When they acquired the team in 2012 maybe, I think the talk was about seven years. Seven years. So, I think it’s still on that same timeline.
Seven years to make the playoffs? Erving:
No. To be good. To be good. To be formidable. To be a contender. That’s probably 18-19.
That might seem like a long time, but it really isn’t that much longer than the typical rebuild.
The Warriors drafted Stephen Curry, decided to build around him and then won the championship six years later. Building a contender usually takes time.
The 76ers are obviously being quite patient, and I believe they’ll organically determine the right time to surge forward. I don’t see them rushing to sign mediocre free agents in five years just because they’re tired of losing. Once they have a strong group of young players, ideally anchored by a superstar, then they’ll use their assets – cap space and future draft picks – to acquire players capable of helping to win immediately.
That process has been delayed both for reasons in their control (trading Michael Carter-Williams) and out of their control (Joel Embiid’s injuries).
But I think they’ll stay true to the process – whether that means getting good before seven years are up or taking even longer.
I’d take seven years as an estimate on a very flexible plan.
News, notes for Summer League Wednesday: Willie Cauley-Stein active, still learning NBA game
The playoff/tournament/whatever you call it round of the NBA Las Vegas Summer League tipped off on Wednesday. Unlike the NBA, you don’t see an increase in intensity now that the playoffs have rolled around — these guys been playing for a job, auditioning for almost a week now. A paycheck is way more motivation than the Summer League crown.
There continue to be plenty of things happening in Vegas, here’s a roundup.
• It was a scary moment when Kings’ No. 6 pick Willie Cauley-Stein left the game Wednesday limping after he banged knees with James Michael McAdoo. After a little treatment and rest he was back in — a relief for a guy who had a lot of teams concerned about his injury potential. Cauley-Stein said he just banged knees.
Cauley-Stein has looked good at times in Vegas, he is incredibly active and athletic, but he may he suffers a little from the old John Wooden line “never mistake activity for achievement.” He needs work to recognize and make NBA-level defensive rotations. That activity isn’t going to work against veterans who know how to exploit it.
“I think Willie always plays hard and he’s still adjusting to the NBA game,” Kings’ Summer League coach John Welch said. “But one thing I love with Willie is you know every night you’re going to know what you get, he’s going to give you effort.”
• The Golden State Warriors beat the Kings on Wednesday to advance to the next round of the playoffs, and the team is coming together under Luke Walton (their coach). The Warriors could pull off the never-before-done NBA title then Summer League title back-to-back.
• Sixers’ rookie guard J.P. Tokoto is going to be battling for minutes with Robert Covington, Nik Stauskas, and Hollis Thompson come the season. He gets what his role will be and that he’s going to have to earn his run this season.
“I’m a realist, I know what it is coming into it,” Tokoto said when asked if he had conversations with the team about his role. “But yeah, we have talked about it — being a defensive guy. Coming in – whether it’s garbage time or giving a vet who is playing more minutes a breather — and disrupting the other team’s offense, attacking the rim on the offensive end, offensive rebounds, being a facilitator coming off a pick, or attacking the rim like I said. Just embracing the moment.”
• And Tokoto proved he can finish at the rim.
• Ryan Boatright, who has had a good Summer League trying to make the Nets (he has a partially guaranteed deal, just a $75K buyout), left the Nets game in the first half Wednesday with a shoulder injury after he took a flagrant foul from the Sixers Steve Zach (who threw a hip into him and knocked him flat during an inbound play). Boatright came back in and took his free throws, but this is Summer League and there is no reason to make a guy play through injuries.
• Just signed Pierre Jackson suited up for his first game for the Sixers, and his pink Kobe’s may have been the most impressive thing we saw from him.
Jackson finished with 9 points on 3-of-9 shooting, and was 0-of-4 from three.
• One thing you consistently hear from college players trying to adjust to the NBA game now is the constant movement of it. With a 24-second shot clock (not 35) and a defensive three seconds in the lane call, there is just a lot more motion and quicker action even in a Summer League game.
• All the big names from Duke’s national championship team — Jahlil Okafor, Justice Winslow, etc. — were absent from Summer League on Wednesday because they were all in Los Angeles for the ESPYs. Winslow is not playing anymore for the Heat this summer; it is unclear if Okafor returns for the Sixers.
Report: Kings won’t let George Karl hire son Coby Karl as assistant coach
Perhaps, this is a way of the Kings capitulating Fegan. They surely want to keep Cousins – and by extension, his agent – happy. They also surely want to keep George as their head coach. Blocking Coby’s hire could help reach a middle ground.
Perhaps, Vlade Divac just doesn’t believe Coby, who played for the Kings’ D-League affiliate last season, is worthy of a coaching position. It’s not uncommon for management to have strong influence in a head coach’s assistants.
Perhaps, the Kings don’t want to go too far down the road with George in case they have to fire him to please Cousins.
Perhaps, Sacramento is worried about nepotism.
Coaches entering their first full season on a job, especially ones as accomplished as George, tend to get leeway to hire the staff of their choosing. It’s hard to find a reason for Sacramento to block George from hiring Coby that doesn’t speak to larger underlying issues.
Concern about nepotism is probably the most benign possibility here if the report is true, because that would contain the problem. But that’s still not a good look for Karl.
And that’s probably the best-case scenario.
Nik Stauskas looking for redemption in Philadelphia
LAS VEGAS — Nik Stauskas’ rookie year was not pretty.
Touted as one of the best shooters in the draft, taken No. 8 by the Kings, he shot just 28.8 percent on jumpers before the All-Star break. He called it the worst slump of his life. It didn’t help that the Kings’ went through three coaches with three different philosophies in one season, but Stauskas isn’t making excuses.
“Very poor,” were the words Stauskas used to describe his play last season. “I didn’t play the way I wanted to and that’s just on me. That’s just on me. That’s why this summer I’ve taken the time to work as hard as I can so I don’t have to go through that and I can show people the player I am in this league….
“Anyone who has three coaches in a year, there’s not going to be a lot of consistency, whether it’s with minutes or style of play and whatnot. But I can’t use that as an excuse on gameday, I’m out on the floor and I’ve either got to put the ball in the basket or not put the ball in the basket, and I wasn’t doing that last year.”
He’s going to do try and get his redemption in Philadelphia.
He was shipped East as part of a salary dump deal by the Kings that also included Carl Landry, Jason Thompson, a future first-round pick and the right to swap first-round picks in 2016 and 2017 going to Philly for second round draft-and-stash guys Arturas Gudatis and Luka Mitrovic. (Philly won that trade by a mile.)
Stauskas started to show some of his promise under the faster-paced, more open style of George Karl — he shot 42.1 percent from three after the All-Star break. But it wasn’t his offense that kept Karl from trusting him more, it was the defense and he knows that’s where he will need to improve.
“There were countless times last year I would go on the floor and I was targeted, right away teams would attack me, and the adjustment to the physicality and defense,” Stauskas said. “It’s an adjustment and I’m just getting better every day on it.”
That work was put on hold for a couple weeks after he rolled his ankle this summer, but Stauskas said his ankle is better now, and there was no structural damage.
With Jahlil Okafor and Nerlens Noel in the paint, if Stauskas can knock down threes to space the floor, and if he can play at a fast pace, Brett Brown is going to give him some run.
Stauskas is going to get a second chance to make a first impression. He just wants the one in Philadephia to go much better than that first attempt.
Watch DeMarcus Cousins refuse to sign an autograph for a Warriors fan