Pick Your Player, With Guidelines!

It's Hump Day, so let's get freaky and try something new. Homework assignments! Let's say you could add one player to the fold for the rest of his contract. You don't have to trade anything for him, he's just automatically on the team. Salary is something to consider, but not dwell upon (specifics later).

Here's the Sixers roster as it stands with a loose depth chart provided by a scientifically-qualified Depthchartist (me):

PG - Jrue Holiday, Louis Williams

SG - Evan Turner, Jodie Meeks, Willie Green

SF - Andre Iguodala, Andres Nocioni, Jason Kapono

PF - Elton Brand, Thaddeus Young, Jason Smith

C - Spencer Hawes, Marreese Speights, Tony Battie

Feel refreshed? Good. Here are the rules:

1. Said player can not be a rookie or sophomore.

2. Said player can not be making $8 million or more this coming season.

3. Said player can not have scored over 20 points per game last season.

4. Said player can not be Joakim Noah. Obviously.

5. Said player can not have been a top 5 draft pick.

6. Said player can not have a PER greater than 18.25 (Sixers leader last season -- Lou)

The PER site from Hollinger is linked above, Hoopshype has great contract stuff, and any ol' site will tell you about points and draft position. This was more difficult than I thought it would be. The factors I looked at until my eyes turned red and blinky were defensive rebounding (DR%), defensive multiplier (dMULT), Win Shares per 48 minutes (WS/48), and length/amount of contract compared with the player's age -- go to Basketball-Reference or Basketball Prospectus for specifics.

My pick would be Marcin Gortat. I thought a great deal about 3 other big men (if they're brought up in the comments, I'll divulge their identities), but settled on the Polish Hammer, who we've discussed numerous times as a possible addition in the past. Despite a raw offensive game, his defensive rebounding percentages have been phenomenal playing with or in place of Dwight Howard at a 23.6% clip. In that limited time, his dMULT hovers around .950 in the past two seasons, meaning he has held his opponents to 95% of their usual offensive production.

He's still just 26, and while a lack of a true offensive game is worrisome, paired with Speights or Hawes, he'd get his points off dump passes and put-backs, while his mate demands the ball outside the paint. With Jrue, Andre, and Evan slashing and drawing the defender, the Hammer would get plenty of opportunities for uncontested throwdowns. At around $7 million per year until the 2014 offseason, he's very cost-controlled for a starting center (and overpaid for a backup). I'd bump Brand to the bench and let Mo/Spence fight it out for the 4-spot. The only concern is that he's never gotten a chance to play significant minutes for an extended time and without the services of Mr. Howard, his weaknesses could be exposed. But that's the idea -- nobody we'd get under these rules is a sure thing.

There are many cases that can be made for others who meet the criteria. Make them for me, people. Winner gets Tanner's favorite hat.

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