The college hoops season is well underway. One big story from last week included the re-emergence of Florida, who won the Legends Classic in Atlantic City (and had to beat #2 Michigan State in order to do so). Another big story is the power of the Big East. It has 3 teams that are looking like legitimate top-10 teams (‘Nova, ‘Cuse, West Virginia), 2 or 3 others that are threats to crack the top-10 (UCONN, Georgetown, and Louisville), and at least a few others that are dangerous (Cincy, Notre Dame, Marquette). The conference is very well represented in the current rankings.
In the NBA, the big story of the week is the ongoing horrendousness of the New Jersey Nets, who just fired their coach and went 0-17. Another big story is about THE ANSWER’s possible return to Philly.
I already blogged about THE ANSWER, and I won’t repeat myself here. For now, I’ll add only this: the argument I continue to hear against signing THE ANSWER is that the team considering signing him has some young guy it wants to “develop,” and would rather give minutes to that young guy than to THE ANSWER. The Knicks used this reasoning to explain why they wouldn’t sign THE ANSWER. It made sense in theory, until I looked at the Knicks’ roster, and realized that I couldn’t figure out which young bucks they think they’re grooming to be future stars. Larry Hughes? Wilson Chandler? Nate Robinson? Seriously? Their plan for the future is to turn one of these guys into a superstar?
I would have gotten worked up about it, if I wasn’t so used to hearing nonsense from Knicks’ management. Now the reports say that the Sixers are interested, but that their management has similar concerns. They’re reluctant to sign THE ANSWER because they don’t want to take minutes away from the young bucks that they’re developing. A look at their roster reveals that these young bucks are Willie Green and Jrue Holiday. You know, the two guys who led their teams to, umm, what, exactly?
In 367 career games, Green has averaged 9.4 points per game. Even worse, Jrue Holiday spent one year at UCLA, where he averaged… wait for it… 8.5 points, 3.7 assists, and 3.8 rebounds (his stats are here). Those are his numbers in COLLEGE. The Sixers would rather try to “develop” that guy than sign THE ANSWER?
Kidding aside, let’s assume that those guys have some potential, and that, if they are “developed” properly, they become capable pros who can put up, oh, I don’t know, 15 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists per game. It’s a stretch, but let’s go with that assumption. Even if that’s the case, those numbers are not going to be good enough to lead a team to the playoffs. So, while it’s ok to try to “develop” them, it helps to be realistic about what you’re “developing” them to be. Neither one of those guys can be expected to be a team’s primary scorer, so why wouldn’t the Sixers want to bring in a guy who can carry the scoring load, and let those guys “develop” into complementary players? That’s their UPSIDE; to be solid complementary players.
When THE ANSWER fades away, you’ll have to replace him with someone who can carry the scoring load, whom Green and Holiday can complement. Fine. I get it. But that’s no reason not to sign THE ANSWER, because you’re going to have to sign someone else in the future anyway.
Dave Del Grande, a writer for Sportsline, suggests some of the same landing spots for THE ANSWER that I’ve been suggesting, before he launches into his power rankings. ESPN’s power rankings are here.