Feb 19 2015

5-on-5: Deadline Day Wrap-Up

Things went down at the deadline. Things I didn’t expect. In the morning, the Sixers used their cap space to get a 1st-round pick for taking on Javale McGee’s salary (2 years, $23.25). The pick came from Denver and was originally from OKC. It is protected 1-18 in 2015, 1-15 in 2017, and it becomes two 2nd-rounders (2018, 19) if it’s not conveyed by then. They also dealt Cenk Akyol, and got back Chu Chu Maduabum.

That wasn’t much of a surprise. But then, well, I’m still trying to make sense of it. At the 3 p.m. deadline buzzer, the Sixers got in on a three-team mega deal that sent Michael Carter-Williams to Milwaukee, Brandon Knight to Phoenix, and the Lakers top-5 protected 2015 1st-rounder (top-3 in 2016) to Philly. And then, the Sixers also dealt K.J. McDaniels to Houston for Isaiah Canaan and Denver’s 2015 2nd (or Minnesota, if the Timberwolves finish better than the Nuggets).

It’ll take a little while to sink in, but here’s a 5-on-5 with our collective thoughts:

1. The Sixers get a ___ for the Michael Carter-Williams trade.

Goldwein: B. Value-wise, this was a great return. MCW, right now, is a below average starting point guard, with a lot of potential if he could learn to shoot. In return, they got what could be a high lottery pick; I don’t see the Lakers being good any time soon.

That said, MCW was an important young player on this current shell of an NBA team. Trading one of the players that’ve been around comes with a real cost to morale. Is it worth risking that for a lotto pick? We’ll see.

Share: A-. The time to sell high on MCW, or so we thought, was last June. Getting a pick as valuable as LA’s is unheard of. Losing him hurts, but given his shooting woes, he probably was never the point guard to complement potentially multiple big men going forward.

Toporek: B+. MCW’s rookie season inflated his trade value, and Hinkie took advantage before the sell-high window slammed shut. MCW’s shooting has long been his so-called “swing skill,” and one-and-a-half seasons into his NBA career, we haven’t seen much (if any?) progress in that regard. Even if the Lakers don’t convey their pick this year, it’s hard to imagine them becoming a playoff team next season given how deep the West is. This deal could have negative draft-day repercussions, though, as it could box Hinkie into taking a PG with the Sixers’ top-five pick.

Smolen: I don’t feel comfortable giving this a grade right now. I’m 100% for doing what needs to be done to make the Sixers as good as they possibly can be in the long haul. And it is reasonable to assume that MCW may not have been a part of that future, and at this moment, the Lakers pick is a good return for the player MCW is.

BUT!!! I’m assuming the Lakers keep their pick this year and finish with around the 8th worst record next year. If in 2013, I told you I’d trade you the 8th pick in 2016 for the 11th pick in 2013, would you do it? Obviously, the current realities have changed, but I can’t shake the feeling that this feels almost like a do-over. Also, just speaking as a fan, this year has been fun. MCW was inefficient and may not be a building block, but I had fun watching him and this team play. I don’t think the rest of this season will be fun, and that has to count for something.

Stone: B+, after a lot of calming down. The game-plan has always centered around hitting a home-run, and with the Lakers’ really, really valuable pick, they’ve added at least another chance at hitting the home-run. Hinkie clearly didn’t see MCW as part of the long-term plan, and he essentially flipped him when his stock was possibly higher than it was ever going to be. You can’t complain with that. But make no mistake, this would have been an easy A if Isaiah Thomas had come along in the deal, as was initially reported.

The trade also comes with somewhat of a weird sense of relief, doesn’t it? Let’s not kid ourselves – we’ve spent the last year and a half staring at MCW’s stats from a variety of angles, attempting to convince ourselves he was something more than high-energy, abominable shooter we saw on the court every night. MCW brought a great spark to this team, but now we can sit back and enjoy him playing for a playoff team without trying to will him into a player he never truly was.
2. The Sixers get a __ for the K.J. McDaniels trade.

Goldwein: B. I suspect that Sixers management knows things about K.J. that we don’t. That could be related to his upcoming contract — he’s a restricted free agent this summer. That could also be related to his production.

I thought he was good. After all, he was a regular on SportsCenter. But in return they got a player in Canaan who was getting key minutes for a very strong Western Conference team. He’s on a team-friendly contract, and he’s arguably more productive than MCW. Also: Denver’s 2015 pick is projected to be 37th. K.J. was picked 32nd.

Share: C+. It’s likely that, despite their wide open cap sheet, they didn’t see it as worth their while to match the lofty offer sheets he could get this summer. Now, I’m sure the Sixers know a whole lot more about him and his impending free agency than we do, but high-flying, versatile 3-and-D players don’t get plucked in the second round all too often. I’m convinced there could be more to it behind the scenes, but on the surface, it’s an underwhelming move.

Toporek: B-. You have to view this deal in conjunction with the MCW trade. With MCW gone, the Sixers didn’t have a single healthy point guard on the roster. (Although they immediately re-signed Tim Frazier to a second 10-day contract after the deadline dust settled, per Marc Spears.) Canaan, who’s signed to a team-friendly deal through 2015-16, addresses that concern. Maybe he pans out and winds up being a Tony Wroten-esque steal, maybe not. Either way, the Sixers needed a PG to replace MCW, and grabbing a young prospect with upside gets a thumbs up. I can’t help but feel another contender would have shelled out more for K.J., though. A high second-round pick and Canaan feels like a light return for him, even after factoring in his impending date with restricted free agency.

