Tag:Philadelphia 76ers
Posted on: September 28, 2010 5:13 pm
 

The incredible shrinking Brand

Sixers forward has slimmed down considerably.
Posted by Matt Moore


Elton Brand has becom the kind of albatross contract teams dread having. At times not even cracking the starting lineup last season, Brand has plummeted into irrelevance since signing as a free agent in Philadelphia. Elton Brand used to be a monster, a franchise cornerstone. Now he's just a big contract for an older, out of shape player unable to contribute to the level he needs to.

Or... maybe not?

NBA.com's John Schuhmann reports that Brand has shown up for camp at 254 pounds, a significant weight loss that should increase his mobility. New head coach Doug Collins gave Brand a goal of 255 when they met this summer, and Brand has met that goal. It's a huge step for a player whose mobility has been severely limited by his balooning size the past few seasons. Brand suffered an achilles injury in 2007 and never has really recovered, despite signing as a free agent in Philly in 2008, shunning the Clippers who drafted him.

Brand, next to Marreese Speights, could give the Sixers a huge boost if he can contribute with even a slight improvement this season. Additionally, the better he plays, the easier it might be for them to move him which would help in their rebuilding process.

A resurgent Elton Brand? Too much to hope for? Hey, that's what training camp's for.

Posted on: September 28, 2010 2:31 pm
Edited on: September 28, 2010 2:50 pm
 

MeloDrama: Houston out, Nets need two new teams

Posted by Royce Young
 
Most thought a deal for Carmelo Anthony would've been done by now. Not often do four-team deals hang in limbo like this without someone finally pressing the button or it completely falling apart.

And while yesterday the Nuggets leaped a big hurdle by getting Anthony to media day and training camp, there was a small twist.

He didn't partake in any of the promotional video, picture or radio shoots. All together now: hmmmmm. If you were looking for a sign that things were still alive in the trade department, I think you got one.

It's obvious that the trade discussions are still happening and as Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! reported the Nets are working on a new deal. Why the wait-out by the Nuggets? Because they're concerned about taking back more money than they're sending out.

A source told ESPN's Chris Broussard, "Stan Kroenke is not going to pay that much money to take a step backwards," the source said of the Nuggets' owner. "They'll have to find a way for Denver to take on less money for that deal to happen."

In the current proposed deal, the Nuggets would receive Andrei Kirilenko ($17.8 million), New Jersey rookie Derrick Favors ($4.1 million) and two future first-round draft picks for Carmelo, who makes right at $17.1 million. The Nuggets' payroll would increase by $4.8 million and since they are over the luxury tax, they'd pay another $4.8 million, meaning Denver would pay an extra $9.6 million this season to become a worse team. Yeah, that doesn't sound so awesome.

While Denver has not totally put the kibosh on the deal, the source told Broussard the financial complications make it "very unlikely" to happen within its current structure. That sort of explains Denver's hesitancy regarding the deal. Broussard also said that Bret Bearup, a longtime consultant to Kroenke and his son Josh, has wanted to trade Anthony for quite some time, but the money aspect of this deal has kept even him from signing off on the move.

Wojnarowski said the Nets are trying to find two new teams to get involved in the deal. Ken Berger of CBSSports.com said that the Nuggets have tried to grab Gerald Wallace but the Bobcats won't budge unless they get Anthony and Carmelo said he won't go there. Same issue with Philly and Andre Iguodala.

But Berger also notes that current deal isn't necessarily dead, but potentially is just being re-worked. On Sunday, a person connected to the talks told CBSSports.com that there was a "more than 50 percent chance" Anthony is traded in the next 24-48 hours.

One contender for Anthony that might be able to be crossed off is Houston, Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated reports. He said he's hearing the Rockets are out of the Carmelo sweepstakes, but does note that the longer this goes, there's a chance they could get involved again.
Posted on: September 26, 2010 7:46 pm
Edited on: September 26, 2010 7:47 pm
 

Melo update: Nuggets exploring, Sixers involved?

Posted by Royce Young

It's Sunday, September 26th. Do you know what the latest on Carmelo Anthony is? Here are some cliff notes: the Nuggets are talking to some teams and stuff. Well, there's more detail to it than just that.

Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reported over a week ago the 76ers were involved in the Carmelo trade talks and were even offering Andre Iguodala as bait. Late Sunday, more reports of the same started coming out with multiple outlets reporting that the Sixers and Nuggets have been in talks regarding exchanging the stars. Nothing serious by any means, but at least some discussion.

