I think the majority of Sixer Fans are happy with the return success the team had last season. Rebounded from a terrible campaign in 2010 that led a post season birth, but yet couldn't advance past the first round in the playoffs. We saw similar success when Andre Miller came over in the AI trade with Denver. A tough, high energy team that couldn't compete against the elite teams in the playoffs. Good enough to win a game or two in a series, but not good enough to advance. We can argue that this group of players have hit their peak as a team, competitive, but not a titile contender at all. As long, sufferring fans, making the playoffs isn't good enough any longer. The bar must be set higher. When you see young teams strive in the postseason, it makes you even more dissapointed with this team.
With the arrival of our new Head Coach and General Manager, it was a year to evaluate the players. Which players are apart of the team future core and which need to go. A few players proved their worth while others failed to make the most of their opportunities. Now the front office has a handle of their team roster, it is finally time to fast track the roster to compete against the elite teams. It means less young, developmental players, but finding more experienced veterans who fit their system best. Not an easy task, when the team has little flexibility with their high cap number. It can even get worse, if the salary cap is reduced with the new collective bargaining agreement. The other end of the spectrum, even if the team had cap space, would any elite free agent want to come to Philly?
Before we discuss ways how to improve our roster, here are the team needs as I see them, of coarse, many might have different viewpoints, feel free to debate them if you like:
-A legitmate go-to scorer. Yes, the team needs to find a way to get their hands on a superstar player.
-Frontcourt enforcer who can protect the basket: elite rebounder/shot blocker defender.
-A real sharpershooter can has a mult-dimensional game, not a one trick pony.
Some ideas of improving the team's roster:
-Don't be scare off on bad contracts. If the team is able to trade for a good player for their system, don't shy away from a deal if you need to assume a bad contract to make it happen. As I said before, even with cap room, I do not see any elite players wanting to sign with the Sixers. The team needs to be willing to do what it takes to improve their roster.
-Andre has to go now, before it is too late and his trade value plummets. A very good, all around nice player, but is a third option on a championship level roster. Team desperately needs more scoring, where Andre has proved to not be that type of player, Rather settles for all those rainbow, jump shots than drive to the hole and use his off the charts atheltic abilities. First year in which he missed several games due to injury, maybe a warning sign for years ahead. Team doesn't need the cap room, but a player who can help the team right away. His defensive prowess and point forward abilities is still very attractive for teams on the cusp from competiting.
-Trade their 1st rd pick for an experienced veteran. As I said above, the team has enough young players, they need players could can contribute now, not three years down the road. They do not hold a premium selection this year, but a team out there will be interested, especially if they want to get out of a bad contract from a player who isn't in their future plans.
-Elton Brand is still on the team's books for two more seasons, If I stand correct. Too bad it wasn't just 1 season, while teams positon themselves for the Dwight Howard sweepstakes. He is still a quality player, but not a siperstar any longer. Either the team can wait another season to deal his expiring contract, keep him in the fold or take a gamble on a similar type contract that another team is willing to shed. Most likely have to keep him for another season, maybe two.
-Do not be afraid of trading one of you're young, future core players if it nets you a superstar or improves the team today. If say a Chris Paul could be had for a package with Holliday or Turner, you need to consider such a deal. The question that the front office needs to ask: will one of their young prospects become better or be able to match the production of the player that they would be obtaining.
Team has some difficult decisions to make starting this offseason. Taking the roster to the next level will force the team to take some calculated gambles in hopes of improving the team. Just making the postseason is no longer good enough, it is time to make it happen!