Smolen: B-. I have hope that Canaan will be able to do something positive, and he kind of has to now that he is the de facto starting point guard. But frankly, this feels a little bit like Hinkie got beat at his own game. K.J. powerplayed his way into a one-year deal, and, now that he’s shown he has a modicum of promise, Hinkie has sold him. I don’t have faith in K.J. becoming a star. So what bothers me about this is what bothers me about the rest of the day: It’s not the return, but the idea that the future remains the future. I’m in this for the long haul, but I admit it’s hard for me to stomach further delays.

Stone: F… is what was on the mind of every fan when the trade was initially announced, as a highlight reel of KJ dunks flashed before our eyes like a dying vision. But again, with time, I think this is another B+ trade. Deflate MCW’s stats and adjust Canaan’s stats to starter minutes and honestly, the discrepancy between the two players doesn’t seem THAT wide. Then factor in that Canaan is probably a better shooter, is getting paid peanuts for the next two years, and was at least getting some minutes on a Western playoff contender, and you could almost delude yourself into believing the Sixers upgraded their guard position (they didn’t).

No one knows what Canaan is yet, but truthfully, no one knows what McDaniels is yet either. He’s a bigger name because he’s flashier, but that flashiness was going to cost Hinkie millions when McDaniels hit restricted free agency. Honestly, this is probably just Hinkie’s revenge for KJ having the audacity to reject his four-year rookie deal. The Sixers’ motto is to trust the system – not to fuck with it.

3. The Sixers get a __ for the Javale McGee trade.

Goldwein: B+. This wasn’t a steal; they have to pay McGee $12 million next season. But compared to what other picks are going for — the Lakers got Houston’s pick for taking on Lin’s $15M deal — this top-18 protected pick (which could be 19th if OKC goes on a late-season run) seems like solid value.

Share: A-. Paying out the remainder of his contract, whether it be because they keep him around, or via a buyout or the stretch provision, will not be fun. But first-round picks are basically invaluable, and if it comes at this price, so be it.

Toporek: A-. I’m not in love with having to pay JaVale McGee $12 million next season. If he was on an expiring contract, this would be an A+++. Still, the Sixers were never going to make a serious push toward title contention next season, so it’s not as though this prevents them from signing a LaMarcus Aldridge or Marc Gasol in free agency this summer. They weren’t ever getting those guys to begin with. Adding another first-round pick to the arsenal is a pretty sweet deal for burning some cap space for the next 1.5 years.

Smolen: A. The Sixers had cap space, and McGee costs money the Nuggets didn’t want to spend. After seeing what the Thunder did today, I think it is absolutely reasonable to expect the pick to come over this year and provide the Sixers with some extra flexibility come draft night. Plus, Chu Chu Maduabum. I mean, come on.

Stone: A. Hinkie acquired a first-round pick for nothing, almost certainly a life goal for him. I doubt McGee’s contract is going to hinder any potential acquisitions moving forward, considering they’ve been living under the salary floor the last two seasons. And most importantly, they acquired Chu Chu Maduabum. This puts the trade in A+ range. My girlfriend was going to have to spend months getting over the loss of MCW – but now the Sixers have (the rights to) a player named Chu Chu Maduabum. All of the draft picks the eye can see and Chu Chu Maduabum. This is a good day, guys.

4. What were your expectations heading into the deadline?

Goldwein: Not this. A second-round pick here, a late-first there… Little stuff. The Sixers, though, dealt their heart and soul of this shell of an NBA team, and got a ton back in return. Like Michael Carter-Williams, I’m shocked.

Share: Nothing big. I figured the most likely scenario was the Sixers sneaking in as the third team in a larger deal to provide cap relief and grab a pick. I was wrong.

Toporek: I didn’t have high hopes of any major moves. Unlike last year, when the Sixers had the expiring contracts of Hawes, Turner and Lavoy Allen to flip, the only expirings of note this year were Jason Richardson (who hasn’t played in two years), Andrei Kirilenko (has played 36 minutes all season) and Luc Mbah a Moute, who Brett Brown openly loves. I figured AK-47 or Richardson might be on the move if needed in a salary dump, but that’s about it. If anything, I expected Hinkie to use his salary-cap space to take on a salary dump for picks. (Looks like I wound up being half-right.)

Smolen: Frankly, I really didn’t have any. I thought there was a chance that Hinkie would Hinkie about and absorb some toxic assets for a second round pick here or a second round pick there. With Hawes, Turner, and Young already gone, the Sixers don’t have much in the way of tradeable assets: AK-47 and Jason Richardson are about as valuable as I am at this point, so I expected a relatively quiet day in Philadelphia. I was wrong.

Stone: That Hinkie would essentially use his salary cap space as a landfill for other teams looking to unload contracts, possibly securing the entirety of this year’s second round in the process. Put it this way – his phone wouldn’t be making any outgoing calls, but it would be taking a lot of incoming calls. Then 2:50 pm, February 19, 2015 happened.

