2012 NBA Free Agency: Grading Philadelphia's First 5 Offseason Moves
The NBA Free Agency period is in full swing with blockbuster deals seeming to happen at least once or twice a day.
From the pairing of Joe Johnson and Deron Williams in Brooklyn to the Lakers landing Steve Nash, to anything in-between, this has to be one of the more fast-paced, exciting offseasons in the last decade or so.
On the Sixers end of things, it's been quiet in comparison. They have made a couple of in-house moves, let go of some veterans and signed one player who wasn't with them last season. That could all change with an Andre Iguodala-fueled trade or big-name signing, but for now, they're content with small moves to help develop their young core.
Even though their moves have been small, each one has had consequences that could change the franchise's future.
Here are grades and analysis for each of the team's first five 2012 offseason moves.
Extending Lavoy Allen
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Unless Doug Collins trades Andre Iguodala and moves Thaddeus Young back to the 3, I think that this signing just creates even more of a logjam at the power forward position.
If Iggy and Maurice Harkless play at the 3, then Allen will join Arnett Moultrie and Young at the 4. While Allen is a nice young piece, I don't see him playing out to be more than just a good backup in the league.
Signing him to a two-year extension, however fair, means that he'll be eating into Moultrie's minutes, which could impact how much the young core of Moultrie, Harkless, Turner and Holiday develops.
Then again, if Rod Thorn already has an Andre Iguodala trade in the works, then this move will make perfect sense.
Signing Spencer Hawes to Two-Year Deal
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I wasn't the biggest fan of re-signing Spencer Hawes, who in my opinion has hit the ceiling of his potential and is not the answer at the 5, but the fact that it only cost $13 million over two years makes this deal easier to stomach.
Hawes was actually pretty good before his mid-season injury, averaging over 10 points, eight rebounds, and 1.5 blocks per game. When he's healthy and playing with intensity on the offensive end, he can score 15 to 20 points nightly and grab eight to 10 boards. Then again, he is injury-prone and a liability on defense.
If Hawes can work on his post-up defense and low-post passing, I think that he could definitely be a nice two-year starter for the Sixers while they find their long-term center through the free agency or the draft.
Letting Go of Lou Williams
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Sometimes it's hard to let go, but in this case the Sixers were able to make the right decision by parting ways with combo-guard Lou Williams.
Williams has been a nice scoring presence off the bench or at the 2-guard for his entire Sixers tenure, but what he's never had is a consistent, efficient offensive game that gets his teammates involved without giving up his own offensive aggression.
He shot 40 percent from the field in 2011-2012, and it took him over 12 field goal attempts to score 14.9 points per game. He also only had 3.5 assists per game, which is slightly lower than would be expected from a guard like him.
Don't get me wrong: Lou is a great asset to have off your bench, but his playing time demands, defensive struggles and "me-first" style of offense were not going to help the development of Jrue Holiday.
Using Amnesty Clause on Elton Brand
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The move to use the amnesty clause on Elton Brand was a smart move by Rod Thorn and his associates, but only if he uses the extra $18 million wisely.
If Thorn just uses the money on a couple of lower-tier free agents in 2012, then it will just be money wasted. I'd rather have Brand, who is a decent low-post scorer and defender, for one more year than a couple of mediocre free agents who'll do nothing to help along the development of a young team.
What Thorn needs to do is wait until 2013 to use the majority of that money, when he can go after guys like Stephen Curry, Kevin Martin, Chris Paul, Andrew Bynum, Monta Ellis, James Harden and Dwight Howard.
Kind of like the Lavoy Allen deal, whether this was the right move depends on what the front office does next. For now, however, I'll give them the benefit of the doubt and say it was the right thing to do.
Signing Nick Young to One-Year Deal
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The Sixers replaced Lou Williams with a cheaper, short-term version of himself. His name? Nick Young.
Young is the pure scorer/shooter that the Sixers need. They already have a nice scorer/facilitator in Jrue and a nice penetration guard in Evan, but they needed someone whose game is simply to put the ball in the basket.
Young averaged over 15 points per game in 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 combined, while playing for both Washington and Los Angeles. Young is liability on defense and a below-average passer, but off of the bench he'll give the team a very good scoring presence.
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