So the dog days of summer are here and interest in basketball couldn't be lower. Die hard Sixers fans are peeking at the Summer league (Passion & Pride has been doing a great job of covering it). But you can't really get excited about that. Summer League basketball is for scrubs. As Ricky noted today ... Johnny Salmons was a all-star summer league player ... enuff said.
The draft was the premier summer event for Billy King and the Sixers' brain trust. I don't need to recount for anyone how their efforts have been measured and found wanting. The consensus remains that Philly needs to shore themselves up at PF and find a dead-eye-dick shooting guard. The answer ... free agency, right? Wrong.
While the impending trades of Kobe & KG could shuffle the deck a little. This years free agency is shaping up to be a ho-hum affair. Chauncey Billups has decided to stay home with the Pistons. Darko was finally set free by the Magic and decided to settle down in Memphis (huh). With the free Dark cash the Magic sign the other high profile free agent, Rashard Lewis. IMHO, Lewis will be a bust. Too self-centered for a Stan Van Gundy team. Gerald Wallace, the perennial underachiever with potential will stay home. I guess he is buying what Micheal Jordon is selling. Oh boy ... the Blazers bought out Stevie Franchise and cast him out on the free agent waters. I wonder who's gonna take a shot at the agining star guard. Now that his pockets are fat with buyout money do you think he will settle for being a role player for the NBA minimum? Grant Hill is going to the valley of the sun. After milking the grotesque contract he had with the Magic, Hill like so many veteran players will seek a ring. Good for him I guess.
So free agency seems to be all but over as fast as it began. Yes there are still some fine players out there looking for a team ... like .... like ... like Vince Carter, Michael Olowokandi, Andres Nocioni, Matt Barnes, and don't forget Chris Webber (chuckle-chuckle). No the only fireworks we might see is the re-signing of Joe Smith. Without Smith the 76ers will be exposed at forward. I know they will be a young team and hard pressed to win anyway, but it's difficult for an unbalanced team to grow (which is the emphasis this year, right). Everyone will just exploit your weaknesses. No one will improve until you fix it. So I'm watching to see what happens with Smith. That would spice up the summer a bit. But the little man in my stomach is saying ... I can't wait to see how Billy screws this one up. It a long summer ... time will tell.