July 28, 2014

76ers Rumors: Sixers Making a Strong Push for Elton Brand

NBA front-office sources told ESPN.com on Monday night that the Philadelphia 76ers are again “actively involved” in the Brand hunt — and a very serious threat to tempt him away from L.A.

Sources say that the Sixers are growing increasingly confident in their ability to create additional salary-cap space by finding a new home via trade for swingman Rodney Carney and center Calvin Booth … and then make a sufficiently rich offer Brand would struggle to refuse. – ESPN.com

Basically Ed Stefanski and the Sixers are for real about improving this team now and will pull all the stops to get it done. Moving Calvin Booth and Rodney Carney without taking salary back (potentially to Memphis or Minnesota) would free up just under $3M on top of the $11-$12.5 in estimated cap space the 76ers already have. It appears they will use that money to first go after Elton Brand and I assume if that fails to pump up their offer to Josh Smith. If the Sixers can make the deal to gain additional cap space the Clippers should be pretty worried. That is, if Brand is really all about winning at this stage of his career. Remember this is an elite player who has only been in the post season one time.

Update: I think the deal to send Rodney Carney and Calvin Booth to Minnesota is pretty much done.

Does Elton Brand really want to win?

Let’s take a look at the potential rosters/situations of the teams involved to see which one gives Brand the best opportunity to compete for a championship.

Philadelphia 76ers

Starters: Samuel Dalembert / Elton Brand / Thaddeus Young / Andre Iguodala / Andre Miller

Top reserves: Louis Williams / Reggie Evans / Willie Green / Jason Smith / Marreese Speights

Subjective:

  • Brand is from New York and coming to Philadelphia would bring him back East closer to his roots
  • Playing in the weaker Eastern Conference from a competition standpoint gives him the best chance to compete for a championship
  • Playing along side a defensive-minded center always tends to benefit scoring PFs like Brand
  • Not a one-year wonder. With the young on this team and the addition of Brand the Sixers should only get better and be in contention for at least the next 3-4 years (if Andre Miller stays)
  • Team up with his old point guard Andre Miller again
  • With the addition of Brand the Sixers must get a perimeter shooter (Chris Quinn! We can offer him $1.91M for one or two years regardless of our cap situation using the Bi-Annual Exception.)
  • I think it is safe to say with the addition of Brand and say Quinn as a back-up PG and shooter the Sixers are easily a 50+ win team ensuring a first round home playoff series. And depending on what other moves Detroit makes, could jump up to 2nd in the East.

Los Angeles Clippers

Starters: Chris Kaman / Elton Brand / Al Thorton / Cuttino Mobley / Baron Davis

Top reserves: Eric Gordon / Tim Thomas / Brevin Knight / DeAndre Jordan (to my knowledge they are the only players currently under contract or expected to be. The rest still need to be re-signed.)

Subjective:

  • Brand is already the face of the Clippers franchise
  • In L.A. he is close to the Hollywood life he enjoys as a movie producer
  • He opted out released statements saying he wanted to return and that he would essentially take a pay cut in order for the Clippers to go out and bring in an impact player. Mentioning Baron Davis by name. Would he really go back on his words?
  • The Clippers would be much improved, but I still think that roster is only good for bottom in the Western Conference fighting for a playoff spot depending on how Portland’s young group does next season. Are they a 55-win team?

Golden State Warriors

Starters: Andris Biedrins / Elton Brand / Al Harrington (he will absolutely demand a trade if G.S. were to find a pure PG and Harrington gets benched for Brand) / Stephen Jackson / Monta Ellis

Top reserves: Brandon Wright / Marco Belinelli / Anthony Randolph (lots of free agents, would Richard Hendrix even make this team if they added another PF in Brand?)

Subjective:

  • Biggest pay day he could dream of at his age
  • Still in California to support his movie career
  • This team isn’t a playoff team to me

What it really comes down to for Brand

If he wants to win the Sixers are clearly the best option. If he wants to get paid while maintaining his Hollywood lifestyle, the Warriors are the choice. If he wants to remain the face of a franchise and stay loyal, the Clippers are the answer.

I don’t think Golden State should have a chance at Brand. There team wouldn’t be good enough. As a basketball player it should always be about winning and the money comes second. In the late stages of an elite players career money shouldn’t be the determining factor. Brand has money, he has been paid roughly $81 million dollars in basketball salary alone in his career. Never mind any endorsements.

If you are Elton Brand and David Falk (his agent) and you are looking at the teams courting him, is there any question which team gives Brand the best chance to win? Win now and for the life of his expected contract?

This is more than just Elton Brand for the Sixers and their fans

By making the move to free up cap space the Sixers puts added pressure on Atlanta as well. I don’t think they had or have any intention of matching “any” offer. They offered Josh Smith something like $45M at the beginning of the 2007 season which he turned down looking for a max or near max extension. Atlanta obviously wasn’t willing to bump their offer enough to satisfy Smith before the extension period ended to get a deal done. If you are an Atlanta fan why would you believe what that organization is spewing? Do you really think they are prepared match an offer of $65M or more? And I tend to give NBA people credit, and think they had to anticipate the number for Smith rising dramatically when he became a free agent. Why even let the guy get on the market if you were willing to pay that much?

