07/10/09 12:34 pm EST
In the wake of General manger Ed Stefanski’s rather transparent quotes regarding the status of contract negotiations with Andre Miller’s agent, it’s almost a lock that Andre Miller will NOT be in a Sixers uniform next year. In the short term, that will definitely hurt the Sixers as Miller is a hell of a floor general who frequently carried the Sixers offensively last season. However, what is the value of an extremely skilled point man who turns 33 years old next season and is also a defensive liability to a middle of the pack NBA franchise? Well that’s a subject that can be debated all day and should be left for another post.
What isn’t debatable is that with Miller’s apparent departure, the Sixers backcourt is now a scary mess. On paper right now Eddie Jordan’s backcourt rotation will include unproven combo-guard Louis Williams, rookie Jrue Holiday, specialist Jason Kapono and Willie Green who is labeled as a shooting guard, but that is also up for debate as well. If you listen to Stefanski, a TBD wily veteran will be added at a later date this summer (Anyone want to bet it’s Kevin Ollie?). That backcourt scenario should give Jordan nightmares. We know it keeps us here at Philadunkia up at night.
Already we’re sure a lot of you are saying, “You forgot about Iguodala!” Uhh, no we didn’t. We left him out of the conversation because despite what the Sixers want to believe and will experiment with yet again this year, Iggy is not a two-guard. Never has been, never will be. We recognize, the rest of the NBA recognizes it, heck even analyst Avery Johnson said it, so in our basketball minds Iggy as a two-man is a dead subject.
So facing the above mentioned backcourt situation, something needs to be don. Now we know the proposals below are long shots, but desperate times call for desperate measures and the Sixers backcourt situation is a desperate as it gets. So in an effort to squeeze as many wins out of next year as possible, here a few things we would try. Hey, it can’t hurt for us to dream and Ed to pick up the phone and give the following a try, right?
Trade Dalembert to the Pistons for Rip Hamilton.
Don’t laugh, but their contracts nearly match up as we checked the proposed trade with Real GM.com and a couple of NBA contacts. In fact, and try to remain on your feet after this one, Dalembert ($12.023 million per) actually makes more then Rip ($11.6 million per).
Now right off the bat, Dalembert’s trade kicker makes this deal unlikely, but there’s an outside shot at this happening and here are the reasons why:
We know all the reasons why Sixers want to loose Dalembert, so there’s no reason to kick a guy when he’s down
The Sixers desperately need to improve the talent level at the SG spot.
Hamilton is from the Philly area and everyone loves a homecoming story
Having won a couple rings, Hamilton can provide some much needed veteran leadership and hopefully quiet the chaos that ruled the home team’s locker room last year
One Eastern Conference front office person told us that the Pistons are quietly shopping Hamilton
Hamilton is not excited about the $55 million deal that the Pistons just gave Ben Gordon;
Gordon is a SG, not a SF and even though the Pistons claim he is going to spend most of his minutes at SF, that experiment won’t last long as Gordon just isn’t big enough.
That means eventually Gordon will be starting at the SG spot and Hamilton will come off the bench. Hamilton was pretty vocal about his unhappiness over sitting behind “NBA at 50 Team” selection Allen Iverson, how do you think he is going to react to backing up Gordon?
The Pistons need a big that can rebound and block shots to help ease the departure of ‘Sheed. Sammy can do those things, just don’t ask him score.
Sign unrestricted free agent Grant Hill and play him at the two-spot.
Yes, we know Phoenix managing partner Robert Sarver, general manager Steve Kerr and head coach Alvin Gentry traveled to Orlando to meet with Hill on Thursday morning and yes we know that the Knicks made a strong play for Hill earlier this week, reportedly offering the forward the option of a one-year, $5 million deal or a three-year, $10 million contract, but would you want to play for either of those franchises right now? We wouldn’t.
Right away the doubters will day that Hill is 6-8, plays forward and is injury prone. All excellent issues with the move, but consider these facts as well: he handles the ball better the Iguodala, shoots the ball better then Iguodala and makes better decisions then Iguodala. The Sixers repeatedly trotted Iggy out at the two spot last year despite the fact that it wasn’t working, so what’s the harm in starting Hill at the two-spot? Worse case scenario you end up with a ridiculous talent coming off the bench who can flat out shoot.
Using this year’s mid-level exception the Sixers could offer Hill a one-year $5.85 million deal and then start him in front of the best returning two-guard currently on the roster Willie Green. Last season Hill hit for 12 ppg., shot 52.3% from the field (A better number then Iggy or Green.) and 31.6 % from three-land. He also grabbed nearly 5 boards a game. Plus with Hill and Iguodala on the floor the Sixers get a lot better defensively which is something that has to happen in 2009-10.
Sign restricted free agent Raymond Felton…
Yes we also read that managing partner Michael Jordan just said, “I don’t see any situation where he’s not with us, I anticipate us keeping Raymond Felton, without a doubt.” But crazy things happen in the NBA and considering Felton reportedly clashed with Larry Brown last season, the fact that Brown loves DJ Augustin and the starting PG spot in Charlotte is Agustin’s job unless he blows out a knee, felton may not be as warm and fuzzy about Charlotte as MJ is about him..
Felton made $5.5 million last year. Again using this year’s mid-level exception the Sixers could offer Hill a one-year $5.85 million deal a throw him into the mix with Louis and Holiday and let them fight it out for the starting PS spot.
Now we’ll agree he’s on the small side at 6-0 and he doesn’t shoot the ball all that well (40% FG; 28.5% from 3pt.), so he may not be a perfect match for Eddie Jordan’s system. However, Felton can score (14.2 ppg.) and plays physical defense. Additionally, has four years in League under his belt and 289 starts at the lead guard, which is more then Holiday and Louis have combined, times ten.