5. The Sixers get a __ for their 2015 trade deadline.

Goldwein: B. Value-wise, they get an A. For the price of K.J. McDaniels and Michael Carter-Williams, they’ve got the protected Lakers pick while arguably upgrading at point guard with Isaiah Canaan. (Raw MCW is inefficient). Still, it hurts to lose two key, young rotation players. Continuity, and keeping the team (and coach) happy, is important. But how these moves will impact team morale is yet to be seen.

Share: B+. They got great value for an inefficient point guard and a passable return for McDaniels. However, like Eric said, there’s value in continuity and keeping people happy – it may not be at the top of the Sixers’ to-do list, nor should it be, but it’s still a factor. Moving two young rotation players isn’t nothing. 

Toporek: B+. I’m treating this year’s Sixers like the current season of The Walking Dead. On their own, a number of episodes this season have sucked. When viewed in the bigger picture, though, they were entirely necessary to establish something greater. Losing MCW and K.J. sucks. The team appears to have gotten significantly less fun/entertaining/enjoyable for the next two months. But when we look back in 3-5 years, with the Sixers steamrolling their way through the Eastern Conference, I wouldn’t be surprised if this is the day where everything started coming into focus.

Smolen: B. Honestly, as my answers may have indicated, this is hard for me. I think the trades made today can help make the Sixers a better team in 5 years than they otherwise would have been. But today, more than ever before, it has come at a cost. Today is the first time I can understand fan morale sinking, at least temporarily. And I can’t possibly imagine how Brett Brown and the lockerroom are responding to this. To seemingly have bought in to the process only to see one the team’s most identifiable young player dealt (even if it is for value) has to sting.

Stone: B+, flirting on an A-… but I like MCW too much to deem this an ‘A’ day. Look, the Sixers now own 832 (I think the real number is 30-something, which is still insane) draft picks over the next five years. The sad truth is that you can only keep 15 players on an NBA roster. Of the current roster, MCW and McDaniels both had value and were both expendable. The Sixers could still very well have the first overall pick this summer. The acquisition of Dragic solidifies Miami as the 7-seed but doesn’t push them past Milwaukee in my eyes, so they’ll most likely have pick 16 as well. If Oklahoma City stays healthy, they’re a better team than Charlotte, Miami, Milwaukee, and Washington – the teams they’d most likely have to pass to grant the Sixers pick 19.

So you’re looking at picks 1 (fingers perpetually crossed), 16, 19, and a Lakers pick that is only going to increase in value next year. That’s enough to put a package together that few teams, if any, can match. As today proved, there’s no telling what Hinkie is going to do with those assets, but whereas the Sixers were very recently only in a position to improve through the draft, they now have the pieces in place to move in a variety of directions. Today was a confirmation of the Sixers’ adamant, somewhat-twisted philosophy – not a reversal of it. It just takes a moment and the regrettable loss of some fan-favorites to see that.

  • nervous122

    Some questions:

    If Hinkie traded KJ because of the one year deal, what signal does that send to the Sixers future second round choices? If you don’t want o be a part of a rebuilding slog, insist on a one year dal and the GM will dump you?

    I/r/t morale, what message was sent to every other young piece on the roster? How much can we expect them to buy in after they just watched what happened?

    Is it out of the realm of possibilities that the Lakers stink again next year and keep their pick again? In that case, how valuable is the pick if it is three drafts away?

    • egoldwein

      These are insightful questions.

      I’m with you on the messagepart. There’s a risk on how they’ll react. Maybe they’ll be professionals about it. Trades happen to all teams. I mean, MIL just traded what some people thought was its best young player. They’re taking that risk too. Maybe they’ll react like a lot of 20 year olds would: Unprofessionally.

      The second KJ signed that contract, a signal was sent. I don’t think this trade changes that.

      Re: Lakers pick. It’ll probably lose value if it’s not here the next few years. That’s in the realm of possibilities. How likely? Idk.

      • nervous122

        Also, did they create an “opportunity cost” by trading MCW without getting a sure fire lotto pick this year? IOW, if they win the #1 pick, do they have to immediately disqualify picking Okafor, because they have two bigs and now no PG?

        In that case, maybe it made sense to see where they landed in draft before deciding to trade a young asset?

        • egoldwein

          I agree this is something to consider too. Bryan mentions that in the post.

          I think it comes down that that they didn’t see MCW as a great fit for the future. If that’s what they thought (and reasonable people can disagree with that ..) then getting the Lakers 1st round pick is a risky, albeit high-reward return.

        • lefoe

          If they get win the lottery they are taking Okafor and trading Noel. I like what Noel does, but Okafor is bigger, can catch the ball, and is just plain better at basketball. Putting him with Embiid makes to much sense to pass on.

          • Kevin

            The question becomes: What is Noel’s value next year with other big men that have more versatility? Do you really get a tremendous return? Who’s the PG if you elect to draft Okafor? Is the PG picked later the PG of the future? If not, What is his future trade value? Can Embiid or Okafor cover stretch 4’s or will they be ineffective together? There are still a ton of questions that need to be considered when evaluating all of this.

            I agree with Mike in the regards that there is a ton of blind faith being given to someone who hasn’t demonstrated anything at this point. Given, he has put this team in a much better position when it comes to overall assets and their salary cap situation, but he also has them in position to pick top 5 for a 2nd consecutive year, next year likely the 3rd consecutive year, and there is no guarantee that this plan works. This isn’t exactly a destination for any FA’s at this point either.

