Since breaking down the play of the Sixers is frankly a waste of all our time, my focus will be on non-game-specific talk. Namely: trade rumors, the draft and big picture discussion.
This morning I ran across this blurb from Mark Stein on TrueHoop:
The Sixers are only growing more determined to make a deal before the deadline. I’ve heard that in strong terms from three different sources this week already.
Which tells me we should expect to keep hearing more trade scenarios that include Andre Iguodala’s name.
Foiled in its longstanding attempts to move Samuel Dalembert and/or Elton Brand, Philly has apparently come to realize that its best shot at a shake-it-up move is convincing one of the risk-taking/big-spending teams out there – such Houston, Dallas and Cleveland – to absorb the four years and $56.3 million remaining on Iguodala’s contract after this season. – Mark Stein
So while no specific deal is imminent it sure as hell looks like Stefanski and crew don’t want to stand pat for the remainder of the season.
But that brings up a number of familiar questions…
What’s the plan?
Making a deal just because you are losing feel and you need to “shake things up” would be a mistake. I am all for making a move, but it needs to be calculated and with a purpose.
How does Stefanski feel about this roster?
Eddy S. has played a major role in sculpting this roster. No, he didn’t sign Sammy or Willie. No, he didn’t draft Iguodala, Lou or Thad. But he did bring in Brand, Kapono, Speights and Jrue. He did choose to resign Iguodala and Lou. And he has kept Willie and Thad on the team playing regular minutes. He also let Andre Miller walk and brought A.I. back.
I am confident in saying that this IS Stefanski’s team. Sure he is “stuck” with Sammy, but Dalembert has been the least of the Sixers’ problems lately. And in general it’s my opinion that Sam has done a solid job defensively and on the boards for most of his career. He is a goofball, sure. He is offensively inept when not catching lobs or putting back offensive rebounds. But so are a lot of players who aren’t half the player Sam is defensively. Sam’s not the problem!.
So first off, where is Stefanski? Well apparently he is out talking to teams about deals. But he hasn’t really said much about the roster in general. How he feels about the players. What the team needs to add or subtract. What the current goal is.
Does he still consider this roster a playoff caliber team or better? If so, what’s the problem?
What is Eddie Jordan’s status?
Making deals while not considering who the coach is or will be is a mistake. Unless you can substantially upgrade the talent, fit does matter both in the short term and long term. Trading Iguodala might make some sense if they plan on staying with Eddie Jordan and building a team around his offensive focus.
If not, shaking things up with an Iguodala trade would be premature in my opinion. I am not at all the biggest Iguodala fan, but I do believe he could shine under a coach that can do two things:
- Focus him and the rest of the team on defense
- Limit his half-court offensive usage.
Iguodala is a strong defensive player man-t0-man, which is hard to find. He isn’t as good off the ball as say LeBron or Wade is, but he is still good. Simply put he needs to be on a defense-first team surrounded by better offensive players.
If Eddie Jordan’s job isn’t safe and the team expects to go in a different direction, what that new direction is should be considered before trading an asset that might fight perfectly in that new system and style of play.
At the end of the day that’s the worst thing Stefanski can do right now. Overreact to the team’s struggles and make a rash move for the sake of making a move.
To be very, very clear: I DO think changes MUST happen. To the coaching staff. The roster. The overall direction of the team and the style of play. Probably even the removal of Stefanski himself.
But if Stefanski is still the guy pulling the strings around here, I hope he is not considering making a move in a vacuum.
He doesn’t have to tell us he plans to fire Eddie Jordan, but if he thinks that is a likely outcome then that needs to be a factor in any potential trade.
If they are trying to make a move for cap or luxury tax purposes, don’t f’ing lie to us and think we are idiots and use his standard line of “it was a basketball decision.”
I’d love to see some shaking up, but make sure it has a targeted and useful purpose. And that purpose should be winning more games.