After Playoff Run, Sixers Shake It Up

HANG TIME NEW JERSEY — The Boston Celtics have reloaded with Jason Terry, Courtney Lee and Jeff Green. The Brooklyn Nets have spent over $300 million on their new starting lineup. The New York Knicks lost Jeremy Lin, but added depth. And the Toronto Raptors have upgraded their rotation with the additions of Kyle Lowry, Landry Fields and Jonas Valanciunas.

Overall, the Atlantic Division is on an upswing. But what of the Philadelphia 76ers, who were, at one point, one of the last five teams still alive in the 2012 Playoffs?

With seven players in their rotation under the age of 25, the Sixers could have stood pat and kept improving. Instead, they let go of two of their biggest contributors, allowing free agent Lou Williams to sign with the Atlanta Hawks and using the amnesty clause to waive Elton Brand.

In their place are Nick Young (signed to a one-year deal), Dorell Wright (acquired from Golden State) and Kwame Brown (two years).

With young guards/wings Maurice Harkless, Jrue Holiday and Evan Turner on board, it’s understandable why the Sixers didn’t want to commit long-term to Williams. But Brand was on the final year of his contract, and the Sixers clearly downgraded in their frontcourt.

Now, shaking up the frontcourt wasn’t a terrible idea, because the starting combination of Brand and Spencer Hawes was pretty poor offensively.

Sixers efficiency by frontcourt combination, 2011-12 (including playoffs)

Combination GP MIN OffRtg DefRtg NetRtg +/-
Brand + Young 62 704 106.2 97.1 +9.2 +113
Brand + Hawes 41 584 95.6 94.3 +1.3 -2
Hawes + Young 42 420 105.7 100.6 +5.1 +43
Vucevic + Young 38 419 104.2 95.6 +8.6 +59
Allen + Young 29 251 103.5 90.4 +13.2 +45
Allen + Brand 27 249 104.2 91.4 +12.9 +50
Brand + Vucevic 30 234 98.5 94.1 +4.4 +10
Allen + Hawes 10 95 105.7 87.6 +18.1 +28

OffRtg = Points scored per 100 possessions
DefRtg = Points allowed per 100 possessions
NetRtg = Point differential per 100 possessions

Still, Brand was more effective than Hawes, who was re-signed for another two years. The problem was the $18.2 million he was owed in the final season of his contract. By using the amnesty on Brand, the Sixers were able to add to their depth with Young and Wright. They’ve also regained some financial flexibility that could allow them to make a big move in the future.

But with a new starting frontline of Hawes and Brown, you have to wonder if the Sixers aren’t taking a step backward. With the Nets likely to take one of those Eastern Conference playoff spots next season, are the Sixers guaranteed a spot in the top eight?

Phil Sheridan of the Philadelphia Inquirer believes that the Sixers made the right moves, and that their patience could eventually be rewarded

To their credit, the Sixers didn’t break out the giant confetti cannons and flashing lights and smoke machines to introduce Brown, Young, and Dorell Wright. As coach Doug Collins made very clear in a half-hour media session Tuesday, the team has a very realistic view of where it stands in the NBA landscape and how far it needs to go to win a title.

“We had a plan,” Collins said. “We had a plan, if we amnestied E.B., we had some guys in mind that we thought we could add to our team. They weren’t necessarily going to be home runs, but they were going to be guys that fit exactly what we thought we needed.”

The stark, interrelated truths: It takes home run moves (adding LeBron James or Kevin Garnett or Jason Kidd) to create an instant championship contender, but the Sixers are not in a position to swing for those particular fences just yet.

So think of these moves – adding Brown, Young, and Wright, re-signing Spencer Hawes, drafting Maurice Harkless and Arnett Moultrie – as a bunch of singles. If the Sixers can load the bases, they will be that much stronger if they do hit a home run, either with a midseason trade or, more likely, in free agency next summer.

The long-term plan looks pretty good, as long as Holiday, Turner and Lavoy Allen continue to develop. Short-term, it looks like the Sixers are willing to forget the positive vibes they built in May.Β And it may take another great coaching job from Doug Collins to get them back to the playoffs.


