POWER FORWARDS: NBA OPTIONS

Posted by: Jerry Scherwin
06/14/12 9:11 am EST

While watching NBA TV’s “The Dream Team” last night, it dawned on me that the “Round Mound of Rebound” last played for the Sixers 20-years ago.  Since then, Philly has somewhat struggled filling those size 16 shoes Charles Barkley left behind, completing only eight seasons with a record of .500 or better. 

In the words of Chuck, “THAT’S TURRIBLE!”

What makes it worse is that during that time frame, names like Manute Bol, ShawnBradley, Derrick Coleman, Theo Ratliff, Tim Thomas, Tyrone Hill, Toni Kukoc’s corpse, Todd MacCulloch, Dikembe Mutombo, Derrick “Heavy D” McKey, Keith “High Socks are Cool too” Van Horn, Glenn Robinson’s corpse,  Samuel Dalembert, and Joe Smith have graced the various 76ers rosters at the forward/center positions.

Some provided a consistent security that was enough to get the Sixers to the playoffs and even an NBA Finals birth, but most were nothing but stop gaps simply added to provide depth and hopeful lightning in a bottle. 

The lack of signing/drafting/trading for a truly prosperous big man ultimately killed the Iverson Era and set the franchise back quite some time.  Now, with the taste of this year’s NBA Eastern Conference Semifinals loss fresh in the mouths of the Sixers “Brain Trust”, the need for a dominate forward/center that fits the style of basketball the Sixers want to play is essential.

We wrote last week about the shooting guard options on the free agent market.  Today we will look at some of the free agnet options that can come in immediately and make an impact at the four and five spots. 

But before you continue on reading, let me warn you, there are slim pickings on the free agent market, so obtaining a big that the franchise can mold looks to be more important than ever; as I’m sure most of you agree, Spencer Hawes and Elton Brand are nothing more than, well, more stop gaps.

The Hills Have Eyes

Chris Kaman:  Wait!  Hear me out!  Kaman can play both the four and five positions on the floor and is savvy in the way he gets the job done down low.  He’s 30-years old, seemingly and finally healthy (so really his body in the terms of NBA minutes is significantly younger) and is as consistent as they come.  Try on for size, 11.9 points per game, 8.3 rebounds per game and a 48.3% field goal percentage.  He also posted a +14.89 efficiency rating this year once he came back from injury.  After making an idiotic fourteen or so odd million from the Clippers the last couple of years, a lower contract from a winning team could sway the Bobcat killer to join their ranks.  Fine, he could be added to that stop gap list.  But would you rather an eventual rookie replacement learning from Kaman or Spencer Hawes? 

The Soon to be Favorite

Antawn JamisonWith Danny Ferry being the early leader to fill Rod Thorn’s soon to be vacant Presidential role, it seems like this is one of those “I’ve got a feeling” signings.  You know, because this 36-year old knows how to get the job done and all…

The Long Shot

Roy HibbertThere is little to no chance the Pacers let the first time All-Star walk but if Jeremy Lin can get off of a couch and be good at NBA basketball, there is always a chance, right?  What also may put an early dagger in bringing the young (mentally and physically) center to Philadelphia would be the dollar, dollar bills. Due to the fact that the Sixers don’t have nearly enough money to throw at the restricted free agent center, if he is a potential target, the Brain Trust better amnesty Brand right now.  With that said, the Queens,New York native could entertain the idea of moving closer to home if the money was right and I wouldn’t mind knowing the Sixers are anchored by Jrue, Evan and Roy Hibbert’s 25-year old, 7’2” body for the foreseeable future.

The Ol’ Western

Tim Duncan: He’s unrestricted… and he’s resigning with the Spurs.  Unless pigs start flying tomorrow and Guy Fieri decides to stop wearing his sunglasses on the back of his neck at the same moment when he’s dying his hair back to its normal color, he will retire a Spur as well.  With that said, its fun to think about Duncan knocking down bank shots in the red, white and blue.

The Celtic

Kevin Garnett: His name has to be on this list after what he just did in the playoffs, right?  The 36-year old looked 26 again after Doc switched him to the center position, watched his minutes and encouraged him to be more selfish.  Now imagine if he goes and gets the same knee treatment Kobe did during the off season.  Are his postseason numbers inconceivable during an entire NBA season?  Can he not repeat these again numbers again 31.3 minutes per game in the regular season this year, scoring 15.8 points per game on 50.3% shooting; 36.9 minutes per game while scoring 19.2 points per game on 49.7% shooting good for a +22.6 efficiency rating during the playoffs.  He’s a defensive beast, he’s a bit psychotic and he’s a great leader.  Will this sign ever happen? If the Celtics decide to go in another direction; why not?  All I know is, the Sixers need to be waiting outside his door because bar none, KG knows how to win, knows how to teach young talented players the keys to winning and is a brilliant mind in the game of basketball.