Finally, isn’t this what we all have been waiting for? A GM knowledgeable, capable and savvy enough to change this franchise for the better. Not only that, it is clear Stefanski has the full backing from ownership to do whatever it takes. GO SIXERS!

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Comments

  1. The Duke says:

    There’s also the issue of his production company, which is is in LA.

    I’m a huge Sixers fan, but jumping to the conclusion that we’re a better situation than the Clippers to win (after the B. Davis acquisition) is debatable. Kaman had a heck of a year when healthy, Thornton’s an up and comer, and we all know what Davis can do. Do I still think we’re better…yeah. But, it certainly is a lot closer than many may think. Depth wise we’ve got them hands down.

    On another note – obviously I don’t mind seeing Booth leave, but I’m one of the few that believe Carney can become a player. Not to mention he’s the only player on our entire roster that can hit a three. All that said, if this is the move we have to make to secure a top free agent, I’m all for it. I’d just much rather see W. Green or R. Evans go than Carney.

  2. Ryan F says:

    I read this story this morning on ESPN and wasnt convinced that this move was to convince Brand to come to Illadelph. I think its a move to load a contract for Smith that ATL cant match….then I asked myself is J. Smith worth more than the 60 something mill we were going to offer him anyway? I dont know? I do like Carney, I wish we could keep him and trick a team into taking WG 3 mill contract, but If we have to lose Booth and Carney to get Smith I guess ill take it. The thought of Brand doesnt settle easily with me. Hes 30, coming off a injury and i dont think he fits in our system very well. So I ask you preference…. possibly alter the system with the proven player or go after the best talent to fit the system?

  3. Dannie says:

    Duke – you are missing a very important factor when talking about winning and getting to a Finals – The Clippers are in the Western Conference. I think the Sixers…

    1. are a better team with Brand than the Clippers.

    2. navigating through the Eastern Conference to the Finals would be a much more likely than the Clip through the West which I don’t think is debatable at all, do you?

    Of course we would love to give up the players we don’t like all that much on the Sixers but that isn’t realistic. Chances are if we hate them, other teams probably don’t see as much value in them either. Can’t get something for nothing too often.

  4. bski says:

    DANNIE: This is fantastic news. I think we’ve all been figuring we had no shot at Brand, whatsoever. Hopefully he is thinking like you, and he will see us as his best shot at winning a title. It’s great to see us being a major player in the off season and going after some big time players.

    Forgive me for getting off the Brand topic, but your last statement, “it is clear Stefanski has the full backing from ownership to do whatever it takes.”, caught my attention. Do you think that Billy King did not have full backing? If so, why not? Did ownership limit what he could do? Did they not trust him enough to let him “do whatever it takes”? Was he just a poor evaluator of talent? Was he a bad numbers guy that got us in a financial hole? Did he somehow feel indebted to Larry Brown and defer to him on personnel decisions? Stefanski’s brief tenure certainly feels much different. I’m just wondering what your take is as to why that is.

  5. The Duke says:

    @Ryan F

    I too wondered if this wasn’t to get more cap room for Smith and why people assumed it was for a move for Brand.

    @Dannie
    Can’t disagree with any of your points, but can play devil’s advocate…

    1) again, as far as the “better” team would go, irregardless of conference, it would be debatable. Especialy if you’re just looking at starting five.

    2) I agree that the Eastern Conference factor is a big one. I do, however, think the gap has closed a lot more than other people realize. I think the Mavs and Suns take big steps back after their shortsighted trades from last season. I also don’t think it’s unreasonable to assume that Chicago and Miami improve significantly this season. In the West, Portland could move into a position of power. Let’s also not forget that the Sixers play in the division of the defending NBA champions. All that said, yes, the East is still easier to navigate through than the West.

  6. Pete says:

    Dannie –

    I actually think the Clippers with Brand are a better team than the Sixers with Brand (its very close, and obviously no way of actually proving it), but, the Sixers with Brand have a much better chance of going to the Finals, while the Clippers with Brand have very little.

    That article you linked to indicated that we are trading a 1st round pick as well? Yikes, I hope it’s Utah’s next year from the Korver trade.

    I just hope that Brand isn’t using us to get the Clips to up their offer (by dropping players the way we have). He loves LA, has a movie career and more or less told them he would stay for less if they got Baron Davis.

  7. Pete says:

    by the way, I can’t believe how excited I’ve gotten Dannie about Chris Quinn. He’s going to be crushed if we don’t sign him.

  8. Dannie says:

    Duke – I am with you on both points. I have actually been arguing with Joe that the Eastern Conference has gotten better the closed the gap a little bit. Brand to the Sixers would really start to balance the power in my opinion.

