WHEELING & DEALING II

The other day, I wrote how the 76ers should approach building a real contender by tanking and trading for superior but injured players.   Today, we will assume that their are enough parts in place to build something.

Like a hostile takeover of a corporate entity, cutting the dead weight is an obvious first step.  From there we will look at some undervalued assets around the league, similar to what was done in (A plan for 13-14).

What to do with “The Enigma”, Evan Turner?  It’s quite simple actually.  Whomever the GM for the Sixers is, he needs to call ET into his office on a weekday morning.  From there, they should ask, “Evan, if we can trade you to another team, is that something you would be interested in?”

The obvious answer will be yes.  The next move is to pick up the phone and call every single NBA team.  It will certainly be a humbling experience for Mr. Turner.  A combination of quick hang ups, laughs and outrageous demands (give us your lottery pick, is Thad coming too, We will give you Beasley/Bargnani/Ellis for ET, we require all the tea in china etc etc) will make it obvious to ET that the NBA truly has no interest in his services at $6,700,000 for the 2013-2014 season.

The next move is to offer a private jet to take ET all around the world to meet with different basketball clubs.  China, Turkey, Spain, Italy, Greece, Russia etc where the teams will be more than interested in his services.  This link will give you an idea of the ***highest paid Europeans*** for the 11-12 season.  The front office then just needs to hope that ET is willing to take paycut this year of ~$1.5 million in the pursuit of basketball success and personal happiness.

Kwame Brown needs to be convinced to take a spot in the front office.  It’s funny because it’s true.  Kwame isn’t going to take a buyout for anything less than the entire sum of what he is owed and he will still count against the cap. So the obvious move is to convince him to retire and then pay him his $3 million to step into a front office role and the 76ers can use that cap space on an actual NBA player.  If anything, he will certainly be a voice of reason when the 76ers want to pay Damian Wilkins a boatload of money or trade our lottery pick this year for Drew Gooden.  Kwame doesn’t love basketball, so why would he say no?

The stretching of Jason Richardson. Adam Aron mentioned the stretch provision on his recent 97.5 radio interview when I managed to actually get on the phone with him.  The best part of that was when he said, “the entire organization signed off on the Kwame Brown player option” but that’s already been written about here.

The stretch basically takes the years left on a guys deal, multiplies it by 2 and then adds a 1.  So Jason Richardson is given his walking (crutch? wheelchair?) papers and is paid $2.56 million dollars for the next 5 years.  That money does count against the cap, but the team will be able to replace him and then some for the remaining $3,700,000 available.  The 76ers would then have $26,500,000 to add free agents, as the 10th pick will have a $2.4 million dollar cap hold.  The team also can use the Mid Level Exception worth $5 million on a player

Jrue, Thad, Hawes, Lavoy, Moultrie are the 5 guys currently on the roster.  The team also has it’s Lottery pick and both 2nd rd picks.

The first thing the 76ers need to do is trade for Pau Gasol.  He had a down year this season, but it wasn’t long ago that Pau was dominating the Olympic Games and was unquestionably, the best Gasol brother.  On the other hand, he missed alot of games this year, has talked about going to Germany for a knee treatment and is past his prime.  Without a summer of basketball and being shifted back to his true position, Center, the 76ers can expect to see a player similar to the Pau Gasol of old.

Hawes, Lavoy, Moultrie and the 2nd rd picks are likely to get it done.  LAL needs depth and this trade saves the Lakers $32,000,000 in Luxury Tax next year alone.  Trading for Gasol eats up 8.5 million in cap space for the 76ers.  Gasol is a 1 year rental for the 76ers and immediately (if healthy) the best Center in the Eastern Conference.  The 76ers are in a unique position to go after Gasol, I don’t really see any other team who will offer the LAL 3 players who can all potentially contribute, 2 draft picks albeit 2nd rounders and save the Lakers $32 million.

A plan for 13-14 is enacted.  The team would still have 5 million for free agents and the $5 million dollar mid level exception.  The team will need a 3rd ball handler, another SG/SF and PF/C to complete the roster.

Starters: Calderon, Jrue, Brewer, Thad, Gasol

Nightshift: Wright, Birdman, Dalembert

To fill out the team, the 76ers should sign Devin Harris as the 3rd ball handler.

Kyle Korver at SG-SF and Jermaine O’Neal who fits a need of depth in the front court.  Each of these players are over 30 and come with the usual concerns of guys their age with a lot of NBA miles.  There is every reason to believe the 76ers could sign these 3 players with the remaining $10,000,000.

O’Neal had a ridiculous resurgence this year in terms of health and production, how much of that was Phoenix’s training staff?  He will rarely, if ever be counted on to play 30mpg.  If he can be who he was this year for Phoenix, his addition will be a great one.

Harris and Korver are just reliable veterans.  Korver has missed 9 games the past 3 years and is 5th in the NBA in 3pt makes over that time period.  Wright and Korver would very like be a top 3 duo in made 3pt shots next year with elite efficiency to boot.  Harris has had some injury trouble this year but will only be forced to play heavy minutes if there are multiple injuries in the backcourt.

Updated Roster:

Starters: Calderon, Jrue, Brewer, Thad, Gasol

Nightshift: Harris, Korver, Wright, Birdman, Dalembert, O’Neal

Last but certainly not least, is the 76ers lottery pick.  The team should go after Gorgui Dieng, a limited offensive and quality defensive C.  He won’t be counted on to contribute right away, while spending the year learning from 4 guys who have been good to Hall of Fame level players during their time in the NBA.

Can the 76ers make this happen? It’s possible.  David Stern would be pissed off to the Nth degree over the Kwame thing.  An unprecedented and super sketchy move by the 76ers? Yes, but it isn’t  something the league can do anything about.  Evan Turner could very well decide that being one of the top non-NBA players in the world is more fun than being awful on a nightly basis.

Once those 2 hurdles are taken care of, everything else can fall in line.  In a win now scenario, it doesn’t get much better than this.

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