Chances Top Free Agents Sign with 76ers

The Sixers have a ton of cap-room coming into the 2014 offseason, and it is unclear whether they will use it. Here are the top free agents at every position.

PG:

1 Eric Bledsoe(PHX) RFA 15%-Sixers likely to make an offer, but Suns will match

2 Kyle Lowry(TOR) UFA 0%-No way with MCW at point.

3 Isaiah Thomas(SAC) RFA 0%-See above.

4 Rodney Stuckey(DET) UFA 25%-Can play SG well, reason he would be signed.

5 Mario Chalmers(MIA) UFA 1%-Possible backup option.

6 Shaun Livingston(BKN) UFA 1%-Possible backup option

SG:

1 Dwyane Wade(MIA) Early Termination Option 10%-Unlikely Hinkie would sign veteran with knee problems for a rebuilding team.

2 Lance Stephenson(IND) UFA 70%-All-Star season and only 23 years old. Sixers can offer max, which Pacers can’t afford.

3 Avery Bradley(BOS) RFA 40%-If Stephenson is not signed, would not be surprising to make a run at Bradley, but Celtics would match anything up to a close to or max contract, which Sixers won’t offer.

4 Evan Turner(IND) RFA 0%-Hinkie will not want to bring back Turner.

5 Nick Young(LAL) Player Option 2%-Young says he loves LA and wants to stay there(not sure why he publicly says he is opting out), and could be brought on as a bench player. But Swaggy P thinks he is the best SG in the league.

6 Jodie Meeks(LAL) UFA 10%-Unlikely, but could be a bench player.

SF

1 LeBron James(MIA) ETA 1%-The Sixers, like every other team in the league, will call LeBron, but won’t become anything serious unless Heat fall apart in playoffs and Sixers also sign another star.

2 Carmelo Anthony(NY) ETA 0%-Carmelo Anthony can’t be the best player on a championship team. Unless that team is the Bulls, who could make up for his defense. Sam Hinkie will not want to touch Carmelo.

3 Luol Deng(CLE) UFA 20%-Veteran presence that could thrive on a 76ers team. If he would take a one or two year deal, this could happen. The Sixers could add Deng if they want to make a playoff run.

4 Gordon Hayward(UTAH) RFA 50%- Hayward could get max money, and the Jazz won’t match that. Sixers could be the team to give it to him if they like what they see. 

5 Rudy Gay(SAC) ETA 0%-Gay isn’t turning down 19 million next year.

6 Paul Pierce(BKN) UFA 10%-Sixers would sign him for same reason they would Deng.

PF(Didn’t include Dirk and Duncan for obvious reasons)

1 Chris Bosh(MIA) ETA 35%-Bosh is a sleeper signing the Sixers could make. He might not even need a max contract. Add Bosh to a Sixers team along with two top-ten picks, and that’s a playoff team in the weak East that could get even weaker with Miami losing Bosh in this scenario. 

2 Zach Randolph(MEM) Player 0%-Randolph wants to win. Sixers are rebuilding. No chance.

3 Pau Gasol(LAL) UFA 25%-Sixers could get him on a one year deal, could do it to get veteran leadership. Gasol will likely go to a contending team, but Sixers could be interested if he is.

4 Andray Blatche(BKN) Player 30%-If he opts out, he certainly could talk with the Sixers. He will likely opt out, but would expect him to resign with Brooklyn. Sixers would be interested to have him off the bench.

5 DeJuan Blair(DAL) UFA 45%-Sixers would be interested in Blair off the bench. Blair would likely strongly consider it as he would play a lot more on Philly than Dallas or most other teams next season.

C

1 Greg Monroe(DET) RFA 80%-I think Monroe is a Sixer next year. I think a sign-and-trade sends Thad Young to Detroit and Monroe to Philly. He would be a great fit with Nerlens Noel. 

