The Philadelphia 76ers are still trying to twist and tweak their roster in preparation for the upcoming NBA season. Today, they pulled the trigger on a four-player deal that will send G Willie Green and F Jason Smith to New Orleans in return for Forwards Darius Songaila and Craig Brackins.
Sixers' General Manager, Ed Stefanski, has on numerous occasions claimed he felt that he had a winning roster under his wings, but that it would still require a few "tweaks" here and there. Throughout the offseason, this has held true.
It started with the trade of disgruntled C, Samuel Dalembert, to the Kings for Andres Nocioni and Spencer Hawes. The Sixers' continued to build for the future when they drafter Evan Turner number two overall.
Willie Green was a serviceable backup during his time in Philadelphia, but his time had run out a few years ago following a knee injury suffered in the summer of 2005. He was never really the same player.
Jason Smith's time with the Sixers didn't turn out too much differently. Smith was a very promising first-round draft pick for the Sixers out of Colorado State, but his fortune changed after, oddly enough, a knee injury in 2008. He missed the entire season, and played just 32 games this past season.
Darius Songaila has bounced around the NBA quite a bit, this being his fifth team in seven years. Songaila will serve as nothing more than depth with an already full power forward position. Unless, of course, he is used as a trade piece.
Craig Brackins is the most interesting player in this deal for the Sixers. Brackins, a rookie out of Iowa State, was taken by Oklahoma City with the 21st pick in this years draft, but was since shipped to New Orleans, and ultimately Philadelphia.
While that may not sound promising, this will. Brackins was pegged as a lottery pick in the spring of 2009, he opted to return to school where he would have to carry the Iowa State team on his shoulders, leading to a drop in production, and draft stock.
I'm not looking for Brackins to turn into a superstar, but the potential to become a good player is clearly there. If he can return to that form, he will provide a good young spark for the Sixers.
Oh, and not to forget, when he returned to school, he improved his 3-point shooting to 47 percent. Let's hope he maintains that.
While this deal is a step in the right direction, it is far from the final step. This Sixer team is a possible playoff team with a first-round exit, at best. Moves are still there to be made, and a big one is needed. Hopefully, Stefanski has something else planned, but I'm not holding my breath.
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