    The starting line-up is debatable depending on who you like. I think the Sixers clearly have an edge at SF and SG. I think the center position is pretty close to even mainly because we don’t ask Sam to score. And Kaman is only slightly better in rebounding and blocks that it is pretty negligible for me. At the point Baron is clearly the better player and on the Clippers they need him to be a more dynamic player who scores and distributes. On the Sixers A. Miller could go back to his normal game and just be the great playmaker he is and not need the Sixers to lean on his scoring as much with the addition of Brand.

    Side note: Why do people think Brand can’t run the floor? I never saw this as an issue with him throughout his career. He is definitely not Josh Smith in that regard but he far from Shaq as well!

  9. Dannie, I just hope this deal will go down, if only there’s a way to ship Green somewhere and keep Carney (who makes HALF the money, btw)…

    at that point we would miss only a good 3 pt shooter off the bench (Eddie House-Jason Kapono-Sasha Vujacic type) to be a 50-54 W team and make a deep run in the playoffs

    Ed, close the deal !!!

  10. Dannie says:

    Bski – my understanding regarding Billy King was that he always had another chef. Larry Brown was always in the mix when he was the coach and “consultant.” Also, if I am not mistaken I think there were whispers that Billy King tried to trade Allen Iverson before the fallout but Ed Snider wasn’t having it.

    Beside that its more about management buying in “immediately” with what a new GM is trying to do. I mean I read that the Sixers were willing to go over the salary cap if it meant turning this franchise around. Paying the luxury tax digs right into the owners pocket and this guy hasn’t even proven himself with the team yet. Says a lot to me.

  11. Dannie says:

    Pete – the Clippers are better 1-5 or 1-10 than the Sixers?

  12. Pete says:

    I think that their 1-5 is good enough to make the rest of their team better as a whole.

    PG – Davis, when healthy, is an MVP candidate. Advantage: Clips
    SG – It’s nice that you have Iggy there, even though Cheeks will never play him there, but I’ll entertain it and say that this a clear advantage to the Sixers.
    SF- Thad Young or Thornton. I’d take Thad long term, but for next season, Thornton will probably have more minutes and better numbers. Push
    PF- Brand or Brand. Push.
    C- Kaman is not getting the credit he deserves here. He averaged 5 more points and 2 more boards than Sammy. Had more assists, steals and blocks per game, shoots 76% from the line and actually has post moves, unlike Sammy. He’s a much better player. Advantage: Clips

    Our bench is better, but not by much with Thad in the starting line-up. And, I really like Eric Gordon. Slight Advantage: Sixers

    Starting 5 plays a lot more than the bench, so I give the team edge to the Clips. But as I said, it’s all relative since they are in the Western Conference. The Sixers, with Brand, have a better chance of reaching the Finals.

  13. Joe says:

    @Pete

    Kaman needs the ball a lot to be effective though… Sammy doesn’t. That is why Sammy has a far better eFG% and TS%. Sammy also turns the ball over much less. They are different kinds of players, but overall Sammy is as effective offensively. When paired with a post beast, I think Sammy is the far better fit. Sammy is a better hustle player as well.

    I say Adv Sammy here.
    Baron vs. Miller is a push as well, since Baron always gets hurt and Miller is thereby more dependable.

  14. Morty says:

    Agreed, that it is very debatable as to which roster would be better with Brand, LA or the Sixers, but the East vs. West tips the scales in our favor. Not to mention that the Sixers have shown an ability to play together. I still think the odds are Brand resigns with LA, but you never know.

    While I also think Carney could still develop into a quality bench player (think Bruce Bowen) you have to give to get. Also consider this, Stefanski has very likely (fingers crossed) parlayed Korver, Carney, Booth and a #1 in the 20′s (Utah’s pick) into either Elton Brand or Josh Smith. I think everyone has to concede that either of those 2 scenarios would be a fantastic trade for the Sixers, no? Who wouldn’t trade 2 bench players, a stiff and a low value draft pick into an all-star quality player?

    Some Deep Sixer refugees may remember people howling on that blog that Stefanski was an idiot for not moving Miller, that we would not have enough cap room to be a player for a Brand quality player. Well, I think this deal tips the scale in Ed’s favor.

  15. The Duke says:

    Is anybody else scared that if Brand does re-sign with the Clippers that the Warriors jump into the J. Smith race? I know they’ve said he’s not on their radar, but it seems they’re in an all eggs in Brand’s basket mode. Where might that radar extend once Brand is off the board?

  16. Pat says:

    Yes, both teams would be very good teams with the addition of Brand but, i really dont think the west is that much tougher than the east, yes it is tougher but not by much. I think potentially sixers, miami, chicago, and washington will be better, and on paper toronto is a little better but no major threat, plus they got the defending champion celtics, detroit, orlando, and cleveland. West will improve too with the lakers, trailblazers, and potentially clippers, possibly houston if they are healthier which will still make them better but the east wont be a walk in the park next season i am positive on that, we got a long offseason and a lot that can happen, its gonna be a great year next season for basketball

  17. Pete says:

    Morty -

    You can take Utah’s #1 out of that trade, because we end up even after recieving it for Korver and trading it for cap space.

