I was fortunate enough to do a quick Q&A with Tom Moore of the Bucks County Courier Times. Check out the interview below:
EG: Do you see Evan Turner and/or Thaddeus Young being traded?
TM: I think Turner is more likely to be traded than Young, who has two more years on his contract, by the Feb. 20 deadline. Sam Hinkie doesn’t seem to be committed to dealing Turner, Young or impending free agent center Spencer Hawes unless he gets a fair price in return. He’d love to acquire another first-round pick (preferably in 2014), but teams probably won’t be willing to give up that much for a two-month rental (Turner will become an unrestricted free agent unless the Sixers or whoever he plays for picks up his $8.7 million qualifying offer for 2014-15). I wouldn’t be shocked if they don’t deal any of their three core veterans.
EG: What are your thoughts on Dewayne Dedmon?
TM: I think Dedmon made an immediate impact with his interior defense, shot-blocking and rebounding, but he hasn’t been as effective since signing his second 10-day contract Friday. The Sixers must decide by Sunday if they’re going to re-sign him for the rest of the season or waive him. It should be interesting to see what they do with Dedmon, a raw big man with some upside.
EG: What mid-year grade would you give Brett Brown?
TM: My column for last Sunday was that given the team’s numerous shortcomings (lack of reliable inside or outside scorers, shortage of quality interior and perimeter defenders, weak bench and so on), it’s too soon to tell about Brown, whose biggest strength in San Antonio was perceived to be player development. The Sixers have plenty of players requiring development.
Brown has opted for an uptempo style to avoid getting stuck in the half-court offense, but the Sixers lead the league in turnovers because their young players have a tendency to make high-risk, low-reward decisions. Brown also wants the Sixers to prevent opponents from easy driving baskets at the expense of giving up some open 3-pointers. The result is the Sixers have allowed by far the most 3s in the NBA.
With a bench featuring at least two guys who aren’t legitimate NBA players and a mediocre first unit, Brown has to make some lose-lose decisions. If the Sixers get a top-five pick in June’s draft and GM Sam Hinkie uses some of what could be as much as $30 million on a quality free agent or an uneven trade, Brown should have a lot more with which to work. Having said all that, I’ll give Brown a B+ so far.
EG: What’s the latest injury report on all of the injured Sixers?
TM: Second-year big man Arnett Moultrie’s surgically repaired ankle is fine and he’s scrimmaged with the team numerous times, but he’s still working his way into playing shape. He could be back by the all-star break, which begins Feb. 13. Veteran guard Jason Richardson continues making slow progress from knee surgery last February. He could be back in a month or so if all goes well, though there are no guarantees. Rookie center Nerlens Noel is doing more on-court work and could be cleared to play in, say, March, but the Sixers seem to want to proceed cautiously with the 19-year-old Noel, who was the No. 6 selection last June. My sense is he won’t appear in a game until next fall.
EG: Thank you Tom, appreciate it!
Be sure to follow Tom on Twitter @tmoore76ers for great coverage on all things Sixers.