NLL Insider - Team by Team: Philadelphia 76ers
by KLEMMELO, updated on Tuesday, October 10 2017, 12:08 am EST
Another season at the top of the table eclipsing 60 wins yet again and further solidifying the 76ers obvious culture of wining basketball. A series of typical but savvy moves throughout the season has seen this franchise sneakily retool with a younger core while still dominating opponents. It’s actually pretty impressive and with a break out season for Kawhi Leonard in the books he will surely only get better and be more capable of shouldering the load alongside running mate and face of the franchise in Damian Lillard.
Taking a step back from their 2015-2016 campaign after a crushing loss against the Celtics in the ECF going down 3-4; The 76ers followed this up with a forgettable break down against the Cavaliers after being up 3-1. Far enough that the untimely injury which ultimately ended Leonard’s year was the difference but to have the opponent on the ropes like that and not being able to capitalise will haunt them for some time to come.
I loved this trade for the 76ers. It just made a lot of sense and the timing on it was perfect. Dumping all the high risk of investing long term resources down the line for a guy in Parker who had just torn his ACL again. A decent return in a pick swap turning their own first into a possible top 3 future pick, Holmes who shows a lot of promise as a rim running big and Clarkson who had been a well known target of the 76ers for some time after giving him up for peanuts when he was originally drafted here.
This move spelled redemption for the 76ers and offered a lot of flexibility and multiple assets to work with as this was a big building block for a lot of great moves later in the season.
The Minnesota Timberwolves send Avery Bradley to the Philadelphia 76ers.
Even though this trade makes a lot of sense and the CJ/Dame dynamic never seemed to work effectively I can’t help but feel the trigger was pulled a little early here. It’s a bit of stretch when you see the 76ers trade resume last season but CJ is still young and improving and held a lot of value as a future trade piece.
They will still be in the same predicament as they were with paying CJ big money as Avery heads into this season looking for a big contract extension next offseason… Which is obvious but may just be the lesser of two evils and on paper is probably a far better fit on both ends of the court so I feel kind of silly being too critical.
Other Notable Trades:
The Philadelphia 76ers send LaMarcus Aldridge to the Utah Jazz. The Utah Jazz send Eric Gordon and Bojan Bogdanovic to the Philadelphia 76ers.
The Philadelphia 76ers receive 10 GM points. The Utah Jazz trade -10 GM points.
LMA was being shopped for some time and the market had really dried up especially for ageing bigs coming up to a possible contract extension. I can’t help but feel this was a bit light for a player like LMA but would seem this was probably the best offer out there.
The Atlanta Hawks send a 1st-Rounder (Orl) to the Philadelphia 76ers. The Philadelphia 76ers send a 1st-Rounder (Hou) and 1st-Rounder (Chi) to the Atlanta Hawks.
Pick 18 and 15 for pick 10. Solid move.
The Denver Nuggets send Darren Collison to the Philadelphia 76ers. The Philadelphia 76ers send JJ Redick to the Charlotte Hornets.
JJ was just a short term fix for a late post season push. While still a tradable asset he was flipped for a more viable back up option in Collison.
The Denver Nuggets send JJ Redick and Derrick Favors to the Philadelphia 76ers. The Philadelphia 76ers send Eric Gordon to the Denver Nuggets. The Philadelphia 76ers send Pau Gasol to the Detroit Pistons.
A move completing the 76ers goal of flipping their ageing front court while looking to the future. Get back JJ who was pivotal in their post season success and rolls the dice with Favours as a possible long term option.
The LA Clippers send a 1st-Rounder (Hou) and 1st-Rounder (Atl) to the Philadelphia 76ers. The Philadelphia 76ers send a 1st-Rounder (Por) to the LA Clippers.
A solid gamble type move to lock down multiple future assets and keep the 76ers options open and flexible.
The Philadelphia 76ers send Leandro Barbosa and Shaun Livingston to the Toronto Raptors.The Toronto Raptors send Deron Williams to the Philadelphia 76ers.
Flip a couple of expendable guards for a more accomplished one in an effort to consolidate assets and win now. Low risk high reward stuff.
Round out the roster…
The 76ers currently have two free roster spots available, three if you assume they don’t bring David Lee back. Some shooting in their front court in the shape of a stretch four type would be ideal. A third string point guard and a back up wing on minimum or MLE type deals might also be the way to go. Other then that just retaining Collison is really the only priority so relatively smooth sailing in the upcoming FA period for the 76ers.
Damian Lillard- 20 PPG, 9.4 APG, 4.3 RPG Shooting 44/36/87.
The move to bring in Avery as more of a complimentary piece next to Lillard is an obvious indicator as to where the trust is with this franchise. Dame didn’t lose a step offensively but elevated his playmaking game to a whole new level this past season. Expect him to trend upwards as he is only just entering his prime and has full control of this team going forward.
Kawhi Leonard’s Ankle…
Kind of hard to single out a weak link within a perennial championship calibre ball club. It was the series of unfortunate events in Kawhi being the X factor heading into the post season and seeing him go down as the nail in the coffin to the 76ers championship aspirations. It was originally thought as only a precaution to keep Kawhi out, especially with the 76ers dominating Cleveland without him over the first four games… When the Cavs came storming back Kawhi remained sidelined obviously hinting the the severity of the initial injury only adding salt to the wounds of the eventual series meltdown.
Draft Grades (from the draft insiders):
Round 1: Pick 10 - Zach Collins
Grade: B+ (merencio grade), B+ (nenjabin grade)
Any time you can move up the draft and further eliminate the risk of the inevitable crap shoot that is the draft is a positive thing… As long as you don’t grossly overpay to the detriment of your team that is. To flip 15 and 18 for pick 10 in a stacked draft is handy as especially when you’re not a team that needs to be taking multiple swings at the piñata. Whether Collins was the better option over the likes of Ntilikina, Mitchell and Giles is yet to be seen of course but a skilled big man never goes astray.
The 76ers revitalised young and upcoming core of Damian Lillard, Kawhi Leonard and Rudy Gobert. At 27 Dame is the elder statesman in this starting five which shows great promise with plenty of upside and room to grow. Their recent acquisition of Avery is a move that looks to be part of a long term plan and must’ve been acted upon with almost complete certainty of him staying around. If that is the case then what you see is a somewhat complete roster for the foreseeable future.
Upcoming Free Agents:
Darren Collison (FA)- The 76ers shipped JJ Redick and a couple seconds for Collison late in the season so the idea I’m assuming is to keep him around. Seeing as their resources won’t be too stretched heading into the FA period this shouldn’t be to hard to do. Collison is a low end starter at best but is very handy coming off the bench.
David Lee (FA)- David was solid in a limited role last year but there hasn’t been a lot of noise coming out of his camp regarding his future at the 76ers. Could expect a similar role if he is brought back.