Well, holiday cheer certainly couldn't last forever. As teams have turned the calendar towards the new year, one of the first impending dates is January 7th. Organizations with players on non-guaranteed deals have until 5 P.M. (EST, Mike Levin) to decide what to do, keep them and guarantee their contract for the rest of the year, or cut ties and move on.
Out of the fifty players who are left to sweat it out until Tuesday, Philadelphia has six of them: James Anderson, Lorenzo Brown, Brandon Davies, Daniel Orton, Elliot Williams, Hollis Thompson.
For most teams, this day is important for those trying to stay below the luxury tax threshold or find a final bench piece for their playoff run. In Philadelphia, well, neither of those things are applicable. They could hit the club and use their cap space to make it rain and still be under the cap floor by a million or two. Don't talk to me about playoffs.
But some of these aforementioned Sixers have played rather large roles this year, and whether Sam Hinkie would want to 'keep or sweep' them is up for debate.
James Anderson: Keep
It's hard justifying getting rid of the only true shooting guard on this team. Despite losing his starting job to Hollis, Anderson's played okay this year. On a fringe playoff team who needs a solid shooter off the bench, Anderson probably isn't your best bet. On a team just struggling to be watchable, he and his $916,000 salary are worth keeping until the end of the year. He's arguably the most boring 24 year-old to ever play basketball professionally, however.
Lorenzo Brown: Keep
I'm not sure if I see anything in him, but it seems as though the Sixers do. While Michael Carter-Williams missed several games with a knee infection, the Sixers opted to go with Brown instead of the scorching hot Kendall Marshall, who at the time was with the Sevens. By the transitive property, I think that means Philadelphia believed more so in Brown's ability to make it in the NBA more so than K-Butter's, who is absolutely cooking in Los Angeles right now. He's worth keeping around in the D-League for the rest of the year.
Oh man NBA teams can start signing guys to 10-day contracts today. Cannot WAIT to see who Hinkie pulls out of his crotch.— Michael Levin (@Michael_Levin) January 6, 2014
Brandon Davies: Sweep
It's time to pull the plug on this big man experiment. Davies movements are spastic and he's ungifted on both ends of the court. He's pulling down just over 42% of rebounds per chance, and is shooting just over 36.4% from the floor. For the love of god, the man cannot thrown down an alley oop. With Arnett Moultrie almost ready to come back, depth at the power forward position is no longer a reason to keep Davies around. Let him walk, and open up a roster spot to take back an extra player in an inevitable trade.
[ed. note: this will be jake pavorsky's final post for liberty ballers. nobody sweeps brandon davies and gets away with it. rot in hell, jake.]
Daniel Orton: Keep
Daniel Orton is a curious case worth holding onto, even if just for this season. Leaving Kentucky early was a horrible move, and it's really stunted his growth as a player. He has minimal touch around the rim and his feet and brain don't always seem to be connected. What he is genuinely good at is protecting the rim. He uses his 7-foot-4 inch wingspan to his advantage, and is third on the team in blocks despite seeing very limited playing time. Most telling about Orton's defensive play? The Sixers DRtg with him on the court is 101, and 106.4 with him off the court. For a team that gives up the most points per game, Orton's job should not be in question.
Elliot Williams: Sweep
Can't shoot. Turns the ball over a lot. Has he even played this year? He just got bumped to the D-League.
[ed. note: jake, really need you out by the end of the day. pack your things.]
Hollis Thompson: Keep
The Sixers always seem to find some gold with their last roster spot. Last year it was Damien Wilkins, and in 2013 it's the former Georgetown product. Even with an increased role of late, his numbers have gotten better. For a team who is lacking in perimeter shooting, you don't cut a player who is shooting 55% from 8-24 feet. With production like his, Thompson could land a role with the team that extends beyond this season.