2 Marcin Gortat(WSH) UFA 0%-Gortat is a horrible fit with Noel.

3 Spencer Hawes(CLE) UFA 10%-A Hawes reunion is very unlikely, but not out of the question like an Evan Turner reunion. Hawes fits well with Noel, and could be a good backup.

4 Channing Frye(PHX) Player 45%-Fits great with Noel, makes sense but likely to be overpaid.

5 Jordan Hill(LAL) UFA 20%-If Thad Young is traded, this becomes likely. If he’s not, these odds decrease by 19%.

 

 

Sixers Options in Draft

The Philadelphia 76ers enter the draft lottery with the second best odds for the first pick. Draft lottery night is May 20, at halftime of an NBA playoff game. The Bucks have the first best odds, the Magic the third, and the Jazz the fourth. In case you don’t know how the draft lottery works let’s review. Only the first three picks are chosen. Each team gets a combination. For example the Sixers ping-pong ball could read: 3, 5, 7, 2 on each side of the ball. So, if that ping-pong ball is chosen first, then they get the first pick. Let’s see who the Sixers should take with each possible pick they could receive. Let’s start with the worst possible scenario, the Sixers fall all the way to the 5th pick. Here is my big board for the draft:

1 Wiggins

2 Embiid

3 Exum

4 Parker

5 Randle

So, if the Sixers get the fifth pick, who should they take? Well, that depends. Let’s say the Celtics get 1, Magic 2, Lakers get 3, Bucks 4,  Sixers 5. The Celtics are taking Wiggins. The Magic have an interesting situation. They have a very good center in Nikola Vucevic. But can you pass on Embiid for Vucevic? The answer is yes. The Magic take Exum with a need at point guard. The Lakers have a tough decision at 3. Parker is likely the flashier prospect. But they take Embiid. The Bucks have an easy decision at 4, Parker. That leaves Randle at 5 for the Sixers. But Sam Hinkie likes analytics, and Noah Vonleh from Indiana is the better “analytic” prospect. The Sixers take Vonleh. 

If they receive the 4th pick, let’s assume the last draft order is used, but swap the Celtics for the Bucks. At 1, the Bucks take Wiggins. At 2, the Magic take Exum. At 3, the Lakers take Embiid. That leaves Jabari Parker, a likely first pick in any other draft, for the 76ers. Sixers take Parker.

If they receive the 3rd pick, let’s assume they swap spots with the Lakers. At 1, the Bucks take Wiggins. Exum at 2 to Orlando. At 3, once again, the Sixers take Parker.

With the 2nd pick, lets go with the original draft order. The Bucks take Wiggins at 1. Tough choice for the Sixers at 2. Exum is an overall better player than Parker. Hinkie probably likes Exum better. The Sixers select Exum, Philadelphia goes nuts because all they watched was Parker tear it up at Duke, and demand Hinkie fired. In my opinion, this would be the best decision. Exum could be Dwyane Wade. `

If they get the first pick, they get Wiggins. No questions asked.

So, bottom-line, the best-case is Wiggins. Next best is, the Sixers get the 2nd pick, the Cavaliers get the first and take Doug McDermott or Julius Randle.

Big Day for Orange and Black

Fresh off a National Championship, star defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere signs on.

Fresh off a National Championship, star defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere signs on.

April 15th, 2014 has been an especially eventful day for your Philadelphia Flyers.  With game one of the Flyers-Rangers opening round playoff series just two nights away, not much was expected of this rainy Tuesday.  Instead, several important stories dealing with past, present, and future have come down the shoot.  First, past-wise, remember that hit goaltender Steve Mason took in Saturday’s win over the rival Penguins? Well, now it appears as if the resulting injury might be more serious than anticipated.  More on that in a minute.  As for the present, to the surprise of most, deadline acquisition and former Islander defender Andrew MacDonald will be staying a Flyer for the foreseeable future, as he inked a 6-year, $30 million extension.  Pricey, I know, but most likely necessary.  And finally, NCAA Frozen Four MVP, and 2012 Flyers draft pick Shayne Gostibehere has inked his entry-level contract instead of returning to Union College for his senior campaign.  Some good, some bad, but important news nonetheless.