Berger has filed his latest report updating the Carmelo situation and here's the gist:
  • In terms of the Melo to Philly talks, Anthony hasn't softened on wanting to go to Philadephia. So while there may be talk, don't look for that to Heat up. At least right now.
  • The four-team deal sending Carmelo to New Jersey is still alive, Berger says. And another team could possibly be added to the mix. But it's possibly on life support. The Nets are willing to wait, but the other teams involved - the Jazz and Bobcats - don't want this trade talk to cause a big distraction in their training camp this week. So if things don't start moving, they may balk.
  • The Nuggets have used this extra time to solicit more offers from other teams, but according to Berger, nothing better has presented itself yet. As of now, it appears the deal with the Nets is the best offer and by the account of a number of other executives, the best one the Nuggets can hope to get.
  • To copy and paste from Ken: "The Nets are said to have “exhausted” the options available to the Nuggets in the current structure of the trade, with one possibility having Harris going to Denver instead of Charlotte.
  • What's better for Denver? Devin Harris or Andrei Kirilenko? As Berger mentions, it comes down to which player has more potential trade value. Kirilenko who has a $17.8 million expiring deal is pretty lucrative compared to Harris who is owed $27 million over the next three years. But at the same time, Harris is an All-Star caliber point guard and if he's dealt somewhere that wants him, they've got him for three years. So Denver would be choosing between a large expiring deal or an actual trade asset in Harris. What gets them more?
  • Denver may be stalling for a whole other reason too. Not just to continue to hear from other teams, but in order to hopefully get Anthony in camp and around familiar, friendly faces. To this point, Anthony still hasn't had a sit-down with new GM Masai Ujiri. The Nuggets are hoping that if they can get Carmelo into media day and training camp tomorrow, that maybe talking with George Karl and Chauncey Billups will ease some of his desires to pack up and leave. But that's likely a longshot.
Maybe that's what the Nuggets have been stalling for. They haven't even been able to hear from Anthony and maybe they at least want their shot at keeping him tomorrow. If Carmelo doesn't show or he doesn't like what he hears, then the wheels may be set in motion, big time. That's all speculation on my part because this thing could go through while I'm typing this involving five teams we haven't even talked about yet. That's just how it is.
Posted on: September 26, 2010 4:30 pm
Edited on: September 26, 2010 4:30 pm
 

Preseason Primer: 76ers

Posted by Royce Young

This 76ers club is a young one that doesn't have any major inclination to win now. They know it's a work in progress and based upon the development of a young core, this group has future potential. But it could be a long year this season. Doug Collins is an excellent coach for young players and almost always gets a win improvement out of a new team in his first year. But he has a challenge ahead of him in Philly this season.

Training camp site: Philadelphia, PA

Training camp starts: Sept. 28

Key additions: Evan Turner (draft), Spencer Hawes (trade), Andres Nocioni (trade)

Key subtractions: Samuel Dalembert (trade), Willie Green (trade), Rodney Carney (free agent)

Likely starting lineup:   Jrue Holiday, PG; Evan Turner, SG; Andre Iguodala, SF; Elton Brand, PF; Marreese Speights, C

Player to watch: Andre Iguodala. After a strong performance in Turkey where Iguodala was called upon to simply play a role, many are riding high on Iggy heading into this season. But it's about mindset. Playing as a third or even fourth option and primarily as a hard-nosed defender, Iguodala looked like one of the premier perimeter defenders in the league. But when he returns to Philly as the leading man on a mediocre to bad club, how does he respond? Will he stay committed to fitting in or will he try and assume the job of dominating the ball for the Sixers?

Chemistry quiz: The Sixers took Evan Turner second overall and now are tasked with figuring out how he fits in. In college, Turner handled the ball, created, distributed and scored. But how does he play with the Sixers? Is he going to stay off the ball and straight play the 2? Will he have some ball-handling duties? With the improvement of Jrue Holiday as a point guard, figuring out how Turner fits will be a question.

Plus, Philly is bringing in a brand new coach in Doug Collins. Typically, Collins improves teams, especially young ones. But it'll be an uphill battle figuring out the roles and spots of some of these guys.

