It was with great sadness that Liberty Ballers' Michael Baumann had his Air Bud moment yesterday, baiting Nick Young with a pudding cup and sending him off to bigger and swaggier things. We laughed, we cried, but mostly we craved a nice chicken caesar salad and got our minds focused on the other so-called members of the 2012-2013 Sixers, today being Dorell Wright.
We found Dorell on the doorstep of our fancy blog row home back in July (while also saying goodbye to Edin Bavcic) when he was acquired in a three-team blockbuster trade from Golden State. Dorell was two seasons removed from being the NBA leader in 3-point field goals made so it goes without saying that Tanner (me) was a happy little boy when he learned of the acquisition while practicing his backhands at the Liberty High School tennis courts. Give up nothing and get back a player I've always had a minor schoolgirl crush on? Is blue pen okay?
Although the team didn't collectively perform well, Dorell posted what most would call his second-best year in of his career. Yes he fell in to the Doug house at one point early in the season, but let's be honest with each other (relationships are built on trust, guys - I know this because I'm not in one), there aren't many players who haven't.
In a contract season, Dorell gave Sixer fans his highest PER (16.0) of his NBA life. That stat being the highest of his career falls right in line with many other advanced numbers that were in his personal top three, including True Shooting Percentage (55.1%), Effective Field Goal Percentage (50.8%), Win Shares (4.9), and Offensive Rating (112). With his 112 ORtg number, Dorell was a full ten points higher than the entire Sixer team collectively. I think it's safe to say that they were much more effective offensively when he was on the floor.
But you can use all the stats you want to defend why Dorell should come back and remain a member of the roster, I'll just be over here looking at the things you can't quantify on your calculator. What might that be? I'm not talking those cliches that analysts love to use when they're struggling to find anything concrete (see: high motor, toughness, killer instinct). No, no, I'm talking the fact that he flies in his own personal barber from Los Angeles on a regular basis to guarantee that he'll come out looking as fresh as possible when he steps on the floor. In a season filled with, I'll label it as "interesting" hair (Bynum, Andrew), the Sixers need all they can to reverse that trend. The perfect answer is to keep Dorell.
It is with that reason, and that fact alone that I'm in full support of the Sixers bringing back Dorell to be a legitimate threat to hit from the outside. Last season he made around $4 million and I think if given multiple years, he'd take a similar figure. I'd be on board with a nice little 3 years and anywhere up to $15 million to have Dorell stay in Philadelphia.
Go get 'em, Dorell. Stay fresh and keep your cut clean (followed by sports guy butt-tap).