    Duke –

    Even if the Warriors jump in the Josh Smith race, we will still have this extra cap space and would probably offer him more than them.

  18. bski says:

    DANNIE: I always wondered about King’s situation. Your response tells me a lot. It’s tough for ownership to tie any GM’s hands or not back his decisions and then put the blame on him when he can’t build a winner. BK is probably sitting somewhere thinking, “Geez, if they backed me like this and let me call my own shots, I would have built a much better team”.

    Maybe ownership realized that they were meddling too much or being too restrictive, so now the are giving ES more of a free hand and more support. If ES is able to build a winner, he will look like a genius and everyone will wonder why we stuck with BK so long. They will think that if we had gotten rid of him sooner, we could have brought in a better GM and become a better team sooner. It will look like he was the reason we were spinning our wheels for years.

    I’m not saying that BK is just as good or better than ES. I’m not even saying that BK is good at all. Maybe he is just not a good GM and he really was responsible for our years of floundering. What I am saying is that, if ownership really did handcuff him or give him very limited support, we never saw what he was truly capable of accomplishing with us.

    You could be right that this support for ES is immediate. Ownership may still be in the honeymoon phase with him. It is quite possible that he could end up in a similar situation to BK in the future if he doesn’t deliver for us now.

  19. Dannie says:

    Duke – yes and no. I actually think G.S. would go after Corey Maggette then Iguodala before Smith. They have Brandon Wright who I think will see more time this year and they just drafted Anthony Randolph and Richard Hendrix at the PF position. Not to mention Al Harrington.

    If they can’t find a starting caliber PG they could just move Monta to the point and play either Jackson or Maggette at the two since I they are pretty interchangeable. And Nelson’s offensive style doesn’t necessarily call for a traditional PG. They run and play a lot of one on one basketball.

  20. The Duke says:

    It seems their plan will be to move Ellis to pg. I actually think B. Wright might develop into a heck of a player. Let’s not forget though that Smith is pretty versatile and can play the 2, 3, and 4.

  21. Dannie says:

    Bski – I think Billy King was pretty good at evaluating talent and think he will end up somewhere in the NBA doing that as a specialty. I think he wasn’t very strong in the financial aspects and contract negotiations which put the Sixers in a bad spot for a long time cap wise. Trading AI was the first deal he did attempting to clear cap space and change the team entirely since it wasn’t working. And then he got fired before we saw what he planned to do.

    I don’t think he would have traded Korver though to create cap space and get the pick the way Stefanski did. From everything I read in the past he had a high regard for Korver and turn down many potential deals for him. Guess its just a difference in GM styles. We will see how Stefanski’s style pans out in a couple years.

  22. Morty says:

    Pete: the deal looks even better if you don’t consider Utah’s pick.

    I’m sorry, but BK could never think several moves ahead like ES has done. Probably because he never understood the salary cap. I know that the NBA salary cap is crazy, and very difficult to understand, but that was his job. ES has a business background, he started and ran a mortgage company.

    Even last summer, BK was trying to sign Darko Millic, and giving Booth a player option. Those are just horrible moves with no rhyme or reason, especially if you’re planning for the future.

  23. The Duke says:

    Have to agree with these assessments of Billy King. Seemed to be a good talent evaluator. And though in retrospect some of his trades didn’t pan out, each one seemed to make sense at the time. His main problem, in my opinion, was overpaying our own free agents.

  24. jrpIII says:

    I has been reported that Golden State prefers Maggette over Smith, which yes, is great news with regarding to potentially losing opportunities with both free agents- Brand and Smith. Bottom line, here is that by creating additional cap space the Sixers have put themselves in almost a sure position of acquiring if not Brand, then Smith. But here are a few points to consider with Brand:
    (1) Thinks he can be a better player in the East, then the West–and I would agree.
    (2) Has stated his desire to be closer to home–he is from Upstate New York.

    It is also being reported that the only reason he has waited so long to take either the offer from G-State or the Clippers, was to wait and see what cap space the Sixers would clear. I even just read that Falk told the Sixers that. This is of course after reports that last Thursday night–Josh Smith left Phila. and Elton Brand come up from DC with his agent.

    Bottom line is when the Sixers look to be the odd man out and aving to settle with Kristic or whoever else, they are now poised to acquire either Brand or Smith.

    And this is your Tuesday Elton Brand gossip column. Food for thought when you consider whether Brand would actually spurned Clips for Sixers. He seems like that is the decision…Clippers with B-Davis (who is all cheeks and teeth btw) or getting post feeds from Andre Miller.

    I’m gonna follow up in a sec with my actual basketball thoughts.