          • lefoe

            He has some value. Right now they have too many picks to actually make use of them. He’ll put Noel together with some of those and get who knows what. If the don’t win the lottery, then they take one of the top guards, and Noel stays with the team.

    • robbybonfire23

      Yes, the one-year deal had to enter into the G.M.’s thinking. However K.J.’s lack of progress may also have been factored into the mix? He was regressing of late, and I think that was the consensus, here, from a not too lofty level of play to begin with. Jerami Grant, in fact, noticeabl bypassed K.J. in terms of progress and inspiration, over the last three weeks. The blocks were artistic, highlight fare, but beyond that he was doing nothing well, and after all, efficient scoring and stellar all-around play are really the name of the game.

      He could come back to haunt us in a few years, but look at how long it took Speights, to cite one example, to get his head on straight and begin to even approach his potential. K.J. seems to be cut from that career under-achiever mold.

      • Mike Bunge

        “the standard he has established for the entire team”

        What standard is that?

        This is the worst case of Sports Stockholm Syndrome the world has ever seen.

        Answer me just this. Didn’t Hinkie pick MCW and K.J.? And now he’s getting rid of them after less than 2 and less than 1 season? And THAT is the guy you blindly trust?


        • nervous122

          And if you can improve on MCW, don’t you do that?

          • egoldwein

            Confused by the question here

          • nervous122

            It was directed to Mike. He mentions trading MCW after just drafting him like it is inherently bad. If the pick they get back ends up better than MCW, then thats not the case.

            IOW, the Sixers gave themselves a redo of a lottery pick they weren’t sold on.

          • Kevin

            The concept isn’t terrible if everything plays out perfectly. It becomes horrible when Julius Randle is healthy, the Lakers add a top 3 pick that can contribute, and Kevin Love comes to town. All the sudden your hoping to catch lightning in a bottle with a pick in the late teens, which the odds are against.

            It also forced their hand with KJ, whether they had long term intentions for him or not. At the end of the day the 76ers had a plethora of cap space next season and he was a restricted FA, so unless someone offered an absurd contract it wouldn’t be crazy to think he would be back. Trading him for a 2nd round pick and Canaan wasn’t “selling high” (as everyone says Hinkie likes to do), it was getting a PG to run their offense since they traded the only one away.

            These trades imo as they stand get a C, simply because of the direction things can go from here. They acquired assets in the form of picks, and one was even a gift for taking a contract. If all goes well and there is some sort of mythical luck that is bestowed upon them, where they get these picks at their maximum value and get the maximum return back, that grade would easily skyrocket to an A. Unfortunately, I see many scenarios where things backfire, Hinkie/Brown are out of a jobs, the 76ers are in a fresh rebuild, and these trades are something other fans and execs look back on and laugh at, changing that grade to an F.

            I want to be fully on board right now, but as someone who invests money into this franchise in the form of season tickets, memorabilia, team gear, etc., I am definitely confused and finding it difficult to do so. I just confirmed my renewal yesterday, pumped for the rest of this season and what next holds, and probably hyped up over the new slogan “This Starts Now”. Now, I’m starting to think the 76ers organization “sold high” to me, because I’m left hoping that somehow this accumulation of draft picks will turn this team back into the proud franchise it deserves to be. And yes, before it’s pointed out, I understand that before today the future hinged on development and the success of additional draft picks as well, but I knew the pieces that were in place, their work ethic, and their potential role with this team moving forward. After the moves today, I almost feel like they are playing darts blindfolded for the future. While MCW may not always have been the most efficient guard, I believe that was because they asked him to be the scorer they needed, which he was not. I think he would have fit in great as the other pieces were assembled.

          • Mike Bunge

            Why should you think the guy who picked MCW will do better the second time around? It would be one thing if MCW were underperforming on a good or even an average team. But Hinkie deliberately surrounded MCW with one of the worst rosters in the league. And then, even though MCW is far and away the best player of this motley bunch, Hinkie is going to dump him because he’s unhappy with MCW’s development?


          • egoldwein

            Why do I think the guy who picked MCW will do better the second time around? I don’t. The draft is a crapshoot. Everybody hits and misses. The key is maximizing your hits, and minimizing he losses on your misses. If they don’t like MCW, then holding onto him too long would be just as big a mistake as drafting him.

          • egoldwein

            Also, there’s a good chance the pick will be better than 11, in a deeper draft. So if that’s the case, that’s why I think he’d do better 2nd time around. But that’s not really the point.

          • robbybonfire23

            He’s injury-prone, he can’t shoot straight and he bricks too many shots on cold-shooting nights, plus he was an “old” rookie, so that his upside development potential from here has already been realized. Hinkie sees all this, even if some don’t want to get on board with the timely addressing of these factors.

          • Kevin Herman

            Actually Robert Covington has been there best player. I know its depressing to realise this but nobody on the Sixers have proven they are worth keeping if the right value trade is there. MCW hasn’t been good. Can you tell me what he has done well beside defensive rebound and get steals?

        • egoldwein

          Are you going to participate in a discussion or are you going to scream at those who don’t share your point of view?

          • Mike Bunge

            It sound like somebody needs to do something to shock you guys out of this awful stupor.