Camp battles: Any question as to who is starting at shooting guard was solved with last week's trade of Willie Green. The 76ers are going young and will start Turner there. Lou Williams could potentially push for Holiday's starting point guard spot, though again, it appears the Sixers are going all-in with the youth movement. At center, Marreese Speights will likely start over offseason acquisition Spencer Hawes, but it'll be a competition throughout camp.

Biggest strength: Athleticism. The Sixers can move with the best of them. Holiday is a physically gifted point man, Turner is a long, lengthy shooting guard, Iguodala is ridiculous and a bench player like Thaddeus Young is long and athletic. The 76ers have a bunch of raw talent with a bundle of ability. In one regard, it's their biggest strength, but in another, it's a weakness.

Glaring weakness: Inexperience and youth. These Sixers don't know how to win. They brought in Elton Brand last summer to try and be a mainstay on the inside and it hasn't worked out well thus far. So right now, the team is left with players trying to fulfill duties likely above them. For example, Iguodala. As showed in Turkey, Iggy is at his best when he's not relied upon to put up 20 points a night. But on this team, he has to be the man. So until someone else steps up whether that's Turner, Young, Holiday or someone else, this team will have issues.
Posted on: September 24, 2010 9:32 am
 

Shootaround 9.24.10: The best players rated

Posted by Royce Young
  • Bill Plaschke of the LA Times on Andrew Bynum's latest injury: "The last time a Lakers big man did something so medically dumb, it was Shaquille O'Neal refusing to fix his toe until just before the 2002-03 training camp, claiming: "I got hurt on company time, so I'll heal on company time." Two underachieving seasons later, he was on Miami time, traded because owner Jerry Buss decided he wasn't worth the trouble. Interestingly, the guaranteed part of Bynum's contract expires in two seasons, at which point Buss will have to make the same sort of decision. At this rate, maybe he shouldn't even wait that long. How can Andrew Bynum be the Lakers' future if you can't count on him today?"
  • Chris Mannix of SI on the Warriors move yesterday: "It's not like Lacob had many alternatives, either. Jeff Van Gundy isn't leaving the ABC booth for the Warriors and it's a little late in the game to be dialing up Lawrence Frank and Sam Mitchell too. Plus Smart, who Lacob told Bay Area reporters will receive a multi-year contract, comes cheap. If it doesn't work out this year the team can always cut ties after the season. But with Nelson gone, the Warriors can finally look towards the future without being encompassed by the shadow of the past. A new era has begun in Golden State and let's face it, it can't be much worse than the last."
  • Tim Kawakami on the end of the Don Nelson era: "Nelson just couldn't win anymore. And it became clear that he stopped caring, too. That is how Nelson morphed himself into the Cohan Culture, with spot moments of success amid long periods of massive distress and political intrigue. I don't know how the Lacob era will turn out. Maybe well, maybe more seasons of failure. But Lacob knew that had to start by moving Don Nelson aside -- and all his eccentricities and feuds and controversies along with him. Nelson wasn't the worst thing about the Warriors. But he was, in the end, the most visible and corrosive influence on the players and fans. By cleaning him out, Lacob creates a fresher Warriors climate and a brand new era."
Posted on: September 23, 2010 11:09 am
Edited on: September 23, 2010 1:50 pm
 

Hornets and 76ers complete four-player swap

Posted by Royce Young

Craig Brackins' NBA career is off to a roaring start. Before he's even played a game, he's been traded twice.

Multiple outlets are reporting the 76ers are dealing Willie Green and Jason Smith to the Hornets for Darius Songaila and Brackins. So it's not exactly Carmelo Anthony getting traded, but it's something , alright?

This is one of those trades that really doesn't require a ton of breaking down, but it's a bit curious from the New Orleans end. The Hornets are trying to move salary, even if it's just a low-level rookie scale contract. They get back a third shooting guard in Willie Green who expires next summer and a seven-foot power forward in Smith who can be expiring next summer. It's not like the Hornets can't use a little reliable shooting guard depth, but as of right now, they traded a first-round pick for a third string shooting guard. Get excited NOLA!

The 76ers get a little young talent in Brackins, a player taken originally by the Oklahoma City Thunder before being traded to New Orleans as part of the Cole Aldrich draft day deal. He's a power forward/small forward combo that has range out to the 3-point line. He might be able to find a little playing time behind Andre Iguodala, but he'll have to beat out Andres Nocioni. And Songaila is nothing more than someone to plug inside behind Elton Brand and Thaddeus Young.

