Work in Sports
Returnees: Gs Eric Snow, Allen Iverson, Aaron McKie; Fs George Lynch, Tyrone Hill; F-C Theo Ratliff; C Matt Geiger
Prominent free agents: F Toni Kukoc
Assets: Snow, a natural distributor, and Iverson, a natural scorer, both play their roles to perfection in the backcourt. Sub McKie is the third guard and one of the better defenders at his position. He also displayed his offensive punch during Snow's absences in the playoffs. Up front, Hill is a workhorse on the interior and a healthy Ratliff is an impact player. Fans got down on pivot Geiger last season, in part due to his huge contract, but with centers at a premium, more than a few general managers would love to have him.
Needs: Lynch is a terrific player but is best utilized coming off the bench as a combo forward rather than being the starter at the 3 spot. The team will make a strong effort to resign free agent Kukoc, but if he bolts, Lynch could have to assume Kukoc's duties at small forward. Lynch lacks the outside shooting capability that Kukoc offers, and to make matters worse, the club lacks marksmen even when Kukoc is in the lineup. The Sixers do return small forward Jumaine Jones, who might be able to pick up slack, but with such little experience, productivity is a question mark.
Options: In need of a shooter or small forward, pencil in Oklahoma State G-F Desmond Mason, Duke G-F Chris Carrawell, Ohio State G Michael Redd, DePaul G-F Quentin Richardson or Indian Hills CC G Cory Hightower as the probable candidates at No. 20. If the club decides to take a chance on a less crucial need, there should be two quality point guards left at that spot that could contribute as serviceable backups.
The braintrust says: "We just want to get a good player. Somebody who hopefully is athletic and that can play more than one position. We want to re-sign Toni Kukoc as well." -- coach Larry Brown.
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