Thursday, April 28, 2011

Philly Off-Season Moves

The Philadelphia 76ers postseason was ended by a 97-91 Game 5 loss to the Miami Heat on Apr 27, and on Apr. 28 their off-season began.

If I was the owner or at least the general manager of this young and talented team, I would consider some of the needs that should be addressed as soon as possible. Those needs consists of a proven or promising center, reliable veteran bench players, find a replacement for small forward Andre Iguodala as the 76ers star player and draft a couple of young determined players.

Many analysts stated that this team needs to be built around rising stars, Jrue Holiday and Thaddeus Young. I agree that these two should be the focal point (along with Louis Williams) of the team, and I would start by bringing in a center who can be an impact as soon as he touches down in Philadelphia.

The three-year center, Spencer Hawes was a mere disappointment, especially since he was traded for Samuel Dalembert, who I believe was a better fit for this team. Hawes produced a horrific 7.2 points per game and 5.7 rebounds per game this year after tallying 10.0 points per game and 6.1 rebounds per game for Sacramento the previous year. With that being said, I would still keep Hawes and would trade Iguodala and a second round draft pick for a Andrew Bogut (Milwaukee Bucks) type of center to provide toughness on defense and consistency on the offensive end. I believe Dexter Pittman, who was in the D-league for quite some time after being drafted by Miami could be an excellent fit for the 76ers as well. He's young and promising, and he was pretty impressive during his tenure at the University of Texas.

Hawes could benefit from coming off the bench for an established center, and also learn a lot to improve his game and become a spark for Philly's 2010-11 league's leading bench, but bringing in Pittman could also benefit Hawes by making him work harder to keep his starting spot.

In regards of placing veteran players around Holiday, Young and Williams, I would bring in a pure shooter like Roger Mason Jr., who had a horrible statistical year and barely played with the Knicks this season. Despite the horrible year, Mason is still a lights out shooter and to me a pretty reliable player. Also I would bring in some defensive stoppers to guard star players like LeBron James and Dwayne Wade during close games. A veteran point guard like Rafer Alston (who currently plays overseas) to backup Holiday would also be great for his development along with Doug Collins coaching.

Since I would elect to trade Iguodala, I would implement Young into the starting lineup at the small forward position and make him, Holiday and Elton Brand the captains of next season's team. My first guy off the bench would still be Williams, who I believe would have won the Sixth Man Award if Lamar Odom of the Los Angeles Lakers didn't have an amazing year as well.

In the upcoming draft in June, I would pay close attention to players who may be overlooked, but are solid and can be productive once their games are developed.

With these moves the new Philadelphia 76ers roster would look like this:

Starting five -  (PG) Jrue Holiday, (SG) Jodie Meeks, (SF) Thaddeus Young, (PF) Elton Brand, (C) Dexter Pittman or a more established center with Andrew Bogut's ability and toughness.

Sixth man - Louis Williams

Bench - Spencer Hawes, Evan Turner, Marreese Speights, Rafer Alston, Roger Mason Jr., Andres Nocioni, Jason Kapono and two young draft picks that proved they deserve to wear a 76ers jersey.

All in all, if I was the general manager of the Philadelphia 76ers these are the roster moves I would make to improve the team for the upcoming year and for the future as well. With any organization and team nothing is certain, but from what I seen from this year's team these are the much needed roster moves that should be made during the off season if Philadelphia wants to contend for a championship in the near future.

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