            Again, the McGee deal is great. But Hinkie just gave away the ROY building block that he picked for a first rounder that can’t be any better than 6 this year and will almost certainly be worse after that. The Lakers aren’t going to win a title next season but it’s almost inconceivable they won’t be better than they are now.

            But at least you got a first for MCW. But giving away K.J.? When the Sixers will almost certainly be under the salary floor again next season?

            Hinkie just extended the rebuild by at least one more season, if not more. How good are the Sixers going to have to be to make up for all this misery?

            And by the way, you can kiss the coach goodbye. No one can survive this many losses on their resume.


          • egoldwein

            Describing MCW as the Rookie of the Year when discussing his value is … lazy. I like MCW. But by just about every metric, he hasn’t been a productive player in his first 1.5 seasons. This trade tells me they don’t have high hopes for MCW. Whether that’s warranted is debatable. But in return they got an LAL pick that is, objectively, very valuable.

            KJ was not a giveaway. They got back a decent backup PG on a fair deal, and a 37th pick. Idk if that’s a good return. But it’s not a disaster, given that KJ was headed for a restricted free agency and about to get $$.

            I don’t think this extended the rebuild by one more season, as I don’t see MCW to Canaan and KJ to Hollis/Jrich/Grant/Sampson as major downgrades. Had they dealt Covington, I think that would’ve been a sign that they were extending the rebuild. But if these deals make the Sixers “worse,” I don’t think it’ll be by a significant margin

          • robbybonfire23

            I would “give away” K.J., too. He devolved into being the worst player on the team, understanding that in time, with his youth, that was going to change. But talk about expendable, I consider it outstanding foresight on the part of Hinkie to cut bait on the guy, now instead of next summer.

            If all you watch are the highlights you could think he is the second coming of MJ, or something? You really need to dig deeply into a player’s entire stat sheet as the anti-dote to just buying into what the media is feeding you, along with the superficial and misleading visual impressions which are so easy to buy into.

            Ever see a player on his video highlights miss a shot? They never do. K.J. is the guy who is bungling everything else so badly that all you see is his blocked shots resume. Sorry, but Sam Hinkie comes out light years ahead on this divorce. Good riddance to him. When Jerami Grant passes you by on the depth chart you are toast.

          • tbowman

            Yes, he’s a bit upset, but Mike is bringing up legitimate and reasoned points in his comments.

            I would love to hear reasoned rebuttals rather than just ignoring him.

          • egoldwein

            I’ve responded below. And several of us have responded in posts.

            We won’t know whether these are good or bad trades, but the logic they have, I suspect, is this:

            They’re not big fans of MCW. After 1.5 seasons, they don’t really like what they’ve seen. He can’t shoot, and he’s 23 … so not exactly a raw sophomore.

            In the Lakers pick, they get a potential top-10, top-5. If they didn’t like MCW (which you can debate is wrong or right), then that’s a fantastic return.

            As for the KJ trade: two things you need to look at.
            1. KJ’s contract. He was a restricted free agent this offseason because his agent played the Sixers, so he was going to get $$. That he’ll be getting a decent contract doesn’t make him worse. But it does, arguably, make him less valuable than the likes of Covington, Grant, and maybe even Hollis Thompson, who are all locked in for a few years and playing a similar position.

            In return for KJ, they got a guy in Isaiah Canaan who is the same age as KJ and was also an early 2nd round pick. He’s less flashy, but he put together solid numbers when he was getting big minutes for Houston at the beginning of the season. With the Sixers in desperate need of a PG — I don’t think that even Sam Hinkie would have the guts to go with TIm Frazier for 30 games — Canaan was a low-cost option that might be able to replace MCW’s production. They also got a 2nd round pick, which will land around 37th.

            This is the logic behind the moves. You can agree with it, and you can disagree with it. But to have an extreme opinion in one way or the other ignores the context of the situation. If you read between the lines, they’ve been fairly straight forward about their plan. They want to put themselves in position to get stars, and the best way to do that is to collect draft picks and trading chips, while keeping your cap space open. Clearly, they don’t place much value on continuity at this stage. As I’ve noted, I think that could hurt. Chemistry is a real thing. But something tells me that a few years down the line, nobody is going to remember the half-season of KJ McDaniels and season and a half of Michael Carter-Williams.

          • Kevin Herman

            What rebut do we need? MCW has not really helped the Sixers win games since he came here. He has been slightly worth more then the mythical replacement player. He will be 24 years old after the season so I don’t see him getting a whole lot better. Stop looking at RBI type stats. The question should be to people like Mike was has done to show that he is worth keeping. I don’t want counting stats because they are meaningless. He doesn’t do well in plus/minus either. This is harsh to say but even if the guy they pick with the Lakers pick doesn’t pan out they are most likely in no worse a position then if they kept MCW. Guys better then MCW can be picked up with the mid level exception at any time.

  • robbybonfire23

    Bryan –

    I think you nailed it as regards we are locked into taking a high-profile guard, as our first pick. So I took a look and popping up first is the trio of D’Angelo Russell, Kelly Oubre, and, as always, Delon Wright, who, even with his being a senior now, could step right in and make us forget MCW in no time at all.

    Other candidates, such as Kris Dunn and Aaron Harrison do not grade nearly as well as the three mentioned above. So yes, Bryan, we had better grab a PG, or a convertible SG, with that first pick, it looks like we really don’t have another choice.

