In an offseason that has included Shaq going to Cleveland, Vince going to Orlando, Artest going to L.A. and Jefferson going to San Antonio the Sixers have added Jason Kapano. They have watched conference opponents build their championship teams and have countered with again Kapono. Nothing against Kapono but if Stefanski does not trade Kyle Korver then the Sixers do not need Kapono.
Which brings us to the root of the teams problems, Ed Stefanski. When Stefanski was hired he deserved the benefit of time before he was judged. Despite the fact that none of his draft picks from his time with the Nets were currently on the Nets roster. Despite the fact that outside of Kenyon Martin's lone All-Star appearance Stefanski had not drafted an All-Star player. You had to hope that working alongside Rod Thorn for all those years Stefanski had learned a great deal and was primed for success. Well, it has become ever so apparent in Stefanski's short run as team General Manager that he has no idea what he is doing. This may sound harsh but it needs to be said. Stefanski has single handedly put the Sixers back in the lottery for the next five years.
Beginning with trading Kyle Korver and ending with the departure of Andre Miller Stefanski has been trying to fix prior mistakes without acknowledging them. First trading Korver was not a good move. Yes it gave the Sixers cap space but it did not make the team better and cap space has never translated into wins in the NBA. Second bringing in Elton Brand was a mistake especially after you just drafted a power forward in the first round. Brand scores, rebounds, and blocks shots well but his teams do not win. This is not a diss on Brand but the truth is he is an undersized power forward who gets his points outside of the offense and he is not even a decent passer. Why did Stefanski not realize this? Was he that desperate to make a move? This put Maurice Cheeks at a disadvantage, the former point guard had to know Brand would not fit with his team. Cheeks being the good soldier he has always been said all the right things publicly but he had to know privately that this was not good.
Once the season began the Sixers struggled. They could not get those transition buckets that seemed so easy a year before. With Brand in the line-up their deficiencies became even more obvious. They struggled to move the ball, could not play their pressure defense, and failed to make outside shots. Instead of Stefanski admitting he made a mistake in building the team, he choose to admit he made a mistake in giving Cheeks an extension and fired him. Once Brand went down the Sixers played better and managed to make it to the playoffs.
So Stefanski got a second chance and started out well by hiring Eddie Jordan. A move like that had to mean they were going to move Brand and Dalembert. Well they did not instead they let Andre Miller walk and drafted a guy who is not going to make this team any better, truthfully Sixer fans should hope Holiday does not make them worse. The logic for letting Miller walk was the Sixers did not want to give him a three year deal because next year they want Holiday to be their starting point guard. If they feel this strongly about Holiday being able to contribute in year two what does that say about Speights. Did they have questions about him and is this why they signed Brand to a five year deal or was this just an oversight?
Now let us review in Stefanski's short tenure as SIxers General Manager he has traded Kyle Korver only to later trade for Jason Kapono, he has drafted Mareese Speights only to later sign Elton Brand, he has given Maurice Cheeks a contract extension only to later fire him two months into the extension, he drafted a point guard that struggled mightily at UCLA, and allowed his starting point guard to walk. This is a disturbing pattern that shows Stefanski does not have a legitimate plan. It displays a thought process that leaves many wondering if Stefanski is trying to catch lighting in a bottle.
With the Phillies in position to win another World Series title and the Eagles again a true Super Bowl contender the Sixers have been allowed to fly under the radar. However, Ed Snider can not fall asleep at the wheel on this one. Stefanski is destroying this team one poor decision at a time. If Snider does not make a move soon things will turn Fred Carter, Willie Burton, and John Lucas bad. Translation the Sixers will again regain their perennial position atop the lottery.