  1. 215GUY says:

    (sigh). BOTTOM LINE: NO BIG MAN = NO RING. Jrue and Evan have a great upside and will be better next season. Iggy will be better after playing in the olympics and…Lavoy seems to be getting better, The draft picks werent bad cuz i see the need for more shooters, BUT THERE IS NO DOMINANCE IN THE PAINT! I would love to see a Marc gasol/Zach Randolph or any BODY…not pau gasol or tim duncan, but kendrick perkins, dwight howard (which could be a possibility). Ill take Hawes off the bench but thats it. Truth is the Atlantic has gotten way better while the sixers….cant even say got better just moved pieces around.

    From philly…philly fan all my life…thats all i know…im just a realist. STILL LOVE DEM SIXERS!!!!

  2. jamminjeri says:

    The Sixers took too long in deciding to not resign Lou Williams and amnesting Elton Brand. By the time they made those key decisions, the best free agents were gone. Sixer’s management stated that Kwame was the best big man left who would not require a big long term contract; Nick Young a one year (we’ll see) deal, and not much after that. Let’s hope that Jrue, Evan, Lavoy learned a lot from thier playoff experience, Thad comes back bigger and stronger and that Dre has a break-out all star year.

  3. Ain't no Saint says:

    No playoffs this year

  4. Sixers may get the 7th or 8th seed with all their bone head moves.

  5. Joseph Joseph says:

    Doug Collins is a company guy–the company being the NBA. He’s doing his job to make sure that the sixers will not become legitimate contenders anytime soon.

  6. gerber says:

    they may have a playoff spot since the magic and the hawks are also getting weak

  7. caloyski says:

    Philly will surely be weaker this 2013 but will be stronger by 2014– the time for retooling has come— its better in the long run to get young talented players- they will eventually be the stars of tomorrow–the key is to have a keen a eye on who has great potential to carry the team to the championship and make sure these young players are offered long term contracts

  8. noyb says:

    Buh-bye 76er’s…

  9. Vitaliy says:

    The Sixers just needed depth at the 5 spot. I do not see Kwame being a starter, but I do think hes a decent backup to Spencer Hawes. Collins’ theory is that he needs to pair his good rebounders with bad rebounders. This would indicate he is ready to start Allen or Young at the four. I think the Sixers got marginally better overall this offseason. If Nick Young doesn’t land in Collins’ dog house for not playing defense, he could end up stealing ET’s starting spot since he can shoot the lights out. Harkless is unlikely to play a lot but I see Moultrie possibly getting a lot of minutes.
    Back to the Kwame argument, I think that at the 2.8 million/year for two years contract they signed him, its not the end of the world. He is a just a temporary piece that should be able to fill in and give us some length and size if needed.
    Nick Young may start out the season on a hot streak and get the starting spot. If Iggy doesn’t improve and the team doesn’t win a lot then I can see the Sixers pulling a deadline deal and trading for a big by combining Iggy with one of our bigs (Hawes, Kwame or Vucevic). Perhaps Al Jefferson?

    Either way I think the Sixers finish 8th or 7th and get knocked out in the first round. The east just improved way to much too even consider any kind of postseason run. The Nets will be top 4, the Celts will be top 4, obviously Heat will be top seed. Knicks also got better I think. With training camp and some new savvy veterans to help glue the lineups, I can see them also being top 4. Bulls which are injured can snag a top 6 seed and the rest is blurry. I can see the improved Bucks grabbing 6th or 7th seed. Raptors will be a surprisingly improved team as well. They have a drastic improvement at PG and have added two lottery picks into their rotation. If Derozan improved at all then the Raptors can snag 7th or 8th. If Nick Young does go into the dog house then you can bank on the Sixers missing the playoffs.

  10. Luke says:

    Oscar – what are you talking about miami signing howard?? even if it is for your proposed one year how the hell could they afford him?? they are pretty much maxed out on bosh, wade and bron and any remaining money has been put into signing allen and lewis. Howard is earning major bucks in orlando…money which miami doesnt have in place. Also who would we trade for howard…the only realistic trade would be one of the big three. Any trade not involving those 3 would mean shipping out the remainder of our sqquad. Your living in some fictional land the atmosphere in miami would be ruined if the big baby turned up!! wade bron and bosh are all mates and team players…howard is a b*tch

  11. Really? says:

    @ Oscar

    You are really dumb for actually thinking that is even possible. You obviously don’t know anything about trading/signing players.

