76ers Overall Team Grade
They took the best available player with their only pick and landed a guy who could realistically average 18 points, 6 boards, and 5 assists a game next season. The only reason this grade isn't an "A" is because they didn't find a team dumb enough to take on Elton Brand's nasty contract. (Grade: A-)
2. Evan Turner, G/F, Ohio State
I have been sweating Turner's skills since seeing him live during his sophomore season. He is the clear choice for Philly due to his versatility, and the fact that he can step in right away and be a major player. "His Royal Smoothness" isn't the ideal fit alongside Andre Iguodala on the wing since neither are great outside shooters, but head coach Doug Collins wants to win right away and Turner will help that cause. (Pick Grade: Makes Sense)
2009-10 Season Summary:
Just two years ago, the 76ers were considered a sexy pick for winning the Eastern Conference. Now the only thing sexy about the Sixers is uhhh... ummm... anyway... Philly finished with their worst record in 13 seasons and were so desperate for attention they made a last ditch effort to bring back Allen Iverson who was clearly well past his prime and still wanted to play the game for his own personal satisfaction of proving that he still had the ability to be a star in the league. Fail on both parts, as A.I. played in just 25 games, choosing not to return to the team in late February to reportedly go home and take care of his sick daughter.
On the court, Philly just did not have the talent to compete in the Eastern Conference. Their supposed star players who are eating up a majority of their salary cap massively underachieved. Andre Iguodala had his typically productive season, but bigs Elton Brand and Samuel Dalembert once again failed to live up to their bloated contracts. They relied on a rookie point guard to run to the show and while Jrue Holiday did a nice job, he still has a long way to go in terms of developing as a true floor leader. Their other younger players like Thaddeus Young and Marreesse Speights look more like future NBA role players than starters. In other words, the Sixers have a lot of juggling to do with their roster because barring a major turnaround, their current crop of players will not be contenders anytime soon.
2010-11 Projected Depth Chart:
C: Spencer Hawes/Tony Battie
PF: Elton Brand/Marreese Speights/Jason Smith
SF: Andre Iguodala/Andres Nocioni/Thaddeus Young/Jason Kapono
SG: Evan Turner/Willie Green/Jodie Meeks
PG: Jrue Holiday/Louis Williams
NBA Free Agents:
C Francisco Elson (UFA)
SF Rodney Carney (UFA)
2010-11 Team Salary: Approximately $69.4 million
2010-11 League Salary Cap: $58 million
76ers sign C Tony Battie to 1-year, league minimum deal
76ers acquire F Andres Nocioni and C Spencer Hawes from Kings for C Samuel Dalembert
NBA Offseason Needs:
1. A head coach- Take your pick: Eddie Jordan's stint with the 76ers wasn't as short as Iverson's, but the first-year head coach felt little love as he was given the boot shortly after the season ended. Now Philly will be looking for their fourth head coach in three years. Larry Brown's name has been thrown out there as possibly returning for the right price. Whomever Philly decides to hire must be able to make the most out of its current roster while at the same time bridging the gap toward the future when the franchise clears cap space and figures to be a serious player in the 2011 offseason.
2. A time machine- Man, that Elton Brand contract looks BRUTAL right now. If the Sixers could jump in a time machine (hot tub or not) they would renege their offer to Brand in a heartbeat. The former Dukie has posted back-to-back career-low seasons partly due to injuries, and unfortunately for Philly fans is still on the books for more than $51 million over the next three years making him pretty much impossible to trade. If Philly is going to have any chance of being a playoff contender next season, Brand must get his groove back and return to his career averages of about 19 points and almost 10 boards a game. Don't count on that happening though.
3. Prime-time scorer- Every team needs a prolific scorer. Andre Iguodala led the 76ers in scoring averaging 17.1 points per game which was tied for 37th in the NBA. While Iguodala is very talented player, he cannot be the lead scorer on a team that is serious about being a contender. Since it appears Brand's best days are far behind him, Philly has a gaping in hole in finding a true go-to scorer who can take over during stretches, especially late in the game. Thaddeus Young is not the guy, neither is Louis Williams. Samuel Delambert's lone purpose on the floor is to "D" up and grab boards while Jrue Holiday is still far too young to take on that responsibility. The problem is Philly does not have the cap space to bring in a main scorer and the 2010 NBA Draft is not filled with players who can immediately step into this role unless they win the draft lottery and are able to grab someone like Evan Turner. However, they could possibly shop the expiring contracts of Dalembert, Jason Kapono or Willie Green to land a scorer around the deadline, or just wait until next summer.
4. A Smart General Manager- **This is Walt speaking, err... typing. Because I live in Philly, I wanted to offer my two cents on the Suxers. What they need to do is hire a general manager who doesn't snort cocaine before signing players. The Suxers must stop handing out huge deals to B- and C-list talents like Brand, Iguodala, Dalembert, Chris Webber, Matt Geiger, etc. Those guys are bums, and their bloated contracts are what's keeping the team from going after the big-name players this summer.