17. Jrue Holiday, G, UCLA
I have not been high on Holiday all year and think he is at least a couple years away from being a contributor. Yes, the potential is there, but why take him when you need a point guard right away, and Eric Maynor and Ty Lawson are both on the board and capable of playing from Day 1. (Pick Grade: Don't Get It)
2009 NBA Offseason Transactions:
76ers sign SF Rodney Carney
76ers re-sign SG Royal Ivey
76ers sign C Primoz Brezec
Blazers sign PG Andre Miller
Spurs sign C Theo Ratliff
2008-09 Season Summary:
Heading into 2008-09, Philadelphia was the "sexy" pick to make the NBA Finals. Finishing at .500 mark and seventh in the Eastern Conference, was a quite a disappointment. It appeared Philly was ready to redeem themselves in the post season when they took two of the first three in their opening round series against the #2 seeded Orlando Magic. However, Philly lost the next three: including an embarrassing 25-point home loss in which Orlando eliminated them despite missing their superstar, Dwight Howard. The Sixers had plenty of issues to deal with this season including a season-ending injury to their big off-season acquisition, Elton Brand, and the firing of head coach Maurice Cheeks just 23 games in. The post-season ended with controversy as well as free agents Andre Miller and Theo Ratliff skipped the team's final meeting and criticized the coaching staff. It will be interesting to see where the team goes from here.
2009-10 Projected Depth Chart:
C: Samuel Dalembert/Primoz Brezec
PF: Elton Brand/Marreese Speights/Jason Smith
SF: Thaddeus Young/Rodney Carney
SG: Andre Iguodala/Jason Kapono/Royal Ivey
PG: Louis Williams/Jrue Holiday/Willie Green
NBA Free Agents:
PF Donyell Marshall (UFA)
G Kareem Rush (UFA)
2009-10 Team Salary: Approximately $57.2 million
2009-10 Expected League Salary Cap: $57.3 million
NBA Offseason Needs:
1. A coach - Take your pick: Eddie Jordan, Avery Johnson, Jeff Van Gundy, Doug Collins, Dwayne Casey, and Celtics assistant Tom Thibodeau have all been rumored as possible replacements for interim head coach Tony DiLeo. The Sixers without an authoritative coach will be like a cheese steak without a grease stain on the wrapper. Just mediocre, not exceptional. This team has some quality pieces but needs a big push over the hump.
2. A point guard - Andre Miller quarterbacked the team for the past two and a half years, and has proven himself the Brett Favre of the NBA, playing in 530 straight games. He is arguably one of the top point guards in the Eastern Conference, but may have worn out his welcome in the city of Brotherly Love. He will likely seek a long-term deal for about $9-10 million per year. If the Sixers don't want to pay up, expect them to target a replacement when they pick at 17 and players like Ty Lawson, Eric Maynor, or Jeff Teague could still be on the draft board.
3. A three-point assassin - Andre Iguodala is the team's "shooting" guard, but barely hit 30% of his three-point attempts this past season. In fact, the only player to shoot above 40% from downtown was Donyell Marshall, an aging free agent. Ed Stefanski has done a great job acquiring players and must add a legitimate outside threat to compliment the slashing abilities of Iguadala and Thaddeus Young.
4. Brand name health - Elton Brand's injury had ripple effects as Philly's other bigs struggled without Brand as their running mate. When Brand is healthy and Samuel Dalembert is sticking to his role as a rebounder/shot blocker, the Sixers have a solid one-two punch up-front. Getting 7-0 inside/outside threat Jason Smith (who missed all of '08-'09 with a torn ACL) back should also help Philly's lack of interior depth.