Now here’s a closer look:

  • Steve Mason:  Mason has had his ups and downs this season but he’s also clearly established himself as the Flyers unquestioned #1 netminder.  Unfortunately during Saturday’s overtime victory against the Pens, Mason was run over in his crease by Pittsburgh’s Jayson Megna.  While the hit didn’t look especially serious, Mason laid in the net for an extended amount of time before returning to action.  He then was unable to finish the contest, which the Flyers front office referred to as a simple precaution.  However, it now appears that our #1 goalie, and backbone of the team, is questionable for Thursday nights opener at Madison Square Garden.  Now, backup Ray Emery is no stranger to playoff hockey (he backstopped the ’07 Senators club to the Cup Finals), but most Flyers fans would probably sleep a lot better knowing Mason is ready to go.  Especially after third-stringer Cal Heeter’s performance (6-5 SO loss) in the season finale against Carolina.  As of right now Mason is questionable, so keep your fingers crossed.  It’s very unlikely that this Flyers team could run the postseason table without their most important player (outside of Claude Giroux).
  • Andrew MacDonald:  6-years, $30 million, quite a price-tag for a guy who’s never put up more than 28 points in a season.  But those who have watched the 27-year old since his arrival in Philadelphia will understand that MacDonald’s importance goes far beyond his scoring statistics; the guy is an intelligent, mobile, two-way threat.  And he’s probably better than any free agent defender that would’ve been on the market.  Defense has become the premium position in the NHL over the past decade and when you find a good one, you hold on tight.  Did GM Paul Holmgren overpay? Absolutely, but that’s just the current economic landscape in the NHL.  Many “experts” laughed when the Flyers gave Mark Streit his contract; well 10 goals and 44 points later it appears as if the Flyers front office has had the last laugh.  MacDonald will never put up that kind of offense but he’s a much needed steadying influence, with the ability to escape trouble in tight spaces.  And he’s already had an amazingly positive effect on the game of Luke Schenn.  Schenn looked lost before he was paired with “MacD”, but since then MacDonald’s mobility has allowed him to play his physical, shot-blocking game.  Don’t think of this as just a $30 million investment in one player, but rather as an important investment in the entire team defense.  Maybe it’s a mistake, but only time will tell.
  • Shayne Gostisbehere: If there’s one Flyers prospect that is seriously exciting scouts it’s this kid.  On display in Philadelphia this past week for the NCAA’s Frozen Four, the Union College junior defender out-shined his competition (and that includes “Johnny Hockey”, Johnny Gaudreau) in leading the Dutchmen to the National Championship.  And instead of returning to school for his senior campaign, the slick defenseman decided the time was right to turn pro; a decision that the Flyers front office couldn’t be happier about.  Drafted in the 3rd round of the 2012 draft, little was known about the 5’11” 160-lb string bean blueliner.  But a whole lot has changed in three seasons.  In fact, this season he was even a top-10 finalist for the Hobey Baker award, the college hockey equivalent to the Heisman.  He’s been most often compared with Torrey Krug of the Boston Bruins.  With electric speed, soft hands, and a booming shot, expect to see “ghost” (as he is called) in the NHL sooner rather than later.

Phils vs Braves Preview

Chase Utley looks to continue his hot streak against the 1st place Braves

Chase Utley looks to continue his hot streak against the 1st place Braves

After being swept by the red hot Brewers the 3-6 Phillies welcomed the Marlins to town. The Marlins started the season 5-1 but had lost four straight heading into their series with the Phils. The Phils have had good success against what’s been a bad Marlin team the last few years. Things looked like it might be different this series with Jose Fernandez pitching game one of the series. Fernandez pitched excellent against the Phils last year giving up just one run in three starts covering 18 innings. Friday night wasn’t his night as the Phils jumped on Fernandez for eight hits and six runs in four innings. The Phils never looked back on their way to a sweep. Continue reading