Money Talk


SJ covered the talent aspects, Giricek is a terrible player and won’t do much for Philly, but it looks like Stefanski is mostly trying to free up some cap space. According to the contracts and ESPN, the Sixers cleared about $10-million in cap space for the summer of ’08. Plus, if they trade Andre Miller to clear some of the $9-million plus he is owed this year and next, that will give Philly between 14 and 19 million of extra cap room. Thats all well and good, and it’s a strong step towards undoing the many mistakes of Billy King, but while cap room always saves you money, it doesn’t help you win unless you use it. So what notable players are available this summer?

There’s the restricted free agents, meaning their teams can match any offer:

Monta Ellis
Luol Deng
Ben Gordon
Josh Smith
Emeka Okafor

We don’t know yet if the Bulls plan on or can afford both of their players, nor are we sure what will happen with Ellis (thought probably will be resigned) or Smith (up in the air with how much young talent that team has). The other problem is none of these guys are huge stars (for putting people in the seats) or offensive low post players (Okafor isn’t exactly a go-to guy). I don’t know if putting Smith next to a very similar player like Iguodala would take you very far. And all these guys are going to get overpayed.

And then there’s the players with early termination options on their contracts:

Jermaine O’Neal (wants out)
Elton Brand (hurt, but likes LA)
Allen Iverson (don’t think Philly is going there again)
Gilbert Arenas (definitely opting out)
Baron Davis (not leaving)
Shawn Marion (doesn’t fit a rebuilding team)
Ron Artest (I’m guessing he doesn’t fit either, just a hunch)

Brand would be the best compliment to Iggy, if they had a PG (maybe they get Derrick Rose), but he’s not leaving LA anyways. Marion is an older Josh Smith and does too many similar things to Iggy. Davis is Golden St. Jermaine is not the answer, but I could see them possibly looking into it (and overpaying). Iverson hardly warrants mentioning. Then there is Arenas, who very possibly is the exact guy Stefanski is targeting with this and his future moves. Arenas is only getting $12-million per year, but he knows he can get more, especially when he sees Antawn Jamison getting $16-per. Arenas is going to gobble up all the space Philly would have, but he would also gobble up ticket sales. The only problem is, then Philly would be almost back to where they were with Iverson — no low post threat, a drastically overpayed Dalembert, and not enough talent to go to the Finals. That being said, that city would probably love Arenas’ personality (or he could become the next Donovan McNabb) and we don’t yet know what they are getting in the draft. Michael Beasley sure wouldn’t hurt, or maybe they take a chance on a DeAndre Jordan or John Riek. Just don’t draft Kevin Love, trust me.

The only unrestricted free agent of note is Antawn Jamison, who’s a good player, but he doesn’t fit into a rebuilding effort in any sense. Same goes for Ricky Davis. That just brings us back to Arenas, who must be the one guy blogging in the back of Stefanski’s head. It’s not the ideal time to have cap space without any big men guaranteed to be avaliable, but the move gives flexibility to a team once royally screwed by a former GM. Good trade for both sides, but for different reasons.