Pointing at Pat Croce.
Things look a little different today than they did yesterday, huh? With Evan Turner now firmly entrenched at the starting 2-spot as well as locked in as the best player in NBA history, it mostly leaves him out of trade discussion unless they're blown away by an offer or a tornado or something. Tom Ziller at SB Nation has an eye not so much on this year but on what trades would mean for the luxury tax and the future.
Unless the team moves Brand, signing Hawes to a market value contract -- he'll be an unrestricted free agent in July -- could put Philadelphia right up against the luxury tax. That'd be the incentive to move Brand above all else.
I'm not as concerned as Tom is about the luxury tax because there's only $32 million guaranteed for next year and that's including the Elton Brand $18M tag that could potentially get amnestied off the books. Andres Nocioni and his $7.5M option (ugh) definitely won't be here, and odds are Louis Williams will be opting out as well. Spencer Hawes is certainly a question mark that I'm not ready to answer yet, but I'm certainly not worried about their flexibility to go out and spend this offseason.
The Sixers don't have a weak position, with advantage in PER matchup data at all five spots. The two slimmest margins are up front at center and power forward (+0.6 and +1.9 respectively).
He goes on to talk about Spence being out, but the up-front issue is definitely an, um, issue. Bringing in a banger to rebound and be the recipient of garbage time dunks wouldn't be the worst idea. Tony Battie can barely walk, let alone go from foul line to foul line. Noce is, as we know, the most movable part.
Also, in an ESPN chat with John Hollinger, I decided to ask a question. This was maybe the first time in 5 years I decided to ask anything in these chats, so it's pretty funny that Mr. PER answered it. Here it is, in all its glory:
Mike (Los Angeles)
Is Nocioni the most-likely expiring contract outside of Kaman to be moved? Who have you heard is interested?
John Hollinger (2:26 PM)
The Sixers will likely dangle Nocioni as bait, but I'm not sure that alone will get them very far. Where rubber meets road is there [sic!] willingness to deal Turner, Iguodala or Williams; those are the players that will fetch something.