TANK x 2

Posted by: Steve Toll
03/11/13 10:56 am EST

This is a stone cold fact: Every win the 76ers bring home over these last 20 games of this year and into the 2013-14 season is a net negative, at least until they have secured the worst record in the NBA.

The new CBA has changed the landscape of the NBA.  James Harden and the most recent trade deadline are obvious products of that fact.  The 76ers seem to be a team oblivious to that fact.  It is why I hated the Bynum trade when it happened and has hilariously turned into the best case scenario for the 76ers.  The lottery is where the 76ers MUST be this year and next, or people in the area might as well not turn on a game for the next 5 years.

Critics of mine will argue that the BCS of the Bynum trade was/is an NBA Championship.  Truth is, I have a better shot of being the next GM of the 76ers than Bynum does of leading this team to championship glory.  The average team in the NBA Finals wins about 57 regular season games, give or take.  Nobody should argue that the 76ers are close to that level even with a healthy Bynum in the lineup.

There is no disagreeing that even 1 possession of healthy Bynum on the court would help the 76ers win basketball games.  That is the very reason why the 76ers have been lucky with how things have turned out.  Variance aside, the team will be quite close to bottoming out in total wins this year.  If you believe the above paragraph to be true, the NBA Lottery is where the 76ers should be and things have turned out swimmingly in that regard.

Unfortunately (for the fans), that is not enough.  Barring the unforeseen circumstances that the 76ers draft a stud in the lottery AND a healthy Bynum resigns with the Sixers, the 2013-2014 Philadelphia 76ers need to be even worse than this current team.  Without getting into the nitty-gritty of it, the CBA essentially mandates those points as statutes for competing/winning an NBA championship.  There are obvious possibilities in circumventing that, but the 76ers won’t be privy to those as long as Jrue Holiday is the “best” player on the team.

Young, Cheap, and retainable talent is now a bigger part of the game than ever.  The 76ers have Arnett Moultrie as the leader in the clubhouse for that distinction.  As the only horse in that race, there are obvious issues there.  If you are competing for a championship and locked into contracts, YCR-Talent, is of less value to you.  For a team like the 76ers, YCR-Talent, is of immense value.  With none available, losing is the best option for loading up. 

The best way to load up is to have the #1 pick or draft the best player, which requires a team to be very bad and even more than that, lucky.  No amount of analysis can prepare you for that scenario.  It is part of what makes the NBA so great.  Greg Oden and Kevin Durant are obvious choices.  Evan Turner is a constant reminder.  Andre Drummond goes #1 in an NBA re-draft today, ahead of Anthony Davis, who predicted that?

Fact remains, having the #1 pick is the place to be every draft if you are in the lottery.  The 76ers need to understand why that is true and implement a way for that possibility to come to fruition. 

The way to secure that #1 overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft is to resign SwaggyP and bring in guys like Corey Maggette, Darko, Jamal Tinsley to fill out the roster this off-season.  Negative players on 1 year deals will certainly do the trick.

Another thing to do, make sure at almost any cost, the team drafts Nerlens Noel.  The almost is, anything except the rights to the future lottery picks.  That means if it takes Jrue+Thad and taking back a bad contract (Tyrus Thomas, Jameer Nelson, Eric Gordon, Michael Beasley) do it.  

Combined, that duo is less valuable than having Nerlens Noel, a 25% shot at Andrew Wiggins, a 25% shot at the 2015 #1 pick and a bad contract.  The name of the game for the 76ers, like other teams, is YCR-Talent.  The Bynum trade diminished those options and now the proper measure needs to be taken.

The point of all that is so that fans of the 76ers can hear the commissioner say, “With the #1 pick in the 2014 draft, the Philadelphia 76ers, select Andrew Wiggins” and potentially the same thing with a different name in 2015.

Right now, he is the consensus #1 pick in the 2014 Draft and his name might be replaced come that night but for now he is the pick.  That is where the 76ers must be in the summer of 2014.  It is why letting Bynum leave (the right move) would be less of a mistake than most people think.  Using that money to then sign Josh Smith, Jefferson, or Pekovik would be a huge mistake.  Looking around the Eastern Conference, there is a real possibility that adding one of those players wouldn’t even be enough to make the playoffs next year.

Before the 76ers sign an All-Star in free agency, they need to draft one and let him grow into that role, hopefully sooner rather than later.  Wiggins, who would have been at worst the #3 pick in the 2012 draft, is who the team needs to hope becomes that All-Star.

The 76ers have some real easy choices that will be a real hard to sell to the public this off-season.  Not enough talent to compete and enough money to build a .500 team.  The move is tank and the Bynum trade helped more than anyone could have known.  It wasn’t the best way to go about things, but this is how things need to go now.  It will be tough to digest as a 76er fan, but that is why you wanted Iguodala gone, right?  Mediocrity is something that fans of the team don’t want to accept.  Well now you don’t have to, assuming you’re willing to suffer at minimum another horrid 82 games.  All of the above is well and good, except the team missed the obvious thing to do this past off season when it was easy to sell.  What chance do you give the front office/owners to do the right thing when it is a hard sell?


