I don’t mind the tanking BUT…….
the blatant losing on purpose without showing any competitive spirit or desire to win games or develop players makes me sick to my stomach. might as well not play or just forfeit the games if you don’t intend on even playing. the Sixers made the NBA a joke just for the sake of securing their position in the draft. atleast show some decency on making the games as close and competitive as much as possible or make them enjoyable to watch.
And don't forget...
Sixers could have been a playoff team next year
if they hadn’t pulled of those pre-deadline deals to give away players that were at least rotation-quality.
Really think this is a case where the NBA should step in and penalize the franchise for so blatantly tanking. their roster, other than Young and MCW belongs in the D league at this point. At least in the case of Bos, Orl, LA and Mil those teams can point to the majority of their roster (accounting for injuries) as players that should legitimately be in the NBA.
(credit to user Ben16 for finding the comments from the Celtics "Blog").
This is the trending attitude towards the Sixers after trading both Spencer Hawes (Good luck in Cleveland!) and Evan Turner (uhh... bye...) on the trade deadline. Fan bases throughout the league have reached the consensus that the Sixers are tanking (obviously) but in the worst way, purposefully putting non NBA talent on the floor to lose as many games as possible to secure a top position in this upcoming draft. They question the direction of our FO, as well as there character for taking this route. But is that really fair?
The only fanbase that hasn't criticized the Sixers front office is our own. And the reason for that is a blend of intelligence and maturity, as well as understanding context and alternatives. First of all, the mass of NBA fans is a mix of people with experience, people with intelligence, and then twice as many casuals and fanboys. Despite the lack of true basketball minds in the basketball fan world, everyone just has to have an opinion on things. It is a critical flaw in there philosophy though, to not look into context before making your opinion. And the truth is, most people don't understand the reason behind their own team's last trade/free agent signing, let alone our's. But, the context behind the Sixers recent moves are pretty simple to understand.
How Valuable Was Jrue
At the beginning of the season, the team made it known we wanted to stack draft picks and get rid of what we had. It was evident by trading Jrue Holiday on draft day for injured prospect Nerlens Noel and the New Orleans Pelicans 1st rounder this upcoming draft. That trade was made on the premise that Holidays production could be replaced pretty easily, as the PG position is pretty deep in this league. And I'm not saying Hinkie planned this, but I'd say MCW is on pace to being atleast an equal player to Jrue Holiday (which I consider kind words). The difference is, that for the production that MCW gives us compared to Jrue, we now have more cap space until MCW's rookie contract runs out, as well as an additional draft pick. Mind you, the Sixers didn't make the playoff's with Jrue as our best player and he might have kept us out of contention to draft high which does NOT benefit the team. Although in hindsight, this move proved to be a great one and gave confidence in both Hinkie, for having the gonads to make the move, and Coach Brown for his obvious player development abilities he's used on MCW.
In terms of our remaining "core 3" of Evan Turner, Spencer Hawes and Thadeous Young, it's been a difficult season. They've been on the trading block all season, literally from the start of training camp. Evan Turner even went as far as publicly embracing that he'd be traded, saying Hinkie wasn't his GM. Rumors about Young requesting a trade immediately had surfaced, although he denied them. But the real story here is why Turner and Hawes were moved and not Young. We basically got a bunch of 2nd rounder's for both Hawes and Turner on the trade deadline, which some would consider the worst possible outcome. But there's context to be added; both have expiring contracts and even the dumbest GM wouldn't trade anything of value for a player they'd have coming off their bench that could possibly leave the team in 3 months time. Hawes was expected to leave the Sixers this offseason as he drew attention from contenders who liked his stretch 5 abilities, and Turner is coming off his rookie contract with a qualifying offer of a little above 8 mill this offseason, the type of thing Philly doesn't want to commit to.
With both players likely leaving the team for nothing this offseason, taking anything in return is actually a + for the Sixers. Evident by the team not trading Young. Young is in the middle of a contract, and would've had the biggest impact on the trade market even if he was an expiring. He's a two way player who hustles, fits well in any system, and makes playing out of position look easy. The type of guy any playoff team could add in and he'd push them over the top. So even if he was an expiring contract, the Sixers weren't selling low and probably expected a lottery pick or promising prospect in a trade for him.
So this leaves the question to all you desensitized fan bases throughout the NBA; should the Sixers have kept or traded Turner and Hawes? Is Hawes and Turner playing another 30 games for a team they'd likely leave worth not receiving a 2nd rounder or 4? It might hurt the performance in the short term, but the purpose of any NBA team is to put itself in position to be a sustained contender and having assets is key. Players who don't bring back value through trade, who don't help the team win, who command more money than they are worth are not assets!
