NBA.com – ADDED: G Nick Young (one year, $6 million) F Dorell Wright (acquired from Golden State); G Royal Ivey (one year, $1.23 million); F Maurice Harkless (first-round pick, 15th overall; F Arnett Moultrie (acquired from Miami); C Kwame Brown (two years, $6 million), G Maalik Wayns. LOST: F/C Elton Brand (amnesty; claimed by Dallas), G Lou Williams (sign and trade with Atlanta), F Edin Bavcic (trade with Golden State). THE SKINNY: The 76ers came of age in the playoffs last season, knocking out the highly-favored Bulls after Chicago lost Derrick Rose to a season-ending knee injury in Game 1 of their first-round series. But they were hardly a finished product. They were really athletic, but struggled to do much in the halfcourt. So, what did Doug Collins and company do? They doubled down, getting even more athletic, and trusted that Collins would be able to divide minutes and shots. Wright has eight years in the league but is still just 26, with two seasons as a starter at small forward with Golden State under his belt. With Brand amnestied, forward Thaddeus Young will get his best opportunity to capture significant minutes at power forward. He’ll still come off the bench behind Spencer Hawes, who Collins said will now start at the four, with Brown playing center. Brown is what Brown is — a good low-post defender who doesn’t need help, but is limited to putbacks and dunks at the offensive end. Allen was very productive against Boston in the playoffs and Collins believes he could be in the league 10 years. Harkless and Moultrie should contribute immediately as more high-energy guys that will get after it at the defensive end, and Young will fire away off the bench in Williams’ place. But the Sixers didn’t spend any real money for any of those myriad moves, leaving themselves future flexibility if they want to extend starting point Jrue Holiday or make a big trade next summer — or both. The imminent hiring of cap expert Tom Penn as general manager would indicate Philly is far from finished remaking the team.
There is such a big part of me that wants to believe that this team is intelligently biding their time waiting for the right moment to pounce and grab their own Big 3, but my brain just won’t let my brain believe such things. Maybe I could lie to myself if we hadn’t signed Kwame Brown AS OUR STARTING CENTER. If we just got him for a year to fill out the roster and play some low post D that’s fine, but starting? Doug, I love you, but you’re not a magician, you’re not a miracle healer, nor do you any have supernatural abilities. There is absolutely zero chance that you can turn Kwame Brown into a serviceable NBA starter.
“The Kobe Bryant Kwame Brown Story”
“So we go back to the timeout and I’m pissed, right? He goes, ‘I was wide open.’ ‘Yeah, I know.’ This is how I’m talking to him, like, during the game. I said, ‘You’re going to be open again, Kwame, because Rasheed is just totally ignoring you.’ He said, ‘Well, if I’m open don’t throw it to me.’ I was like, ‘Huh?’ He said, ‘Don’t throw it to me.’ I said, ‘Why not?’ He said, well, ‘I’m nervous. If I catch it and they foul me, I won’t make the free throws.’ I said, ‘Hell no!’
“I go to Phil [Jackson], I say, ‘Hey Phil, take him out of the game.’ He’s like, ‘Nah, let him figure it out.’ So, we lose the game, I go the locker room, I’m steaming. Steaming. I’m furious. Then, finally I get a call, they said, ‘You know what, we got something that’s happening with Pau.’ I was like, ‘Alright. Cool.’…That’s what I had to deal with the whole year.”