It's pretty clear Dell Demps is set on reworking the entire Hornet roster by putting his stamp on it. He wants to clear a little money off the table and start developing some of that flexibility GMs crave. Wojnarowski also said Demps has discussed trading Peja Stojakovic with several teams, but nothing so far on that.

This trade isn't really important in really any sense, but it definitely is an indicator that Demps isn't going to sit on his hands. He made a commitment to transform the Hornets' roster and little by little, he's working on it.

Still, Green and Smith for Brackins and Songaila. It's the anti-blockbuster. It's the complete opposite of the looming Carmelo Anthony trade. It's definitely something and somewhere inside of it there's probably something important to take from it, but it's definitely hard to see from the surface. Especially on the Hornets' end.
Posted on: September 16, 2010 5:00 pm
Edited on: September 17, 2010 10:26 am
 

Andre Iguodala looks like Bowser from Mario Bros.

(Just play the Mario Bros. music in your head as you read this post.)
Posted by Matt Moore


You know, Iggy's living nicely. Andre Iguodala was a huge part of Team USA's success in the FIBA World Championships this year. His defense, rebounding, and all-around support play were major contributions to the effort that netted Team USA the gold. He's in a new commercial series that idolizes the greatest for an NBA video game. And hey, speaking of video games, now he gets to look like one! Iguodala dropped this picture on his Twitter account today to show off his new haircut:



Not bad. Very... sharp. You know, like spikes. Kind of like... Bowser!


I very much look forward to Igoudala spitting fireballs at a jumping Derrick Rose (an obvious Mario choice; Andrea Bargnani is Luigi, naturally) this season. Just don't go Go Kart racing, Iggy. You're slow. Really, really slow.

(HT: Liberty Ballers , Bowser image courtesy of SmashBros.com )
Posted on: September 10, 2010 11:43 am
Edited on: September 10, 2010 11:44 am
 

Pop Quiz: Who's the Rookie of the Year favorite?

Posted by Royce Young

Fall is here, hear the yell, back to school, ring the bell ... The NBA season is right around the corner, and NBA training camp starts in just a few short weeks. To get you ready for the NBA season, we've put together 25 pop quizzes. Pencils ready? We continue our Pop Quizzes with this question...

Who is winning Rookie of the Year? John Wall, Blake Griffin or someone else?

There's the Madden Curse, the Curse of the Billy Goat and the the Curse of the Sacred Buffalo. And for the past couple years, there's been the Curse of the No. 1 Overall Pick.

Of course there's Greg Oden who missed his entire 2007-08 rookie season because of microfracture surgery on his knee. Derrick Rose escaped and had a nice 2008-09 rookie campaign, but then Blake Griffin fractured his patella and sat out all of 2009-10.

Maybe it's a trend. Or maybe like the other "curses," it's just a combination of coincidence and bad luck.

But not often do you have a season with two No. 1 overall picks playing their rookie seasons together. John Wall and Blake Griffin are the last two top picks in the NBA and they are both entering their official rookie seasons. Griffin was the clear-cut favorite for Rookie of the Year last season before he got hurt, but his injury opened the door for Tyreke Evans to snatch the award. But with how electric Evans was last season, who knows, he might've won the award anyway.

So coming into 2010-11, we have two obvious favorites. But will one of them win it? If so, which one? Or if not, who else could slip in and grab the Eddie Gottlieb Trophy? Here are the favorites and then two sleepers:

THE FAVORITES

Blake Griffin, Clippers - It's easy to forget what a freak of nature Griffin is. It's easy to forget his non-stop motor, his talent, his ridiculous ability and his awesome athleticism. He sat out last season so it's easy to forget that he was pretty much a consistent 20-20 threat at the University of Oklahoma and that he averaged almost 30 points and 15 rebounds in the NCAA tournament. It's easy to forget that he was the most dominant college big man since Tim Duncan.

But he's healthy and he's hungry. Those are two very, very scary things for those that dare challenge him head-to-head. Griffin has an other-worldly work ethic and he's spent the last 15 months waiting to get a crack at the NBA. He's ready to go and the Clippers need his services. He'll get big minutes and he'll likely put up big numbers.

John Wall, Wizards
- In terms of pure flash, skill and NBA talent, it's hard to top John Wall. He just has some sort of allure to him that makes him must-see. And that sort of thing goes a long way in determining Rookie of the Year. Wall has "it," whatever "it" is.