  12. Nice guy says:

    They let Lou go because they know that with this team they won’t get to the championship. So why you have to sing a long-term deal with player that averages 16 ppg as your leader and comes off the bench? Sixers already looking in the future… They got young team right now ad the didn’t sing a long term deal with any player this offseason. Next year or maybe year after they could grab a nice pieces from free agents and build a championship caliber team.

  13. Unpredictable says:

    best guess of East picture:

    1 – Miami (W: 65-70)
    2 – Boston
    3 – Indiana
    4 – New Jersey
    5 – New York
    6 – Atlanta
    7-8 – Chicago/Washington/Toronto/Philly (W:40-44)

    • BLAH says:

      Yes there is a 99.9% chance Miami will be #1 But Boston will not be #2 for any reason
      I dont have a good feeling that Indiana will be as good this year but they will still win the division
      And the Bulls will be without Rose for a good portion but they did do pretty good without him majority of last year
      Rondo will carry Boston but they should barely be 40-45 win season

      1 – Heat
      2 – Nets or Knicks
      3 – Nets or Knicks
      4 – Pacers
      5 – Celtics
      6 – Bulls
      7 – Bucks
      8 – Raptors or Cavs (if they do get Bynum)

  14. Luna says:

    The signing of Kwame Brown is a major mistake for this team. I am surprised teams are still willing to sign him.

  15. Nolan says:

    The title of this article made it sound like they just made a big move. I’m sad now

  16. SmoothMM says:

    I see people are hating on Kwame Brown. Although his offensive game is shot, he’s a good interior defender. A defensive big is a must-have commodity.

  17. semikalosi says:

    I have to agree with Ted. Kwame Brown is a risk not worth taking., EVER!!!

    The Sixers have definitely shaken things up, all for the wrong reasons. If they, as an organization are content with early exits in their play-off (if they make it there) run, then by all means shake things up.

    But this was an article not worth the time and effort.

  18. John says:

    The Sixers were a team full of guards, and that is even truer now. Without sufficiently good big men, they’re going to need to play a form of small ball this year. Perhaps they could put Iguodala or Wright at power forward, but either of those options are pretty lame.

  19. Huy says:

    idk why people think kwame brown is so bad. he’s a guy that can get boards in a game. we don’t need him to score, we have young scorers on this team that need rebounders. hawes isn’t a good rebounder for being so tall and slow as a turtle but with two 7-footers on this team, i think they will get better than last year but not excellent. we have a developing front-court with nicola, lavoy allen, and moultrie and keeping a defensive veteran like iggy who can hit a big shot here and there and tutor these rookies. Everyone forgets about the center piece of this team, COACH COLLINS. he can turn this young and inexperience team into a good team. we just need confidence. don’t ask questions on the move that COACH COLLINS made but just know that he knows what he’s doing.

    coming from a philly phanatic
    current residence of philly, but soon to be a austin, texas residence but will forever be a PHILLY FAN

  20. Ted says:

    You kidding me Philly? Kwame Brown? I don’t know why no one learns a lesson from this guy.

    • Nolan says:

      I know right? Golden State was mad about not getting an over-rated Deandre Jordan so they threw 7 million $ in the trash can for Kwame. They could have done something productive with that money like unicycle lessons or something

  21. Oscar says:

    I will talk about Howard…this man want to play a single season and become a free agent the next; well…the only team… at this moment that can do that for him it’s MIAMI HEAT.

    Look at these FANTASY lineup and tell me that u don’t think could be the AVENGERS

    C – Dwight Howard
    F – Chris Bosh
    F – Lebron James
    G – Ray Allen
    G – Dwyane Wade

    AMAZING !!!

    Hey Howard!!! we are waiting for you right here and near in MIAMI….so what you think?



    • Nemo says:

      yo oscar, you gotta be the dumbest person here if thats going to be your fantasy five. obviously your a miami fan caught up in the bandwagon! id take KG over bosh anytime and d-will or d-rose over r-allen. you got me F** up if thats your fantasy starting line up. get outta here and watch more nba teams before you hop on a bandwagon team…

    • Isaac says:

      Don’t you guys have enough already? Besides, you don’t have enough cap room anyway.

    • Laker/Heat Fans Are Ridiculous says:


    • cjf says:

      Miami heat.. Team of desperates…

    • Sixer's Fan says:

      Ray Allen isn’t opening in the HEAT, at least not at first.

      Think again…

      And nobody will let Howard end up in the Heat, you want them to have a perfect season now?
      I’de love to see him in the Sixers, but doesn’t every fan of every team?!

