4:40 am is a weird time for a blockbuster trade to go down but that is what happened early this morning. Toronto sending DeRozan, Poeltl and a 2019 protected first round pick for Danny Green and Kawhi. My first reaction.
That's it? You're telling me the Sixers couldn't/didn't make a better offer than that?
Don't get me wrong, DeMar DeRozan is a great player and will definitely have success in San Antonio if he decides to buy-in. Right now it doesn't look great for that though.
He's angry with the Raptors and it doesn't seem like he is that pumped to leave town. If Pop can channel that anger into work, DeRozan maybe on a revenge tour next season.
I still believe though that the Sixers had to have the better offer on the table. The 2021 unprotected pick is so much more valuable than a protected 2019. If the Sixers did offer something along the lines of Dario, Smith, RoCo and multiple unprotected first round picks, I just don't see how that isn't better. Which makes me wonder, if the Sixers got scared and never really pushed their chips all in on Kawhi.
So what does this mean for the East as we know it?
I don't think it means much at all. Kawhi is better than DeRozan WHEN he wants to be and that is a HUGE when. He doesn't seem to be motivated to play anywhere but LA which will impact his on the court effort. Toronto was the top seed last year with 59 wins and I think they will flirt with that number next season too if Kawhi shows up every night.
After next season though I think the Raptors are done. Leonard is walking, I don't think there is anything short of picking up their franchise and moving to LA that the Raptors can do to keep him passed this season.
This works out well for the Sixers.
Philly proved last year that they can play with anyone in the East. Yes they lost out on the LeBron sweepstakes and the Kawhi deal as well. It is tough but they still have two super stars, a work working forward that can play almost every position and a first overall pick that has yet to show anything. All of that in a conference that won't see LeBron for at least three years.
As for this year though the front office has failed. Period. They have failed to bring in any type of impact talent. Really any talent at all. Now the Sixers begin to start looking to see what is still left out there and it isn't appealing. You're talking Clint Capela, Marcus Smart and the Rodney Hoods of the world.
Right now it's hard to tell if they will add another piece this off season at all or go into next year with Fultz as their addition. The frustration is begining to build for this team to make a move and the more times they get beat by other cities the hard it becomes to attract free agents. Philly is on a slippery slope right now.