If you've read this blog, or anywhere else I've written in the past, you generally know I'm a big draft guy. Losing in the first round of the playoffs does little for me, and any move that isn't geared towards moving increasing your odds of getting championship level talent is a step in the wrong direction. I also believe the draft should be at the forefront of any attempts to acquire a superstar talent.
As such, this trade proposal probably sounds a little off.
The time to sit around dreaming of tanking and getting a top 5 pick is long gone. Would I like to be debating what Anthony Davis or Thomas Robinson would do for the Sixers future? Of course. But that ship has sailed, at least without the Sixers making a huge trade to move up in the draft. But we'll talk about those possibilities come June.
So how will the Sixers acquire a superstar? Trades or free agency. Either by using their emerging young players to acquire a disgruntled superstar or draft pick or by using their emerging young players to win enough to entice a superstar to join them.
Right now, the Sixers aren't a destination. Dwight Howard isn't putting the Sixers on any of his lists. The only way to do that is to become a proven winner.
That's not to say that if the Sixers make the eastern conference finals that Dwight Howard will magically add the Sixers to his list of preferred teams. I'm under no delusion of this being even remotely likely. But being able to get to the Eastern Conference finals in the next year or two would considerably raise the profile of the Sixers and their players, both to general managers and to other players around the league. And if the Sixers could essentially get that by spending the 25th pick in the draft, that's a small price to pay, even if it is for a one-playoff-run rental.
Could Marcus Camby help them win a round or two in the playoff? I think he can. Camby can still alter shots, getting 2.3 blocks per 36 minutes, which would be the best on the Sixers. He can still grab defensive rebounds, with a 33% defensive rebounding rate following his career best 35.2% last year, which when added to Evan Turner and Andre Iguodala in the starting lineup should form one of the best defensive rebounding teams in the league. He can still grab offensive rebounds, which he's doing at a 13.6% rate this year. And he can still play a little bit of defense, holding his man to a 13.0 PER at 47.2% eFG% so far this year.
The Sixers have been the best defensive team in the league (by a considerable margin) with huge gaping holes at the pivot. Add a legitimate defensive rebounder and shot blocker and I'd love to see what this trio of perimeter defenders could do.
Is Marcus Camby going to make the Sixers title contenders? No. But he still has enough to play 20-25 minutes per game of effective basketball, at a position the Sixers are currently struggling to get contributions from, providing shot blocking and rebounding that the Sixers need.
I'm assuming after making this trade the Sixers pick will be in the 23-25 range. I don't value picks in that range all that highly, nor do I think it would be all that difficult to re-acquire a pick in that range if the Sixers fall in love with someone come draft time. If the Sixers go into a tailspin and they end up drafting 15th-17th (don't expect that), my tune obviously changes.
Also, this would put the Sixers dangerously close to the luxury tax, although by my calculations they would still be around $1 million under it.
Finally, I tried to go the route of picking a trade I could actually see the Sixers making. Lou or Iguodala aren't being traded, not with how much Doug values them, and it makes no sense to trade Jrue or Turner right now when their value isn't likely near its apex. Doug, and Sixers ownership, want to win, which likely means not changing the status quo all that much.