We keep getting piecemeal comments from Doug Collins and Rod Thorn as the offseason continues. Some are encouraging. Some are less so. All told, it is the same push/pull dance the Sixers have played at since the season ended. I'll just dump a bunch of quotes here and then we can react.
"We knew that if we tried to come back with the same team we didn't think we would be as good." - Doug
"Our feeling was we had about maxed our team out as it was constituted. Doug and his guys did an incredible job over the past two years getting this team to where they actually got it, but there comes a time when you need to make some changes and my feeling was we needed to go in that direction." - Rod
Lou Williams had been in the Sixers’ plans. They offered a three-year, four-year or five-year deal. The Sixers were told Williams had a better offer on the table. The Sixers would not say what they offered Williams monetarily, but numerous NBA sources say the increments were $21 million for three years, $26 million for four years and $30 million for five years.
"I don't want Lavoy all the sudden thinking he is cast in the role of taking over for Elton Brand. And how our team was constituted, Thaddeus Young is a huge part of our team and when Thad is on the floor he needs to play with good rebounders." - Doug
"We will have to think long and hard about Thad being a starter and the reason that would be is because Evan (Turner) and ‘Dre (Iguodala) are two of our best rebounders." - Doug
"If Thad were to come off the bench, then we are not a good rebounding team so there are a lot of things that go into how the pieces fit." - Doug
So some good news and some bad.
I get that they are waiting two years before anything's going to happen. Nothing meaningful will be done until at least next offseason, so they (and we) are biding their time. I get that. I really really do.
But the problem is: they don't want to be bad. They don't really care about being good, but they certainly don't want to be bad enough to not make the playoffs. So they'll do things like sign Spencer Hawes to a two-year deal (worthless), bring in Nick Young for a one-year cup of tea (swaggy but worthless), and the cherry on top, two years of Kwame Brown. None of those moves is going to do anything for the future of this franchise outside of their two year window. So the only reason they made any of those moves is because they don't want to be that bad.
The problem with this isn't the two-year thing. I'm fine loading up on assets until they make a free agent splash or a big trade or whatever. My issue is that they're signing guys to play in front of younger players with more upside than the guys they're signing.
Moe Harkless likely won't get 10 minutes per game this year. I imagine it'll be tough for Arnett Moultrie to get much more than that either. Nikola Vucevic, who they never should have drafted, will be buried on the bench. Lavoy Allen should get some time, but he likely won't start because Collins is worried about his psyche. Everyone has their own opinions of Thaddeus Young, but objectively, he has serious deficiencies shooting the ball, rebounding on the defensive end, and playing defense. More importantly, Jrue Holiday and Evan Turner won't be given the full keys to the Benz.
You can say "it doesn't matter" because it doesn't. But the fact is, this team is pulling in two different directions and they are going to have to start COMPLETELY over in two years. That's not the worst thing in the world in a vacuum, but since they can't stick to one tangible plan other than See You In 2014!, why have confidence that they'd be able to commit to anything then?
If you can accept the team's not good enough as is, why would you try to sign Lou to a 5-year deal? Why would you not trade Iguodala? Why do you re-sign Hawes? Were Lou and Brand holding them back from reaching their true potential? No. But their absences may keep them from the playoffs. To say the team wasn't as good and they need to make changes then trade arguably your (production-wise) 2nd best defensive and offensive players and nothing else? Not exactly an overhaul.
I dunno. Don't really care who starts next year. Going to be rooting for them to miss the playoffs until they really get the picture. If that doesn't jive with what you consider "ideal fandom", that's fine. I want the Sixers to win a championship. Everything that's not going towards that goal is tertiary and usually worthless. Tired of pulling both ways. See you in two years.