When I woke up this morning to see that San Antonio had agreed to a deal with Toronto for Kawhi, I can’t say I was too surprised. Maybe I was a little surprised that he ended up in Toronto, but not surprised that the Sixers completely whiffed on another superstar this offseason.
Let’s start off with the whole Bryan Colangelo mess. It set the tone for how the rest of the offseason would unfold. It was a complete dumpster fire and may have given us a glimpse into how dysfunctional the Sixers organization really is. Is there anything worse than being forced to part ways with your GM days before free agency is about to kick off?
And instead of going out to hire a GM they just sort of promoted Brett Brown to be their version of Chip Kelly I guess. I understand the Sixers brass wasn’t expecting the burner scandal, and weren’t prepared to search for a new GM, but they still don’t have one and it’s been over a month since BC was given the boot.
It just doesn’t seem like the Sixers have any sort of plan set into place. Once LeBron signed with the Lakers and let ‘his people’ go to talk with the Sixers, the next move should’ve been to focus all their time and energy to landing Kawhi. With that unprotected 2021 pick in their back pocket, it looked like the Sixers had all the ammunition they needed to pry him away from San Antonio. But as the days turned into weeks, the likelihood that Kawhi would end up anywhere other than LA seemed farfetched. Then, out of nowhere rumors start swirling about the possibility of Kawhi being dealt to Toronto, and before anyone could search Twitter to see if the rumors were true he was already a Raptor.
They didn’t give up a king’s ransom for him either. They traded DeMar DeRozan, Jakob Poeltl, and a protected 2019 first-round pick for Kawhi and Danny Green. You’re telling me the Sixers couldn’t produce an offer as good as that one? Maybe the Spurs wanted an established all star already so that’s why they went with DeMar, but who knows. Everyone except Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid should’ve been on the table for Kawhi.
I love Dario just as much as the next Process trustee, but if giving him up meant landing someone like Kawhi how do you pass that up? Even Fultz, with the amount of potential that he has, does anyone believe he has the potential to reach Kawhi’s level?
After seeing what San Antonio ultimately settled for with Toronto, it’s laughable when you compare it to what the Sixers could have given them. The only reason this deal makes sense for San Antonio has to be because they’re prioritizing winning games over the long-term future of the franchise. Because let’s be honest, a team built around DeMar DeRozan and Lamarcus Aldridge isn’t touching the Warriors any time soon.
Maybe that’s it; maybe it was San Antonio’s unwillingness to start a rebuild that lead them to choosing Toronto over Philly, and I hope that was the case. Because if the Sixers were unwilling to budge on someone like Fultz, that’s just a bad move. An established super star trumps potential any day of the week.
By no means are the Sixers doomed this season. The progression of their young core alone should lift them to 60 wins and a top-3 seed in the East. It’s just a bummer that they didn’t get any of the stars who were available on the free agency or trade market, especially when Brett Brown proclaimed he was “star hunting” this offseason. Good one Brett. But at the end of the day, I’m excited to see the progress that the team’s made when the season starts.