The NBA offseason is about to become interesting with the draft and free agency on the horizon. The Sixers have plenty of decisions to make as president of basketball operations Daryl Morey looks to improve a team that has been to the playoffs four straight years, but has yet to get out of the second round.
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The pluses and minuses of Danny Green
Danny Green didn’t endear himself to Sixers fans when he said on a podcast with John Clark that the fans basically should cut Ben Simmons some slack. “With a guy like Ben and other guys, I think [fans] need to stick behind them, and stick by them as long as they can, until the horn blows,” Green said,
That caused an uproar locally, and Green was heavily criticized by both fans and media.
Putting that aside, there’s a question as to whether Green, who is a free agent, should be re-signed by the Sixers and what would be the cost.
Positives for signing Green
1. He is a three-time NBA champion who brought a veteran voice to the Sixers’ locker room, someone the players clearly respected.
2. Green is still an effective three-point shooter. This year, he shot 40.5%, even better than his career mark (40.1%).
3. Speaking of threes, Green led the NBA in corner three-point field goals with 90, according to NBA.com stats.
4. Green’s best trait of the regular season turned into his undoing in the postseason. In the regular season, he was extremely durable, playing in 69 of 72 games. But in Game 3 of the second-round series against the Hawks, Green suffered a strained right calf early in the first quarter and missed the rest of the seven-game series.
5. He had a solid opening-round series against Washington, shooting 46.3% from three.
6. The Sixers were just 1-3 when Green was sidelined the entire game against Atlanta.
1. Green turned 34 in June, and one has to wonder how much he has left in the tank, or at least whether he would be better coming off the bench after averaging 28 minutes last season.
2. Before he suffered his injury in the playoffs, Green was having a poor series. While it is a small sample size, he couldn’t stay with Trae Young in Game 1 and eventually Ben Simmons became the primary defender. Before the injury, he had shot just 1-for-9 from three against the Hawks.
3. Green was once considered an elite defender, but that is no longer the case. Keeping in front of dynamic players such as Young is difficult, although the rest of the NBA also has the same problem. Still, he’s not the lockdown defender he once was. This season, he was fifth on the Sixers in defensive rating (108).
How much will Green command?
That will determine if he stays with the Sixers.
This past season, Green made $15.36 million. There is no way he will get close to that figure as an unrestricted free agent. Could he get half that total? One-third? It’s hard to believe that Green would sign for the veteran’s minimum the way Dwight Howard did last season.
If he would, then the Sixers should bring him back. If it gets too pricey, then they would have to move on. He offers quite a lot, but in our opinion, more as a bench player than a starter, one who should be playing fewer minutes next season if he indeed returns.
David Murphy ranks the top Sixers’ first-round draft choices in the lottery era.
Marcus Hayes writes that the Sixers’ choosing Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid over Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jrue Holiday hasn’t exactly worked in their favor.
Keith Pompey writes that two Sixers assistants have left for other jobs.
Pompey profiles the University of Houston’s Quentin Grimes, a potential pick for the Sixers in the first round at No. 28.
Murphy notes four big questions facing the Sixers this offseason, starting with Damian Lillard, Ben Simmons, and the dominoes to follow.
Shooting not the story of the postseason
The NBA game has turned into a three-point shooting contest on many nights. It is assumed that with the emphasis on the three that teams must shoot well from beyond the arc to be competitive.
The champion Milwaukee Bucks put a real hole in that theory. Not only did the Bucks struggle from three-point range, but they didn’t do well at the foul line either. (Yes, we know Giannis Antetokounmpo is poor at both despite a 17-for-19 showing from the line in the series-clinching Game 6 win over Phoenix.)
Still, the Bucks were nowhere to be found in any of the key shooting stats during this past postseason. Here they were:
1. Portland, 41.3%
14. Milwaukee, 32.1%
1. Brooklyn, 86.8%
14. Milwaukee, 71.8%
1. Sixers 49.6%
8. Milwaukee 42.6%
The Bucks were first in offensive rebounding (12.8) and third in field-goal attempts per game (91.1), so even though they missed more shots than many teams, they had more opportunities and cashed in on them.
July 29: NBA draft, Barclays Center, Brooklyn.
Aug. 2: Teams can begin negotiating with free agents (6 p.m.).
Aug. 6: Teams can begin signing free agents (12:01 p.m.).
Aug. 8-17: MGM Resorts NBA Summer League in Las Vegas.
Passing the rock
Question: Given Simmons’ salary, is there any realistic way to trade him? — David Cohen on Facebook
Answer: Thanks for the question, David. The salary should not be a deterrent. In an earlier newsletter, we detailed several players who could be dealt for Simmons one-on-one. Among them are Portland’s CJ McCollum, Golden State’s Andrew Wiggins, and Minnesota’s D’Angelo Russell.
The key is how much interest there is in Simmons. There were earlier leaks that teams valued him greatly, but we won’t know that for sure until we see what is offered to the Sixers. I feel if he isn’t traded, it will be because they couldn’t get their expected value for him, not because of his salary.