Friday, December 07, 2007

With King off throne, Sixers can claim royalty

By Jeff Glauser
The Phanatic Magazine

The King is gone. Billy King. King Reverse Midas. The only GM in sports known to get into a bidding war with himself (“Who else wants an injured, overrated Willie Green? No one? That’s alright, I’ll still give him a pay raise!”).


Whether or not competence will be restored in the Sixers’ front office is left to be determine. Some say local native Ed Stefanski has his work cut out for him.

The cold, hard facts seem to point to that as well: Bad contracts (Samuel “Fundamentally Flawed” Dalembert, Kyle “One Trick Pony” Korver, the aforementioned Green, et al), no bona fide stars (Sorry, Andre Iguadala, not there yet – not when you consistently refuse to put this team on your back and take the ball to the hoop) and questionable rising talent (never a good sign when the 10th overall pick in the draft can’t get off the bench).

All of this has also equated to a completely deflated fan base that King left Philly on his way out the door – similar to leaving a bag of turd on a doorstep before getting the hell out of Dodge.

Yeah, thanks for that, too, Billy.

However, I feel the newest GM in town has a prime opportunity to make a splash – and make a difference – in a relatively short period of time.

Hell, the Celtics were horrendous last year. Two big deals later (okay, huge deals), and they’re seemingly the team to beat in the East.

Why not us?

So, with the help of’s Trade Machine, I’ve come up with a plan on how Stefanski can immediately endear himself to the public, shorten up King’s rebuilding plan and put fans back in the seats – this season.

Here it goes – and reserve your judgment until I explain:

New York Knicks get: Kevin Ollie ($3.4 million this year, one year left), Green ($3.1 million, four years left) and Andre Miller ($9.6 million, two years left).

Sixers get Stephon Marbury ($19 million, two years left).

Before you tell me to put the crack pipe down, allow me to explain.

It works for both sides. The Knicks finally get an unselfish point guard and an expiring contract in Ollie. And we all know how fond Thomas is of ball-hogging shooting guards (enter Green). The Knicks can then instantly dump Ollie and perhaps bench-rider Fred Jones to get back to the 15-roster limit. They also save a few million bucks.

Most importantly, it’s become increasingly obvious that Marbury wants out of New York. The unfortunate recent death of his father most likely further confirms the need for a change of scenery – and possibly one last chance to prove his worth.

The Sixers get a name who, in Iverson-esque fashion, can draw fans into the seat, plus lose a horrible contract in Green. Marbury only has this year and next year left on his contract. Sixers might eat a little bit more money in this deal, but Marbury can then be trade bait this time next year; plus, they’re not locked into three more years of overpaying Green, which opens them up for the future.

Another interesting angle to this: “Starbury” is notorious for making teams better…after he leaves. So his brief presence alone could work wonders for the Sixers’ rebuilding process – by route of, say, a higher draft pick? And, if nothing else, a Marbury/Iguadala/Williams triumvirate could be very entertaining to watch. Maybe even take some pressure off Iggy in the process, as well.

Most importantly, this still allows the Sixers to be one of the very few teams in the league with the cap space to sign a big-time free agent next summer. That could equate to a star who might opt out, such as Elton Brand or Shawn Marion; a restricted guy such as Luol Deng or Emeka Okafor; or perhaps a couple cheaper, complimentary pieces from the unrestricted list, such as DeSagana Diop and Gerald Green.

So, for poops and grins, let’s take a look at your 2008-9 Sixers, “It Could Happen If Ed Stefanski Was Reading This” Edition:

- Guards: Marbury, LouWilliams, lottery draft pick (say, O.J. Mayo?), G. Green
- Forwards: Jason Smith, Korver, Iguadala, Reggie Evans, Thaddeus Young, Rodney Carney
- Centers: Brand/Okafor, Dalembert
- Possible 15-man roster leftovers: Herbert Hill, Louis Amundson, Shavlik Randolph

Which results in a starting five of: Brand/Okafor, Smith, Iguadala, Williams and Mayo; with Marbury (for an offense spark), Korver (for some quick sharp shooting), Dalembert (for a defensive presence) the top guys off the bench and some extremely solid pieces left over in Evans, G. Green, Carney and Young to round things out.

That has the makings of a 50+ win team. No, seriously.

And it can happen – with just a little creativity and some good timing to catch Isaiah Thomas when he’s at his most vulnerable – say, right before he gets fired, or sued for harassment again.

One trade. One draft pick. Two offseason signings - one big, one minor. Voila - you have yourself a contender.

Now that Billy King is (mercifully) gone the new GM can make an immediate first impression by shaking things up and creating a buzz – something that hasn’t been seen around here in quite some time.

So... how about it, Ed?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I stopped reading after "Sixers get Stephon Marbury".