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State of the Cap: Philadelphia 76ers

Sun, 06/22/2008 - 10:05am

 

By Josh Redetzke
6/22/08

2008/09 Philadelphia 76ers Payroll: $34.6 million
2008/09 Estimated Salary Cap: $58 million
Roughly $23.4 million under cap

[img_assist|nid=1110|title=Andre Iguodala|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=287|height=565]

 

The Good:
Philadelphia can thank veteran point guard Andre Miller for getting them back into the playoffs this season. Miller was much more assertive on the offensive end, averaging a career high 17.1 points per game and shot an efficient 49% from the field. He didn’t stop distributing the ball either, handing out 6.9 assists each night. Miller has been an underrated point guard for many years. In his nine-year career, he has never played in less than 80 games in a season, which is a credit to his dependability. Miller is definitely worthy of the $10 million he will receive next year and the 76ers should keep him around longer.

Chris Webber’s contract that was bought out last year will come off the books this summer, saving the team a giant chunk of salary cap space (about $19 million). The Webber trade is finally paying off and the extra cash will come in handy trying to re-sign Andre Iguodala and add a key free agent.

Rookie Thaddeus Young had a pretty good first season in the league. Young didn’t play much to start the year, but as time went on his game got better and better and his minutes soared. He only averaged 8.2 points and 4.2 rebounds, but his 54% shooting was very impressive for a rookie. If some of Young’s breakout games are any indication, Philly will have a nice forward on their roster in a year or two.

The Bad:
The 76ers don’t have many bad contracts, but the deal for Reggie Evans sure stinks. It isn’t that expensive, only $14.5 million over the next three years, and Evans did average 7.5 rebounds per game. So why is it terrible? Evans doesn’t block shots, can’t do anything on offense, can’t pass the ball, and is an embarrassing free throw shooter. I’m all for hustle points, but at that price I want a player whose game is a little more well-rounded.

Sharpshooter Kyle Korver was no longer shooting sharply 25 games into the season, so Philadelphia sent him packing to Utah for the corpse of Gordan Giricek and a protected first round pick. Korver didn’t make much money, but he was shooting less than 40% from the field and a pedestrian 35% from the three point line, so this was a good time to unload him, right? As it turns out, Philly’s trigger was a little too quick on this one. Korver thrived as a member of the Jazz, raising his field goal percentage to 47% and he continues to be one of the best free throw shooters in the game. Instead of having a good long-range specialist for a cheap price, the 76ers now have a draft pick that will probably be in the 20’s. I’d rather have the specialist since the team now lacks any three point threats.

The Future:
Samuel Dalembert’s contract was disastrously overpriced when he first signed it and that continued to be the case for a while. Now, it is starting to look a little better. Dalembert averaged a double-double for the first time with 10.5 points and 10.4 rebounds. He also swatted 2.3 shots per game, good enough for fourth in the league. Okay, so $34 million over the next three years might be a bit too high for Dalembert, but it isn’t looking nearly as bad as it used to. If he can move the ball a little better and add a few more points on offense, he’ll be a good center for that price.

The biggest concern for Philadelphia this summer is re-signing Andre Iguodala. He is a restricted free-agent, which means they can match any offer and will probably wait to see what the market is willing to pay him. Iguodala is a real talent and there is interest out there, but at what price? If he doesn’t get what he wants, Iguodala can sign the qualifying offer of $3.2 million and become unrestricted next summer. The key for Philly is that they need to sign him for the right amount. Iguodala is a great player and really fills up a box score. He averaged 5.4 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 2.1 steals, and nearly 20 points per game. However, Iguodala hasn’t really proven that he can be a superstar and carry a team by himself, like LeBron or Kobe. So, if they overpay him, it could come back to haunt the team down the road. This is a situation that will need to be handled just right.


The 76ers have some nice pieces in place, but they need one more big gun at forward. With their abundant cap space, they’ll be hitting free agency hard. Antawn Jamison will be pricy, though he would fit in very well considering Philly’s need for more scoring and rebounding. A line-up of Miller, Iguodala, Thaddeus Young, Jamison, and Dalembert would be pretty good in the East. We’ll wait and see if new GM Ed Stefanski can make it happen.

Free Throw:
Did you know that the Philadelphia 76ers are the NBA’s oldest franchise? They started in 1946 as the Syracuse Nationals of the NBL. In 1949, they were one of seven NBL teams that merged with the Basketball Association of America to form the NBA. Years later, in 1963, they moved to Philadelphia since it was a much bigger city that could more easily sustain a basketball franchise. It’s amazing what you can learn from Wikipedia.


Grade: B+

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Jon_Pastuszek
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Joined: 06/22/2008
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Korver

I don't agree with you on Kyle Korver. Philadelphia made the right decision in moving him.

The Sixers strengths, as GM Ed Stefanski quickly realized when he took over, lie in their ability to run the floor and play solid defense. Korver simply didn't fit into the new Sixers mold. He's always been a purely offensive player who's not that effective if his shots aren't falling. The first 25 games of the year while in Philly, Korver was jacking up close to 9 shots a game to the tune of 39% from the field. What's more, he was playing close to 26 minutes a game, taking away playing time from young guys like Thaddeus Young and Rodney Carney.

The bottom line is this: The Sixers don't regret this move, even though Korver was superb for Utah. I think you have to look at that trade as highly beneficial to both teams -- Utah got a great perimeter shooter to compliment Boozer and Williams, and the Sixers cleared up some cap room and got Thaddeus Young on the court. As a result, Young looks like one of the brightest prospects from last year's draft. Both sides made out great. True, Philly definitely lacks perimeter shooting as a result, but this is a very promising young team that has the cap flexibility and trade assets to acquire another shooter.

elandfried
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B+?

Really, a B+ for one of the best young teams in the league with over $23 million in cap space? If they get a B+, I'm not sure who deserves an A.

elandfried
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Brand

They just parlayed all that cap space into the one thing they desperately needed - a post presence like...Elton Brand. That's why they deserved an A+

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