With the Sixers very light on shooting touch, acquiring free-agent guard J.J. Redick, who drained 3-pointers at a 43-percent clip this past season while averaging 15 points per game, would be a smart move for the club.
By Jack Kerwin | firstname.lastname@example.org
The condition is as real as it is ill-conceived.
Beaten down by losses, lost causes and lost promises not just over the past three seasons, but more like the past three decades, 76ers fans, not to mention the media who cover them, have become immune to the concept of urgency, or taking the foot off the break and going for it, or, simply, striking while the iron is hot.
Indeed, patience may be a virtue in life. But, in pro sports? Umm, not so much.
Not if you hope to be relevant in today’s NBA. Or successful. Or even happy.
OK, biting the collective tongue wasn’t necessarily a bad thing for Sixer Nation for the majority of Sam Hinkie’s mediocre-to dumpster fire-to contender philosophical reign and Bryan Colangelo’s pass-the-baton takeover as GM since.
But, now, with so many pieces in place after all the assets-building, lottery-winning and talent-acquiring, do we really have to sit back and, go, well, maybe it would be wise to hold off on signing J.J. Redick or Andre Iguodala or some other potentially valuable free agent, that the team really isn’t going to be good for a few years, that it’ll take some time to gel, etc.?
That we all just need to be … patient.
Yo, get real.
The waiting game is over – or certainly needs to be. Otherwise it’s all just devolving into some mutated state of fear-of-change/fear-of-failure self-torture. The squad, the coaching staff, the front office, you … all have paid enough mind-numbing, twiddling-thumbs dues. To last a friggin’ lifetime.
If you’re gonna adhere to that plan for the future ad nauseam, guess what, you’re going to remain in a perpetual state of “sit tight, let things develop” for all eternity, whereby it’s a never-ending cycle of being OK with a rebuild, a restructure, a start-over or any other perpetual state that yields, well, nothing of substance.
Blunt honesty: Constructing your lineup over what Joel Embiid may be in 3-4 years from now is counting heavily on borrowed time – with no price tag. The big fella has played 31 games since being drafted three years ago – and the lost minutes weren’t because of him being stashed away in Europe or his home country of Cameroon merely as a safety precaution. Thanks to a multitude of back and foot issues, dating as far back to his pre-draft days at the University of Kansas, he just wasn’t available.
Last year’s top overall pick in the NBA Draft, Ben Simmons? Hey, he missed the entire 2016-17 campaign courtesy of a broken bone in his foot.
This year’s, Markelle Fultz? Dude missed six his final eight games with the University of Washington this past season due to a knee problem.
In short, you wanna cash in these stocks while you have them, or while they’re still standing.
No 3- to 5-year plan from this point. Gotta get to it … NOW.
Shake it off, people. It really is OK to let the mind wander and not feel the need to blurt out timid predictions of sub-40 as a win total for next season.
This group of players, even without the addition of quality veterans such as Redick or Iguodala, has every business surpassing the .500 mark during an 82-game season. With either being added, or, preferably, both, the Sixers legitimately turn into an Eastern Conference contender.
Winner? Maybe not. But contender, yes.
They are that close. How about we stop being afraid of owning that?
Screw patience, and screw your superstitions with thinking that being positive and progressive equates to an automatic jinxing of the whole process.
► Chris Paul to the Houston Rockets makes no sense here. It goes beyond the L.A. Clippers being crazy with letting the face of their franchise go and the “fit” seeming awkward at best.
Thing is, James Harden ain’t just going to hand over the ball to Paul – despite what the likes of Screamin' A believe. The guy completely remade his game from scorer to floor general who can score, and, in the process, taken his status from all-star to surefire Hall of Famer. Seriously.
Yours truly may have been adamant about Russell Westbrook being the clear-cut MVP all season, but there is no denying that Harden was a rock-solid No. 2 in that department, and pretty much a 1 any other season with the type of performance he gave.
Paul, clearly, is the more natural point man. It’s what he born to play. It’s completely natural for him. Sweet. Smooth. Almost machine-line in terms of precision and ingenuity.
But Harden proved to be truly special in recording a campaign almost the equal of Westbrook’s historic 2016-17, and he did while handling the ball, statistically, even more than Paul.
No, he will not give up the rock that easy. Nor should he … which is why Wednesday’s trade made little to no sense.
► Cannot stand Carmelo Anthony’s game. Just reeks of stats and no substance. However, for some reason, kinda have the vibe he’d excel in Cleveland … obviously, thanks to being under the influence of LeBron James then.
Put his shooting touch, desire to score and size (people forget Melo is 6-8, 240) on the Cavaliers this season and, gotta say, not so sure we’re talking about a Golden State dynasty still weeks after the latest Finals were completed.
Not that he’s a better player than Kevin Love, the likely “ousted” should a deal go down, at this point. He just remains a more aggressive, cocksure one. Also a more consistent one.
► If Boston pulls things off in which it gets both Paul George and Gordon Hayward this summer, no apologies ever need to be made to the Celtics fan base for trading the No. 1 pick to Philly. Heck, if the Eastern Conference runners-up get either one, forget any “sorry.”
They’d have trumped any deal made thus far this summer, including their own with Philly or the one that sent Paul to Houston. George has been a known commodity for years and Hayward has skyrocketed from nice player to near-superstar.
Either would supply Boston the firepower it was sorely lacking in the playoffs against LeBron and Co.
► Phil Jackson got shown the door in New York? Yo, Knicks, it’s about damn time …