Make no mistake, “getting rid of Sammy” was obviously a big part of this move. Even though he is finally in the last year of a contract that had over paid him for years, the contracts of Hawes and Nocioni basically break that one contract into two. Despite each player having more than one year left on their contract, the smaller contracts give the team more maneuverability in potential future moves.
The one worry – actually there are a few worries with this trade – is that Dalembert would finally have been completely off the books after this season. More cap room is still more cap room, especially on a bad team. The Sixers’ willingness to give that up strongly suggests that rumors of Dalembert’s bad attitude and worse work ethic were true, and the team just wanted to get the stiff out of the locker room to give new head coach Doug Collins a more positive atmosphere to start with.
Of course, the rumors didn’t need much verification. Dalembert is a career 8 and 8 guy – 8.3 rebounds and 8.1 points a game. To round out the crazy 8s, Sammy just finished his eighth season. Talking about Sammy’s potential has been a weak argument for years. Besides that, most Sixers fans – there’s a few left – have had the displeasure of watching Dalembert mosey down court after missing another shot.
Yet, somehow this all seems to have escaped Dalembert. He told the Daily News:
"It's going to feel a little weird putting on a different jersey, but it's a fresh start, a chance to finally see what I'm made of," Dalembert said. . . .
Dalembert, 29, said his initial reaction was: "It's like, wow, a fresh start, a team really wants me. I believe I can help [the Kings] tremendously. Philly never said 'You can really do this.' I never felt I had a chance to be the player I'm capable of being."
If you’re scratching your head, you are not alone. Dalembert was never viewed as a scholar, but these comments make him seem downright stupid. The millions of dollars he was being paid never clued him into the fact that the team thought he could play? Grow up. At 29 years old in the NBA, you’re not supposed to need the coach to pat you on the head. Philadelphia has already seen what he’s made of – Mister Softee.
He embarrassed himself further:
"It's a mixed feeling," Dalembert said. "It's great, but part of me will always be in Philly. It's a mixture of happiness and frustration. Frustration when I think 'Why couldn't it work in Philly?' There was always that question. I'll never know the answer. . . .
"I had told myself if [I'm staying in] Philly, I'll make the best of it. That's why I always kept my professionalism. I knew Philly was trying [to make a trade], but I didn't let it affect me."
It didn’t work because Sammy didn’t work. Anyone besides Dalembert confused about that? His idea of professionalism is just plain scary. I’d hate to watch his play (even more) if Dalembert ever admits he’s dogging it.
On paper at least, the Kings may actually be buying what he’s selling, because they gave up a guy that has decent numbers. Hawes averaged 5.5 rebounds and 8.8 points in his career (6.1 rebounds and 10 points last season), and he’ll only be in his third year. He was also a lottery pick, for what it’s worth. Nocioni has gotten a few compliments from TV analysts, but he seems like a throw-in to make the trade work with the salary cap.
Obviously, I like the trade. But besides losing Dalembert’s expiring contract, I’ve heard two things that send up red flags. First, more than one analyst has suggested Hawes and Nocioni weren’t exactly favorites of the Sacramento organization. It could be nothing, or it could be a problem.
More importantly, Chad Ford is reporting that the trade may move the Sixers away from drafting Evan Turner. “The Sixers have been deciding whether to select Evan Turner or Derrick Favors with the No. 2 pick. Although Sixers general manager Ed Stefanski is a Turner fan, new coach Doug Collins is high on Favors. With Dalembert gone and Nocioni in, it could push them in the direction of Favors.”
I’m just going by others, but that doesn’t sound like a good idea.
Iverson returning? Looking for stats on the trade, I saw this on ESPN.com:
Gary Moore, [Allen] Iverson's personal manager, said that Iverson is planning a return to the NBA next season. Iverson returned to the Philadelphia 76ers in December and took a leave of absence in March because of family issues.
"Allen is working out and he's getting himself prepared to make his return," Moore said by phone Friday. "He absolutely will try and play next year."
I don’t know why I’m surprised, but I do know why it makes me sad. For all his flaws, Iverson always seemed like he at least tried to be a decent guy – he just didn’t know how to be one. But this just has a bad taste to it. There have already been suggestions that Iverson wasn’t exactly at his daughter’s bedside night and day, and this seems like more proof that he just blew off the Sixers last year. Even worse, he is quickly approaching becoming a once great player who doesn’t know when it’s over.
Wrapping up the Finals. The Lakers eked out the victory in Game 7 to win the NBA Finals. The victory gave me a record of 11-2 in series picks for the playoffs, 5-4 in games, and +414.50 points. I’ve hit the Finals every year I’ve picked them – 2010, ‘09, and ‘06!I Just wasn’t blogging the other two years. I’m also out of the red with the points experiment, now at +312.23.