Naivety, and Caring About Context
The last section brings me into the most important question, What are the Sixers really doing? Are they tanking to get a top 5 pick, ruining the entire league and proving they have no character? My response is LOL. To even come to that conclusion just tells me that people WANT to think that way. Being able to understand context is 1 thing, caring about it is another. The Sixers fan understand the context whether we want to or not, because we've had to live through a lot this past decade.
The constant signing of washed up vets like Glen Robinson, Chris Webber, Elton Brand, Andrew Bynum has tested our fan base. All big names, though all were expected to come to this team and put them over the top and none of them accomplished that. The irony of what people say about the Sixers, how we should still compete blah blah blah, is that we've done that this past decade. Instead of immediately blowing the team up post Iverson, we kept trying to win. Kept hoping to finally reach past the 7th seed in the playoff's, kept reaching for relevance. The reality is this, no superstar's or even legit stars wanted to come to Philly. It didn't happen when we were trying to be competitive, when we had a franchise guy like Iverson to play with, when we had the perfect #2/Robin in Iguodala here waiting for Batman. Although Philly is the 6th biggest market in the USA, we're just not NY, LA, Houston or Miami. We're a big market, with small market appeal and there's nothing we can do about that.
Talent, Assets and Cap Space
Or, maybe we can. Instead of signing washed up former allstars and making the 11th-7th seed in the weaker conference perpetually, why not blow it up? Although we're not NY, LA, Houston or Miami, those places all had 1 thing that attracted other star player's and I don't think this is a coincidence. NY had Amare Stoudamire (who signed because of the ridiculous money NY [ regrettably ] offered him), and they began winning games in 10-11. With the big city appeal and a winning team, they were able to attract and add Carmelo Anthony to that roster. The current pride of LA, the Clippers, drafted Blake Griffin #1 overall and his explosive play was enough to be able to convince Chris Paul to go there and they've been playing the best basketball they ever have. Lebron went to Miami specifically to play with Wade and Bosh. Houston's situation was a little more unique and opportunistic, as they were able to land James Harden and began winning games, which in turn helped to attract Dwight Howard in the offseason.
There's another huge pattern here, that people are missing. Each of these team's had assets that helped all of these moves come to fruition, as well as maintaining cap space to be prepared to make trades for stars on other teams trading blocks/free agents. In the case of the Knicks, they needed assets to help acquire Carmelo, as they traded guys like Felton, Wilson Chandler, and Danillo Galinari to make the trade happen. The Clips had to give up Eric Gordon, Chris Kaman and Al Faruq Aminu in order to field Chris Paul, but also having DeAndre Jordan made Kaman expendable as well as balancing the team in order for them to compete immediately with CP3. Houston had to give up Jeremy Lamb, Kevin Martin and a 1st rounder for James Harden. But without both Harden and Chandler Parsons, Houston probably wouldn't have been able to attract Dwight so easily. The Heat gave up draft picks in order to field Lebron, but it starts with Wade and Haslem. They attracted Chris Bosh, which in turn helped bring Lebron. No Wade and no cap space means No Bosh, No Bron, No chips. You can even look back to the Celtics in the 07 offseason, trading assets like Jeff Green to get Ray Allen, which in turn helped them acquire Garnet for Al Jefferson and others.
Point being, we're in a league where you need multiple solidified allstars, something the Sixers haven't had in decades, to truly compete, something we haven't done in almost a decade and a half. And the player's who put you in a position to win just don't sign with you for no reason. You've gotta have a player or 2 there that star players will have confidence in playing with, movable assets, and cap space. The Sixers aren't tanking to try and get lucky in the draft, we're getting rid of low value assets like Turner and Hawes, developing a reliable core with Young, MCW, Noel and whatever high upside prospects we draft, and we're keeping our cap space open. That's what the Clippers, Rockets, Heat and Knicks did, and it worked! But see, it's a rat race. Each team has it's own unique scenario, while trying to reach the same goal. We know OKC drafted arguably better than any team ever has, and had 3 franchise superstar type guys. But we also know that the Clips drafted BG and EG, and while BG was as big a success as you can have, EG wasn't but was good enough to be the key asset (key word here)in acquiring CP3. The Sixers are in line to have more assets than both those teams started out with, in much less time.
As time goes on, we'll see how everything pans out. Sixers COULD draft 2 players next season who are promising enough to help us win immediately, and have the ROY 2 years consecutively. MCW will likely continue to improve, and maybe 1 of our draft picks breaks out quickly while Noel and our other pick show promise but don't exactly turn into stars. Guys like Kevin Love or Kyrie Irving could see the pieces the Sixers have and want to come here to build there brand. You never really know. Point is, we have the FO direction and leadership to draft assets and talent, and the cap space that opens any possibility towards true contention in a few years. Whether other fan bases want to actually put facts or philosohpy behind their opinions or not is up to them. As for us Sixers fan's, when it works out let's not forget how much noise they made when we started this path.
What do you think of my views? Agree or disagree? Anything factually incorrect here? Please leave comments with your thoughts below.