September 06, 2022
Football season is almost here, so before the Eagles dominate discussion in Philadelphia for the foreseeable future, let's sneak in a Sixers mailbag with the team still 20 days out from media day.
To the questions...
Any chance Morey goes after one of the Jazz vets?— The Wiz Wit (@TheWizWit) September 2, 2022
Late last week, I mentioned my skepticism with Jordan Clarkson specifically, as I don't think he fits the sort of player they might be after right now. The Sixers feel pretty good about their guard rotation, and in any situation where James Harden is off of the floor, there's a high likelihood Tyrese Maxey will be running the show, and vice versa. While your concerns about Doc Rivers running all-bench lineups are noted, their team structure is simply different now, making them less necessary than ever. Clarkson is a bucket getter off of the bench, no doubt, but a ghastly defender and a player with limited utility outside of that scoring-centric role. And the bigger issue is the contract — acquiring a player making over $13 million this year is tough from a practical standpoint for Philly, who which few contracts to move and little room to work with under the hard cap.
If they were going to to try to make it happen for a Utah player, Bojan Bogdanovic makes the most sense, as adding a big wing makes more sense than bringing in another small guard. Bogdanovic is no spring chicken, but he's got two-way value still and is in the final year of his contract, a potential rental option who could close games and add a bit more toughness to a group that has already gotten bigger and more physical this summer. The problem once again is his contract and what it would take to bring him in. Bogdanovic's $19.5 million cap number all but assures he'd have to head elsewhere even if the Sixers were desperate to add him.
My big-picture advice would be to keep expectations in check for who/what the Sixers might acquire between now and the end of the year. The players who are good, young, and cheap enough to have actual trade value are not players you want to move, and they're not exactly loaded with first-round picks to swap at the moment. Moves around the margins are much more likely.
How are the Sixers going to defend Cleveland if they have to play them in the playoffs? Is saying Harden and Maxey have to play better/harder a real solution or a Doc Rivers playoff huddle speech?— Furk and Tisse Defender (@Joel4MVP) September 2, 2022
Building off of those assumptions, that's when it starts to get interesting. Do you really want James Harden chasing Mitchell around? Probably not, but I also don't want to force PJ Tucker to chase a guard around for most of the game, which is not his strength as a man defender. Circling back to Maxey, I think you'd probably be using him as a help defender a lot, having him pinch on drives to crowd Cleveland's guards and ensure that Embiid doesn't have to clean up everything around the rim. I don't think there's a perfect solution, but I think this will be less about individual matchups than team defense. You'd probably dabble with quite a bit of zone, too. Garland and Mitchell can both hurt you as shooters if they're on, but Mobley is still a theoretical shooter, with Allen and Okoro in the "non-threat" category if that's their five.
I would also counter this question by asking how the Cavs expect to defend Philadelphia in a playoff series. Embiid pretty thoroughly kicked the crap out of the Cavs last season — the big man effectively averaged 35-14-6 on 53 percent shooting against Cleveland, laying waste to their frontcourt across four meetings late in the season. Making the Cavs pull the ball out of the basket over and over again is a good way to ensure you slow down their offense, and I don't think a single offseason is going to change how ill-equipped Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley are to defend Philadelphia's best player.
Who is more likely to (positively) regress to their mean: Shake or Furk? And what would that mean for the team?— CAHanna (@ColinAlexHanna) September 2, 2022
Korkmaz, on the other hand, I simply can't figure out how to read. He looks incredible on his hot shooting nights and he offers movement shooting in a way no one else on the roster does, but I'm not sure that skill is going to have as much utility for the group moving forward. The Sixers have drifted toward an offense predicated on precise spacing around the Harden/Embiid pick-and-roll, so useful (and comfortable) stationary shooters seems to be the direction they've moved in for role players. Neither of the Milton/Korkmaz duo has shot well for a while, but Shake was a good bit clear of Korkmaz last year. Can't say I have an abundance of confidence in either guy at this point.
how do you think they will utilize deanthony melton in the offense?— Isaac (@philly_isaac) September 2, 2022
One of Melton's primary issues is that he can bite off more than he can chew as a ballhandler, which you can and should mitigate by having him next to another capable ballhandler at all times. Melton running the offense as a solo ballhandler? Probably not going to be a good time. But he's more than capable of playing off of either Harden or Maxey, attacking closeouts or knocking down catch-and-shoot jumpers as the secondary option. Melton also has the athleticism and length to make an occasional impact as a cutter.
In times of need you could turn the ball over to him if you must, and he's definitely not shy about trying to find his own shots out of a pick-and-roll. But Melton's best minutes have almost always come with a capable partner alongside him, ranging from an All-Star talent like Ja Morant or a steady bench guy like Tyus Jones. Essentially, I think you want him playing more of a finishing role, one where he's not making multiple reads and can simply decide whether to rise up, drive, or swing the ball when it gets to him. It's not that he's incapable of self-creation or scoring off-the-dribble, but you don't want him grinding the clock down for iffy shots, which can happen a bit too often with Melton as the lead creator.
If you don't overextend him, he can help you out on offense a lot. And there's no real reason to overextend him with the group they have. Multi-guard looks should be on the floor pretty consistently for Philly this year, and that will suit Melton just fine.
What are the chances that Doc convinces Daryl to bring in a washed-up veteran center for us to complain about all season long?— Vape stem milk latte (@UsernameDelete8) September 2, 2022
Do I think it'd be ideal to spend another roster spot on an older big man? No. But I'd say there's a decent-ish chance we at least see one come in as a camp body, if for no other reason than to test the mettle of the younger guys.
Do you think this will finally be the season in which Joel stops throwing himself all over the floor uselessly and learns to conserve his energy and preserve his body?— Jerry Long (@Longbroscomedy) September 2, 2022
More excited for house of the dragon or rings of power? Equally for both?— Jason Dale (@MyNamesJDale) September 2, 2022
(I know it's a prequel we basically know the ending for, but I still don't want to know half of what happens in an episode before I even sit down to watch it.)
Maybe I have a hipster streak, or maybe Game of Thrones S7+8 ruined Westeros for me forever. I'm just a little exhausted with the media zeitgeist centering around extended universes and CGI and shows that I can't discuss with a friend without a conversation about one of 750 fan theories connected to the show. The discourse around these big properties is just genuinely insane now, where if you try to critically engage with something you get hit with the "let people enjoy things" treatment for not consuming content like a mindless drone. There are just so many good shows being made that I'd rather sink my teeth into without feeling obligated to know "what the implications are" for the six related properties that will follow. I just finished season one of The Bear over the weekend, which was delightful.
Of course, as soon as Dune Part 2 drops, I won't be able to shut the hell up about it, so we're all hypocrites deep down.
In order for the Sixers to get to the 15 man roster limit, what do you think is more likely?— Mo Mo (@Mower35) September 2, 2022
2) Waiving someone, and if so, who?
A big ol' shrug from me. Queen's 300k guarantee normally wouldn't matter much, but as a hard-cap team, every dollar matters.
How many years does this core have to win a championship before it’s the process part 2— gavin 🦅🇰🇷 (@whiladelphia) September 2, 2022
if you had to fight anyone on the presumed 15 man roster, who would it be, and why?— 📌 (@cuhstomss) August 30, 2022
If you could have dinner with any 3 Sixers all time, who would you choose and why?— White Noise Sports (@WhiteNoiseSpor1) August 30, 2022
Of course, maybe it just turns into Barkley dominating the conversation and Toney continuing his silent streak, but that's not the worst outcome in the world.
Is this the YEAR? (Say yes, it’s for the bit)— Zo (@Tweets_By_Zo) September 2, 2022
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