NBA Trade Rumors: 76ers Are Foolish Not to Trade Marreese Speights

Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer IDecember 22, 2011

The Memphis Grizzlies have been reportedly trying to acquire Philadelphia 76ers forward/center Marreese Speights.

But, according to The Commercial-Appeal, talks "cooled" on Tuesday because the 76ers were asking for too much for the 24-year-old.

However, the 76ers are foolish not to trade Speights.

Speights is considered the 76ers' fourth-best big man by head coach Doug Collins. The reason why he's not rated higher is because all he's good for is offense.

But Speights hasn't even lived up to his potential in this regard. Despite having a solid midrange jumper and the ability to finish around the rim, Speights shot under 50 percent last season as a big man.

On top of this, it's his overall game the 76ers should be worried about. He's only a decent rebounder at 6'10", 255 pounds, and he's too slow for a power forward and too short for a center. He's also a poor defender, and that's just not because he can't defend. He simply appears unmotivated at times.

The 76ers finished 41-41 last season, enough to grab the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference and make the playoffs. But if they want to get better as a whole, they need to think about getting something out of Speights.

The whole reason Speights isn't a starter yet after three seasons is because he's a liability on the defensive end. It's the reason why he hasn't lived up to being selected No. 16 overall in the 2008 NBA draft.

Sure, Speights could all of a sudden start playing good defense, but motivation on that side of the floor can't be taught.

In my opinion, Speights will never be a solid starter in the NBA until he rounds out his game.

What have the 76ers seen that convinces them he will?

Having a perennial bench-warmer will only slow the 76ers down in the long run.


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