Monday, December 8, 2014

76ers doing it right

Tons and tons of people are mad at the 76ers rebuild, upset that they created a team so bad they would land the best lottery odds.  They are missing half of the equation though.

Our story starts a long time ago (2 years) in a land far far away (cleve-land)  The Cavs were a very bad team on their way to 24 total wins.  On the bench was coach Byron Scott in his 3rd year trying to squeeze some wins out of this group to either keep his job or audition for a new job while the Cavs clearly needed more talent and a high draft pick.  You never want a FO and a coach at odds with each other, the fact that the Cavs ended up with the #1 pick is incidental (and lucky) as the conflict cost them.

During that season coach Scott played a bunch of guys that would never suit up for the Cavs again a bunch of mins.  Walton, Ellington, Speights, Livingston are names that were fun to watch (or as fun as an awful team can be) while a bunch of guys that are out of the league (Samuels, Jones, Pargo) sat on the bench.  Hidden on that bench though were three guys currently cracking NBA rotations and doing not so badly for themselves.  Jon Leuer is playing 15 mpg with a 16 PER for a contender, Omri Casspi has spent last 2 years acquitting himself as an NBA rotation player across two teams and last and certainly least Donald Sloan is showing that his rebounding, defense and ball handling is enough to be a fringe NBA player. 

Losing these guys hasn't crushed the Cavs future, but it stinks that a team that (at the time) needed long term NBA assets missed out on the two best on their team out of a grab bag of suck (obviously excluding high draft picks that get playing time by virtue) because they sat behind salary dump Walton who was about to retire and a bunch of guys that are bouncing around at near the vet minimum.

This is what Philly has done by stripping almost all of the good NBA players from their roster- they have committed to their coach the idea that they aren't tying the team results to his job security.  He has been free to mine the best long term prospects from the poo-poo platter he has been handed.  Are Henry Sims, Tony Wroten and Alexey Shved long term starters on playoff teams?  Not in the slightest, but they do look like they could be solid- and so important in today's NBA cheap- rotation pieces when the 76ers finally do open up that bucket of cap space and start making big moves to reverse course.  There is no conflict here between management and the coaching staff and while that advantage is slight, it is an advantage most rebuilding teams have failed to grasp on their clawing and often embarrassing fall to lottery spoils. 


  1. Hey Mr Bacon, GZ here

    What are the key differences between Philly's and Cleveland's rebuilds? I know the similarities are clear, but I always struggle on the fundamental differences between the 2 approches

    1. Not trading Andy is the big difference. This is going to fall into speculation but once they landed Kyrie I think they readjusted their time line- perhaps not just Kyrie but the fact that they landed Kyrie +#4 and not Kyrie and #10- and they went from 1 starter to 3 if they keep Varejao. That also might have lead to Dion over Drummond. In general I think Grant ended up very conservative with his picks (even Bennett considering the other options)- we can't know if that was a plan/his evaluations or something that seemed natural after Kyrie's rookie season. Philly has gone the other way, taking risky players for the most part.