That was the question posed to a few of the scribes here at Philadunkia.
Would you make a trade or…trades?
Would you sign a freee agent that’s still out there?
Would you change the starting lineup? (FYI…Nocioni is not the answer.)
Would you tweak Doug’s rotations or his X&Os?
Basically you get to play GM with this post and fix this team right now.
And if you don’t think this team needs some fixing, then you haven’t been watching closely during the recent 5 game losing streak.
Our ideas after the jump…
How did everything that was so good get so bad?
With five straight losses, the rise of the Knicks (I don’t follow the news that closely, but something to do with a Jerry Lin?), and the looming threat of aBostonrun, the Sixers’ prospects have taken a turn for the worse over the last couple weeks. You know what though Philadunkia nation — and while we’re a small nation, we’re a proud one — stuff your worries in a sack, ‘cause we got this.
Here are two exhaustively researched; thoroughly probed, prodded, and noodled over trade possibilities that will tighten our defense, open the floor for our O, heal our nation’s partisan wounds, solve the rising cost of health care, and save the Sixers’ season. Or at least two of those.
Here are two facts: 1.) Dwight Howard will not resign with the Magic. (2.) The Magic will not find a better haul of build-aroundable (sic, more like SICK!) young talent than what the Sixers can offer. So while there’s no guarantee Howard will resign with the Sixers’, we officially advocate bringing him onboard, selling him on the environment — the city, team, coach triumvirate we say here will sway him — and at the end of the season, letting the chips fall where they may. If Thorn pulls the trigger here, the Sixers –Miami and Chicago be gosh darned — become immediate contenders for not just the Eastern Conference crown, but the whole kit and caboodle.
But if you don’t like that one…
Let’s call this one The Backup Plan. Great movie, even better trade. While he’s not quite DH, Varejao provides the 7-6 the interior presence they lack with Spencer Hawes out of the lineup and lack even more when he’s in there. And while it breaks my heart to part with Evan Turner, Doug Collins isn’t nuts about him and with the logjam we have at the wing (Iguodala and Thad Young need minutes, Jodie Meeks provides all-valuable floor space), we frankly don’t have room for him. He’s worth more elsewhere than he is here. If you love someone, set them free.
My first post for this website had me dealing Elton Brand to Sacramento in a “fake” trade for DeMarcus Cousins (Who, might I proudly add, is averaging 16.4PPG, 11.3 REB, and 1.2BLKfor a pitiful Kings team. Yeah, it looks like the 21 year old big-kid can’t play after all. Still not interested in his upside Philly fans?). The basis for that post was simple; I was worried that Elton Brand had seen his last of the brighter days. Though that may have started off my writing career on an interesting foot with Sixers fans, the idea was pure and simple. I was worried about Brand’s and ultimately Spencer Hawes’ longevity. I wanted youth and health. What’s changed since then? Nothing! I’m more than worried now. Something needs to be done to help the current lack of depth with Philly’s four and five spots; so this type of post couldn’t come at a better time.
So what would I do?
I’m glad you asked:
1) Philadelphia sends Andres Nocioni, Elton Brand and Jodie Meeks to Dallas.
Dallas sends Lamar Odom, Shawn Marion, Brendan Haywood to Philadelphia.
Who loses in this situation? If Dallas amnesties Brand, which for the sake of my argument, they will, they clear a bunch of cap space to make “The Big D in the Dirty D” (Dwight, Deron, Dirk) a reality. The Sixers get tougher, more physical, more versatile and well, more big with a trade like this, clearly. Imagine a more mature Jrue, a more than ready to jump into the starting lineup Turner (or vice versa for all you Jrue haters that want him off the ball), Mr. All-Star Iggy, former 6th Man of the Year Odom, and the athletic Haywood as your 2013 starters. Now picture sweet Lou, a free agent guard acquisition (Ray Allen, O.J. Mayo, Jason Terry), Shawn Marion, and Vuc/Hawes coming off the bench to give them a breather… “Evan Turner for NBA Starter” Boosters just got a boner.
Plus, you could always sign Brand back to the 7-6 with a veterans minimum contract; something he shouldn’t mind accepting being that he will continue to have one hand in Cuban’s back pocket for the next two years and because he is a fan and coaches favorite. Philly stays young but gains experience and the veteran leadership necessary to win in this league. They also get better defensively, which would be all around impressive because they are already solid in that aspect of the game.
Seriously though, how many trades could you honestly make that not only help you offensively (Lamar provides Coach Collins one of the most versatile players in the NBA) but defensively (Shawn Marion isn’t in this league because he can shoot and Haywood give you a physical presence in the post you didn’t have before.)? If they could pull this off and sign a veteran guard like, say, a Ray Allen, the floor offensively will be so wide open that the Sixer guards would have a Holiday… get it?
While the 76ers current five game losing streak is of great concern for me, I am not yet ready to press the panic button for 2011-12 and jettison any of our key pieces. However, I do not think that the current roster contains the answers for solving the issues that have led to this recent slide and I am ready to make a few tweaks. Here they are:
Yes I know that Capt. Jack is a head case. And yes I know that he has been described as a locker room problem child. But Jackson was able to excel under Larry Brown in Charlotte and it’s safe to assume Doug Collins can find those same buttons to push within Jackson here in Philly. The Sixers can not score in the half court because they have no interior presence and only Jrue Holiday can create a shot for himself. With Jackson at the starting two-guard (You heard that right Jodie Meeks.) the Sixers would now have proven slasher in the first-five who can create for himself and will not settle for long 2’s. Don’t bother looking at his current numbers in MIL (10/3/3 per night) as he is currently in the Scott Skiles doghouse. Just know that he hit for 18.5 ppg. last season and bangs home 3’s at a 33% clip on his career.
2) Insert Nikola Vucevic into the starting lineup and then send the Mo Speights trade exception ($2.7 million) and a second round pick to Sacramento for Jason Thompson.
Technically it’s two moves, but I am grouping it as one big move to get over Spencer Hawes.
Who knows when Spencer Hawes is going to return and the Sixers need to adopt a “we’re moving on” mental state. No more talk about how solid we played when “Big Spence” was in the lineup or what our record was during his stellar run earlier this season. For me, Spence doesn’t exist until he takes the court again. In fact, in an effort to make the team forget about him, I would ban him from the bench. I would then anoint Vucevic as my starting center until further notice. Lavoy Allen is a solid rookie who is playing well, but he is not the scoring threat that “Big Nik” presents for foes.
While I don’t think Vuc can go for 18 every night like he did vs. Houston, I do think that given 28 mpg., he can go out and get 14 & 8 a night. Thompson is my insurance policy. He’s 7-foot tall, 250 pounds which is nice and he also can improve our inside scoring punch. If for some reason Vuc struggles as my starting center, he provides some much needed depth at the 5-spot. With DeMarcus Cousins having a break out season, JT has seen his role in Sacto reduced significantly (Excluding the last 2 games before the ASB.) and he should be available.