  25. jrpIII says:

    Duke–Exactly…you can’t overstate the fact that King overpaid enough…He seemed to reward people for accomplishments in the past, rather then trying, ultimately, to move this team forward with a sense of tomorrow.

  26. Dave T says:

    I agree with Pete, I think the Clippers with Brand are slightly better then us. Of course, it’s close and very debatable.

    Pete, I definitely agree with your comment about Chris Kaman…this guy had a career year last year (some of the numbers can be seen as inflation due to the Brand injury), but overall he really came out of the gate with a vengeance and looked to be their go to post guy in the post. 18 pts, 12 rbs, 2 blks I think off the top of my head…I think he got sick of hearing how he wasn’t earning his contract numbers with last year’s play.

    I also like what you said about Thornton vs. Thad…Thornton being the better pro right now in the short term, Thad superior in the long run. I’d say the same of Julian Wright on N Orleans…these three are going to be looked back at as a great small forward trio of talent that all fell past the #10 pick in the ’07 lottery.

    Also…one thing I haven’t heard talked about is the Baron Davis/Elton Brand combination. Elton Brand, thrives with specifically not being the man. He plays best with a ball dominating PG, or another dominant scorer that can take a huge amount of pressure off him (a la KG with Marbury, Cassell/Sprewell, or P Pierce). I’ve always thought that Allen Iverson would have been the perfect NBA compliment to Elton Brand…Baron Davis fits the same mold. I don’t think Baron’s talent is getting nearly enough credit here…this is a guy that can win games as an individual, and is teaming with the 3rd best PF in the league. Teaming these two all stars is very dangerous, and they have great young talent to blend in with.

    Random point: How f**ked is Baron Davis if Brand doesn’t resign with them? He basically gave up 20 million dollars and an ideal team situation that catered to his style of play and was in playoff contention to sign for less with the Clips and play with a legit PF in Brand. If Brand leaves him out to dry…Baron will be kicking himself every day.

  27. Morty says:

    Here’s the one touch of grey: if we sign Josh Smith to a contract that averages, say, 15 mil merely because we have to do it to pry him loose, how does that affect our negotiations with Igoudala?

    From that perspective, signing Brand is an easier deal to sell Igoudala, who probably looks at Josh Smith and thinks he is as good or better.

  28. victor says:

    @Joe
    How can you even compare Andre Miller to Baron Davis. Miller is a great leader and I will not take anything away from him but Baron Davis is a much better leader and player than Miller is. Miller did a great job leading his team against Detroit but it still wasn’t much of a contest. While, baron davis led his team against the #1 mavs 2 years ago. D-Will all the way

  29. Morty says:

    Davis has not signed a contract yet. I wonder what he is thinking right now. Would he back out of his oral agreement with LA if Brand is not signing?

    By the way, I still think Brand will be a Clipper, you just know Davis is talking to him.

    • Suzan says:

      Great stuff from you, man. Ive scan your stuff before and youre just too fiatastnc. I love what youve got here, love what youre saying and the way you say it. You make it entertaining and you still manage to keep it smart. I cant wait to read more from you. This is really a great blog.

      • Ken Bland says:

        Suz,

        What kind of parent names their chip off the block Suzan?  Ma and Pa Bot have put you in a lifelong spelling bee going with the Z letter, rather than the generally accepted SuSan.

        I didn’t mean to interrupt your reaction to Morty’s point, but I felt an urge to comment on what I thought was the best part of your comment.

        Signed,

        funwithbots.com

  30. Joe says:

    @victor

    Baron has been hurt something like 5 of the last 6 seasons.

    Their defensive abilities are similar.

    Looking at the numbers… career per 36

    Andre Miller scores less(15 vs. 17.5 career)
    Andre assists more and has a better assist to TO ratio. Both marginally.
    Baron has a marginally better career PER.
    Miller has a better career TS%, meaning he is a more efficient scorer.
    Baron has a better eFG% meaning Baron is the better shooter.

    In the end, their statistics are essentially a push or a minor advantage to Baron. Miller never gets hurt. I like Baron a lot as well. When healthy, I think Baron is marginally better maybe, but at the end of the day for a 82 game season, Miller has been better over his career.

    Calling them a “push” is more than valid.

  31. Joe says:

    @Dave T.

    I don’t see it. Kaman is a fine player, but inefficient relative to Sammy. Don’t you want Brand’s front court mate to be efficient?

    Thad vs. Thornton

    In their head to head match up, I think Thad forced about 3-4 TOs from Thornton and Thornton ended up with 10. Thad thoroughly outplayed him.

    Thad was also superior in every aspect of the game in his rookie year. Thornton played more minutes and that is about all I saw in his advantage. Thad scored 2.7 less points on 3.1 less shots per 36 minutes and Thornton is the “better scorer.”

    It probably looks really bad that I am consistently guarding Sixer players, but they are just so damn efficient at basketball almost across the board.

