I have been a 76ers fan my whole life. My family has had season tickets for about 20 years. Even in bad times, I watch the games.
There were some good things. Elton Brand had a great game and has been excellent so far this season. Speights had his best game of the season and Evan Turner got some minutes. Turner is raw, but I like the kid. I think he will be a solid defender, a good rebounder and an excellent fundamental player.
I don't know if he will ever be a superstar, but he will be a solid player in this league for a long time.
There were also a few things that became blatantly obvious, the main one being that the 76ers have to trade Andre Iguodala. It would actually be quite easy to trade him, too, as he is still fairly young. His contract is big, but not ridiculous to the point he is not tradeable.
A lot of teams want him and a lot of teams would give up a good assortment of young talent and draft picks for him.
By keeping Iguodala, we are only hurting Turner's long-term development. Iguodala is a solid NBA player, but he is not a superstar. You can not build a winning team around him. He is not clutch, he takes ugly shots all the time and he simply does not come through when the game is on the line.
Last night, Iguodala failed to foul with three seconds left, leading by three. When you cannot foul someone correctly, that's a problem. Then in overtime, he got the last shot from about 12 feet and threw up one of the worst game-winning attempts I've ever seen. Kobe Bryant hits that shot 95 times out of 100. Iguodala hits it zero times out of 100. That's the problem.
I don't blame Iguodala. He is being asked to be the No. 1 player on a team when he clearly is not capable. The guy wasn't a good scorer in college, and he still is not a scorer. He has a few good games here and there, but he is ultimately a terrible shooter.
On the right team, Iguodala could be a real asset. He is a pretty good defensive player and he can dunk and make an occasional jumper. He could take 5-10 shots a game, average 10-12 points and play solid defense. He would be a real asset to a contending team.
He is not an asset at all to the 76ers. All he is for them is a hindrance. They are going nowhere with him, so they may as well trade him and let the young Turner play 30 minutes a night.
What do we have to lose?
We aren't winning now with him, so if he leaves, nothing will change. So we win 20 games instead of 23—does that really make a difference?
The 76ers are in a rebuilding mode, and they need to let the young players play. I am already sick of Spencer Hawes. He is a backup player in this league, and never will be anything more.
Let Speights play. Let Turner play. Let Thaddeus Young play. We need to find out if we have anything in these young guys. You don't find that out by giving Spheights five minutes a night.
If the 76ers traded Iguodala, they could start Jrue Holliday, Evan Turner, Thaddeus Young, Elton Brand and Speights. You would have Lou Williams play the sixth-man role and still have the rest of the bench you have now, plus get another young player or draft picks for the future. Would that really be so bad?
I know what you are thinking: Why is Brand in the lineup—he's not young? The answer is simple: Brand's contract is so huge he cannot be traded, so we might as well play him. Brand has played well this season so far, too, and don't worry, he'll get hurt at some point this year and then they will start all young guys.
The point is, if the 76ers want to build a winning team, they need to develop their young players. They won't do that sitting on the bench. It's time to see what Spheights can do. It's time to see what we have in our young guys.
It's time for Andre Iguodala to move on to a contending team that could use his abilities.