He's going to struggle some though, especially early on. He's being put in charge of a fairly bad Wizards team from the get-go. He's going to have to manage being a scorer and a distributor, something really good point guards don't figure out most times until their third year. He will struggle at times. He'll turn the ball over. He'll miss open shots. And he'll likely get frustrated. But Wall will have flashy games, good numbers and most of all, that Derrick Rose like draw that just makes him fun to watch.

DeMarcus Cousins, Kings
- A lot of really smart analysts agreed in June, DeMarcus Cousins was the most talented overall player in the draft. He's the most NBA ready player and most capable of stepping on the floor and contributing this second.

But for Cousins, it was a between-the-ears thing.

Assuming his head is on straight and he's focused, Cousins is an absolute force on the post. In the first three games of Vegas summer league, he was nearly unguardable. He was a walking double-double. But then he got tired, lost interest and his numbers dipped severely. If we see the good Cousins consistently, he's a legit contender. If he wavers, he might not even make an All-Rookie team.

Evan Turner, 76ers - During summer league, Turner looked lost. He looked confused. He looked as if he wasn't sure of himself, his abilities or how he was supposed to fit in.

But remember, summer league.

Turner nearly averaged a triple-double at Ohio State last season. His issue will be something he doesn't really control. New 76ers coach Doug Collins will have to figure out where he's supposed to play. Is it point? At the 2? At the 3? Once that gets settled and Turner fits into his role, he should be a guy that finishes with quality numbers on a team that likely won't be very good.

Greg Monroe, Pistons - Maybe Monroe would be better suited in the "sleeper" category. He was drafted seventh overall and isn't set up to garner a ton of attention or playing time early on in Detroit.

But Monroe's skills are unignorable. He passing beautifully out of the post, has terrific footwork and rebounds better than people give him credit for. Right now, he's a little low on the depth chart, but the Pistons are likely planning on moving some pieces around. So Monroe will probably get plenty of playing time in a rebuilding situation.

TWO DARK HORSES
Patrick Patterson, Rockets - Daryl Morey traded Carl Landry away to Sacramento last season at the deadline. And he replaced him with, basically another Carl Landry.

Patterson is a machine on the post. He never stops working, never stops fighting. He's pretty much a perfect Houston Rocket at this point. The traditional box score may say he's not great, the measurables may say he's not super talented, but he just gets it done. Given the chance, he might slip in and average quality numbers playing in a bench role for Houston. And if so, he might also slip into the ROY discussion.

James Anderson, Spurs - With the oft-injured and aging Manu Ginobili playing in front of him, James Anderson might be called upon at some point to step up in a big way for the Spurs. And since he plays for San Antonio, obviously Anderson will be up to the task, because that's the just the way the Spurs work.

He was an elite scorer in college that was questioned at the next level because he's not overly athletic and doesn't score at the rim. But does it matter when you can just plain score? He shoots an open 3 beautifully, he gets to the free throw line and he's not a bad defender. If he gets opportunities, he could potentially average double-digits and play a big role in keeping the Spurs going. And that might be enough to at least get him in the conversation.

THE PICK
This is a weird year. On one hand, there are the obvious favorites as in, two No. 1 overall picks. But on the other, it's a wide open race because there's a lot of uncertainty surrounding those guys. Can Wall settle in with Washington? Is Griffin completely healthy? How good is DeMarcus Cousins and can he jump other candidates?

After Blake Griffin's injury last season, the ROY race opened up completely. Basically everyone had a shot. This season, it's pretty much a two-man showdown, with a couple dark horses hanging around. Writers are just waiting to hand the award to either Wall or Griffin, so in order for someone else to get into the conversation, they'll have to have a big time year.

So it comes down to the two No. 1s. Griffin has the advantage of going through an NBA season already, even if he didn't play. He's had a year of practices, a year of meetings, a year of travel. And most importantly, a year away from home in a big city with a lot of money in his pocket. He knows how to handle it. Wall on the other hand, is coming in like a traditional rookie - fresh.

Basically in my mind, it comes down to Griffin's health. If he doesn't sustain anymore injuries and is able to play the bulk of the season, he's going to have seriously good numbers. Probably something in the 17-10 range or maybe even better. He's a statistical machine. Wall will have a nice year no doubt, but Griffin will likely put up numbers that can be ignored. And that's why, in his second rookie year, Blake Griffin gets the Eddie Gottlieb Trophy.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com