    • Evan

      I’m surprised you’re high on Oubre. Not an extraordinary shooting percentage, and only one assist per game. Doesn’t seem like your type of player?

      • Mike Guarino

        Oubre’s per-game numbers are skewed due to limited playing time early on, but since the beginning of the conference season he has looked like the ideal Sixers wing prospect. He’s ultra-long (7’2″ wingspan) and athletic, and when he’s dialed in he’s a menace on defense and a very smooth scorer who, while not a player you want to be your ultimate star, as a combo with Joel he would be a great wing complement. He’s a stretch at pick 3 though, so they would need to either get the Lakers pick or maneuver to around #10 to grab him. I love Mudiay or Russell as PG prospects at 3 if that’s where we finish, though, with Mudiay slightly ahead of Russell in my book. Lots of talent to pick from though, and Jerian Grant is a hell of a player too

        • Evan

          Thanks for the info on Oubre. Haven’t gotten to watch much Kansas this year.

          • Mike Guarino

            My pleasure Evan! I am here in Lawrence and get to watch them on a regular basis, and the first thing that came to my mine when I saw him was that he seems to fit exactly what we are trying to do in Philly

          • robbybonfire23

            Mike, I would be fascinated to have your input re Wiggins, and I mean from an objective standpoint, as well as from a “fandom” standpoint. So I mean both the pros and the cons. Foremost, how did he, as you see it, mesh with Embiid and his teammates?

            Any slant on why he tanked in the NCAA Tournament, particularly in his wretched “no show” performance in his team’s season-ending game vs. Stanford? With Embiid out for the year, why did he not step up? Did you get any feel for how his teammates saw him and whether they felt a comfort zone in playing alongside him, etc?

            I am a long way away, here in upstate New York, but I got the impression that even the coach had reservations about his team-first orientation, in that the coach, in an interview, alluded to that, which, if everything were fine, you would not even bring up that subject.

            Now that he is in the NBA, has your opinion, from afar, about him changed in any way?

          • Mike Guarino

            Hi Robby. I can certainly share what I think I saw, although I am by no means a professional scout. Last year it took a while for everyone on the team to come together, with everyone being so young. Early in the season we wanted to play the high-low through Wiggins and Ellis initially, but this often turned into more of an iso game for Wiggins (although I don’t see it as being something he imposed, rather I think thats just how the team naturally went). For that reason, I felt that his game fit the pro style better, which is something Self has said about Ombre as well. Honestly, the person who drove the team’s success was Embiid because he really allowed the natural high-low strategy to be successful more so than Ellis. He also has a personality with a bit of edge on the court (although he’s a nice kid off the court), so he seemed to become the leader of the team along with Black. When he went down, the team reverted back to relying too much on Wiggins, and although he did a fine job for a while, if you rely on one player and he has a bad game, the team is vulnerable, and that’s hat happened against Stanford in my opinion, although I have to give props to Stanford, who is a very good basketball team. Wiggins was a very good player here, but not as good as we hoped at the beginning. Part of that had to do with the team deferring to him, but I never got the impression the rest of the team didn’t get along with him or respect him. I think a lot of the struggles happened because of the insane comparisons we as fans and people in the media put onto an 18 years old, and I think he just had a hard time figuring out how to handle it. Now, in the NBA I think he has shown in the past couple of months how much talent he has, and I think he will be an amazing pro, especially when he adds 10-15lbs. He’s a phenomenal defender (which we saw flashes of here), a very good post player (which is not something he was asked to do here), and his jumper seems to be developing. His spin move is unfair, and I think given two years he will be a top 4 wing (behind Lebron, Durant, and maybe Harden, although I hesitate to put Harden above him because as good as he is offensively he plays absolutely no defense). That being said, having seen Joel from beginning until now, I would much rather have him than Wiggins. Embiid is an extremely hard worker, along with being absurdly talented, so the only way I don’t see him reaching his insane ceiling is if injuries get him. But assuming that doesn’t happen, the only other big man I’d rather have to build a franchise around is Anthony Davis. He was the heart of the team here, and he will be the heart of the team in Philly.

          • robbybonfire23

            Really helpful, Mike, thanks. These are things we cannot pick up in other parts of the country.

            Wiggins, to me, personifies the debate between liking a raw, unpolished player because he embodies outstanding “athleticism,” vs. those players not nearly so athletic and fluid and graceful, but who bring a solid work ethic and are highly productive, nevertheless.

            In other words I am trying to figure out if players who embody all this athleticism, starting with Wiggins and LaVine, can move up, in time, to being the best players in the game? When I see a player possessing more athleticism than basketball skills, I think maybe he should be a track star or football running back, or something. So that I am interested in how one’s natural athleticism translates on the basketball court, if it does, to high-level basketball skills?

            Glad you mentioned Embiid. He is a rare case of a player being more physical than “athletic,” along with his getting a late start to his basketball court exposure. Yet, with these two handicaps, he became the best center, and you could even say the best player, in the college ranks a year ago. So that you can say there is room for both the Wiggins-type and the Embiid-type in the game, but it sounds like you and I are on the same page, in that, given a choice on draft day, we would go for the Embiid-type dominant player, over the more fluid and flashy Wiggins-type player. Especially as Wiggins seemed to struggle, at times, in college, whereas Embiid just stepped right up and took over the college game, a year ago.

