By Sean Kennedy (@PhillyFastBreak)The Sixers love to trot out the ‘Together We Build’ slogan, and in a lot of ways, it’s been an apt description for what’s been going on with the franchise. To prepare a site for the foundation, you have to bulldoze it to clear away all the rocks, trees, and debris (Evan Turner and Spencer Hawes), and sometimes even remove a septic system (Doug Collins making personnel decisions). Then, you can go about starting your rough framing and everything that goes into building the actual house (Michael Carter-Williams, Nerlens Noel, Joel Embiid, etc.). It remains to be seen whether the house will be as splendid as the builders envision, but you at least feel good about the blueprint.
However, there are countless other minutia that go into the home-building process like inspections, permits, etc., and it is the equivalent of those small decisions where Sam Hinkie excels. We’ve seen it with his draft day maneuverings, and with now, yet another of those small transactions where the Sixers pick up something for essentially nothing.
It’s official. #Sixers trade Casper Ware to Brooklyn and receive Marquis Teague and a 2019 2nd (more favorable of MIL & SAC)
— Max Rappaport (@MaxRappaport) October 24, 2014
Now, to be fair to Casper Ware, he’s not nothing. However, all indications are that Brooklyn will release Ware on his fully unguaranteed contract, so there’s a very real possibility Sixers fans haven’t seen the last of him. As with the deal the Sixers made with the Thunder, the Nets are interested in the $1.1M trade exception they receive by trading Teague, a potentially useful piece come trade deadline time. So the net result is that the Sixers receive a likely early second-round pick, and a former first-rounder on his rookie contract, in exchange for an undrafted player that they were possibly going to cut themselves. Well-played, Mr. Hinkie.
Now, that’s not to say the Sixers’ newest acquisition has been good as a professional, because nothing could be further from the truth. Looking at both the stats of Marquis Teague and Casper Ware, Ware has outperformed him nearly across the board. Ware has shot better (42.9% FG% vs. 34.9%), been a better three-point shooter (33.3% vs. 22.0%) and free throw shooter (83.3% vs. 68.6%), while scoring more on a 36-minute basis (14.9 pts. vs. 8.9) and swiping the ball more (2.5 steals per 36 mins. vs. 0.8). The only major area Teague has outshined Ware is assists per 36/mins. (5.2 to 3.1). That’s a lot of numbers to throw at you, but the net result is Teague has not played well.
Still, it was just three years ago that Teague was the nation’s top-rated point guard out of high school. After one season at Kentucky, he wanted to come out like his standout teammates Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilcrist, but fell all the way to Chicago at the 29th pick. He’s never really seen consistent playing time as a pro, as Coach Thibodeau wasn’t interested in showing a rookie point guard the ropes while fighting for a playoff spot, and Deron Williams and Shaun Livingston were blocking his way in Brooklyn. It’s pretty obvious at this point that Teague could have used more college seasoning, but he’s also a millionaire so who am I to argue with his decision.
Maybe an established role in an up-tempo system will help Teague grow into a serviceable back-up point guard. With the Sixers having a plethora of free cap space to bring him in on a cheap contract, and actually receiving the second-round pick for their troubles, there’s no harm in finding out. At the very least, he and Nerlens can watch Kentucky games together in their down time.