So...after the Hawes signing I'm sensing some negativity...

Yes, I didn't really want Hawes back but this deal is only 2 years and he isn't being overpaid THAT much. Hey, he's a scoring seven-footer who is 24 and he still has potential. Of course I think Doug Collins is in love with the kid, but we could have easily overpaid and over-committed for a player who wouldn't have given us that that much more at all. Bottom line, Spence has two years to prove that he's worth big money, and we can send him packing if he gets hurt too much. Although injury and Hawes are like peas in a pod, we still haven't seen what he can do in a relatively injury-free season. I know Hawes is soft and needs to improve his D and rebounding, but he's still got time to work on those areas of his game.

The possibility of bringing Lou back is not popular here, but I would not be opposed to it, at the right price. He's efficient (few turnovers), although he could have better shot selection, and his defense, as Dre noted, kinda sucks. So many people want Brand gone NOW, but I think it's a better idea to have him there for the young guys to learn from, then trade him at the trade deadline as an expiring contract.

What everyone seems to be forgetting is that last year was weird as $#@$ with NO offseason, no organized team activities, and practically NO time for practice throughout the year. I remember a stretch where the Sixers went a month without a single practice. When you're trying to fit so many games in a limited time span, the players need days off. Without practice, these young players are forced to learn the game on the job, with little room for error. Doug Collins seems to be a stickler for the little mistakes, which led to less minutes for guys like E.T. and Jrue, but these mistakes would happen less often if the players were given an opportunity to practice. Next year is going to be better for development, but I'm not sure if we're going o end up with more wins.

I was surprised at how many people were so negative about the Sixers draft. They drafted a guy with potentially big upside in the middle of the first round and weren't afraid to get the guy they really wanted, and needed, in Moultrie. What, does everyone want the Sixers to WIN NOW?? With the Heat in our conference, it's going to be a few years AT LEAST before we have the chance to make any noise. Sure, I was hoping for more in the 2nd round, but if management didn't like anyone there, why not just get cash to use when shopping for all the undrafted FAs? We could still get a couple undrafted guys, maybe a shooter and/or a shot blocker (Temple's Michael Eric, anyone?).

Anyway, Sixers lineup next season

C Hawes / Vucevic

F Brand / Allen / Moultrie

F Igoudala / T. Young / Harkless

G Evan Turner / ???

G Jrue Holiday / ???

The absence of Lou leaves a hole but free agency has just begun. I wouldn't mind getting a veteran point guard to help with the development of our young guards. But with or without Lou, we need shooters badly. Hawes is probably our 2nd best shooter right now, at the center position!! I feel like Allen and Vucevic are going to have better years with an offseason and more practice. Holiday and Turner I also expect to improve. We have a core of young guys with potential and a valuable trade chip in Igoudala, so I wouldn't view this situation as hopeless. Without a first round pick next year, I think we're officially in the win-now stage, seeing what these guys can do. We're not going to contend for the championship until E.T. and/or Jrue break out, but that could still be years away.

I don't know if Collins is a great person to give more power to in the personnel department, but we could do worse. Give him a year, see how the rest of the offseason goes, and then you can tear him apart. The young guys have been getting too much hate for underachieving but the fact is that last year was an odd one to say the least. As much as you all don't want it, we need a regular year to see what this group is capable of. Then maybe we can blow it all up.

On the Igoudala front, I want him traded but I feel like all the other teams are going to try to steal him from us with lackluster talent. We might best be served by waiting for the trade deadline or waiting for a big-time injury to a star on a contending team. If Dre ends up playing on the Olympic team, I fear he will be limping through the end of the season. He played pretty well this past year because he was healthier, and he remains a great defender in the league. After his playoff performance last year, I'm done hating on Dre.

The Sixers were lucky last year with the Rose injury, which allowed them to get within a game of the Conference Finals, but they are still a long way from contending for a championship. This is going to take time, folks.

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