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How to Win in the NBA and the Sixers

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Post#1 How to Win in the NBA and the Sixers
Thu Dec 24, 2009 12:39 pm by tk76

As I posted elsewhere, I looked back at the last 25 years of NBA Finals. Seems like there are 3 ways in which teams get to the Finals.

There have been 50 teams in the Finals.

1. 70% of the time a team was led by a top 10 NBA superstar who was drafted by that team as a top 5 pick (usually top 3.)
All of those teams lost 55+ games to get that top draft pick. Sometimes it was a good team with a horribly down year due to a combination of tanking/injury. Sometimes it was a team that had been horrible for years and turned it around with the right pick.
-Sixers: Maybe a top 5 pick this year. More likely, with the right coach no top 10 picks in the next 4 years

The other 30% of the time teams got to the Finals with some combination of:

2: The team drafted a Euro or H.S. player before that became the norm. That pick outside of the top 5 turned out to be a Superstar that led them to a title (think Kobe and Dirk.)
---Sixers: Dileo is a maestro of the draft, but the odds of this happening to the Sixers are slim and none

3: The team recently made a huge trade where they gave up a combo of expiring deals, picks and unproven youth in exchange for a top 20 NBA player in their prime (think KG, Gasol and ShaqX2.)
---Sixers: You must have cap room, and expiring contracts to make that type of steal. They have the expiring contracts next year- but they will not make this type of deal because
it puts them over the tax with Brand and Iguodala's huge contracts.


I posted before about the Nuclear Option. Looking at the way teams make the Finals I'm having a hard time seeing how the Sixers can even start to head towards a title without getting rid of the 25-35M each year comitted to Brand and Iguodala. At very least find a way to clear away Brand's contract if you want to try and keep Iguodala.
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Post#2 Re: How to Win in the NBA and the Sixers
Thu Dec 24, 2009 6:07 pm by Mojo7

tk76 wrote:As I posted elsewhere, I looked back at the last 25 years of NBA Finals. Seems like there are 3 ways in which teams get to the Finals.

There have been 50 teams in the Finals.

1. 70% of the time a team was led by a top 10 NBA superstar who was drafted by that team as a top 5 pick (usually top 3.)
All of those teams lost 55+ games to get that top draft pick. Sometimes it was a good team with a horribly down year due to a combination of tanking/injury. Sometimes it was a team that had been horrible for years and turned it around with the right pick.
-Sixers: Maybe a top 5 pick this year. More likely, with the right coach no top 10 picks in the next 4 years

The other 30% of the time teams got to the Finals with some combination of:

2: The team drafted a Euro or H.S. player before that became the norm. That pick outside of the top 5 turned out to be a Superstar that led them to a title (think Kobe and Dirk.)
---Sixers: Dileo is a maestro of the draft, but the odds of this happening to the Sixers are slim and none

3: The team recently made a huge trade where they gave up a combo of expiring deals, picks and unproven youth in exchange for a top 20 NBA player in their prime (think KG, Gasol and ShaqX2.)
---Sixers: You must have cap room, and expiring contracts to make that type of steal. They have the expiring contracts next year- but they will not make this type of deal because
it puts them over the tax with Brand and Iguodala's huge contracts.


I posted before about the Nuclear Option. Looking at the way teams make the Finals I'm having a hard time seeing how the Sixers can even start to head towards a title without getting rid of the 25-35M each year comitted to Brand and Iguodala. At very least find a way to clear away Brand's contract if you want to try and keep Iguodala.


As posted in Nuclear Option thread -
Let's look at the Post-Jordan era, which has been much different compared to the incredibly draft heavy period before it:

1) Spurs/Knicks - Yes on both(though Ewing was not the main cog).
2) Lakers/Pacers - Yes to Pacers
3) Lakers/Sixers - Yes to Sixers
4) Lakers/Nets - Yes to Nets
5) Spurs/Nets - Yes to both
6) Lakers/Pistons - No to both
7)Pistons/Spurs - Yes to Spurs
8) Heat/Mavs - Yes to Heat
9)Spurs/Cavs - yes to both
10) Celtics/Lakers - No to both
11) Lakers/Magic - Yes to Magic

So, out of 22 teams, you have 12 out of 22 that meet your qualification. The rest acquired a superstar by trade(Celtics, Lakers), free agency(Lakers) or by finding an overlooked diamond in the draft(Mavs). Now, in that 12, I counted both the Pacers and the Nets as a yes, even though the players on the team that qualify for your standard were Kenyon Martin and Rik Smits, not really superstars in the way you mean it. Plus you have Ewing, who was not the main cog during their playoff run, but I'll give you that one. If you remove those 2, now you have just 10 out of 22, which is just 45%, a far cry from the 70% of your cumulative study.

