Friday, July 6, 2012

Sixers Sign Nick Young, Amnesty Brand, Improve Team

 The Sixers finally made a splash in free agency today, agreeing to terms with Nick Young on a 1 year deal in the $6 million dollar range.  The Sixers were in desperate need for a shooter/two guard this offseason after Lou Williams opted out of his final year and was looking for a long term deal in the $40 million dollar range.  As a Philly fan, its tough to see one of your best scorers go. The city watched his entire career develop over the past several years from a second round pick right out of high school to solid 6th man.  But it made sense for Philly; they don't commit long term dollars, and they get a slight upgrade in Nick Young.  Hopefully playing on a one year deal will keep Young motivated to perform all year.

Young should come in and compete for the shooting gaurd spot right away.  Evan Turner played solid in his second year campaign, but the team struggled at times to score.  That is where Nick Young should provide an instant spark.

On the same note, the Sixers have some more financial flexibility in signing Nick Young now that they have amnestied Elton Brand and the 18 million dollars he was scheduled to make next year.  Brand's hard work in the paint was appreciated, but he never lived up to the superstar contract he signed, and had career low numbers the past few seasons. 

Letting go of Brand will now allow the young frontcourt of the Sixers to develop.  Thaddeus Young will see more playing time at the four, along with Lavoy Allen who had a great playoff series against Kevin Garnett.  Throw in rookie Arnett Moultrie and the Sixers all of a sudden have great depth, youth, and size at the power forward position.  Second year big man Nik Vucevic will backup re-signed Spencer Hawes providing more stability at the center position to compliment their young core of big men.

New rookie Maurice Harkelss shoud also provide a scoring punch off the bench, giving them a solid scoring option at small forward.  The talk every year is about trading Andre Iguadola, but they need his defensive skills more than ever to gaurd the likes of Paul Pierce, Carmelo Anthony, and LeBron James in the Eastern Conference every week.  Iggy provides a solid defensive minded veteran presence on the floor that will be much needed next year with Brand gone.  He will have to assume a bigger team role in helping mold these young guns into serious playoff contenders.

With all that being said, the Sixers were smart, concise, and didn't have to spend the most money to make the most improvement.  They upgraded two positions, and should field a much stronger, younger, faster, and cheaper team next season.

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