Sam Hinkie might be some kind of genius, but he’s not a miracle worker. The lone black mark on an otherwise earth-shattering week for the 76ers was Kwame Brown exercising his player option, so get ready for another season of 1.9 points/3.4 rebounds per game at $2.9 million.
Honestly, you should probably just be happy with that. Apparently it could have been worse – much, much worse.
John Mitchell examines what went so terribly awry for the Sixers last season for the Inquirer on Sunday, and aside from the obvious there are some fairly major reveals. We learn one of the doctors who checked out Andrew Bynum’s knees intimated he never cleared the trade. Spoiler alert: a healthy amount of this story is about Bynum (the only healthy thing about Bynum).
But it’s also about Doug Collins and a behind-the-scenes power struggle, one we can all be thankful Collins lost if Mitchell’s accounts are true. According to sources, the departed head coach was the driving force behind the acquisition of Brown – and wanted to pay Kwame a lot more than the modest-by-comparison contract the Sixers ultimately awarded.
Collins, who declined comment for this article, made a push for more power, for control of all player personnel decisions - which at the time was then team president Rod Thorn's responsibility. According to sources with intimate knowledge of the situation, Collins wanted to sign center Kwame Brown to a guaranteed five-year, $30 million deal before the lockout-shortened 2011-12 season.
Harris, on Thorn's advice, vetoed the signing. Unfortunately for the Sixers, it was revisited.
Collins was still pushing to pick up Brown, who had played just nine games for Golden State before suffering a season-ending injury. Harris this time agreed with the coach and inked him to a one-year, $3 million contract with a $3 million player option, which he exercised on Saturday.
But Brown flopped. Identified by Collins as the team's starting center before Bynum's arrival, Brown had feuded with Collins when they were first paired in Washington early in Brown's career. Despite being initially high on Brown, Collins virtually ignored him once the season heated up. He played in only 22 games, and because of the player optioned that he exercised last week, he will be back.
Even the thought of Kwame Brown for five years at any price, let alone $6 mil per, is so mind-numbingly stupid I almost refuse to believe it could be true. That’s the report though.
Thankfully somebody had the good sense to put a stop to it. Too bad they ever decided to revisit it.
>> The 76ers: What went wrong [Inq]
Another report says it was four years, $20 million. Which of course is still insane.
What I was told that Doug Collins wanted to offer Kwame 4 years, $20m total. Shot down by a member of the ownership group.
— Derek Bodner (@derekbodner) June 30, 2013