Charles Barkley continues to rip Sixers offseason strategy
We get it that Charles Barkley doesn’t get it.
The Hall of Fame forward often associated with his Philadelphia years has been the most prominent critic of the Sixers off-season strategies — ripping apart the roster go get bad and particularly GM Sam Hinkie taking a long time to hire Brett Brown as coach (remember the Sixers selected him long after the draft).
Barkley was on sports talk radio station WIP in Philly and was once again pounding the Sixers, reports CBSPhilly.com.
That’s when Barkley went into his analytics rant that was nonsense and we’ve covered before.
Is Hinkie taking a big risk? You bet. Especially since he’s one of a number of teams looking to be bad this year going into a deep draft.
But this was a better play then being a 41-41 team that in this cap era where they really couldn’t get guys through free agency. The Sixers were on the mediocrity treadmill and this was the best path off it.
What does analytics tell you? First, that you really need a couple elite stars to win a title. No, you don’t need analytics to know that but notice the analytics teams are going after those players. They get what they have to do to build a contender, including the guys in Philly. The Sixers had a No. 2 guy in Jrue Holiday and no means of getting one of those elite players — now they should get someone of real quality in the next draft. And they got Nerlens Noel (a good risk, let’s see how he plays in three years before we judge him). And they will have future drafts and cap room to add quality players around what stars they get and to grow a team (and that’s what analytics is really about — finding players who fit the system you install, guys who have value in their role and will fill holes with your team at a fair price).
This could blow up. Maybe the Sixers are better than we think or maybe the lottery gods are unkind to them and they don’t get a high pick. Maybe the guy they draft and think is elite doesn’t pan out that way. Maybe injuries. Maybe a whole lot of things.
But despite the short-term pain, this is better than being in a rut of mediocrity in the NBA, which is where the Sixers were headed.
A mediocrity that Barkley would be quick to rip in public.