I’m happy that Samuel Dalembert’s gone. But on second thought, uh-oh…
Thursday night will be one of the most important in recent Philadelphia 76ers’ history, one that could decide the fate of this heavily troubled franchise in the new decade. With a lil ‘Holiday’ spirit, the Sixers managed to draw the second pick in the Draft lottery last month, and now the nation will get to see if the Sixers really are as shortsighted as advertised and pass up on Evan Turner.
From my standpoint, it seems fated for the former Buckeye to stand as the new face of the Sixers organization. This is definitely a top-5 heavy Draft, but it doesn’t get more obvious then Wall/Turner at the top of the board and so Philly is in complete control of their destiny at this juncture.
But then comes Sixers GM, Ed Stefanski, who is slowly turning into the master of the head-scratchers. After eight frustrating years with Samuel Dalembert, Stefanski finally dealt the Haitian center to the Sacramento Kings last week.
This was my first reaction:
Pppppaaaaarrrrrtttttttyyyyyyyyyyy tttttttttttttiiiiiiiimmmmmmmeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. Joy to the worldddddddd.
This was my second reaction:
At first glance, the trade is just instant gratification. Ever since Billy King, former Philly GM, extended Dalembert to the tune of 6 years, $50 million back in 2005, Sixers fans have been aching to move the bloated contract.
In his long stint in Philadelphia, Dalembert proved to be a true basketball enigma. At 6-11, he is long, fast and incredibly athletic. Shot-blocking and rebounding have always been Daly’s strengths and he definitely had his rare nights where his potential was clearly staggering.
But those games were few and far between, and mostly we were left with a very unproductive center whose offensive game was as boring and lackluster as Shawn Bradley’s. My favorite is when Sammy thinks he’s MJ and launches a sky-arcing fade-away from 16 feet. Never, ever, ever goes in. Beware, Kings fans…it’s a sight.
So being a long-time proponent of trading away this bust from Seton Hall, you can understand why I was so happy with this trade…at first.
Then I saw that the Sixers received Spencer Hawes and Andres Nocioni. Ok, whatever. To be honest, I was so happy that Slammin’ Sammy D was gone that I didn’t care who we got in return.
I’m not going to pretend that I’m a huge Kings follower, but Nocioni has a toughness in his reputation that you have to like. And Hawes is the real key to this trade, being that he’s probably the replacement at center. He doesn’t have the shot-blocking and rebounding ability of Dalembert, but the boy is actually able to shoot and score. Some semblance of an offensive game at least.
But then after looking at the contracts, I realized two things:
A) Stefanski actually thinks that Spencer Hawes is the Sixers’ future at center. I mean, let’s look at it. Dalembert was about to go into his final year of his horrible contract at $12.2 million. And let’s face it: the Sixers might take some baby steps this season towards becoming a respectable franchise again, but they aren’t going to make any kind of significant run in the 2010-2011 season. Just isn’t happening.
So why not just eat Dalembert’s final year and become big players in the free agency market next summer? Well, clearly, Stefanski had to have Hawes. Clearly, he believes Hawes style was compromised to fit the Tyreke Evans offense in Sacramento and thus he will be all-mighty in Philadelphia. Clearly, getting Spencer Hawes (and Nocioni’s contract which runs through 2013) was worth getting rid of Dalembert’s huge expiring contract.
B) Stefanski is planning on breaking a lot of hearts by selecting DeMarcus Cousins or Derrick Favors on Thursday night. I don’t think option A is true at all–Stefanski doesn’t really think Hawes is the answer at center. So is he just freeing up the position so we can draft a big man who might be the solution? God I hope not, but who knows.
Doug Collins is reportedly pretty high on Favors, even though the organization has stated that the Dalembert trade won’t affect the Draft at all. Well, I’ll believe that when I see it. Because if the Sixers really just gave up a massive expiring contract for two average players just so they can then pass up on Evan Turner, I’m simply gonna lose it.
I don’t like scenario A or B, but at least the former holds the probability that the 76ers draft Turner. Sure, I think the Dalembert trade was rash, but if the Sixers get their guy from Ohio State, Philadelphia can breathe a sigh of relief and finally feel some optimism for the future. If not…well, heads will be rolling, and Sammy D will have proven to screw the Sixers one last time, even in his grandiose exit.
But the trade is done and that can’t be changed, so I say good luck and good riddance, Sammy Dalembert. It’s been…..okay?