
  • On Carson Wentz doing 7v7 – “part of rehab process is giving him a bit more practice time, one of the controlled environments we can put him in is 7v7, being able to sprinkle him in and watch him in up tempo process, we’ll continue to do that and just keep building as we go.”
  • Wentz started doing 7v7 this week
  • Can’t answer whether or not Wentz is ahead of schedule. “I’m not a doctor.”
  • Didn’t want to answer questions on how many players were planning on visiting the White House.
  • Another follow-up: “…it’s over, it’s behind us, we’re moving on.”
  • Michael Bennett is not at practice, but was back a few weeks ago during phase two of OTAs. Not worried about Bennett at all. Darren Sproles also not at training right now.
  • Can’t speak for other teams. “I was looking forward to it. You win a championship.. you wanna be recognized that way, I think it’s great. But I’m not going to speak for other teams. I was looking forward to it.”

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Sixers Draft Prospects: Wendell Carter Jr., Trae Young, Collin Sexton

Kevin Kinkead - June 5, 2018

Need a break from the Donald Trump and Eagles stuff? I hear you.

This is part two of our NBA draft preview. I wrote on Monday about Mikal Bridges, Miles Bridges, and Jevon Carter.

The consensus is that the Sixers should look for wing depth in the draft, a small forward type of player who can score a bit but also defends at a level consistent with how Brett Brown likes to play. That’s why the Bridges pair is ideal in my mind, and probably the reason why I started by previewing those guys.

But what happens if Mikal and Miles are gone by the time you pick at #10 overall? What happens if somebody else slides down the board, a top-eight talent who gives you a ton of value at a position you might not necessarily need? Do you draft the “best player available” or just plug whatever holes you think you have?

Here are a couple of those guys who are hovering in that 6-12 range and might still be there when the Sixers hit the clock:

Wendell Carter Jr. (Duke)

Carter is a 6’10”, 250 pound center who averaged 13 and 9 while being overshadowed by Marvin Bagley (and probably Grayson Allen’s antics) in Durham. He’s projected to go in the 6 to 10 range based on most of the mock drafts I’ve looked at. Some mocks have him going 7 to the Bulls with fellow big men Bagley, Mo Bamba, Jaren Jackson, and DeAndre Ayton coming off the board ahead of him.

Draft a center? What for?

Well the Sixers need a backup for Joel Embiid, because with Amir Johnson becoming a free agent and Jahlil Okafor and Nerlens Noel long gone, you’re looking at Richaun Holmes and Jonah Bolden as the early options heading into next season. Are you ready to rock and roll with one of those guys? Holmes has defensive issues that caused Brett Brown to leave him on the bench and Bolden is a totally unproven commodity at this point.

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