Jun 10 2013

5-on-5: David Fizdale, Melvin Hunt, Dave Joerger, or … Jason Kidd?


1. David Fizdale (Heat assistant), Melvin Hunt (Nuggets assistant), and Dave Joerger (Grizzlies assistant) are all rumored coaching candidates. Dine one, decline one, sign one.

Eric Goldwein: Dine Melvin Hunt. Decline David Fizdale. (Once you coach LeBron, how do you coach this?) Sign Dave Joerger. He’s young (39), he’s been part of a winning NBA culture in Memphis, and he’s got D-League/International championships. That’s enough for me.

Tom Sunnergren: Dine Fizdale, decline Hunt, sign Joerger. All three candidates pique my interest (Fizdale especially: dude’s credited with helping LeBron hone his post-game and installing some of Spo’s more gee-whiz sets), but the idea of a Hinkie-molded roster, playing at the breakneck pace his numbers demand, with a defensive guru like Joerger handling things on the other end excites me. I’m going to have to sit down.

Charles Baron: Dine Fizdale, decline Hunt, sign Joerger. Joerger’s resume is incredibly broad, having coached at three different professional leagues prior to joining the NBA. He’s won at each stop, and has certainly earned an opportunity to coach an NBA team.

Anthony Calabro: I would dine David Fizdale, decline Melvin Hunt and sign Dave Joerger. The Sixers need an identity, so why not become a team predicated on stout defense? Lionel Hollins may disagree, but Joerger was considered the defensive coordinator on a Grizzlies team that limited opponents to 90 points a game.

Wesley Share: Dine Joerger, decline Hunt, sign Fizdale. Fizdale gets the nod from me because, along with being an assistant coach of multiple superstars, he is Director of Player Development and has years of experience evaluating young prospects. Garnering three consecutive Eastern Conference titles doesn’t hurt either.

2. Jason Kidd reportedly wants to coach the Nets. Would he fit with Sixers?

Goldwein: No. I’m down with a non-retread, but a little NBA sideline experience would be nice too. If any former player could pull off the player-to-coach transition, it’s Kidd (or Grant Hill) but there are plenty of fish in the coaching sea.

Sunnergren: Probably not. While he’d be a fine tutor for Jrue Holiday, understands the game on a level few do, and would command the respect of the locker room, it’s not clear what kind of a teacher he is–which, given the sort of strategic/philosophic shift that’s ahead of the 2013-14 76ers, is the most important thing.

Baron: While Kidd should be a good coach someday, I’d rather avoid a newly retired player. He could use a few years off of the court to recharge, and gain a little bit more distance from the current players before really succeeding as an NBA coach.

Calabro: I believe you need at least SOME coaching experience before you can take the reins of a NBA team. I was not high on the Mark Jackson hire for the Golden State Warriors, but obviously I was wrong on that one. Still, the Sixers need a veteran (either as a long-time assistant or head coach) who can lead this group back to the top. Stay away from Kidd, Philly.

Share: Anyone who is young and intelligent would work, and Kidd certainly fits the bill. He played in the NBA this past season and is said to be among the smartest, most sensible players in the history of the game.

3. Bobcats rumored to want to trade their fourth pick for Chris Bosh (which isn’t happening…). If they offered #4 for Sixers #11 and Thad, should the Sixers do it?

Goldwein: Hell no. I’m not even sure it’d be worth trading Thad Young straight up. In the 2014 draft, maybe, but the players available at the no. 4 spot don’t appear to have the upside to make it worth dealing an inexpensive, reliable, efficient player like Young.

Sunnergren: Yes. I love Thad, you love Thad, we all love Thad. It’ll be hard to see him go. But Victor Olapido on a rookie deal is a much more valuable asset than Thad Young at 3 more years and about $27 million, plus whatever flotsam we find at No. 11.

Baron: Yes. There shouldn’t be any illusions that this Sixers roster is nearly good enough to compete, and they need 2-3 more high quality pieces before really making a run at the title. While Thad has been great, he’s a complementary piece, which is also what the Sixers should be hoping to get at 11. At 4, there’s the very real chance to grab an all star, and one the Sixers should jump at should the opportunity present itself.

Calabro: No. The Sixers can grab a need at the 11 spot. There just isn’t a huge leap in talent from 4-13 in this draft. The Bobcats want to move that #4 pick for a reason. Stay put.

Share: No. I’d love to trade up in the draft, especially to nab a player like Victor Oladipo who could potentially be there at number four, but the price of surrendering Thad is a little too much. He’s also a guy that Hinkie would like, considering how much his game centers around his hustle and efficiency. (Swap Turner in for Thad, and I’d do that trade.)

4. Who will be the more popular Philly athlete in three years: Jrue Holiday or Domonic Brown?

Goldwein: Dom Brown. He’s on fire right now, with 19 home runs through 63 games. If he becomes a consistent 30 home run hitter, the Phillies will market the hell out of him then hand him a five-year, $125 million contract that’ll kick in when he’s past his prime. Meanwhile, Holiday will be playing second fiddle to Andrew Wiggins.

Sunnergren: The Dominator. Though I have some concerns about the sustainability of his absolutely bonkers, out of left field tear (Grantland’s Bill Barnwell sketches out these concerns pretty nicely here), I think that three years from now Brown is at least as good as Holiday, and given the respective popularity of hoops and baseball in this city (a disparity that I’m not convinced is entirely due to the relative success of both teams–though that has a lot to do with it), I’m confident he’ll be the most popular non-Eagle on the Philadelphia sporting scene.

Baron: Jrue Holiday, as the Sixers will probably be better at that point. Both will have All-Star appearances to their names, but the Phillies could have a tough few years as they wait for their lower level prospects to mature. The Sixers will at least have a couple early playoff losses to point to by then.

Calabro: Domonic Brown is raking right now. If I go down to Center City and ask 10 people if Jrue Holiday was an All-Star last season, I bet at least half would say no. It’s Brown’s town.

Share: Jrue Holiday. Dom Brown could absolutely be a star three years from now, but I think in three years the Sixers will be more successful than the Phillies, and this city takes wins over anything else at any time.

5. Finals predictions:

Goldwein: Heat in seven. Game 2 demonstrated what the Heat are capable of doing when they’re desperate. Even in a game where the Spurs shot the lights out, they still won in a blowout. The next few games will be tight and the Spurs could even head back to Miami ahead 3-2, but I can’t see LeBron losing an elimination game.

Sunnergren: Heat in six. While Miami’s limp to the finish is starting to resemble that of another superteam from the recent past who dodged a few playoff bullets before succumbing in the championship round (hint: they were quarterbacked by Tom Brady), the Heat can hit notes the Spurs simply can’t. That should be enough.

Baron: Heat in seven. Wow, those first two games were great. I really hope we get to see five more, as both teams played great in Miami and that high quality play should only continue as the series goes on. Miami has the trump card in LeBron James, and that should tip the results in their favor.

Calabro: Heat in seven. I’m stealing from Steve Kerr: When the Heat clamp down like they did in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals and the fourth quarter in Game 2, they cannot be beat. If it goes to seven, the Heat will bring their defensive intensity to a level the Spurs just can’t match.

Share: Spurs in six, which was still my original prediction prior to games one and two. All the Spurs needed to do was steal at least one on the road to be in good position, and they did exactly that. Now, if they win at least two out of three at home they can be in good position to close out Miami on the road, and we know they can win on the road.