The Philadelphia 76ers and General Manager Sam Hinkie tried to move past the Doug Collins-Tony DiLeo-Rod Thorn era yesterday, trading away start point guard Jrue Holiday to acquire lottery pick Nerlens Noel and then taking Michael Carter-Williams 11th to replace Holiday. With two first-round picks next year, possibly two lottery picks, Hinkie is hoping to completely rebuild this team around a new core and use free agency to bring in a player or two to help complement them.
Kwame Brown is not helping. Brown exercised his player option for the 2nd year of his two-year deal, which means he’ll stay on for the 2013-2014 season and limit the Sixers’ cap space by $2.95 million. And he takes up space; hopefully the new coach, whoever he is, decides that Arnett Moultrie’s growth is more important than keeping Brown happy. Brown’s 8.79 Player Efficiency Rating is not exactly wowing anyone, and heading into next year, a huge year for the team both in terms of free agency and the draft, they need to know what they have in Moultrie, a first-round pick from last year.
Now the Sixers are at $23 million in cap space, and that’s without taking into account free agent signings and possible re-signings (Dorell Wright, Royal Ivey, Jason Richardson). This just adds to the unlikelihood that Hinkie brings in a marquee free agent this season and instead bides his time until 2014 when players like LeBron James, Chris Bosh, Danny Granger, John Wall, and more hit the open market.
Until then, one more year of the biggest draft bust in NBA history.