That is the question. It's a question fans of every team ask themselves at some point, and there's never a simple answer. The original question often poses more questions. Has the window closed? Do the players need more time to develop? The future of the Sixers is in limbo and these are questions that need to be answered, and answered before February 18th.
With Andre Iguodala trade rumors swirling, the proverbial line has been drawn. On one side, the fans who believe Iguodala is a good enough player to build a champion around. On the other side, fans who believe the Sixers' roster has potential -- but not championship potential.
I've gone back-and-forth with fans who advocate keeping the roster intact and their arguments are pretty simple: With the "right" head coach, an emphasis on defense, and normal development of the young core, the Sixers could win 50 games. And then who knows!
I agree to a certain extent. With a defensive-minded head coach the Sixers could win somewhere between 40 and 50 games for the remainder of the Iguodala/Brand era. They'd win a couple playoff series, and might appear in a conference finals -- but they'd never, and I repeat never, win a championship.
So, what is the ultimate goal of an NBA team? Win 50 games? No. Make the playoffs? No. The ultimate goal of an NBA team is to win a championship. Of the past 20 NBA champions, 19 of them have had one thing in common, a "superstar". Each superstar was either drafted or acquired in a draft night trade, and 13 of those superstars were drafted in the top 5. The bad news, the Sixers don't have a superstar. The worse news, they're talented enough to stay out of the top 5 on draft night.
(I know this will resurrect the 'Iguodala is a superstar' debate, but he's not. He's a very good player, but he doesn't fit the definition of an NBA Superstar. He can't carry a team offensively. He can't get superstar calls at the end of games. He's good at everything, great at nothing. To put it in perspective, LeBron James -- the golden standard for superstars -- is better in every facet of the game.)
The answer is simple; the Sixers need to have a fire sale. Trade Iguodala, Brand, and Dalembert for expiring contracts, cheap talent and future draft picks. Throw in Lou and Thad to sweeten the deals. Do whatever it takes to get these contracts off your hands before the trade deadline. In doing so, the Sixers would gain a ton of financial flexibility and be bad enough to pick in the top 5 for the next couple years. The Sonics did it with Ray Allen and the Grizzlies did it with Pau Gasol. Three years later both teams are poised to contend for championships.
It seems like a no-brainer to me.