Things aren't exactly sunny in Philadelphia right now. Man, that was the worst sentence I've ever written. I've turned into a 78-year-old national columnist. But having lost 7 of 9 facing a blind date with the very tough Houston Rockets tonight, it's as true as it is lazy.
So as we enter trade season, we'll take a look at what the Sixers have to do to get better, if they should get better, and what sort of assets they have in a potential trade. Grab your milk steak and follow me.
Is your team a buyer, seller or both?
The Sixers are most definitely both. They're also neither. It's a fairly complicated situation in that the Sixers are multiple things at once. They went all-in for Andrew Bynum and it hasn't yet worked out. We commend the crap out of them. But it also means they're between two ferns when it comes to trades. There's a case to be made for going after a guy or two that would fill the major holes, but that wouldn't give them the best chance to win a championship.
The best they can do is assess the market for a minor move that can clear some space and free up some playing time for high-upside young guys that could also potentially help in the short term.
If buyer, what are the needs?
LARGE PEOPLE. The Sixers bigs are impossibly bad. Spencer Hawes got worked by Chris Kaman a whole lot in Dallas. Kwame Brown has swords for hands and chimneys for legs and sweet potatoes for a head. Lavoy Allen is much, much better served as a backup. The void left by Elton Brand is a huge one, and while Thaddeus Young has been pretty fantastic, he's not enough. They need help. For some reason, Doug Collins refuses to play Arnett Moultrie. Thanks, Doug.
A backup point guard wouldn't be awful either. Maalik Wayns has shown... flashes... but he's permanently lost on defense and I hate the idea of seeing more Royal Ivey. Or any Royal Ivey.
....what specific players should your team target?
I've wanted Ed Davis for a few years and he's mostly disappeared in Toronto. Brandan Wright would be nice. I'm pining for Jarvis Varnado, who currently plays for the Sioux Falls Skyforce and would cost about ten bucks. Larry Sanders or Ekpe Udoh from Milwaukee? Greg Stiemsma? Seems unlikely that the Jazz would part with Enes Kanter. A wild card like Victor Claver? Marreese Speights would probably LOVE to come back and play for Doug, right? I mean, maybe Marcin Gortat? Excited yet?
If seller, what are the objectives in potential moves?
Find some junkie to take Spencer Hawes or Kwame Brown. Do not trade Bynum under any circumstances.
...what players are available?
Evan Turner would have been if he didn't step up this season. But he has, and he's definitely a valuable part of the core going forward, so he's going nowhere. Thaddeus Young used to be my favorite guy to put into deals, but he's got a major role in this hypothetical contender with Bynum.
And I'm pretty sure they can't legally trade any more first rounders. Basically: not much!
What are your top three trade ideas (please specify traded assets and briefly explain justification for each side)?
Trade 1: Kwame and New Orleans 2012 Second Rounder for Ed Davis
Well, Stefanski may feel like he owes us a favor. Or at least the high second round pick is appealing. Maybe he thinks Kwame would "teach" Jonas Valanciunas something? Basketball reasons?
Love the idea of Ed Davis, who knows his limits and shoots very very well inside of 10 feet, playing with Moultrie. Toronto seems to be moving away from Davis. Let's make that happen.
Trade 2: Spencer Hawes and Sixers 2012 Second Rounder for Marcin Gortat
Gortat's pissed, Sarver is Sarver, Phoenix likes doing dumb things. I don't know how Gortat would love playing behind Bynum if he re-signs here, but he's only here a year after this anyhow. They'd depend on him quite a bit and he'd let Thad do more Thad things without getting killed on the glass.
I'm as thrilled as you are.
Trade 3: Dorell Wright and Moe Harkless Trade Exception for Ekpe Udoh and Stephen Jackson Trade Exception
I don't know if you can swap trade exceptions, but screw it, I'm flying through space right now and this is gonna work. The idea of Dorell Wright is my favorite, but he's gotten squeezed out by (old and bad) Jason Richardson and Nick Young, so he'd be useful elsewhere. Udoh has been awful, but he's got enough length and potential in him for me to gamble on it. At the very least we'd be doing our friends in Milwaukee a favor by taking one of their lanky bigs away.
SO?!?!?! Talk about it. Talk about anything. Like vegetables or whatever. Because there's no shot the Sixers do anything of value this trade season. It's not even their fault. It's just a crappy situation. Sometimes those happen.
December 20th. Thursday. TOMORROW. I'm going to be breathing into a bag until then.