9 Responses to “TANK x 2”

  1. Ransom
    11. March 2013 at 12:00

    Wow, I actually almost agree with Steve Toll. Only, what part of a 22-year old all-star at a very reasonable contract (relative to other all-stars) doesn’t qualify for Young, Cheap and Retainable? Before you argue that we over-inflate the value of Jrue, what percentage of lottery picks, top-5 picks, etc. Make an all-star team by 22 under a non-rookie salary as cheap as Holiday’s? I’ll give you a few minutes on that one.

    That said, draft picks are the way to go, especially with a pretty weak free agent class this summer due to drive up player cost. Unfortunately, I don’t think we are in tank mode, will try to win as many of our remaining games as possible (hopeless tho it may be). And we have a pretty far way to drop before we get into the meat of the draft…

  2. Hank
    11. March 2013 at 14:12

    I’m with Steve, though I still maintain that a Jrue + Thad + Bynum core is good enough 2-3 years from now to make some deep playoff runs.

    Regardless, I now have no faith in Bynum’s ability to stay healthy enough to risk paying him, so the road forward is absolutely clear. Let everyone go (provided the value is there, obviously) and absorb as many terrible one-two year deals as necessary to load up on future picks. Sign over the hill players to one year deals in the offseason (Having experience but no talent is perfect for this bunch. Don’t help us win games, just provide some guidance to the young kids we’ll be drafting.) and invest in the draft. I’m guessing we get the #5 pick this year, and provided we follow this plan, we should be in the running for the #1 pick for the next 2 years.

    It sounds weird to say, but I’m actually excited to start the rebuilding process. If the team gets behind it (agree with Steve again, this is a big if) it could signal a shift in the way our front office operates.

    I hope Barzilai gets serious input into the FO decisions and Collins gets kicked to the curb.

  3. Bill
    11. March 2013 at 16:36

    Seems as if the Sixers hierarchy is not that interested in the city area developing much interest in the franchise as long as the organization can pay its bills.

  4. Alex
    11. March 2013 at 19:09

    Agree with the analysis.
    I was wondering if we can find a desperate team who does not have enough cap room and who is willing to sign and trade for Bynum. Perhaps we can get a few worthwhile assets this way!!!!

  5. Rick
    11. March 2013 at 21:19

    It’s so hard to want your team to lose. You want them to go out there and give effort, and the only real way to reward effort is with a win. I guess we put ourselves in this boat. I don’t know if I can take two years of tanking(although we need to), I’m on board for this year. One way tanking can seem not as bad, is if we are playing young players, and you see that they are developing. Hopefully this will be the case.

  6. "I am more on point about the 76ers than anyone in the whole world"
    11. March 2013 at 22:56

    Get rid of Turner and bring A.I. back for an encore year. At least we Philly fans will be entertained while we lose.

  7. freezer
    12. March 2013 at 11:17

    I agree with this mostly, although if we do get our hands on nerlens I think it would be worth taking the gamble on josh smith. I think Smith is a pretty underrated player at this point, atlanta is playing good ball right now and the sixers already have a better supporting cast then atlanta in place. Wiggins looks like a really nice prospect, but the hype around him seems to be his elite athleticism which smith already has and hes a seasoned vet. You might say we have no chance of contending but nerlens could turn into an absolute force, and I think playing in a competitive environment will only make his game develop that much faster. Obviously I think Bynum is a clown who doesnt care about basketball, let that guy rip off some other franchise.

  8. Ms. Haygood
    12. March 2013 at 17:23

    I totally agree with Steve, and I’ve said before on this site, that the only Andrew the Sixes should be thinking about is Mr. Wiggins, who appears to be a NBA superstar in the making. Unfortunately if the front office names remain the same Collins, DiLeo, Thorn etc… it’s not gonna happen.
    Bring in a young coach and concentrate on the 2014 draft class

  9. Mike
    23. March 2013 at 10:28

    This is what I’ve been preaching to everyone in Philly the last few years. Most people don’t follow the high school recruits and never understand when too and not too BELEIVE the hype. I almost cried when the sixers did not trade up for ANDRE DRUMMOND. Forget Bynum , wanted Drummond you will never find a center of that level at the 9 pick again!

    I think your dead on that tanking dosnt just mean not trying it means not making your roster mediocre with mid level bench players.

    If you can’t get a guy named lebron or durant why not through the house at a draft with potentially the next “one” . People complain about waiting for a guy to develope, but if the sixers had gotten Drummond, or for the love of god ANDREW WIGGINS, fans would be in the seats just to see the growth of a legit mega star.

    Next years draft provides WIGGINS JABARI PARKER AND JULIUS RANDLE . Personally I’m all wiggins. CONTACT ME IF YOU WANT TO HELP CHANGE THE FACE OF SIXERS AND GET THE ” GET WIGGINS AT ALL COST” to the casual fans . The owners apparently make moves based on what are fans want and nobody even knows about Drummond bc they don’t follow like that. WE NEED TO IMFORM THE PEOPLE.

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