Buy or sell Spencer Hawes and Evan Turner?
Each week we'll ask questions about the Sixers to our resident basketball analysts and see what they have to say.
Running the Give and Go this week are CSNPhilly.com reporter John Finger, CSNPhilly.com columnist John Gonzalez and CSNPhilly.com producer/reporter Matt Haughton.
Let’s get down to business:
Which Sixer has the most trade value: Evan Turner, Spencer Hawes or Thaddeus Young?
Finger: Let's go with Thad Young. The reason why is because Young has more skills that blend into an already established program. For instance, if a contending team trades for Young, chances are it already has a star, a secondary scorer and a big man. In that situation the contending team will be looking for a piece to plug into a certain role. Young runs the floor, rebounds, takes charges and blows up pick-and-rolls as well as any player in the league. Every contending team needs a player like Thad Young.
However, Young's contract may dissuade some teams from trading for him. In that regard, Spencer Hawes might be an attractive trade chip. Not many big men can slip to the high post (and beyond) as well as Hawes.
Gonzalez: Depends on the team they'd land with -- whether that team is a contender and what the needs might be -- but in a vacuum it's probably Spencer Hawes. That's insane to type. A year ago, I would have flogged myself with an extension cord for even thinking it. But it's hard to argue with his production or his contract. He's in the final year of a deal that will pay him $6.6 million. You could use him as an expiring contract, or you could re-sign him for a reasonable sum -- say a raise to about $7.5 million. He's averaging 16.5 points, 10.2 rebounds, 3.0 assists (solid for a big), 1.7 blocks and 1.9 three-pointers (insane for a big, and very, very good for just about everyone else). Those are all career-high numbers.
Haughton: While Evan Turner is finally starting to look like a player deserving of the No. 2 overall pick, this has to be Spencer Hawes. Hawes is posting career highs in points, rebounds, assists and blocks per game while also shooting an insane 47.5 percent from three-point range. He may not be a defensive stopper, but the seven-footer certainly holds his own on that end of the floor. With a lack of quality centers in the league, Hawes will clearly be a target of teams looking to upgrade or just snag an expiring contract.
What has surprised you most about Michael Carter-Williams?
Finger: His toughness. If there was one worry about the Sixers through training camp and the exhibition season, it was if Michael Carter-Williams was able to handle the grind of an NBA season. More specifically, how would MCW handle playing the most important position on the floor in which he would have to find shots for himself and his teammates all while playing defense against a top-flight point guard and dealing with the punishment that comes with it. Did anyone foresee MCW taking the brunt of pick-and-roll after pick-and-roll on defense and walking straight after the game? So far, MCW has opened a lot of eyes with his toughness.
Gonzalez: He's an even better passer than anticipated. I thought he'd be good, but anyone who told you they expected him to average 7.2 assists would either be lying or related to Michael Carter-Williams. Five assists per game would have been an excellent starting point. His current passing numbers put him in elite assist territory. He's already in elite company as a distributor.
Haughton: His poise on the court. Michael Carter-Williams has looked like he’s belonged since Day 1 and never backed down while playing the league’s premier position. His averages -- 17.2 points, 7.2 assists and 5.3 rebounds per game -- speak for themselves. However, it’s his 2.9 steals per game (second in the NBA) that have been really impressive to me. It shows that MCW’s not afraid to get after it on defense and is already comfortable taking chances as a rookie.
Will the weak Eastern Conference impact the Sixers’ rebuilding plans?
Finger: No. If the only way the Sixers could rebuild is through the draft, then yes, winning is an issue. But the Sixers are so far under the salary cap that they can go after any free agent they like. With their own draft pick, New Orleans' first-round pick and financial freedom to sign anyone, the Sixers will be able to get some good players quickly.
Gonzalez: It might. Indiana and Miami are superior. Atlanta and Chicago (even without Derrick Rose) are solid but not spectacular. The rest of the conference is either underperforming, mediocre, or truly terrible. The Sixers could still tank, but it will require more effort to do so. Or, rather, less effort.
Haughton: Not likely. It may be tempting for the Sixers to look around at a putrid Eastern Conference that boasts just three teams with winning records and think they have a shot, but they have to stick to Sam Hinkie’s original rebuilding plan. In the end, the Sixers aren’t near the level of Miami or Indiana, so there is no real reason to take a detour.