“Of course, every team could use a scorer.”
“We want a name!”
The point of this post isn’t to postulate about potential players, but rather to point out a decade long problem.
The Sixers have not had a legitimate go-to-guy since Allen Iverson was shipped to Denver, which happens to be about the same time that the franchise’s success stalled.
This is not a coincidence.
Every team that has found extreme success in the NBA over the past decade plus (Heat, Mavs, Lakers, Spurs, Celtics) have a clearly defined go-to-guy. This is also not a coincidence. The best NBA teams are well-structured and well-rounded, as a one man show rarely makes it very far (save for an ’01 Iverson and an ’07 LeBron James).
However, in the final minutes of a close game these teams know who to turn to. For such squads it is no mystery who is going to get the ball in the game’s final minutes; this has been a guessing game for the Sixers over the past several seasons.
The Sixers are facing an extremely uncertain future, and need to make signing legitimate scorers a priority. Enough of the hybrid position players like Iguodala, Young, Turner, who are great fits for already-established teams, but not ideal for a team without an identity.
Sure, signing a high-caliber scorer is easier said than done, but it is not impossible. The player does not have to be a “superstar,” just someone who can consistently put the ball in the basket. J.R. Smith, an upcoming free agent, is an example of a strong scorer who has not achieved superstar status; so yes they exist.
Snagging a scorer through the draft may be the team’s best option. That could mean taking a chance in 2013 on LeHigh’s C.J. McCollum, who was an explosive college scorer. Or it could mean playing well below .500 ball for another season and trying to capitalize on an impressive 2014 draft class, which contains some potentially franchise-changing faces.
While the Sixers have a lot of issues to address this off-season, securing a solid scorer, who is unafraid of crunch time, should be a top priority.