Sixers make bold moves at trade deadline

By Howard Blake III
February 27, 2015


Kevin’s Point of View

The Philadelphia 76ers were very active at the NBA trade deadline. The Sixers made some noise early by acquiring JavVale McGee and a first round pick in a three-team deal with the Washington Wizards and Oklahoma City Thunder.

The big splash did not come till later in the day when the Sixers traded point guard Michael-Carter Williams. The Sixers received a 2015 first round pick from the Los Angeles Lakers that is owed to the Phoenix Suns. The pick is top- five protected.

This trade was the cause of a lot of anger from Sixers’ fans. The anger is completely understandable because Carter- Williams was arguably the best player on the Sixers at the time and was thought of as the future point guard in Philly. He is averaging 15.0 points per game, 7.4 assists per game and 6.2 rebounds per game. Respectable

stats and appears on paper to be an all around paper.

So, the fans anger might be warranted but they are wrong. Carter-Williams is a poor shooter who turns the ball over way too much and hasn’t made big strides since his rookie of the year campaign last year. Sixers General Manager Sam Hinkie is all about potential and Michael- Carter Williams had reached his ceiling in Philly and yes it is only his second year but not a lot of progress in his game has been made.

The deal that did not make any sense was trading guard K.J. McDaniels to the Houston Rockets for a second round pick. McDaniels was a second pick himself in 2014 and was playing good defense and improvedon offense along with a lot of athleticism.

Hinkie is not settling for ‘good’ he wants ‘great’ and that is a philosophy to appreciate. Hinkie will keep building this team up and tearing it down until he finds the perfect formula to bring back championship basketball to the city of brotherly love.

Right now if you take a look

at the roster there is still some building blocks. Forward/center Nerlens Noel is not putting up the eye-popping numbers but at 20 years old the potential is there. Noel has a natural shot blocking ability and plays with good instincts. He still needs to improve his offensive game but that will come with practice and experience.

There is also injured 2014 first round pick Joel Embiid who everyone is looking at to hopefully be the centerpiece of this rebuild. Embiid is gifted at both ends of the court and is also still only 20 years old. As long as the big man stays healthy he should be a force in the league in due time.

Do not forget about Dario Saric who was also drafted by the sixers in the first round of the 2014 NBA draft. Saric is currently under contract in Turkey and may not be able to play for the Sixers until the 2016- 2017 season. Saric was named Europe young player of the year this year. Some basketball experts have said he is the best player not currently in the NBA

No matter what it should be an interesting next couple of the years for the Sixers. Hinkie will either look like a genius or be the guy that wasted years of the franchise. Let’s hope it’s not the latter because Sixers fans deserve a lot more than the current production of the team.


Howard’s Point of View

General Manager Sam Hinkie and the Philadelphia 76ers have once again made major moves for draft picks. But their latest moves have some scratching their heads and others in furry. Halfway through his second season the Sixers traded, reigning rookie of the

year, Michael Carter-Williams to the Milwaukee Bucks in a three team trade for a 1-18 first round protected pick from the Oklahoma City Thunder and a top five protected first round pick from the Los Angeles Lakers.

Was this the smartest move for Philly? Possibly. The Sixers make moves based on potential and the future. Carter-Williams was easily the Sixers best player and it’s rare that a team would be willing to deal their rookie of the year. But the Sixers had the notion that he was extremely close to reaching his ceiling with their franchise. Carter- Williams was a great player for Philly, but as a point guard his assist numbers were extremely average and his shooting ability was poor. However under Bucks head coach, Jason Kidd, he will get better and blossom even more. But for the Sixers, he wasn’t what they wanted to build around for the future.

If that trade didn’t make fans mad enough, the Sixers also traded their surprise rookie highlight reel, K.J. McDaniels for a second round pick to the Houston Rockets. McDaniels was playing a lot better than expected after only being a second round pick in last year’s draft. He worked his way into the starting line up and was one of the better defenders on the roster. But Hinkie and the staff felt as though McDaniels was valuable to the trade market and that they could find a better wing player in this year’s draft. Even though McDaniels showed freakish athletic ability, his skill set wasn’t fully there.

However the Sixers received point guard Isaiah Canaan from the Rockets and Center JaVale McGee from the Denver Nuggets. Both solid players

however do not count on seeing these faces for years to come. They just don’t make sense for the direction that the Sixers are heading towards in the future.

As we already know, the Sixers traded away their backcourt and the two players that gave a lot of production to this team. Therefore a lot of faith is being put into players like Joel Embiid, Nerlens Noel and Euro League star Dario Saric. It is safe to say that the potentially from these players are through the roof. Embiid before injury was considered the best player in last year’s draft. Noel’s freakish athletic and shot blocking ability has paid dividends for him thus far. His offensive game is slowly improving and we are seeing glimpses of him possibly being able to be a walking double- double in the near future. Saric won the Euro-League MVP award and is a very skilled stretch-four.

The only problem is, the Sixers are going off of “what ifs”. What if Embiid, Noel and Saric don’t become the players they envision them to be? What if the four potential first round draft picks they could potentially have this year don’t become the players they expected? We’ve seen it happen already with Carter-Williams. Hinkie has torn this team down so much; it has fans wondering when the building process is going to begin. But even though there are plenty of “what ifs,” they are intriguing and if things go right, we will look at Sam Hinkie as a genius. Only time will tell. Have patience Sixers fans; trust the process.


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Howard Blake III

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