Postgame Spread
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Thursday, August 17, 2006

From a team full of bad contracts. . .    

So with King thankfully conceding defeat on trading Iverson, looks like he's turned his attention to Webber. And where does a GM turn when he wants to unload a preposterous contract?

I like Webber. I do. I liked what he had to say about his knee in the offseason, and I liked the way he talked about getting coaching tips from Moses Malone. Full confession: I even had a dream that Webber was frustrated that Philly fans and media turned on him without giving him a real shot. Then again, that was last offseason. And he made some optimistic comments about his knee last offseason too (although he did play in more games than most expected).

He and Iverson can score. That's not the problem. The salary isn't even a huge problem, since the Sixers have been willing to pay the luxury tax (although maybe that's coming to an end now that Comcast is looking to sell). The big problem is the bench. And not the lack of depth, so much as how they and the other starters mesh with Iverson and Webber. Iverson and Webber both got their shots and points (although there were times that Webber complained about his lack of touches to set up shots), but there always seemed to be stories about this player or that player not feeling like a part of the offense. It was always prefaced by "I don't mean to complain" or "AI is a great player", but the team never really seemed comfortable playing with one another.

Part of me hopes they keep it together, and thinks this is the year they break through. Webber is making progress with his knee (or so he says), Iguodala is getting a summer to get better (and you know he'll work hard) and hopefully take that next step, Korver will (hopefully) go back to the bench, Green comes back as a scorer, Louis Williams may start to be the contributer he thinks he is (and has shown some flashes of being), they get some new picks to bolster their bench (both of whom are good althletes that play great defense), and they get another year of continuity after so much turnover the last few years.

I do think they can be better than last year. But not a whole lot better. Webber keeps them from fully exploiting Iverson, Dalembert and Iguodala's quickness and athleticism (and Korver seems to make those shots better in transition too). Green's a nice player, but I don't really trust him to make an impact. And when you have players that don't really like playing with each other very much, continuity may not be the best thing.

The trade would have some drawbacks and benefits: Rose isn't all that good and is paid waaaay too much, but he doesn't need to shoot a lot, he goes after boards, plays tough defense, and could be a veteran presence which Iverson and King have both said was lacking. Taylor sucks (and by all accounts, is a lousy human being), but hey, he's got an expiring contract that can free up some money, bring us a player in a trade, or can be packaged with Korver's contract. Richardson has that awful 4-year deal without insurance on his back, but at least he's a little more versatile than Korver, would leave us with a 3-point shooter if we traded Korver, and has shown with the Suns that he could play well on a running team. Now, if we could just get Isaiah to throw in a #1 draft pick (or four)...

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