            Thanks again. I am going to go over your observations several times, there is a lot of meat and potatoes input to assimilate, there.

          • robbybonfire23


      • robbybonfire23

        Yes, Evan, if I can tout my man, Delon Wright, who is a senior, I can certainly add Jerian Grant to that short list. I just picked a handful of names to mention, off the top of my head, assuming that I would miss a couple players deserving to be mentioned.

        I did see that Notre Dame already has FIVE road wins in A.C.C. competition. Grant is one of the main reasons for that. You have to like the winning mentality and skills he brings to a team.

        As for Oubre, I will let you know what I find, pro and con, when I dig up his record.

        • Evan

          Interesting addition. I would think this will bump down the scores of point guards and shooting guards in your scoring system, considering 33 of the top 40 turnover leaders per game are point guards or shooting guards (2 centers and 5 small forwards account for the other 7). Is this because they handle the ball more, and are being asked to run the offense and pass into tight spots every time down the court?

          Either way, I am a big fan of your scoring system, I just prefer to use it for position to position comparisons, instead of comparing Centers and PG for example.

          • robbybonfire23

            Yes, Evan, you handle the ball more, you turn it over more, but you also have more shooting/scoring and play-making opportunities so that maybe it all balances out. I think we can agree that in today’s game, the PG’s, Centers, and PF’s are the glam guys, and the SG’s and the SF’s are the support guys.

            I do compare by position as well as overall, in fact I compare by class for the college players, as well as for position, although I do overlap the two guard positions and the two forward positions to get a larger sampling and because many players fill more than just one role on a team.

            Here is my current read-out for some of the top freshman-forwards. I delved into this because of all the input at this site from someone who is touting Stanley Johnson like he is the second-coming of swiss cheese, or something? The first number following the player’s name is his PPX average, the second number is his floor game score with turnovers factored in, which you and I agree should be in the mix, and finally you get the bottom line Seasonal Game Score which is the product of the first two scores….

            Dom. Sabonis, Gonzaga…5.61 x 23.53 = 132
            Jak. Poeltl, Utah…5.07 x 19.16 = 97
            K.A. Towns, KY…3.11 x 21.93 = 68
            Myles Turner, TEX…2.75 x 23.16 = 64
            Stanley Johnson, ARIZ…2.81 x 19.46 = 55
            Kevon Looney, UCLA…2.46 x 21.64 = 53
            Justise Winslow, Duke…2.38 x 19.11 = 45 1/2.

            I will add any player of note from this class and position, whom I come across. And, by the way, Sabonis has the highest score, by my criterion, in the college ranks, so far this year.

  • Mike Bunge

    Man, you guys need to put down the Hinkie bong. Getting a first for taking on McGee was a great deal. The other two…are you kidding me? Are you going to trade Noel next year when you decide he’s not “The One”?

    The Lakers pick is no better than six this year and will probably be no better than 8 to 10 next year. I’m not a big MCW fan but the odds of you getting someone better are not that great. And if Hinkie wasn’t going to spend cap room on K.J., he’s not spending it on anyone.

    Hinkie has essentially guaranteed that next year is going to suck about as much as this one. How many more 15 win years will you guys put up with?


    • tbowman

      Yea, pretty much agree with that.

    • Kevin

      When Arselan Kazemi was selected the other year, the logic Hinkie gave at his press conference was that he was a player that the 76ers had coveted the entire process and was the player that they had their eye on the entire time they were trading down.

      Sam Hinkie: “We always moved with one goal: We were never not going to have a pick
      in the second round. We never were going to put ourselves in a position
      to not get Arsalan.”

      At the press conference after yesterdays trades, he said Canaan was the player they wanted at the 35th pick in that draft, indicating the only reason they traded down after that because they missed on Canaan. Hmm, both can’t be true, or he would have made moves to be sure he’d get both players, right? We’ve seen Hinkie isn’t afraid to wheel and deal, so this has to be the case. More reasons that I’m becoming increasingly hesitant when it comes to this trust I’m putting in Sam Hinkie. He’s done some nice things so far, and pulled of some wonderful deals. But whether it is admitted or not, this is a risk and what comes of this will be the sole determining factor in their future success. I hope it works out.

      • egoldwein

        This is a great observation.
        I think both can be true; that they targeted Canaan and Kazemi, prioritized Canaan, but ended up with Kazemi. But yeah, of course they’re going to talk up a player they just acquired in a press conference.

        • egoldwein

          But yeah, the bigger takeaway is to take what he says at a press conference with a grain of salt. I think he likes Canaan; he was drafted in Houston a few months after he left their staff. If he thought Canaan was the second coming, he’d have been in a Sixers uniform.

      • robbybonfire23

        Add to your cogent analysis, Kevin, the fact that Canaan ain’t a scab off MCW’s arse, well, you have to factor in The Tanking Monster rears up again, big time, around here. Look for this team to revert to its 0-17 start of the season level of play for the duration, replete with scattered, undisciplined play utterly lacking in cohesion and purpose.

        The rest of this season is going to be tantamount to a bunch of guys in a pick up game in Riverside Park off the Hudson River, with not much more ability to demonstrate than Harry Belafonte and Peter Boyle used to exhibit with their hanger-on pals, in the good ole days. “D’Angelo Russell, here we come!”

