Kolb-Watch, Day 1,475: Yours for the Bargain Price of Two Seconds?

Kolb-Watch, Day 1,475: Yours for the Bargain Price of Two Seconds?

One Cardinals beat writer thinks so. Kent Somers with the Arizona Republic blogged about Kevin Kolb's value yesterday, and he concluded a package of picks headlined by a first may be too rich for the Eagles quarterback.

Somers compared Kolb's situation to that of Matt Schaub, which is funny because he too was blocked by Mike Vick at one point in his career. Schaub, a third rounder out of Virginia, showcased the tools to be an NFL quarterback in several relief appearances, and the Texans made him their franchise quarterback in 2007. The price: Houston and Atlanta swapped first round picks (numbers 8 and 10), and the Falcons threw in a pair of second rounders.

What Somers is getting at is that trade could provide a template for any possible Kolb-to-the-Cards deal, and the similarities are certainly there. Two largely unproven quarterbacks who weren't exactly top prospects coming out of college, with no apparent chance to be named the starter ahead of Vick.

It's a shot in the gut, as we've speculated for a long time the Eagles could get at least a first for Kolb. However, there are still several key differences between Schaub in '07 and Kolb present day that lead me to believe they can still get that kind of compensation.

First of all, we can't truly use that trade as a template, because the move in the first round is a big deal. It may only be two spots, but that early in the draft, two spots can be the difference between a Pro Bowler and a Hall of Famer--though Atlanta wound up with DE Jamaal Anderson, a huge bust.

Furthermore, the Falcons had the advantage of doing that deal a month before the draft. The Eagles and Cardinals can't swap first round picks now because this year's draft is already over, and who knows where anybody will finish in 2011. That takes one component of the deal right off the table.

Then there is the comparison between Schaub and Kolb. Granted, nobody is saying Kolb is any kind of sure thing, but his small body of work dwarfs the Texans QB's at that stage of his career. Schaub started two games for the Falcons, went 0-2, and threw 161 total passes. Kolb has seven starts, is 3-4, and two NFC Offensive Player of the Week awards.

Plus, the two have slightly different pedigrees. Schaub was the fifth quarterback taken in '04, and 90th overall. Kolb was the third signal caller off the board in '07, 36 overall. Ultimately, that may mean nothing, but there were greater expectations for Kolb in the NFL.

Then again, Schaub has gone on to develop into one of the better passers in the league, throwing for over 4,000 yards in consecutive seasons, and making the Texans relevant in the process. Maybe Somers is right, and some seconds are about what the Birds can hope for in the exchange.

I still don't think so. That may have been fine for Atlanta and Houston, but there are far more examples where young, franchise-type quarterbacks go for firsts than examples where they go for less. Look at Matt Hasselbeck, Jay Cutler, Brett Favre. Every situation is different, but even with Schaub, firsts were exchanged.

And of course, there are the various reports that at least one team already has a first on the table. It's only a rumor, but one that contradicts the idea the Eagles won't receive at least that.

Why not? If Kolb is an NFL-caliber quarterback and can stay healthy, there's no reason Arizona should be picking in the top five again next year. Is it a risk? Hell yeah. I think Kolb could be a fine quarterback, but I've also seen A.J. Feeley have success in Andy Reid's system.

That's the price you pay though, Mr. Somers. The Cardinals had the opportunity to draft a franchise quarterback in the first round, and didn't. That doesn't mean the Eagles should treat them like a charity case, taking less than the perceived value.

>> Setting a trade value for Kevin Kolb [Arizona Republic]

Sixers fail to take care of business against Denver Nuggets

Sixers fail to take care of business against Denver Nuggets

It really felt like we could've gotten this one. The Denver Nuggets are hardly pushovers, but they came into this one a 7-13 team that'd lost their last three games, and even last night they seemed fairly beatable, even for a Philadelphia 76ers team still missing Robert Covington (in additional to our usual mini-roster of absentees). But Philly's energy sagged in the third quarter as Denver caught a second wind, and they spent the final frame hitting shots that the Sixers couldn't answer. Final score: Nuggets 106, 76ers 98. 

The most sobering part of the loss was that Joel Embiid finally played what would best be described as "a bad game." Not that bad, of course — even at his worst, Joel still managed 16 points and notched career-high five blocks. But he only shot 5-15 from the field, turned ball over three times, grabbed just four boards and played a large part in the sinkhole offense that the Sixers played in the late third and early fourth that ultimately cost them this one. JoJo still has trouble reading double teams and knowing when not to attack into traffic, and his frustration was extremely evident as he kept trying to do too much and paying the price for it. 

Nonetheless, even with an off Embiid night and a still-slumping Sauce — officially down to Left in the Car Overnight temperature after a night of 4 points on 1-7 shooting in 35 minutes — Philly probably still coulda gotten this one. Sergio Rodriguez appears to have swiped Nik's swag at least temporarily, with a season-high 17 points on 7-14 shooting to go with seven dimes and three steals, while Dario Saric and Ersan Ilyasova also poured in 17 and 8 each, and the Nuggets wings were largely kept quiet for two and a half quarters. But even while struggling, the Nuggets paraded their way to free-throw line — 34 FTAs for the night, including 12 for Danilo Gallinari alone — and once they caught fire late, the Sixers just couldn't keep up. 

A bummer for a team that's now lost seven in a row, and has to face the Grizzlies tonight in Memphis — their fourth game in five nights, and the first of a three-game road trip — without Embiid and also without Jahlil Okafor, out with illness. Even with the Grizz missing their own big names (no Mike Conley, Chandler Parsons, Zach Randolph or Vince Carter lately) and likely suffering from fatigue of their own after a double-OT road win last night in New Orleans, the 4-17 Sixers are gonna have a tough go matching Memphis' grit and grind tonight. Anytime you feel like Supermanning in and saving the day now would be cool, Nerlens Noel. Just sayin'.

Sixers name Elton Brand as Player Development Consultant

Sixers name Elton Brand as Player Development Consultant

Elton Brand is back with the Sixers, albeit not on the court.

The Sixers agreed with the former NBA forward to name Brand Player Development Consultant. In a press release, the team said Brand will be working with Sixers players in 'every facet of their on- and off-court development' while also working in the front office.

“We are extremely excited to bring Elton Brand back into the organization where he will be a valuable resource to our young and developing team," Bryan Colangelo said in the release. "Elton’s leadership and character displayed throughout his playing career as a player align perfectly with our vision, direction and culture of this basketball team, coaching staff and management group."

Brand retired during training camp after 17 NBA seasons, including five with the Sixers over two stints. The 6-foot-8 forward came out of retirement last season to provide a veteran presence for the Sixers and eventually played in 17 games when the team was snakebitten by injuries. 

He will now continue to be an influence on the Sixers' young core thanks to his new role with the basketball operations department.