1. Give me your scorching hot takes on the newly rumored Hinkie Special — Andrei Kirilenko (who would be waived) and a second-rounder to Philly.
Goldwein: They’re cutting their best player??? Well at least Sam Stinkie doesn’t have to worry about some commie screwing up his “plan.”
Share: You can put your fire extinguishers away because this take is ice cold: it’s the same no-risk, crapshoot-reward move they’ve made time and time again (hi, Arnett). Won’t hurt them and may not help them either, but there’s no reason not to do it.
Toporek: Puts on #hotsportstakes hat: HINKIE’S SPENDING $3.3 MILLION TO GET ONE SECOND-ROUND PICK? AND HE’S WAIVING A FORMER ALL-STAR IMMEDIATELY? COULD HE BE TANKING ANY HARDER?!?
In all seriousness, I love the trade. Why not use the Sixers’ massive amount of cap space to pick up assets? Laugh at a second-rounder all you want… but some of those dart throws turn into K.J. McDaniels.
Dimoff: There’s really no reason not to make this deal, right? That cap space is going to get spent anyway because the Sixers are approximately $4 billion under the cap floor, so it might as well get turned into a second-rounder and about five years of #FormerSixer Andrei Kirilenko tweets. I know, I know. Pure fire.
Clancy: With that $3 million needed to be paid at some point to reach the salary floor, the Sixers might as well smartly pick up a lottery ticket of an asset along the way. My actual hot take: I would’ve wanted them to keep AK47 around if not for his injury/personal issues that are currently keeping him off the court.
2. Is Robert Covington the best Sixer to wear the number 33?
Goldwein: I’ll still go with big shot Willie Green. Love the Cov, but let’s give it a few more weeks.
Share: @Dweebowitz, a Liberty Ballers commenter, pointed out Hersey Hawkins, who played in Philly from 1988-1993 and scored 15 points per game on better than 46 percent shooting. But Bobby is treading behind him, neck and neck with the great Willie Green.
Toporek: Craig Brackins — he of the 30 total points in two season — sure as hell doesn’t earn that distinction. Nor does Daniel Orton, who put up 65 points and 61 rebounds in 251 minutes over 22 games last season, with a whopping PER of 10.5 to boot. So yeah, Big Shot Bob basically wins this one by default.
Dimoff: I’ve blacked out most of the Willie Green/Daniel Orton/Andrew Bynum/Craig Brackins-era Sixers, and if you don’t mind, I’d like to keep it that way. Let’s never bring this up again.
Clancy: If broken hearts were tracked as a statistic, Andrew Bynum would be the franchise’s all-time leader. Covington is the year’s Hollis Thompson, taking advantage of the team’s massive need for floor spacing and its abundance of playing time, as a D-Leaguer who’s attempting to make it as an NBAer and looks like he could actually stick around.
3. Will Jason Richardson last the season?
Goldwein: 50/50. If he shows he has anything left, and the Sixers can get a decent second-round pick, I think they pull the trigger. But it doesn’t sound like he’s desperate to leave, so if there’s no trade market for him, he might end up hanging around.
Share: I’m going to go with most likely, because if they intended to waive him they probably would have already. But if a trade comes up and they badly need to free a roster spot, his contract shouldn’t get in the way of him being cut.
Toporek: Strangely, I think he does. In speaking with Gordie Jones of CSN Philly, he sounded legitimately excited about what the Sixers are building. Since he’s unlikely to help the team to a bunch of late-season victories (screwing up their high lottery pick in the process), I could see Brett Brown wanting to keep him as a veteran presence. Playing alongside J-Rich could also help MCW’s development, since he’s capable of, you know, occasionally hitting a 3-pointer.
Dimoff: Yep. I haven’t really understood the cries for him to be cut. Hinkie spoke pretty highly of him during a presser over the summer and discussed how good he’s been for the young players. It’s not like his place on the roster is keeping Philadelphia from signing a worth-while free agent. And if that’s a problem, I mean, JaKarr Sampson and Malcolm Lee are still here. There are financial reasons to keep him around too, which Derek Bodner went into further detail about here.
Clancy: Yes. The Bodner piece linked above demonstrates the financial basis for keeping him and that makes sense. I also don’t think Brett Brown minds having at least one stable, veteran presence on a roster full of youngins. They all grew up watching him do 360-degree dunks during All-Star weekend, right?
4. If you could pick one non-K.J. restricted free agent for the Sixers to make an offer to this summer, who would it be, and for how much?
Goldwein: Jimmy Butler and Kawhi Leonard. Don’t see any chance of the Bulls/Spurs let them go, but it’s worth a shot.
Share: Kawhi and Butler would be great, but in terms of actual realistic options, Draymond Green, please and thank you. Continually improving two-way player and a lethal outside shooter. Even if it costs in the neighborhood of $10-12 million per year, he’s worth the overpay, and the price will look just fine in 2017 when the cap skyrockets.
Toporek: No. 1 priority is a max deal to Jimmy Butler, although the Bulls are likely to match. Same goes for Kawhi Leonard and Draymond Green, unfortunately. Thus, I’d like the Sixers to stick it to a fellow rebuilding Eastern Conference squad and fire out a four-year, $50 million offer for Tobias Harris. He’s only 22 and is averaging 19-8-2 while shooting 47.6 overall and 43.4 percent from three-point range. Consider this some long overdue payback for Nikola Vucevic.
Dimoff: The popular answer here is probably either Kawhi Leonard or Jimmy Butler, but I have a feeling that their respective teams will try their damndest to keep those guys around. But please, give me every bit of Draymond Green. Golden State won’t have the cash to keep him around barring a future David Lee salary dump or if they want to go deep into the luxury tax. He’s a fantastic defender, can shoot from downtown, and is a really underrated passer, but his price tag is also basically rising with every game. He might command something around $12 million to steal away this summer, but he might also be worth it.
Clancy: Kawhi and Butler are obvious, but it seems increasingly likely with their stellar play that their respective teams will match all offers. Draymond and Harris have already been mentioned and are nice suggestions, so how about Kyle O’Quinn? Orlando will need money to match offers for Harris and have already extended Vucevic for $53 million, so maybe they let O’Quinn walk? He’s a better defensive player than Vuce and his career defensive rebounding rate of 24.9% is sorely needed on the Sixers. Team in the frontcourt with Embiid and Noel as the younger bigs develop and maybe he’s worth $18 million over three years, especially with the expected cap jump in 2016.
5. Who’s more likely to win a championship first: the Sixers or the Phillies?
Goldwein: Phillies, because MLB playoffs are random. The Phillies are spending enough that — assuming they can improve their personnel decisions (poor assumption) — they could get back in the postseason within a few years. Once you’re in, anything can happen. Too much has to go right to win an NBA championship.
Share: Sixers. The MLB playoffs are a crapshoot and if the Phils sneak in a few years down the line I suppose anything could happen, but I’ll err on the side of caution and go with the management I trust to get a rebuild right.
Toporek: Both teams are a tire fire right now, but only one seems to have a long-term plan in place. Neither team will win within the next three years, but the Sixers are far more likely to get back into championship contention. Sorry, Ryan Howard. At least you’ll always have 2008.
Dimoff: *Closes laptop* *Drives to nearest gas station* *Purchases pack of cigarettes* *Chain-smokes the whole pack in the parking lot while shouting expletives and repeatedly kicking car tires*
Clancy: The Sixers will make an Eastern Conference Finals before the Phillies even make the playoffs, so I’m going Sixers. Long-term plan > no plan.