    • Kevin Herman

      MCW sucks sorry to be the bearer of bad news.

    • DH

      Im not gonna pretend that Hinkie has a crystal ball, but if they deemed that MCW can’t and wont be a good shooter and preferred to move on from his turnover prone tendencies and sell high, then getting a highly valuable pick that could turn out to be better than MCW could very well be a good move.

      The analytics on MCW are awful and the PG position is highly replaceable; a position that MCW ranked near the bottom in the league, despite his volume produced numbers.

      I doubt that Hinkie trades Noel or Embiid (unless they draft Okafor and flip one of their big men). The bigs will be foundational pieces that Hinkie will build around. Then you have Saric and potentially Mudiay and Russell.

      A starting lineup of Mudiay, Russell, Covington, Noel, Embiid could be promising, along with a bench of Wroten, Saric, Thompson, Aldemir, picks and cap space.

  • Michael Nguyen

    This trade deadline essentially means the Sixers are going all in on Mudiay. I don’t think they want Okafor. Mudiay is the potential superstar. I think its imperative to Sixers that they either land Mudiay or Russell in the draft. Then after a poor 2015 season along with another top10 pick and ton of cap space the Sixers could essentially offer 2 players max contracts and surround them with young brimming talent like Mudiay, Noel, Saric and Embiid. 2016 Offseason could be a major deal for the Sixers.

    • egoldwein

      Don’t think it tells you anything about their interest in Mudiay, or any draft pick. But yeah, they’re going to be in position to offer max contracts to two players, and surround them with top talent.

      They already are in that position. If Hinkie was mandated to win 41 games next year, he’d have zero problems getting there.

      • DH

        I assume it all depends on development and evaluation because Hinkie will only go for it when he feels that the Sixers have the right players to make big free agency moves. Next season is arguably going to be very similar to this season from a talent evaluation aspect. The following season when Saric comes over is when the Sixers will have all of their current assets on the team. I’d expect the FA signings to take place then, when McGee’s contract expires.

        They could field the following team before any FA signing:
        PG: Mudiay, Wroten, Micic (eventually)
        SG: Russell/Hezonja, draft/fa, McRae
        SF: Covington, Grant, Thompson
        PF: Noel, Saric
        C: Embiid

        Add cap flexibility and multiple draft picks and there you have it.

    • robbybonfire23

      Mudiay, in fact, in China, is playing at the same level D’Angelo Russell is playing at for Ohio State. Not that I can give you any kind of heads up as to the quality of basketball in China, because I cannot.

      By the way, Saric is playing at a notch below the Mudiay level, in Anadolu, wherever that is? He is not a super star there, by any means.

  • robbybonfire23

    O.K., I took another look at the MCW vs. I. Canaan match-up. And, even more than yesterday, I have to emphatically take the position that, besides the down the road value Hinkie picked up in this trade, he is tanking, with avengeance, for the balance of this season. In fact, I submit Hinkie picked up Canaan for the purpose of orchestrating this team’s reverting to its November level of crass, winless incompetence.

    So here goes, with apologies for my almost daily, now, tinkering with my own formula. But, in whatever form it takes, it does serve as a quick scan means of comparing players, and even comparing teams, if you like….

    MCW –

    Minutes played: 1391
    PPX ( total points scored / XFG) : 1.617
    Zips (DR’S + Assists) : 513
    Turnovers: 174.

    The formula, as of this moment is: Zips – 1/2 turnovers / Minutes x PPX.

    On this basis, for MCW we have 513 zips – 87 turnovers / 1391 minutes = a floor game score of 30.625.

    We multiply the floor game score of 30.625 by the PPX of 1.617 to obtain MCW’s Seasonal Game Score, which right now = 49 1/2.

    Now let’s suffer a bit with I. Canaan’s read out:

    Minutes played: 621
    PPX: 1.903
    Zips: 90
    Turnovers: 44

    So that we get 90 zips – 22 turnovers / 621 minutes = a floor game score of 10.95 xxx.
    We next multiply this bottom-feeder floor game score by the PPX of 1.903 to obtain Canaan’s Seasonal Game Score which now reposes at: 20.84.

    Final Score: MCW 49 1/2 – Canaan 21.

    So please, don’t tell me Canaan offsets the loss of MCW, short-term, before the long-term value of this trade kicks in. Re Mr. Hinkie, I am coming around to his side, now, my impatience having been assuaged by his genius for horse trading – and world class tanking!

    • Evan

      I like how you factored in turnovers here much better than you did in the last version. Good stuff!

      • robbybonfire23

        Yes, Evan, it was nagging at me. I love tinkering with statistics and numbers, but it is important that every refinement be an upgrade over what you previously worked with. I like what I have now, as much as any version of this method I have employed, and this is the fourth version, so far.

        Notice I factored in .5 x turnovers. I did this because the negative value of committing a turnover in the NBA is right around half a point, this year. Whereas, you can just about take the total of DR’s and Assists as having a value of 1 point, given that they traditionally hover in a range from +1 to +1.25 points per unit, for regression value.

        As I said, it’s a quick scan method, the value in employing such a method is that I can work up literally dozens of NBA and NCAA players in one day, when I get on that roll. So that I have a really good “feel” for the talent coming out of the college ranks, this year.