  32. Matt says:

    The one thing I do like about Smith though is that he is 22. Meaning he is still getting better. Brand could have a problem coming off of his injury, but will probably be a 20 and 10 guy. Smith could better in a year or two, while Brand is on the decline…

  33. Joe says:

    Hollinger Chat is all about Philly…

    http://proxy.espn.go.com/chat/chatESPN?event_id=21378

  34. 215Guy says:

    Remember the last 20 and 10 guy we picked up….. anyone

  35. jrpIII says:

    What are the implications of a $14-15MM deal to Brand or even Smith for Iguodala? I guess if they are no offers for Iguodala, he ends up with a one year tender and the Sixers take a chance signing him on the unrestricted market next year. But, if someone like the Warriors come in with an $11MM plus offer, the Sixers simply cannot match that without moving more salaries. There seems to be some serious implications for Iguodala and his future with the Sixers at the point Brand gets $14MM plus. Quite frankly, they jeopardize losing him by not being ability match a deal for him.

  36. Matt says:

    I think if Iggy is looking for 13-14MM a year, and someone offers that than I think the sixers will move on and try and sign a 2. Honestly Iguodala is not a sg and should not be placed there, and btw if we signed Brand and defenses started doubling him in the post, he will be kicking it out to who? We need someone that shoots a high percentage and thats not Iggy.

  37. 215Guy says:

    @Matt

    I think if we add Brand it will attract more players to come here.

  38. Pete says:

    jrpIII-

    I think you can go over the cap to sign your own players. Could be wrong. It would be up to Ed Snider if he wanted to pay more.

  39. bski says:

    PETE: You are right. You can go over the cap to re-sign your own free agents. That’s why you go after the outside guys first and put your guys on the back burner.

  40. jrpIII says:

    Yea, at the expense at getting whacked by the luxury tax, right? As much as Iguodala is such a “non-shooter” they could not sacrifice his defense and ability to get up and don’t the floor. Remember, this is a Sixers team built on defense and running…they have to be careful not to sacrifice that. It is gonna take a careful balance of fulfilling glaring needs, but at the same team not sacrificing how this team has been built. I don’t think Brand does that in any way shape or form–just a quick thought.

  41. Dannie says:

    Morty – “Here’s the one touch of grey: if we sign Josh Smith to a contract that averages, say, 15 mil merely because we have to do it to pry him loose, how does that affect our negotiations with Igoudala?”

    Morty, I was planning on writing a post on that post alone if indeed we do sign Smith to a very big deal. Fact of the matter is Iguodala thinks he is worth a lot of money and clearly is listening to other players and his agent. If we sign Smith to a huge deal I can’t see how it doesn’t impact the Iguodala negotiations.

  42. Morty says:

    Dannie: Exactly right, which is why signing Brand is vastly superior when we take Igoudala into account. With Brand on board, Igoudala’s “I’m the #1 on this team” argument goes out the window. If we sign Smith, Igoudala’s case gets a lot stronger, because, even with Smith Igoudala is probably still the best player on the team.

  43. Jon says:

    Interesting debate on Kaman vs. Sammy. Realize that Kaman got his numbers increase in lieu of Brand, while Sammy’s numbers went up with his frontcourt teammate going from the weak Steven Hunter to a board monster like Reggie Evans.

  44. The Duke says:

    @Morty

    I think after this past season, Smith has surpassed Iguodala in most people’s minds. From a purely statistical standpoint (and I know numbers don’t always tell the whole story), in 5 less minutes per game, Smith avergaed 3 more rebounds and 2 more blocks than Iggy. All other numbers were pretty comparable. That’s without factoring in the playoffs, where Iggy didn’t help his case (to put it kindly).

  45. Dannie says:

    Duke – it doesn’t matter what is in “most people’s mind” if it is still in Iguodala’s mind that he believes he is the better player and deserves a bigger contract than Smith. And we know that players ego’s often have little regard for factual numbers.

  46. bski says:

    DUKE: It might not be what’s in other people’s minds that really matters here. What is in Iguodala’s mind is the most important thing.

    I’m sure Iguodala feels he’s the best player on the team. On top of that, the Sixers have elevated him to the role of team leader. After Iverson was traded, the team needed a new go to guy and everything the Sixers have done since then says that Iguodala is that guy.

    I don’t see him deferring to or accepting equal billing with anyone other than a true superstar or someone who is undeniably superior to him.

    Morty brought up a very interesting point. We’ll have to see how this plays out.

  47. bski says:

    DANNIE: Great minds think alike I guess.

  48. Dannie says:

    Dave T – “Elton Brand, thrives with specifically not being the man. He plays best with a ball dominating PG, or another dominant scorer that can take a huge amount of pressure off him”

    What is your basis for this? I can’t agree even a little bit with this. Do you know the rosters he has been on throughout his career?

    Brand as a rookie came in as the man on Chicago 20 and 10 as a rookie and 2nd year player. Next best players on those teams: Toni Kukoc, Ron Artest and Ron Mercer. We are talking about him doing that as a 20 and 21 year old.

