Sixers should abandon the “star hunt”

CAMDEN, NJ- DECEMBER 14: Brett Brown of the Philadelphia 76ers talks with Ben Simmons
CAMDEN, NJ- DECEMBER 14: Brett Brown of the Philadelphia 76ers talks with Ben Simmons /

Why the Philadelphia 76ers need to walk away from the “star hunt”

Going in to the off season, the Philadelphia 76ers have made it clear they were in the market in acquire someone they thought to be “a star.” LeBron James gave us no serious thought, Paul George wanted to keep the party going in OKC, we are still waiting for the other shoe to drop with Kawhi Leonard.

Among the other stars that were/are available, DeMarcus Cousins is off the board, Chris Paul made his inevitable choice and never really was right for the Sixers in the first place, and Carmelo Anthony seems destined to join Paul in Houston, despite desired consideration from one “uninformed” The Sixer Sense contributor.

This has left everyone speculating as to what Philly has put forward to San Antonio, and if a deal will ever get done.

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But what if star hunting is the wrong goal? What if Philly doesn’t need a high-profile add to make this work?

Current state of the Philadelphia 76ers

Right now, on paper, the Sixers are the second or third best team in the East (provided Milwaukee continues to forget how talented they should be). They will almost assuredly finish in the top half of the seeding in the east, barring any significant injuries.

Based on their talent, experience, and coaching, it is likely they will be in the Conference finals.

Even with that said, if we get to the finals, what’s likely awaiting Brown’s Sixers? Boston. And a really good Celtics team, at that. As it stands, I’m not sure we have the firepower to take on Boston with Kyrie and Hayward available.

But, I think we are just a shooter or two away from it.

The goal needs to shift

As much as fans love to speculate on adding someone of Leonard’s talents, Philadelphia does not need to break the bank, give up multiple assets and young budding, soon-to-be all-stars to obtain him. With a bevy of assets in hand, that is the sustaining power of the franchise moving forward.

Simmons, Embiid and Fultz look to be the anchors of this team for the next decade—they are the stars—and adding another high-profile star, instead of complimentary pieces around them is a mistake. Sam Hinkie was successful because he thought differently than the majority and with accuracy—“the committee” needs to do the same thing.

This is what ever team does when they feel close. They starting trading things away, and it just doesn’t always work out.

Instead, continue drafting well, using the assets in place to expand the war chest for later years, and bringing in the right shooters, defenders, and veterans to round out an already very good roster. As these plays gain experience and gel together, it will be something special.

Steps for the 2018-19 season

The truth is: this roster is already in place. It doesn’t appear to be to be any reason to make drastic changes, unless something spectacular falls into your lap and at a bargain price.

I’ll give you 3 possible additions, as listed from the top 25 free agent listings from Bleacher Report’s free agent board and why it makes sense.

  1. Dwayne Wade

Past his prime, and no longer fit for a consistent starting role, no team knows better how Wade can still roll back the clock, turn on the jets and add production to a team when the cup seems to have a team-proof lid on it.

Philadelphia fans were treated to a classic performance of Dwayne Wade up close and person last year. It would be spectacular to add that kind of knowledge, skill and savvy to the Sixers bench. Even if Wade says he only wants to stay in Miami, it would behoove Brown to make that call.

  1. Michael Beasley

From the ’16, ’17 and ’18 seasons, Michael Beasley shot 52.2, 53.2 and 50.7 field goal percent, respectively. Buckets Beasley also managed to shoot over league average in three-point percentage six of his ten years in NBA. That’s the kind of subtle offense that can make a difference.

  1. Rodney Hood

Hood doesn’t have the awe of Wade, or the numbers of Beasley, but Hood has a useful skill set that could very well blossom under the Sixer banner. He is a shooter and that is something Philly needs.

Star hunting can create desperation—that sense of feeling “one piece away,” and with that desperation comes a proclivity for error. Whether that comes in the form of overpaying, or over reaching, neither are good.

For a team that is already great, with the assets in place to be great for a long time, continuing the process will mean patience above all. Star chasing is for people with their head in the clouds; develop your young talent and bolster them with the right help.

Next: 3 reasons Redick should come off the bench

I hope that the Sixers exercise extreme caution moving forward. Be careful not to give the process away for something you may not really need.