Spike Eskin Says: Where Do The Sixers Go From Here?

By Spike Eskin

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – “How do we fix the Sixers?” It certainly wasn’t the kind of conversation you’d expect to have about a team who is 29-22, in first place in their division, and just an hour after a convincing, 20 point win. Regardless, that’s the conversation we were having on Tuesday night on 94WIP.

Building a team in the NBA is perhaps the most difficult in all of pro sports. It’s almost impossible to win without a top 10 player in the league, and those guys don’t grow on trees. Guaranteed contracts complicate the situation even further. Regardless of their current success, the Sixers path toward a parade down Broad St. isn’t particularly clear. So though the Sixers improvement over the last two seasons is obvious, and the team has been exciting, wondering where it’s heading is a natural, prudent thing to do.

The Sixers are young, talented and deep. But whether they’ve got a player talented enough to lead them to the promised land is doubtful, and the ability to attract a player through free agency to do that is even less likely. Stripping the team of their veteran players who contribute (Iguodala, Brand), would surely result in fewer wins right now, but would also lead to better picks in the draft, and more chances at winding up with the “superstar” that they need. That path is one that many NBA teams take, but is a long one, history has shown, without a definitive end in sight (see: Sacramento, Minnesota, LA Clippers). People point to the Oklahoma City Thunder as a success story, but there’s a lot of luck involved in becoming a similar story. The alternative, the path the Sixers find themselves on now, could very well result in years of finishes somewhere between the fourth and eighth seeds in the playoffs. Without a shot at a ring, and without a draft pick good enough for a star. You don’t need to look further than the team that will be at the Wells Fargo Center to face the Sixers on Saturday, the Atlanta Hawk as an example of a team like that. “Young and exciting” can become “30 and mediocre” pretty quickly.

Could the Sixers get good enough, and an attractive enough destination for a big-time free agent to land, or player on an expiring deal to ask to be traded to? Not likely. The first obstacle is the fact that there just aren’t many of those guys. The second is that there isn’t too much evidence that the plan often results in much championship level success.

So what’s the answer? I just don’t know. As much as I understand wanting great draft picks year after year, the idea of watching losing basketball … well … it sucks.  So I had Mike Levin of the Sixers blog, Liberty Ballers on to discuss. In the middle of our discussion, I was surprised with a call from Sixers CEO Adam Aron, who politely insisted I finish my conversation with Mike before speaking to him. Mike favors going young, and losing to win, while Aron seems to choose the other path.

I don’t think we came up with an answer on Tuesday. I’m not entirely sure the Sixers front office even knows the direction they’ll take yet. But the conversation was fascinating, and worth a listen.

After listening, make sure you check out Mike’s reaction to the conversation at Liberty Ballers (Sixers CEO Responds To Liberty Ballers, Tips Ownership’s Hand), and Derek Bodner’s piece (Building An NBA Champion and The Curse Of Conflicting Interests).

Listen to the interview with Mike Levin and Adam Aron:

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One Comment

  1. Anthony says:

    Howard v. Spike- Battle of the Eskins?

    The Sixers need to improve at the 4. was hoping they would’ve gone after Pau Gasol. Pau for Jrue & Brand? too much?

    1. Spike says:

      Ha! I don’t want to battle him.

      I don’t love Gasol for this team. He’ll be 32 next year. Very good player, but I think he’s probably not the right fit.

      I do agree they need something at the 4 or 5, but I’d rather have someone strong, athletic, young like Favors than Gasol.

  2. Howard Platz says:

    I just read Derek’s blogs. He actually wrote something worth reading.

    I appreciate your “I don’t know” blog with links.
    Have a good day.

    1. Spike says:


      Next time I’ll be sure to offer the sure fire solution so you can tell me how wrong it is.

      Looking forward to the launch of your site.


      1. Howard Platz says:

        Why open the comments section if you’re sensitive to criticism?

        Yes, I get it, your accomplishments DWARF mine, so my opinion on your work is invalid.

        There is NO solution. The Sixers are stuck being average. Average wins. Average playoff finish. Average draft pick. It’s like purgatory.

        UNLESS Brand’s salary or “Lebron-lite’s” salary is removed form the equation. That might at least attract a decent player or two.

      2. Spike says:

        When was I sensitive?

        Why comment if you don’t want me to respond?

        The point was that none of the paths provide clear success, and to offer the different options the team must choose between.

        My point was not to provide a solution, but introduce the discussion that happened Aron, Levin and Bodner, which I thought was a good one.

        And my point was not that my accomplishments dwarf yours (I’m not sure if they do or do not). My point is that often times the most sarcastic, condescending comments on sites come from those who don’t often actually offer their opinions in public forums.

        Comment sections, instead of an opportunity for discussion, have just become a place for people to say “WRONG” and “STUPID” and “HERE’S A TYPO.”

        It just seems like a waste.

      3. Spike says:

        as well, the truth is that my opinion is, as I stated, “I don’t know.”

        Which to me, is not an opinion offered up enough.

  3. Howard Platz says:

    7 paragraphs to say, “I don’t know.”

    1. Spike says:


      The graphs were to present the options, and an introduction to the discussion. I know reading the opinions i linked and listening to the interviews take a lot more time than leaving snarky comments, but if you’re interested in the team they may be worth your time.

      Thanks for the always constructive comments though!

Comments are closed.

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