On a night where the NBA world was mystified by a game 7 between the top rivarly in the NBA, I've decided to tackle the only other NBA news for the day - a trade by the Philadelphia 76ers sending center Samuel Dalembert to the Sacramento Kings for center Spencer Hawes and Andres Nocioni.
The Sixers have generally been unhappy with Dalembert since giving him a gargantuan contract he had no hope of living up to. Dalembert is a rebound/blocks machine but has hurt the Sixers offensively at times. The Sixers have a capable replacement in Marreese Speights, and they get Spencer Hawes as a younger backup center. Let's take a look at how these three players compare.
Dalembert: In Score (C-), Out Score (F), Post Def (A), Rebound (A+)
Speights: In Score (B-), Out Score (C), Post Def (C+), Rebound (B)
Hawes: In Score (B-), Out Score (B-), Post Def (C+), Rebound (B-)
Average C: In Score (B-), Out Score (D-), Post Def (B), Rebound (B+)
Dalembert is clearly a poor offensive player, but he is also an excellent defensive player and rebounder. He is the prototypical defensive anchor most teams look for out of their center, and the Sixers will be ill-equipped to fill that void with what they have now. There has been some talk of Elton Brand playing some center under Doug Collins, but with C+ grades in Post Defense and Rebounding, he won't be a solution there either.
Spencer Hawes has the potential to be the next Brad Miller, but he hasn't done much in his first three NBA seasons, and there's not much reason to suggest that will change with him playing behind Marreese Speights. Hawes will only be 22 next season, but Speights himself will only be 23 and the organization will be favoring Speights' development over Hawes (who is entering his contract year). Getting out of Sacramento is a good thing for Hawes psyche, but his situation hasn't exactly improved as Philadelphia is also a lottery team trying to rebuild, and he should only be looking at about 20 minutes per game pending any injuries.
Andres Nocioni is the other key piece in this deal, and very intriguing upon a deeper look. Nocioni of course is a tweener forward with a solid outside shooting stroke. He should fit into the uptempo attack that Collins wants to institute, and should bring some toughness to an otherwise soft team. However, the Sixers already have quite a few SFs on their team, and I take that to mean there's another trade in the works.
Iguodala: In Score (C+), Out Score (B), Per Def (B+), Rebound (D+),
Young: In Score (C+), Out Score (C+), Per Def (C+), Rebound (C-)
Nocioni: In Score (C), Out Score (B-), Per Def (C-), Rebound (D)
Kapono: In Score (C-), Out Score (B+), Per Def (D-), Rebound (F)
Average SF: In Score (C+), Out Score (B), Per Def (B-) Rebound (D+)
I am 100% certain Iguodala is safe, as Collins surely sees a lot of Scottie Pippen in him and he should compliment Evan Turner well in an uptempo attack. With Iguodala locked in as the SF of the future, it looks like Thaddeus Young is on the outside looking in (which makes sense, since he's a tweener like Nocioni). Young has enough upside to get a quality asset in return, and he honestly doesn't have much of a future in Philly with Iggy and Brand already locked into high paying contracts for the next three years. Nocioni is a downgrade from Young, but he's similar enough that the Sixers can look into trading Young without detriment.
At face value, I would rate this trade a D from Philadelphia's perspective. They downgraded their roster and added longer term salary at a position they are deep at. However, since I believe this is a precursor to another trade, my grade is inconclusive until the SF glut is cleared up.
To the point, Samuel Dalembert is a perfect fit in Sacramento. They have badly lacked any interior defense over the last few seasons, and Dalembert immediately rectifies that in a big way. He makes an excellent compliment to offensive Carl Landry, and should push Jason Thompson to a bench role (where he is honestly best suited).
More over, this is a flat out talent upgrade. Dalembert is much better than Hawes, while Nocioni's minutes are immediately absorbed by Omri Casspi, Donte Greene, and Francisco Garcia.
The team should be drafting DeMarcus Cousins which gives them Dalembert/Cousins/Thompson at center and Landry/Thompson/Brockman at PF. All they need now is a backup for Udrih (and perhaps a defensive roleplayer upgrade from Udoka/McGuire) and Sacramento's offseason can't have gone any better. I wouldn't say they're a playoff team as we all know how deep the west is, but they've got just as much of a chance as a team like the Grizzlies, and that's more than you could hope for from a team whose future is growing brighter by the day.