That means that in this era, you have just as good a chance of building a finalist via alternative means other then just pure tanking to hit a homerun in the draft.

Also, as far as your option #3, that would argue against trading Dala, because almost every team that made the jump by acquiring a top talent via trade/free agency was already a playoff team at the time they acquired that player. The only exception was BOS, which got a hookup from their old Hall-of-Fame teammate who had a top 20 player as a bluelight special.

So, in this era, the Nuclear option is not the only cure.
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Post#3 Re: How to Win in the NBA and the Sixers
Thu Dec 24, 2009 9:30 pm by tk76

(repost)

I guess your right that the last 10 years have been less dominated by home grown superstars. Maybe you are right that the CBA has shifted the equation to where more stars are traded in their prime. Certainly the KG, Shaq, Sheed and Gasol trades shifted the competitive balance of the league.

But, as I've said before, you need cap space, picks and expirings to make those trades. the Sixers have 2 of the 3, but the big contracts will make it hard to make a move and stay under the tax.
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Post#4 Re: How to Win in the NBA and the Sixers
Fri Dec 25, 2009 12:08 am by Sixersftw

I really do not think the CBA has shifted that much. There is a bit more emphasis on trades because of revenue problems due to over expansion, the luxury tax, and the financial instability that small market teams may face.

The Lakers won in the past, and are still winning, partially on a system that no longer exists. It would be illogical to include them in an analysis of what model the Sixers should base their rebuilding strategy on. There just isn't an equivalent to going "double or nothing" on a High schooler anymore. Since the one year rule there isn't a realistic chance of striking gold past pick 10.

With that said, I have no idea what method the Sixers should use. There is not really a common theme/way to build a team. None of these teams are built the through the same method The most important thing is getting a star and currently the Sixers have a chance to get one if EJ stays.
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We are Doomed!!!
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Post#5 Re: How to Win in the NBA and the Sixers
Fri Dec 25, 2009 12:26 am by tk76

I think getting a top 10 NBA player (ideally top 5) is as close as you can come to a common theme. You still need to build a successful team around that star or stars, but without them you are going nowhere.

So its back to what we were talking about 3 years ago when AI was traded. You have to get a top player- wither through the draft or by trading a package of expirings/picks/young talent. Both ways require luck and timing.
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Post#6 Re: How to Win in the NBA and the Sixers
Fri Dec 25, 2009 12:45 am by Mojo7

tk76 wrote:(repost)

I guess your right that the last 10 years have been less dominated by home grown superstars. Maybe you are right that the CBA has shifted the equation to where more stars are traded in their prime. Certainly the KG, Shaq, Sheed and Gasol trades shifted the competitive balance of the league.

But, as I've said before, you need cap space, picks and expirings to make those trades. the Sixers have 2 of the 3, but the big contracts will make it hard to make a move and stay under the tax.


That would be where moving Brand becomes paramount, especially before 2011. As you said, moving his deal means you have a young team with $20M in capspace. Depending on the coach, you could be termed as "up and coming", especially if you can get a defensive anchor between now and then(unless the move itself is finding that player).
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Post#7 Re: How to Win in the NBA and the Sixers
Fri Dec 25, 2009 12:49 am by Mojo7

tk76 wrote:I think getting a top 10 NBA player (ideally top 5) is as close as you can come to a common theme. You still need to build a successful team around that star or stars, but without them you are going nowhere.

So its back to what we were talking about 3 years ago when AI was traded. You have to get a top player- wither through the draft or by trading a package of expirings/picks/young talent. Both ways require luck and timing.


Agreed. Though there is a possibility that the player might already be on the roster. Some players develop slower.
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Post#8 Re: How to Win in the NBA and the Sixers
Fri Dec 25, 2009 12:54 am by Mojo7

Sixersftw wrote:I really do not think the CBA has shifted that much. There is a bit more emphasis on trades because of revenue problems due to over expansion, the luxury tax, and the financial instability that small market teams may face.

The Lakers won in the past, and are still winning, partially on a system that no longer exists. It would be illogical to include them in an analysis of what model the Sixers should base their rebuilding strategy on. There just isn't an equivalent to going "double or nothing" on a High schooler anymore. Since the one year rule there isn't a realistic chance of striking gold past pick 10.

With that said, I have no idea what method the Sixers should use. There is not really a common theme/way to build a team. None of these teams are built the through the same method The most important thing is getting a star and currently the Sixers have a chance to get one if EJ stays.


Actually, the Sixers might have found the next "diamond in the rough" method. The closest thing would be to find an elite prep player that went one-and-done but did not light it up as they were expected to do, but still scores highly in character/work ethic. That player drops much lower then they should given their talent. That's how they found both Thad & Jrue
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