    • NBAfan says:

      hey oscar,

      thats good pursue your fantasy on your play station 3.

  22. Choker says:

    I dont understand what the stats mean but signing Kwame Brown for a 6 million isnt deserving….. 2 million each year is more acceptable…. then letting go of a productive scorer like Lou Williams was terribly wrong

  23. Superboss says:

    There going to lose anyways the have KWAME BROWN!!

  24. Henrik Jensen says:

    I look forward to see how Atlantic will turn out this year, i call;
    1. Celtics; 57-25 Record; 3rd in East after Bulls and Heat.
    2. Nets; 47-35 Record; 6th in East
    3. Knicks; 43-39 Record; 7th in East
    4. 76ers; 38-44 Record; 8th in East
    Might be +/- 1 or 2 games, but with the Rosters they have, this could be the overall stats.
    + 5. Raptors; 33-49 Record; 10th in East after Hawks(9).
    Pretty good for a Raptors team who is still in a rebulding mode after Bosh Left some years ago

    • Mateoo says:

      how the hell will chicago get second without rose or deng….. really bro LOL

    • honest guy says:

      If Im not mistaken Derrick Rose will still be out for a good part of next season. Because of that I wouldnt put the Bulls as a top 2 seed in the East for next year. The Nets look like a 4/5 seed, maybe higher depending on how healthy the other teams are. Coming from a Philadelphia resident and fan, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Sixers didn’t even make the playoffs this year because of the competition with Bucks, Knicks, Hawks, Raptors, and even the Pistons for the lower seeds.

      • Laker/Heat Fans Are Ridiculous says:

        if i’m not mistake..rose was out for a long period of time last year and the bulls stilled maintained best record in the east.

    • Sixer's Fan says:

      Hey, I think the Nets might take first place Atlantic, I don’t see Celtics in first, they lost Allen, and Pierce and Garrnet arn’t getting any younger! Their new Rookie seems to be better than Harkless true, but I won’t be surprised if Sixers top them. I too am scared that we might not get the 8th spot, but we still have Young, Turner, Holiday and of-course Iggy!
      I think all-though we got a new Center, we should see more of Vicy, in my opinion, offinsively, he is more useful.
      Anyways, not all-hope is lost!
      Who knows, maybe under the table Sixers are making an effort to get Howard, then we are set for Eastern-finals and maybe even championship πŸ˜‰

      Just saying, WWAAYY to early to give numbers, seems reckless. And those numbers are probabily very off. Celtics 57-25 sounds like a joke… But hey, we’ll all just have to wait and see, won’t we!

      • Jimmy says:

        Hahaha… Celtics are significantly stronger and deeper this year. Yes Allen ‘took his talents to south beach’, but we’ve added Jason Terry & Courtney Lee which will more than cover the loss of Allen, plus with Jeff Green and Chris Wilcox both returning, we actually have a full squad of quality players… We’ll probably be without Bradley to start the season, but with Lee and Terry to cover it, plus potentially a ‘rookie’ Dionte Christmas who has been excellent in the summer league along with Sullinger, it’s hard to see how the team is actually weaker than the team that took Miami to game 7 in the ECF?

  25. Raiders says:

    sixers will get dwight howard

  26. Drew says:

    Wright adds consistent shooting, and young can create his own shots…Philly went on scoring droughts this season, this should add some rain///

  27. rich says:

    I’m not sure what happened tp EB last year, but before that in 2010 he was a 20 point 10 rebound monster night in and out.

    • Nick says:

      Sadly, he hasn’t been close to those numbers in a long time. He averaged 15/8 in ’10-’11. The last time he was close to being a 20/10 was in the ’06-’07 season. Let’s face it, he’s past his prime and he was in a team that didn’t exactly try to exploit his talents. I hope he’s in a good spot in Dallas, he’s a decent player.

    • Ray says:

      No, Rich…he wasnt..The last time Elton Brand was a 20 -10 guy was 2007…with the clippers.. The 76ers got him after he knees were fked up..liek they did with C-webber, D-Coleman (the 2nd time) I’m glad EB is gone..Wish they would upgrade their 5 spot tho…Kawme brown iis a joke and SPencer hawes is scared to dunk. He’d rather shoot and lay up..

      Coming from a 76ers fan and a philadelphia resident.

  28. Sydale says:

    Dwight should come sign with the Sixers in the offseason…