All of us here at LB have been in a froth about the trade deadline coming on Thursday, and about the draft this summer, as events that will somehow transform our team from the lovable losers (or Mediocrats) that they've been since the late Iverson days, and if the front office gets these events right, the team will advance into our glorious future of championships and parades and puppies and sunshine.
I maintain that if you believe that, you're wrong. The Future is Already Here.
Do we really want to wait 3-5 years for our team to be competitive? Will the fans turn out for #TogetherWeBuild year after year after year until the likes of MCW, Noel, and Wiggins learn the NBA game and how to play winning basketball together? I didn't think so either.
Philly fans want wins. as many as they can get, as soon as they can get them. Admit it, even the most avid tankers (except Derek, but he's a statistical nerd curmudgeon) enjoyed those early wins against Miami, Chicago, and Golden State, back when the world was young and MCW was a superstar. Philly fans don't come out to see them get blown away by 40 points.
So, you're asking, how would *I* fix the Sixers?
You have to look to the truly successful teams around the league for a model. For example, Miami, winner of the last two championships. Clearly, what it takes to win is outstanding veteran talent. And if we want to turn this thing around, I maintain we must build around our veteran talent.
But, you might say, what about the young guys/draft picks we've invested in so heavily? Well, my good man (I assume women don't read my work. They certainly don't go out with me), our inspiration here should be the recent Celtics teams. We all talk about assets, and stockpiling assets, but what good are assets if you don't move them for value? Danny Ainge knows this. He dumped all his young assets to put a real team of top vets around Paul Pierce, and they won the championship. We have the young assets. KG is still available, and so too, probably, is Paul Pierce. You know what to do next.
And we ignore and discount our own veteran talent. Adding a few solid vets, and maybe one high-end player (we do have all this cap space, why waste it?) and putting them around seasoned vets like Thad Young, Spencer Hawes (should have been in the 3-point contest!), and Evan Turner (one of the best perimeters in the NBA!!) is the formula for instant contention.
We have the young guys people want. We have the draft picks people want. We should be buying, not selling. Can you imagine what a package of MCW (his value will never be higher) and the #2 pick (its value will also never be higher) could bring back? Or even Noel (his value will definitely never be higher, since his knee is evidently ruined forever since he's not 100% by now) and the Pels' pick?
Teams of 19-year-olds don't win championships. We've been saying over and over that we want our team to be champions. We need to build around our existing veteran core, plus trade for vets, plus sign free agents. That's how you put together a winning team. Ask the current Heat (allegedly to be adding Melo next year, too!), or the 2008 Celtics. They know what time it is.
It's Time to Buy, Hinkie. Get on the phone.