Hello, friend. Welcome to LB After Dark where one LB commenter uses his recent case of acute insomnia to write poorly researched posts on a 76ers blog.
The recent draft lottery has generated a surge of interest in our favorite 1-2-3-4-5-6ers. The interest has been a boon for this blog, with dozens of new commenters dissecting and analyzing this year's off-season activities. To the newly active commenters I say, "welcome!" It's great to see you all here and I'm excited to participate in lively basketball related discourse with all of you. Many of you are already raring to go and have some fairly strong opinions, or "hot takes," that you want to share.
But since the off-season moves more slowly than our capacity as fans to discuss and dissect the actual moves being made, there's the likely chance that your particular position might have actually been beaten to death by burning flails a month or two ago. No bigs! Here are five popular off-season hot takes that have been previously discussed by the LB community.
This post is not meant to discourage you from bringing these things up again or otherwise impact how you participate on this blog (lol, it's the internet!). It's for fun and educational purposes only.
Hot Take 1: Trade MCW and draft Exum!
This is a particularly "hot" hot take from just the past few weeks. The recent Rookie of the Year and everyone's favorite Australian basketball phenom are strikingly similar players. They're both lengthy point guards with limited jump shots and winning smiles. The thinking is that they have redundant roles on our team and since Exum is almost certainly going to be one of the two top prospects available for our 3rd pick, many have proposed using MCW as a trade piece to acquire other assets as we draft Exum to be a younger upgrade. After all, MCW's trade value might never be higher than where it is this summer.
Opponents of this position are aghast that we would consider trading a proven and still improving player for a risky international prospect. It's also bad form to reward a kid for playing hard in a tanking season by trading him before he gets to play with his best friend. This particular take might be dead in the water because of MCW's recent shoulder surgery.
Hot Take 2: Embiid and Nerlens can't play together!
This is pretty straight forward; the Cameroonian Bill Russell and Nerl the Pearl nominally play the same position. They both have their specific strengths and weaknesses, with Nerlens being a bonafide rim protector while Embiid exhibits the potential to be a dominant front court offensive player. Despite this, there seems to be a lot of overlap between the two. Like, they could literally wind up in each other's laps as they clog the key, mistakenly fighting one another for rebounds and blocking each other's shots.
Still, Embiid could become one of the rarest of rare NBA commodities; an elite, two way big man. That's hard to pass up. Regardless, it is generally agreed that one of them will have to learn how to shoot in order to play with the other and that they are both, simultaneously, tall.
Hot Take 3: Trade everyone for Kevin Love!
This is a less circulated hot take but has been brought up a few times. Kevin "Endless" Love is the marquee acquisition-to-be this summer and he is looking to move out of Minnesota and into the tender embrace of an NBA contender. Well, screw you Kevin. The Sixers are scooping you up in exchange for X, with X being some permutation of assets that is almost certainly too costly for a rebuilding franchise. There's no doubt Love would be great with our current nucleus of MCW and Nerlens but we would have to trade valuable draft picks to get him here for what amounts to a one year rental.
Hot Take 4: Jabari is overrated.
Jabari Parker is the most divisive prospect in this draft. On the one hand you see a polished, natural scorer who could become the 76ers' offensive anchor for the next decade. On the other hand, the gentle curves of his arms and lack of explosive athleticism are the markers of an athlete who will not be able to transfer his skill set to the NBA. We're particularly sensitive about this since that is the exact athlete we drafted four years ago with our number two pick. Oh, and he's not a great one on one defender. It will be impossible to verify which assessment is correct until Mormon Jordan starts to play in the NBA. Until then, we'll just have to argue about it.
Hot Take 5: #TeamPanic/#TeamChill Part 2 - Electric Boogaloo
This isn't really a hot take since there isn't a specific point being proposed. Team Panic and Team Chill are mutually opposed philosophies on how to approach the rebuild. The tension between the two has defined a lot of the discussion this past season, including the different positions on the four hot takes above. Like an original cast recording of Le Mis, it stirs up the passions of our community. At various points, it has threatened to rend this us in two and the newest version of this struggle revolves around our top lottery pick.
Picking 3rd guarantees us one of the draft's four top prospects but almost guarantees that we'll miss out on the Canadian Messiah and near consensus #1, Andrew Wiggins. It also puts us in the unenviable position of choosing between three exciting but dangerous prospects. Embiid's back surgery is alarming and reminiscent of the recent team history of acquiring damaged big men. Jabari, as mentioned above, is seen by many as having the highest bust potential of the four. And Exum, sweet Exum, is an unknown quantity; as mysterious as his accent is charming. There's a chance that one of these three wind up falling into their worst case scenario, which will probably happen immediately after the Sixers draft them third.
Our fearless leader Sam Il Hinkie, however, constantly stresses that we emphasize the process and not the outcomes. The Sixers can't keep Embiid's back from turning into dust or ensure that Jabari isn't the reincarnation of Michael Beasley. What they can control is their scouting and talent development. Their process has already given them the shot at one of these four transformative talents. That's pretty amazing.