Sixers fans are pissed off

2 Comments

iguodala_game.jpgNobody gets angry like Philadelphia sports fans. And right now, they want general manager Ed Stefanski’s head on a platter, according to the Philadelphia Daily News.

“I hear them,” said Stefanski, whose team has taken a huge step backward after making the playoffs in his first two seasons. “I speak with season ticket holders. I take e-mails from fans and get phone calls. I try to respond back to every one of them.

“I know what they are saying.”

Go ahead an be angry, vent all you want, but the Sixers are boxed into mediocrity for a couple years to come.

Next season they already have $65.8 million in salary committed, which is right at the projected luxury tax line. They also have 11 players under contract already, including all the key players from this year’s disaster, and you can figure another $2.5 million for the Sixers first-round draft pick (that amount could go up or down depending on where they draft). Even if you fill out the roster with basic minimum salary players, you are paying some tax and have little room to maneuver the roster.

So just trade for some cap space? All the cool kids are doing it.

Good luck. Nobody is going to take on three more seasons of Elton Brand at $16 million and up. Nobody. If Isiah Thomas were still running the Knicks, he would hang up on that phone call. Maybe in a couple years you can move him as an expiring deal, but for now you get to keep watching him shoot layups into the bottom of the backboard.

Stefanski might find some interest in the five years Andre Iguodala has left, but he will never get that much talent back. And yes, Philly fans, he is talented. He would make a great number two option, just stop expecting him to be a number one. Sorry you paid him like one.

For the 2011-12 season (assuming there is a season) a lot of salaries come off the books and then the Sixers can start to maneuver. Maybe over this summer Stefanski can find a home for Samuel Dalembert to help save some money short term, but it is going to be a couple years before they can make any serious moves. And as long as Brand is still a Sixers property, that rebuilding can only go so far.

Willie Green and Jrue Holiday and Thaddeus Young have potential, and with the coming draft you can add another good young piece. You can start that part of the process. But it is going to be a long and slow one.

You may not like it Sixers fans, but this is your team for now.

Report: Celtics focused on adding All-Star-caliber frontcourt player

AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
Leave a comment

Isaiah Thomas said he he’d happily forgo a renegotiation-and-extension if the Celtics use their cap space to upgrade their roster.

Where are they looking?

A. Sherrod Blakey of CSN New England:

Multiple league sources have told CSNNE.com in recent weeks that the Celtics are focused on landing an All-Star caliber talent in the frontcourt.

In the last three years, 22 frontcourt players have been All-Stars. Boston already has one: Al Horford. Could the Celtics land any of the other 22?

Almost certainly unavailable

Free agency

Trade

Free agency or trade

  • Pau Gasol (Though Gasol said he’d opt in, San Antonio might try pushing him out to pursue Paul. If Gasol opts in, the Spurs could also trade him to clear space for Paul.)
  • Dirk Nowitzki (The Mavericks have a $25 million team option on Nowitzki for next season. Nowitzki going to Boston, via trade or free agency, would probably require a mutual agreement between Dallas and him that pursuing a title elsewhere is the right way for him to end his career.)

Report: Spurs exploring Chris Paul pursuit

Harry How/Getty Images
1 Comment

The Clippers are taking the Chris Paul-to-Spurs rumors seriously.

And apparently so are the Spurs.

Marc Stein of ESPN:

The San Antonio Spurs are exploring the feasibility of making a free-agent run at All-Star point guard Chris Paul, league sources told ESPN.

San Antonio must complete three difficult objectives to land Paul:

  • Clear cap space. Even if they trim their roster to Kawhi Leonard, LaMarcus Aldridge, Pau Gasol, Danny Green and Tony Parker, the Spurs would still have to dump two of them to clear max room. Can they convince Gasol to reverse course and opt out, maybe re-signing at a major discount? Would they trade Parker, who has meant so much to the franchise? Would they deal Aldridge or Green, players who would make major contributions to a Leonard/Paul-led team?
  • Convince Paul to accept a projected max of $152 million over four years rather than the projected $205 million he could get over five years from the Clippers. Although the annual difference is just $3 million and Paul could sign another deal in four years, it’s unlikely he recoups that at age 36.
  • Convince Paul to leave big-market L.A. for small-market San Antonio. Remember, Paul forced his way from small-market New Orleans then ascended into one of the NBA’s biggest endorsement stars.

The Spurs boast a fantastic basketball culture, and Leonard and Popovich make great partners in a championship chase. There are reasons San Antonio is gaining traction with Paul.

But there’s still a lot for the Spurs to overcome. Will they? At least they’re trying rather than just dismissing the plot as unfeasible.

Cleveland GM David Griffin: “I hope everybody says we have no chance”

2 Comments

The Golden State Warriors are heavy favorites to win the NBA title. According to bovda.lv, bet $100 on the Warriors to win the title and you get $41.7 dollars. Bet $100 on the Cavaliers and you get $200. And that number is likely to get worse for Warriors fans.

The Cavaliers are okay with that. They like being the underdogs. Look at what GM David Griffin said in a televised interview after they eliminated the Celtics in Game 5, via Cleveland.com.

“I hope everybody says we have no chance,” General Manager David Griffin said during a TV interview following the Cavaliers’ 135-102 win Thursday night against the Boston Celtics, clinching a third straight NBA Finals appearance.

“Obviously the team we’re playing is as good as you can possibly put together, it’s going to be an unbelievable battle for us, but I think [the Cavs] love battling together. The greater the odds, the better we seem to play together. We really do rally around each other in that sense.”

There is some truth to that.

There’s also a difference between that truth and slowing Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant. How the Cavaliers are going to do that will be the interesting part of these playoffs.

Detroit’s Van Gundy honored for cooperation with media, fans

2 Comments

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) — Stan Van Gundy of the Detroit Pistons has won the Rudy Tomjanovich Award, which honors an NBA coach for his cooperation with media and fans, as well as excellence on the court.

The Professional Basketball Writers Association announced the winner Friday. Van Gundy was one of five finalists for the award. The others were Steve Clifford of the Charlotte Hornets, Mike D’Antoni of the Houston Rockets, David Fizdale of the Memphis Grizzlies and Brad Stevens of the Boston Celtics.

Dwane Casey of the Toronto Raptors won the award last season.