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Red Letter Day / Clap Clap ClapClapClap: Big Move for the Sixers

Posted by Andrew Unterberger on July 9, 2008

It is a new era

Sure to be the kickoff to a hopefully very busy off-season, the Philadelphia 76ers made a big team decision today. It was one that’s been rumored for a while now, especially recently, when it was confirmed by the front office. To say it has the potential to turn the team’s fortunes is probably a huge understatement, and it’s a move that, needless to say, has not gone without at least a little bit of controversy. Ultimately, it’s entirely likely that this will be the move that goes on to define the tenure of the Sixers’ relatively newly acquired GM Ed Stefanski, and if it doesn’t pay off, it could easily end up as a regular fixture on the always-increasing list of Phamous Philly Phuck-Ups.

That’s right, ladies and gentlemen–the Philadelphia 76ers have traded Calvin Booth.

Booth goes, along with second-year reserve forward Rodney Carney and a draft pick received from the Jazz in last year’s Kyle Korver trade, up north to the Minnesota Timberwolves, in return for a second-round pick and some considerations that end up giving the Sixers some cap space. Many, including IITS reader and fellow Philly sports prognosticator Jason L, assumed that all the cap space the Sixers had been clearing had been for the express purpose of signing Booth to a maxed-out contract, but apparently the Sixers vision of the future was a Boothless one, and instead the magic man will be spending the ’08-’09 season sharing backcourt space with the emerging dynamic duo of Al Jefferson and Kevin Love, among others.
Last year, the perennial all-NBA Goofy Back-Up Big put up typically solid numbers up in his first year for the Sixers–.8 PPG, 1.2 RPG, and nearly a whole block per game, all while shooting 33% from the field. But as always with Booth, the numbers can’t possibly tell the whole story. The leadershp and experience he provided as one of the few vets on an all-rookie team was positively invaluable, and his gangly manner and warped visage quickly made him a fan favorite. Sixers manager Mo Cheeks deservedly took a lot of heat during the Pistons playoff series for not playing Booth, infamously opting for unreliable, non-road tested youngsters like Thaddeus Young and Jason Smith over the proven playoff numbers (Four points and four rebounds per game for the Wizards in the ’07 post-season!) of Calvin.

So what now for the Sixers? Well, I guess Andre Miller officially becomes the grizzled, patronizing on-court leader, and at least there’s still the Sixers’ own Snidely Whiplash, Kevin Ollie, warming the bench. Oh, and supposedly they signed some old-ish dude from the Clippers too to maybe help fill the gap a little, but I don’t even remember seeing him play last year, and if he was on the Clippers, how good could he possibly be, right? Poor compensation for the loss of one of Philadelphia sports’ all-time favorite sons, in any event.

Farewell, sweet prince.

One Response to “Red Letter Day / Clap Clap ClapClapClap: Big Move for the Sixers”

  1. Jason L said

    And lo, Ed Stepanski hath forsaken us. During the Elton Brand press conference today, I kept waiting for the GM to break down, yelping, “This big man isn’t goofy enough!” in between sobs. Here’s hoping they can still lure Atlanta’s Josh Childress away, if only to fill the void.

    As for Minnesota… look, it’s never easy to replace Kevin Garnett, especially after he wins a ring, but by drafting Kevin Love and trading for the Boothmeister, they have something better than Garnett: the set-up for a classic buddy comedy. Old vs. Young! Black vs. White! Horribly disfigured vs. Arguably attractive! Wise, haggard center vs. Egotistical upstart! Anyway, I guess if you wanted to help me work on the script for the pilot of “The Love Booth”, let me know.

    It’s been a busy day for Goofy Big Men! The Lakers’ Ronny Turiaf was offered a $17 million contract from the Golden State Warriors, surely a move based on sheer lunacy… or a complete understanding of just how goofy Turiaf is.

    Finally, the Sixers still have one GBM of note: Shavlik Randolph. Although he is not as physically silly as Calvin, who is? Plus, for a benchwarmer, he’s deeply, deeply homophobic: he made the news last year when he called John Amaechi’s admission of being gay ‘idiotic’ and poetically said, ‘As long as you don’t bring your gayness on me, I’m fine’. I secretly hope that Shavlik becomes a crowd-pleasing star in Philly, so that some awesome scandal can soon follow.

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