    On the Clippers he again was the main guy every season and only one year did anyone lead the team in scorer besides him (Corey Maggette in 04-05 which is also the only time Brand has played along side a 20ppg scorer in a season). There is a reason Brand has only been in the playoffs one season these are some of the best players he has ever played with on the Clippers: Jeff McInnis, Lamar Odom, Corey Maggette, Andre Miller, Sam Cassell, Cuttino Mobley, Tim Thomas.

    When would you have ever seen him thrive in a situation like that? I just see no basis for that particular comment given Brand’s history and former collection of teammates.

  49. Joe says:

    @The Duke

    Iggy turned the ball over considerably less and passed the ball considerably better. Iguodala also fouled opponents far less. Iggy was more efficient scoring as well. They played different positions making it harder to compare them. I think their production is a wash.

    @jrp

    We don’t have to worry about the luxury tax really. It will be like 70-71 million dollars. We are at around 36 million right now.(including Speights) If Brand’s deal starts at 15 and Iggy’s deal starts at 11, that is 26 more which takes us to 62. Add in 4 for Lou and you are at 66. Then we have 10 guys. Fill up the last 3-5 spots with lower salary players and you are done.

  50. The Duke says:

    As far as I see, Iggy doesn’t have a whole lot of options. The Sixers can match any offer, which I think they’ll do. In fact, I’d rather let somebody else set the market and match than give him a one year deal so he can become an unrestricted free agent. Seeing as there doesn’t seem to be a team willing (or able) to break the bank on him, I’d say the Sixers are in the driver’s seat.

    @Joe

    I agree it’s pretty much a wash between the two, however I’m a little confused with “Iggy was more effecient scoring as well”. Are you basing that on his .001 advantage in FG% last year?

  51. Joe says:

    @The Duke

    TS% and eFG%

    Basically, Iggy shoots 3s a little more and much better than Josh. Iggy also has been better at the line throughout his career.

    eFG% accounts for 3s being worth 3 points, unlike FG%. This is so 3 point specialists can have their value actually seen.

    TS% takes into account FT shooting. This is for the Iverson’s of the world.

    Throughout his career, Iggy has been decently better in both.

    Korver’s eFG% is 53.7% and his fg% is 42.4%
    Iverson’s TS% is 51.9% and his fg% is 42.6%

    I am beginning to look more at them to show how efficient a player is, because it is unfair to hold Korver to his 42% since he is take a 3 every other shot. It is also unfair to look at Iverson’s FG% and not take into account that he gets to the line as much as just about any player who plays big minutes.

  52. Dave T says:

    @Dannie:

    Elton Brand is not an ideal #1 go to guy for an NBA team. He CAN be, but I’m saying he’s best in a situation where there is a clear VERY good scoring guard option that can run the show and take over games.

    What’s my proof? The one year the Clippers had the year that pushed them over the top, they had a very healthy Sam Cassell reach back and pull out a career year, and was the heart and soul of that team, while I’d say Brand was their “rock” or MVP. All the Clippers teams that either sucked, or were in the 35-40 win range had extremely mediocre PG’s (Troy Hudson, Jeff McGiness, and our own Andre Miller’s worst NBA year) and an incredibly even weaker set of SG’s.

    The Cassell and Mobley combo (back when Mobley was a legit 18 ppg threat) was a god send for Brand. Those Bulls teams you mentioned had Jalen Rose and Kukoc, but the team aside from that was horribly coached and was a horrendous mesh of talent…they were going no where. Check out bballreference.com and go through Brand’s lineups year in and out…he almost always had inferior talent, or injured talent, to play with.

    I’m moreso saying my view just from looking at his game. Some big men are completely dominant, and can just wildly take over a game and put the team on their back for wins (Dream, Shaq, Duncan, Ewing, etc)…these guys you can build around with more of a very-good-but-not-all-star talent level guards and defensive role players.

    Brand is not that type of guy. He is the single most rock solid PF in the NBA aside from KG and Duncan. He has averaged 18 and 10 or 20 & 10 and higher since his rookie year (which is astonishing)…but he is not the type to put the team on his back if the need a mega scoring night and drop 35 – 40 on someone.

    He and Carlos Boozer are extremely similar players…6’8 – 6’9 guys who are tanks as PF’s, have some of the best old school big men footwork in the NBA, and just are automatic at scoring inside the paint with their back to the baskets. They will give you 20 & 10…but will rarely binge score on opponents. They need that guard (Booz has Deron) that can also drop 18-25 a game on a given night to take the pressure off. Obviously all big men need that to a certain extent, but I’d definitely put KG, Brand and Boozer in the category where they work best with a great scoring point guard. It utilizes their talent best.

