NEWARK, NJ - JUNE 23: Nikola Vucevic from USC greets NBA Commissioner David Stern after he was selected #16 overall by the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round during the 2011 NBA Draft at the Prudential Center on June 23, 2011 in Newark, New Jersey. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
We are now a solid five days into the NBA lockout. Players are settling into their top 10 nap routines and fans are beginning to realize that this lockout is no joke, and the entire 2011-12 season may indeed be in jeopardy.
It's only been five days, but it feels more like five weeks.
365 days ago the Orlando Summer League was underway and we all had our first looks at Evan Turner, the improving games of Jrue Holiday and Jodie Meeks, and the general out-of-shapeness of the Marreese Speights. This year? Nothing. We won't get to see Evan Turner unleash hell on the league that ate him up last summer, nor will we get out first look at Nikola Vucevic's conga-playing skills.
No Vegas Summer League this year. No surprise Sam Dalembert trades this year. No key free agent signings of Tony Battie this year.
On second thought, maybe the lockout is a good thing from a Sixers perspective. Indeed, there will not be any stupid trades, or stupid signings. Sixers fans won't have to read about how much "Basketball Sense" signing Malik Allen to a 12 year deal makes, nor how trading Andre Iguodala for Orien Greene because he averaged 22 points per 36 last season is a good move.
With a lame duck ownership and possibly lame duck front office the Sixers may be catching a huge break with the lockout. Not only does the lockout prevent Thorn and Stefanski from making a dumb move, which they seemingly tried so hard to do last month, but it prevents the Sixers from being lapped by 29 other teams, which also seemingly happened in last month's draft.
To be fair, the Sixers were in a bad situation. Every move the front office was reportedly trying to make was hypothetically being vetoed by the ownership-in-waiting, and for good reason. In turn, the Sixers stood pat, semi-reached on two players they mentally committed to before they were born, and as Mike likes to say "played solitaire for the rest of the night".
With the Sixers ownership set to change hands any week now, the new blood won't be pressured to hit the ground running because of the work stoppage. Although there are rules in place about them contacting players and the like, that doesn't mean they can't take some time to internally evaluate both the roster and the front office (and hopefully relieve) before the league re-opens for business. And there's certainly a surplus of time in the NBA these days.
So, from a Sixers perspective the lockout may be a blessing in disguise, at least for the first couple months.