Welcome to an offseason edition of the Liberty Ballers mailbag. We received some great questions from the community forum and via Twitter. The post started getting a little long, so I didn’t get around to our Twitter questions. But I’ve got them saved, and I look forward to addressing them in a second edition of this mailbag. For now, let’s get to the community’s questions.
thoughts on the tobi and boban goldfish commercial? (figured i’d start with a hardball question)
So there’s two Tobi and Bobi goldfish commercials. The one with the Bobi bag, a colossal bag of Goldfish relative to a normal bag of Goldfish, is pretty wholesome content. The absurdity of the bag’s size is humorous. But even funnier is the implication that comes along with offering Tobias the Tobi bag, which is demonstrably tiny in comparison to the Bobi bag.
The other commercial is fine. Tobi sticks his hand into the bag off goldfish rather than pouring it into his hand. Bobi is offended at first, but then gives it a go himself and destroys the bag, wasting goldfish and leaving a mess that someone else surely had to clean up.
Side note: stick your hand into a shared bag of chips all you want. Double dip for all I care. That stuff never bothered me. (I can’t, however, bite a piece of food that someone else has already taken a bite out of.)
Additional side note: Goldfish are an okay snack, but there’s a long list of snacks I’d prefer to Goldfish. I’ll eat them if they’re around, but you’ll never catch me pulling them off the shelf at the grocery store.
Who is a FA you really wanted?
I’m not sure there was a free agent I really wanted the Sixers to sign — it wasn’t a great free agency class. Even players I found to be attractive options were paid salaries the Sixers couldn’t afford.
Commenter CamdenSixers named Rudy Gay, which is a signing I’d definitely be on board with. Gay has become a very effective player in the later stages of his career and he’s got a skill set that allows him to slide into any lineup.
Nicolas Batum would have been a great addition for the Sixers as someone who could play the three or four, shoot four three-pointers a game and play above-average defense. But he had no intentions of leaving L.A.
Terence Davis never had a realistic shot at shaking loose from the Sacramento Kings, being a restricted free agent. But he’s a player I’d have liked to see in a Sixers uniform.
Mike Muscala is probably a better option than Andre Drummond as a backup center, though Muscala got more than the minimum.
How far does the Simmons for Lillard trade really get the Sixers versus other options?
Given the amount of team assets given up — e.g., Simmons, Maxey/Thybulle (or both), plus first round picks and swaps.
Does the probability of the Sixers reaching the NBA Finals increase dramatically over the next 2 years — i.e., will the Sixers really beat the Nets, or even the Bucks, Hawks, or Celtics with such a depleted line up relying principally on two real All Stars?
If not, should they consider other options?
A healthy Nets squad scares me the most. I’m not sure anyone is beating them if they are fully healthy, but health is certainly no guarantee. Let’s look at the title winner from last season versus next season’s Sixers plus Lillard.
Holiday-Middleton-Antetokounmpo-Tucker-Lopez, with Portis, Teague, Forbes and Connaughton off the bench.
Lillard-Curry-Green-Harris-Embiid, with Korkmaz, Niang, Drummond and, uhhh, Milton? off the bench. Maybe Isaiah Joe replaces Milton and you hope for an upgrade over Drummond through trade or buyout market.
Can the Sixers win that series? I could see it with rose-colored glasses, but the Bucks are favorites. (And that’s last year’s Bucks — they could get better.) I’m not sure how that hypothetical Sixers team defends Giannis without absolutely depleting Joel Embiid. And I don’t know who runs point when Dame needs a breather. Maybe you just go shooters + Embiid when Lillard is off the floor. You would need Tobias to have the best series of his life. With Lillard, you wouldn’t need so much from Embiid on offense.
Looking at that lineup, it feels like the Sixers need to do whatever possible to retain Tyrese Maxey and find a Giannis ‘stopper’ (using stopper in the most generous way) somehow, someway. Someone who can at least make his life difficult. Lillard-Curry-Green-Harris-Embiid, with Maxey, Niang, a forward who can defend and a five who can stretch. Maybe you can package Milton and Korkmaz (almost $6.5 million in outgoing salary) for a valuable contributor in the front court. Man, if only Robert Covington was still a Sixer.
They should remain open to all options. An alternative may arise. And Dame may not end up wanting out/the Sixers could be outbid.
It feels absurd that Korkmaz is only 24 years old. There will come a time when he puts it all together. He needs to rein himself in in some areas while really perfecting the little things that make a player a great off-ball shooter. Someday, he’s going to become one of those guys that every contender would love to acquire midseason.
What will change Doc’s mindset in having BBall Paul play meaningful minutes?
It would help if Paul Reed gets his fouling under control.
Let’s say no Simmons deal materializes and we run it back
Chances Maxey replaces Curry in the starting lineup? They’d be a lethal pick and roll combo, and having a secondary ballhandler who can score at all three levels would allow Ben opportunities for easy (and confidence building) buckets. Plus, Seth’s shooting off the bench would be lethal.
Seth Curry’s minutes should overlap with those of Joel Embiid as much as possible. For that reason alone, I’m not taking Seth Curry out of the starting lineup.
Tyrese Maxey averaged 15.3 minutes per game last season. Making him a starter more than doubles his minutes. That’s a big leap for a second year player who has some improving to do on the defensive end. Maxey seems like a rise-to-the-occasion type of player, but I think he and the Sixers would be better served with Maxey as a sixth man this season. Tyrese is very secure with the ball and he provides the scoring spark you touched on. I think that addresses a lot of the problems the Sixers’ bench has had in recent years. Bench + Tobi? Maxey can run pick and roll with Drummond, while being flanked by shooters in Korkmaz and Niang. I like that.
Also, Ben doesn’t seem like the type of guy to respond positively to a ball handler being added to the starting lineup. See: Jimmy Butler.
New approach on offence
I felt that last season there was an extremely high number of Joel isolation post plays. After watching the olympics FIBA basketball I realised how tedious it was to watch this iso brand of basketball and the subsequent free throw test. I have reflected that perhaps the coaching staff were pushing this to try to push Joel’s numbers up into the MVP conversation.
Now that the super max contract has been secured, I wonder if the approach will change this season?
— Net grab layup
Glen Rivers? Changing Approach?
What’s up with Bassey? What sort of contract is he actually looking for? How many contract options actually exist for a #53 pick?
He’s waiting for Anthony Tolliver to be waived, I’d guess. The Sixers have Grant Riller and Aaron Henry on two-ways. So Bassey probably gets an NBA deal. Hinkie Special?
Followup question: Reasonable return for Tobias?
I’ve seen eighteen million proposed Ben trades, but haven’t really seen any possible scenarios for dealing Tobi
How about CJ McCollum? Portland wants to shake things up and likely wants to hold onto Dame if possible. Why don’t the Sixers take their other longtime guard? Seth Curry becomes expendable on a very team-friendly salary. You give up way fewer assets than trading for Lillard. And you still have Ben to trade.
Porzingis? Harrison Barnes and Marvin Bagley? I don’t know who is going to take on Tobias’ salary and length of commitment. Meanwhile Tobias is good enough that the Sixers shouldn’t just give him away to get rid of the salary. Tough spot.