    This is especially true for Brand, as even when he scores 20 (or the one monster year where he went for 24 ppg during their playoff run in 06)…the scoring isn’t the most important thing he brings to the table. Like KG, Brand is one of the best one on one and individual defenders in the game. Almost every big man in the NBA has said playing against Brand is a total nightmare between his defense and the way he crashes the boards. He has always been a great shot blocker as well, and him just being on the court changes the whole dynamic of the defense and can anchor it. When a team has a scoring PG that can drop 30+ on a given night, it allows Brand to concentrate on that stuff 100%, just like Ray and Pierce allow KG to.

    I’ll put it this way…and this is just my opinion, but take:
    -Alonzo Mourning (during his peak)
    -KG
    -Brand
    -Boozer
    -J O’Neal (during his peak)

    For those four guys, I think the ideal fit for guard is a guy like:
    -Chauncy Billups
    -Baron Davis
    -Allen Iverson
    -Gilbert Arenas

    Whereas if we’re talking:
    -Dream
    -Ewing
    -David Robinson
    -Duncan
    -Amare

    …I think they would work best with either a trio of great veteran PG’s and swingmen, or pass first PG’s.

    Not saying this is set in stone…just kind of a general rule to follow. Sometimes even-level alpha dog talents can work (Shaq/Penny, Shaq/Kobe, Magic/Kareem, etc)…but usually I think there needs to be a set pecking order where either the guard or the big man is ok with letting the other get his as long as it leads to W’s. I think Brand has that personality. Same reason, for instance, I think LeBron James & Melo would be a shitty fit (they’d vie for the spotlight), whereas LeBron and…Vince Carter, vintage Ray Allen, or Michael Redd, chemistry wise, would work better.

    I just see Brand more in the category of KG that his game is best suited to being the “rock” of the team, but deferring to guards when needing to score so he can do the little things and be the team’s MVP that way. The even keel 20 & 10 guys need a scorer to go nuts for the team to be most effective. Baron Davis is the epitome of that.

  53. Dave T says:

    Two other examples of what I mean above:

    -Karl Malone was the ideal fit with Stockton (a completely selfless assist machine PG) then he would be with a Billups type, or a 19 and 6 assist type.

    -Chris Webber was the opposite…he thrived with having Bibby and Peja as mega scorers at the wing and guard spot, the team won…as opposed to in Washington, whereas when Webber was THE sole scorer, and Rod the main assist guy…led to great stats but not a lot of wins.

  54. The Duke says:

    @Joe

    Iggy shot 307 three pointers, making only 101. For three point attempts, he ranked 22nd in the eastern conference and had the lowest 3 point percentage among those 22. In fact, he had the lowest percentage among the top 38! Smith shot only 99, sinking 25. Point being, neither is a three point shooter, but at least Smith knows it. I would certainly take that into account when addressing “efficiency.”

  55. Joe says:

    @The Duke

    Take the difference then between Iggy and Josh… 76 of 208 from 3 = 36.5%. So Iggy is like having Josh Smith shooting 3s plus that.

    eFG% is defined by basketball-reference as… “Effective Field Goal Percentage; the formula is (FG + 0.5 * 3P) / FGA. This statistic adjusts for the fact that a 3-point field goal is worth one more point than a 2-point field goal. For example, suppose Player A goes 4 for 10 with 2 threes, while Player B goes 5 for 10 with 0 threes. Each player would have 10 points from field goals, and thus would have the same effective field goal percentage (50%).”

    So basically 33% from 3 = 50% from 2.

  56. Joe says:

    Done verbal commitment.

    We are the #2 defense in the East.

  57. cobra kai says:

    i think you overvalue how good the sixers are and undervalue how solid the w’s are and would be with brand. monta is a stud , jackson averages 20 ppg, biedrins is mr. double double, etc.
    the sixers were a cute story this year, but andre disappeared in the playoffs and thaddeus young and dalembert are not exactly world beaters.

  58. raro says:

    woooooow this is crazy. #2 defense? How bout #2 overall? Add a shooter and… heck, our shooting is about to get a whole lot better. Now we have one last issue to resolve: do we play/pay Iguodala at the two? I’m thinking this also will be resolved within the next eight days. Three cheers for Stefanski!

  59. bski says:

    Holy stinkin’ cow!!! I can’t believe ES pulled this off. Re-sign Iguodala and Williams, add a shooter(Chris Quinn), and we are looking a whole lot better boys.

  60. Morty says:

    Stefanski turned Korver, Carney and Booth into Elton Brand and a 2nd round pick. This guy is the man!

  61. indo says:

    Actually, stefanski/Billy King turned Iverson, korver, carney, and booth into Elton Brand, Andre Miller, Jason Smith, and a 2nd round pick.

    Looks even better…

  62. jrpIII says:

    I’d court the shit outta Brent Barry right now. He’s the guy (albeit short-term solution–due to his age, but CHEAP) that this Sixers team needs off the bench as a shooter–he is as deadly as anyone in the league and can still get up and down the floor with the best of them, not to mention a hell of a floor general/passer. He also plays well off a power post player in his aility to find open shots outta the post and cut to the basket.

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