Kim Kardashian’s favorite baller

Kris HumphriesBased on comments, sports radio and scanning the World Wide Web, Philadelphia fans want to take in the world’s least favorite Kardashian and give him a humble home where fans only boo for lack of basketball effort; not based on his abilities as a boyfriend/fiancé.  The New Jersey Nets seem to be parting ways with the 6’9’’ power forward after his best statistical year (13.8 points, 11 rebounds and 1.2 blocks) and he would truly be an immaculate sign by management.  Humphries is extremely low maintenance while on the court and has proven to be a hustle/rebound type of guy; perfect for Collins.  For those that don’t like KH for reasons only E! and the Kardashian’s understand, remember a few things.  He is only 27-years old, an age that often coincides with players primes.  Sure he’s not a number one, franchise changing big man, but he can come in immediately and change the stars around at least.  What attracts me to Humphries is his willingness and ability to set high screens for a point guard.  The combination of Humphries and Deron Williams starting the offense for New Jersey last year was extremely effective; often springing the guard to amicable scoring opportunities.  When D-Will got doubled, Humphries knocked down open looks, shooting 41% from mid-range during the season.  If that’s not enough, maybe his +19.58 efficiency rating on a terrible team this year will sway you.

Obviously, there aren’t many “franchise” guys on the open market.  That’s because a “franchise” forwards and centers usually get signed, then re-signed, then re-signed again. There are a couple guys that could find their way to Philadelphia depending on how things shake out this offseason, but if I were in charge of the “Brain Trust”, focusing on obtaining a young, future All-Star in the draft and sifting through shooting guards in the free agent pool is the better way to go.


 
 
 

11 Responses to “POWER FORWARDS: NBA OPTIONS”

  1. Ascher
    14. June 2012 at 09:26

    Gerald Wallace of NJ is going to opt out of his contract. If the sixers dump Elton’s contract, they could afford to sign this rising star for the 4 spot.

  2. Derek
    14. June 2012 at 11:14

    Marisse Speights was drafted two spots ahead of Roy Hibbert. We have two second round picks and Pacers have an all star. What a dumb move.

  3. Josh B.
    14. June 2012 at 11:38

    RE: Kris Humphries – the fact that signing KH is so popular with the sports-talk-radio/comment section mouthbreathers should be the primary reason to cast a very skeptical eye at the idea. Overpaying for a player like Humphries is step #1 in the “how to not improve your team” handbook.

    A move like this happens every year – some team who’s improving and has some cap room to burn overpays for a previously marginal player, usually a big man who just put up career numbers on a bad team, often when another higher-profile frontcourt player is out with an injury. Humphries (big numbers in Brook Lopez’s absence) and Ersyan Ilyasova (big numbers in Bogut’s absence) are just this year’s versions of the same old bad idea.

    You know how Chris Kaman earned that ridiculous $14 million contract you reference at the beginning of the article? By averaging a double double in 2007-2008 – the year Elton Brand went down with his Achilles tear. The Clippers went 23-59 that year, but Kaman averaged nearly 16 points and 13 boards (with almost 3 blocks as well), got a mega-contract, and has NEVER approached those rebounding and block numbers again.

    Bottom line – unless the Sixers think they’ve got a realistic shot at signing Deron Williams or swinging a deal for Dwight Howard, they’re best served by not amnestying Brand, holding on to that expiring contract as a sweetener for a bigger deal at the deadline next year, and looking for affordable players who can bolster the rotation. Using your cap space on mediocre players is how you handcuff yourself to middle-of-the-road status FOREVER in this league.

  4. Dave
    14. June 2012 at 12:28

    I like the Humphries idea. But are we assuming Brand will be the victim of the amnesty clause?

  5. JT's Hoops Blog
    14. June 2012 at 17:16

    All those name are really that impressive to say the least. I say, Wait and see if Lavoy Allen will turn out any good.

  6. Rudy
    14. June 2012 at 18:05

    Illyasova!

  7. wert
    14. June 2012 at 19:34

    vucevic has to get more minutes next season. he’s certainly the long-term solution.

  8. KRS1
    14. June 2012 at 20:05

    i agree with Josh b 100% maybe not doing anything to this team will be good. However it seems unlikely that igoudala wont be a sixer any longer, we have to continue to draft well and maybe having a lot of picks in this deep draft isn’t such a terrible way to keep this team young and maybe be able to land a Howard or josh smith in next years free agency. Its a long shot but hey a great supporting cast and money talk. could actually be the perfect place for a player like howard.

  9. RYN_JAY
    15. June 2012 at 02:37

    Once the draft is over, then we can talk about free agent moves. Let’s draft some good players first. Which we have been doing. (for the most part)

  10. deeznutz
    15. June 2012 at 10:05

    I kinda like the idea of keeping Brand and his expiring contract as trade deadline bait. I doubt you get a great player back but you never know.

    No sense to amnesty if there’s nothing out there in free agency though I guess.

  11. George
    18. June 2012 at 21:06

    I also like the idea of staying pat…. But the why dump brackins and Sam young? Aren’t they cheap and young? I like ilyasova, but I would like lavoy Allen and vucevic to play in the 4, we need a few 5s. If we stay pat what centers are there? I don’t mind playing small… But we need at least 1 or 2 legit center

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