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The Sixers Do Nothing at the Trade Deadline

The title may be misleading.

I'm sure Rod Thorn, Ed Stefanski, and the other nameless talent evaluators in the front office were not watching YouTube videos of cats farting while the clock ticked unknowingly to the 3:00 deadline. They probably made their share of phone calls and even received a few -- they almost traded Marreese Speights and Jason Kapono to Houston for Shane Battier (he ended up going to Memphis for Thabeet and a 1st). Although according to Chris Mannix: "The Sixers never seriously considered any trade offers. Teams recent winning ways made them inclined to stand pat."

The key here is that while teams like the Thunder and the Jazz and the Blazers and the Nets -- teams varying from contending to rebuilding or both --  were making gigantic or small changes because they weren't completely satisfied with the way their roster was constructed, the Sixers did...nothing. You'll have to go back to before the season started when they traded Willie Green and Jason Smith to the Hornets for never-used Craig Brackins and Darius Songaila, one of two movable expiring contracts that stayed put as 3:00 came and went.

While Jordan went on record today commending the Sixers for not trading Andre Iguodala, I am more reluctant to start handing back pats out to everyone.

There could be an excuse as easy as there were no good deals out there for them to make. There may not even have been a mediocre trade a la the Jodie Meeks one of yesteryear.

But by not making a move and standing pat, the Sixers are saying they are content with the team they have right now. And that, to me, is terrible for the future of this franchise.

They're putting all their eggs in this basket that, by the time Andre and Elton Brand expire, this team will be contending for a championship. The team that relies on a backup guard to initiate the offense, that plays the 6'8 Brand at center for most of the game, that watches the talented Marreese Speights play out of his mind one game and sit on the bench for the next two going to be contending with the likes of the Lakers? The Thunder? The Bulls? The Knicks, even?

For me, the answer to that question is no. The way this team is currently constructed, they cannot sniff a series win in the playoffs. Doug Collins, for as good of a job as he has done, will be leading this scrappy team to playoff loss after playoff loss after playoff loss. And the front office will cry "improvement!" to the fans who want more, while the team continues to rack up 42-win seasons until we get wrinkly and die.

Because the clearest picture of this franchise is this: They Have No Plan.

Since Allen Iverson brought them to the precipice of basketball royalty in 2001, ten years ago, this organization has been floundering. A fish that keeps jumping from puddle to puddle without ever seeing the ocean. The people want a title and all they get are puddles of mediocrity.

Look at a team like Houston. Daryl Morey saw the team he had, assessed that it wasn't good enough to compete for a championship, and got rid of key contributors like Battier and Aaron Brooks, while picking up high upside players in Hasheem Thabeet and Goran Dragic, along with two first-round picks. And they're tied in the win column with the Sixers. As Tanner pointed out to me, the Sixers would never do that.

Without a full turnover of the team into the hands of Jrue Holiday, Evan Turner, and Marreese Speights, this team will not succeed at the highest level. And it's because they've been content to take pride in immediate successes like a few wins in a row in January and February that they're reluctant to make a move one way or the other. This isn't to say that Brand and Iguodala aren't good players -- I completely appreciate them for everything they can do on a basketball court. History proves that teams need at least two bonafide studs to win a championship (Detroit '04 excluded) and as a pair, they simply aren't up to that level.

If Thorn and Stefanski seriously think the core of this team is there and all they are is one piece away from becoming a perennial contender (something I wholeheartedly disagree with), then go get that player. Go get Anderson Varejao if he's the missing piece. Trade Turner, Speights, and whoever for Kirk Hinrich or Jeff Green or Al Jefferson if you think they're the ones that will get the team to the next level.

But to keep the team as is when they had pieces to move is another poor move in the decade-long chess game being lost by Sixers management. While most of the NBA gets better or re-stocks for a run in a few years, the Sixers continue to wander around blindly without a fan base that trusts them to make the right decisions -- even if the decision to rebuild is the hardest one to come to.

Because there is no plan.

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