Philadelphia 76ers: Players They Should Keep and Cut for Next Season

Michael FoglianoAnalyst IMarch 11, 2011

Philadelphia 76ers: Players They Should Keep and Cut for Next Season

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    The Philadelphia 76ers have made a huge step forward this season, and special thanks goes to Doug Collins.

    The Sixers are competing in every game against every team, and are currently chasing the Knicks for the sixth seed. The Sixers have grown to one of the hottest, youngest, and most talked about teams in the NBA.

    There have been a good amount of heart breaking losses (which could have made them a five seed right now), but you can't really complain about it considering the huge rebound they have made. Me being a huge Sixers fan couldn't ask for anything better.

    But right before our eyes, the NBA season is already coming to a close with just about 20 games left in the regular season.

    Now that we are heading down the stretch, it's never too early to talk about next season, right?

    Despite this season's success, they do have a some players that they have to cut ties with...but who?

Darius Songalia

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    I'm going to take an educated guess and say that this is the only game Darius Songalia played in this season.

    He sees a scarce amount of playing time and I honestly don't see many minutes in the future for him.

    Get rid of him. 

Jason Kapono

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    He barely gets any playing time and his contract is up at the end of this season. 

    There's not much debate here. If the Sixers don't play him, why re-sign him?

Andres Nocioni

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    Not much to say here either.

    Andres Nocioni is another player who sees very minimal playing time, so I would say he is the same situation as Songalia and Kapono.

    His contract could be helpful in minor deals and I'm all for trading him.

Marreese Speights

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    Marreese Speights has shown some flashed of good things this season, but he can't be a starter.

    Doug Collins even said it himself that he can't play more than 30 minutes in a game or he is drained out of energy. However, Speights has been pretty solid off of the bench. 

    I think Speights could be traded in a minor deal for salary reasons, but if we keep him it's still good. I think that either choice is good with Speights.

Spencer Hawes

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    The center position is by far the weakest in the Sixers' entire lineup (sorry, Spencer Hawes). Hawes clearly hasn't gotten the job done, and when we take him out, we play with a small lineup.

    In the upcoming draft, the Sixers will most likely aim for a center. But in reality, there is just one projected center to be drafted in the first round.

    Basically, the Sixers won't improve at the center slot in the draft. They need to trade their pick in this year's draft along with Hawes for a solid, young center with potential. 

    Trying out a new center won't hurt at all. Personally, I wish the Sixers went after Hasheem Thabeet, but unfortunately that didn't work out.

Jodie Meeks

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    Jodie Meeks has done a tremendous job at the shooting guard this season. He has finally lived up to his potential and has become a solid shooter in today's game.

    This season, he has his one specific role which is why he is flourishing (thanks to Doug Collins again).

    When Meeks is in, he provides another threat for the defense to worry about. He is establishing a pedigree as a three point shooter and will continue to do so.

    Meeks is young and still has potential. He could be the shooting guard of the future for the Sixers. 

Lou Williams

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    Sweet Lou Williams has been the most clutch player for the Sixers this season. Although he takes too many shots (he literally doesn't see a shot he doesn't like), he has been the best player off the bench for the team.

    There have been many games this season where Williams will just absolutely score and drop 20 coming off the bench.

    I'm a big fan of Lou, but if the Sixers were to trade for someone good, I would assume that Williams might be in the package if a the team wants a shooting guard.

    I wouldn't jump the gun right away, but if the price is right, then I'd give him up. But only if the price is right.

Thaddeus Young

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    Thaddeus Young is another player who has done a great job coming off of the bench. In fact, he has scored double digit points in his last ten of his last 11 games (most were high teens and low twenties).

    Young has to do a better job of finishing. There have been numerous times this season where he has missed a handful of easy shots under the basket.

    Having said that, Young is very versatile as he can play both the three and four slot. He also deserves more minutes so he can't start getting into a groove.

    I think I'd put Young in the same scenario as Williams. I want to keep them, but the only way I trade them is if the price is right.

Evan Turner

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    What kills me the most is that people are already putting the bust label on Evan Turner. He still has a ton of potential in the NBA. Think of this season as getting his feet wet.

    In his first year at Ohio State, he struggled too, so it's not like this is his first time he has struggled in a basketball season.

    Turner needs to improve on his shot, using more of his craftiness and he needs to be more aggressive. having said that, Turner has already devoted the offseason to work with Coach Herb Magee on his shot (who has a great history with NBA players).

    I think throughout his career he will only improve as the years go by. There is too much potential in turner to trade unless you get a proven player who is a stud. 

    If the Sixers are trying to win now, I think they already would have traded him. Doug Collins like Turner and so does the organization. He has a lot of potential here and will remain a Sixers for quite a while.

Elton Brand

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    Elton Brand's contract is ugly, but this season he has made a big rebound and is starting to prove that he deserves it (OK, not all of it, but a lot more than last year). 

    Brand has completely rejuvenated himself this season. He is averaging 15.2 and 8.7 rebounds per game. He has recorded a lot of double-doubles too.

    Entering the season, I didn't think brand was going to make this big of a leap form last season so I wanted to get rid of his contract. However, there are very few teams who have cap room to take it on.

    But even though his contract is ugly, he has played well this season. but yet again, we will have him for a few more seasons and it is doubtful that he keeps this up because he is getting old. 

Jrue Holiday

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    Jrue Holiday has proved to be an on the rise point guard in the league. Unless the Sixers somehow get Chris Paul, he's staying here.

    He has developed a three point shot this year and has done a better job of not turning over the ball.

    Holiday is averaging just under 14 points per game and averaging over six assists. He has clearly improved from last season and will continue to make strides through the next couple of years.

    The Sixers have a very good point guard in Holiday. Like I said, if they aren't getting Paul, then they aren't trading Holiday.

Andre Iguodala

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    Andre Iguodala has the most interesting situation here out of all the players. 

    Entering the season I wanted to trade him, but now I changed ways of thinking. There still are a ton of fans who want to get rid of him because he "can't be a number one to win a championship", which is true, but that doesn't mean you have to get rid of him.

    This season and particularly lately, he has been playing like LeBron James. Being a facilitator and distributing the ball. But one thing people have to realize is that Iguodala has been doing this for a while now. It's just that the Sixers are good now and more people are starting to pay attention now.

    The only difference is Iguodala is taking smarter shots and playing even better defense then before. He has shutdown almost every superstar he has gone up against this seas (with the exception of Kevin Durant).

    Iguodala is really athletic and potentially the best wing/complementary player in the league. I just wish that a superstar wasn't so stubborn and actually realize that if they came here they could win a title.

    Anyway, Iggy has been playing great and if the front office brings in someone for him to play next to, then he could be even more effective.

Conclusion

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    All in all, the Sixers should keep the core of players. They have developed so much team chemistry this year and have flourished in Collins' system, it's truly remarkable.

    This team has a lot of potential to be dangerous in the playoffs. They have proven they can beat any team on any given night and I'm lovin' it.

    The Sixers have a lot in store for the future and hopefully they can pull off a good deal and possibly grab someone like Danny Granger (hey, just a thought).

    This team needs a good, reliable center and they are well on their way to a title.