Every week my e-mail ([email protected]), gets flooded with readers from our site asking me questions about various Philadelphia sports topics. Normally they are topics that I either already am planning to answer in one of my daily pieces, or I try to work into our sites’ content. Unfortunately, some questions go unanswered, which lead me to the idea of doing a weekly mailbag, where I answer some of the best questions that I get sent over the course of the week. And now that football season has come to a close, and the only big Sunday sporting event until baseball season will be the Sunday NBA Showcase (which we won’t be seeing the Sixers on anytime soon), I figured Sunday would be as good as any day to do the mailbag.
John from Mercer County: It certainly seems like teams are interested in Evan Turner, Spencer Hawes, and Thad Young via trade, but that they don’t value them enough to trade a first-round pick. Any chance that the Sixers cave on a deal for one of them?
Tim: I’m not really sure what “caving” is in NBA terms. It isn’t like the NFL where you can accept a second round pick for someone, and still land a really good player. In that sense, there really isn’t much of a chance that the Sixers cave.
It is possible that a team approaches the Sixers with a creative offer for Spencer Hawes, who is an impending unrestricted free-agent, and they move him at the deadline. That still seems unlikely to me, because I’m not sure if the Sixers wouldn’t rather just have a guy like Hawes walk at the end of the season, and see some cap space open up ($6.6 million to be exact).
Before talking about Young and Turner’s value, it is certainly worth taking in what Sam Amick of USA Today had to say about the value of Turner, Hawes, and Young Friday.
And in the final episode of Fear Factor, we have the case of Evan Turner (another Falk client). The fourth-year swingman is having a very productive season, averaging 17.8 points, 6.0 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game. But the price for that production in his forthcoming restricted free agency (if he’s extended the qualifying offer) is likely too rich for the 76ers’ blood, meaning they’d rather net a first-round draft pick in return for him and continue their rebuilding efforts with a more salary-cap friendly situation. One rival executive mentioned the San Antonio Spurs and Charlotte Bobcats as possible destinations via trade, though both teams could also wait until the offseason to see if they could simply sign him then. Sixers center Spencer Hawes and Young are also frequently mentioned as trade possibilities.
I’m not going to speculate about what the Spurs or Bobcats would potentially move for Turner, but I think the fact that both of those teams are interested, is a sign that Turner ultimately will get moved. I’m not his biggest fan, but guys that average nearly 18 and six, don’t grow on trees. Before February 20th’s trade deadline, I think the Sixers likely move Turner for at least a first round pick, and likely a player as well. Whether it is the Spurs, Bobcats, or another team, I think there will be a team who views Evan Turner as the piece that puts them over the top to either making the playoffs (not that it is an accomplishment to make the Eastern Conference playoffs) or even being an NBA Finals contender.
Thaddeus Young is under contract next season for $9.16 million, and has a $9.7 million player option for 2015-16. While I understand Thad wants out of Philly, and would almost certainly opt out of his deal after next year if a trade isn’t completed, moving him for anything less than a first-round pick at this year’s trade-deadline would be insane. Don’t expect him to be moved, unless a team is willing to part with at least one first-round pick.
C.J. from Upper Darby: I have a Jonathan Papelbon jersey that I wore on Friday. One of my friends told me it was a complete violation to wear it, while the other said that it was fine. Can you give me the verdict?
Tim: I actually have this same problem, except I have a Papelbon shirsey, not a jersey.
Given Papelbon’s antics last season (his infamous “I didn’t come here for this” quote prior to his season exploding in his face) and then trying to tell us that the Phillies clubhouse “doesn’t mesh” this off-season, we should all be boycotting wearing Papelbon gear. Unfortunately what else do we have to fall back on? Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins, and Chase Utley all have been injury riddled over the past few seasons and aren’t really “cool” jerseys to go out and buy at this point because they aren’t new to the team, and any Roy Halladay, Hunter Pence, Shane Victorino, or Brad Lidge jersey (the list could go on) is outdated at this point.
If you have a Domonic Brown jersey or any other jersey to wear, then I say wearing the Papelbon jersey is a “violation”, as one of your friends put it. If you have decided not to blow more money on a jersey of a team who doesn’t really have many players that have performed at a high enough level to warrant you spending the $100 (at least), then I can’t blame you for wearing the Papelbon jersey. The easiest solution to this problem might be not wearing any Phillies jerseys until Ruben Amaro gets fired.
The verdict is a hung jury, and anytime that I can’t give you a strong opinion either way, you know it is a special circumstance.
If you wish to have your sports questions answered on the Section 215 Sunday mailbag, e-mail me at [email protected], leaving your first name, where you are from, and your question.