Okay, the talking heads within the basketball media have gotten a bit out of control. It seems that in the age of over Mock Drafting and intensive blogging (I still love you, Bleacher Report) opinions have become fact and every hour a new theory or rumor takes over the place of natural common sense.
This simple, if not needed, trade has spurned some of the most outlandish and uneducated speculations about the Sixers' draft strategy. Not that my opinion matters, but it only makes sense, given this trade, that the Sixers will still take Evan Turner with the second overall pick.
My theory comes down to plain logic and need. Take a look at the Sixers' current roster of players that will make up the front court:
C: Spencer Hawes, Marreese Speights (PF/C), Jason Smith, Francisco Elson.
PF: Thaddeus Young (SF/PF), Elton Brand, Marreese Speights (PF/C).
SF: Andre Iguodala, Andres Nocioni, Thaddeus Young.
This is a lot of weight in a front court. It seems silly that with a team that's full of big men, specifically a team that added two yesterday, would want another sub 7' PF on their roster.
The team has already committed A LOT of money to players like Elton Brand (three years/$51 million) and his massive contract is not a bargaining chip for any team that still has hopes for success. Favours is just a hype interest for the Sixers, and is not a logical move.
Now, as far as the counter-argument goes, lets take a look at the Sixers' back court, a place that has much need for improvement:
PG: Jrue Holiday, Jodie Meeks, Lou Williams.
SG: Willie Green, Andres Nocioni (G/F).
That doesn't seem like much depth for a team that wants to be, as head coach Doug Collins calls it, "Younger and faster . "
Look at the Sixers' depth. No sensible person can tell me a 6'5" shooting guard that averaged 20 points a game would not be a good addition. Not to mention this 6'5" SG was a consensus All American and has a 6'8" wingspan (identical dimension to Rajon Rondo).
Taking Evan Turner just makes sense, and it gives the team something they haven't had in a very long time, a young backcourt with which to grow.
The Sixers have suffered with the inconsistent play from Lou Williams and the issues that come with Andre Iguodala playing out of position for most of the season (he's a natural SF). The team likes the play of Jrue Holiday and as the season progressed he became increasingly productive.
In his first press conference, Doug Collins told the media that it will take the team a few years to compete and that right now he wants to build a solid core of players to grow with.
With the addition of Evan Turner, here is a possible starting lineup for the Sixers:
PG: Jrue Holiday
SG: Evan Turner
SF: Andre Iguodala
PF: Thaddeus Young
C: Spencer Hawes
First off the bench:
Small Lineup: Andres Nocioni
Big Lineup: Elton Brand
That to me comes off as a better situation for a team that went 27-55 last season. The Sixers like Thaddeus Young, and Spencer Hawes is still a young, developing center. It gives the team the ability to more effectively run the fast break.
When it comes down to the Sixers' strategy, the team needs to stop thinking and go with common sense. They were given a gift with the second pick and have, what some feel is the best player in this draft, securely sitting in their lap.
For those of you that still think Favours is a smarter pick, then Turner here is the stat line from their only meeting last season.
Derrick Favours: 10 points...five rebounds...five fouls.
Evan Turner: 24 points...nine rebounds...nine assists.
Turner almost had a triple-double in what he and head coach Thad Matta called an "off night"...In fact, the almost triple-double was the worst effort, statistically, of his college career.
Favours choked in the NCAA biggest stage and could not keep himself out of foul trouble.
Final Thoughts: Yes, there are plenty of worries about the Sixers, and most are valid. The team has underperformed, and we saw at the end of last season that some of their players did not even want to be on the team...I leave you with a quote from Evan Turner after his ONLY workout before next weeks draft..."I can't wait to throw out the first pitch of a Phillies game"... Ladies and Gentlemen, what's better then a kid that WANTS TO BE HERE, AND HE CAN BALL.