Thursday, June 17, 2010

No More Slammin' Sammy D

Breaking news (thanks Adam EatShit): The Sixers have agreed to trade Samuel Dalembert to the Sacramento Kings in exchange for Spencer Hawes and Andres Nocioni.

What does that mean for the Sixers? Well, for starters, this team just got a whole lot whiter. And second, the Haitian Sensation won't be around any longer to draw fans' wrath. Truth be told, Dalembert probably should have been on my Philly's most unwanted list yesterday. While he certainly put up excellent rebounding and blocked shot numbers — and went through stretches where he really did play excellent basketball — Dalembert's enduring memories as a 76er include nightly goaltending violations, three-second violations, illegal defense and ill-advised jumpers.

He's been a player that the Sixers have been trying to unload ever since Billy King stupidly signed him to an insanely long, insanely large contract. God I hate Billy King. With Dalembert's contract finally reaching expiring status and the Sixers in full-on rebuilding mode, his days as a Sixer were numbered. No they are no more.

In return, the Sixers get a young, skilled 7-footer in Hawes, a player who is just 22 years old.

Straight out Washington — like another former Philadelphia white center — Hawes hasn't put up the numbers Dalembert has the past few seasons playing for a terrible Sacramento squad — 10 points per game, 6 rebounds and 1.2 blocks last year. He won't blow you away with his athleticism and his career 46.6 percent shooting percent and 67 percent free-throw shooting leave room for improvement. He has a good basketball IQ and won't do the maddeningly absurd things Dalembert did, but he also isn't as athletic or fast.

Andres Nocioni is an adequate bench player with good range. Perhaps he can finally precipitate the dismissal of Willie Green, though somehow I doubt it.

Nocioni only averaged 19.7 minutes last season in Sacramento, but looking at the Sixers' roster, he's an immediate upgrade over Jason Kapono, so there's that.

All in all, I think most of Philadelphia will be happy to see Sammy leave, but I'm not really one of them. Sure, he wasn't a very smart basketball player, and sure, he could get moody about playing time and touches, but he also made the Sixers very entertaining. You always wanted to see what crazy thing Dalembert would do next, how long it would take for him to get in foul trouble, and it was always a pleasure watching him on the rare occasions that he put it all together and posted a 20-point, 17-rebound game with four blocks. Plus, by all accounts, he's a great guy, evident by the way he fought to help his native Haiti recover from devastation.

So long, Sammy. Tell Tyreke we Philadelphians said hello. And protect ya neck.

BallHype: hype it up!

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