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The Beat: Keith Pompey On The Sixers

Keith Pompey

Keith Pompey

Nobody knows NBA teams better than beat writers, save for those who draw paychecks with an NBA owner’s signature on them. The reporters who are with the teams they cover every day gain an intimate knowledge of the players, coaches and executives they write about and develop sources who help them break news and stay on top of rumors.

We at Hoops Rumors will be chatting with beat writers from around the league and sharing their responses to give you a better perspective on how and why teams make some of their most significant moves. Last time, we spoke with Anthony Slater of The Oklahoman about the Thunder. Click here to see all the previous editions of this series.

Today, we gain insight on the Sixers from Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. You can follow Keith on Twitter at @PompeyOnSixers, and check out his stories right here.

Hoops Rumors: GM Sam Hinkie said that he feels like the difference between where the Sixers are now and where they were two years ago is “night and day.” Is that exaggeration, or do you think the Sixers have really made that much progress?

Keith Pompey: Some not familiar with the 76ers would label Hinkie’s comments as an exaggeration. However, he’s actually right when you consider the Sixers finally have several players that fit into their long-term plan on the floor. They added the shooter they wanted to get with their second first-round pick in the 2014 draft in Nik Stauskas. Jahlil Okafor will be the first top-10 draft pick to play as a rookie. They’re also excited about this summer’s additions to their staff. So yes, they are night and day even though this an inexperienced and young team.

Hoops Rumors: As you alluded to, Jahlil Okafor will become the first top-10 pick to take the floor for the Sixers in the same year that he was drafted since Hinkie took over as GM, barring something unforeseen in the next few weeks. Do you think the Sixers hold him in higher regard than anyone else on the roster?

Keith Pompey: They don’t hold him in higher regard than anyone else on the roster. They see him as one of the core pieces, not the core piece. Noel and Joel Embiid (if healthy) will be the other core pieces in the future.

Hoops Rumors: Do you think the Sixers view Nik Stauskas as likely to develop into a cornerstone piece or as just one of many players on the roster with a vague possibility of panning out?

Keith Pompey: The Sixers hope that he can develop into a cornerstone player. However, they realize that will be up to him. He has a lot to prove this season following his struggles last season in Sacramento. As we learned with the Michael Carter-Williams trade, the Sixers aren’t afraid to part ways with projected cornerstone players that don’t pan out.

Hoops Rumors: A strong chance exists that the Sixers will have four first-round picks in 2016. If it still looks that way at the trade deadline, do you think they would attempt to move one or more of them for an intriguing veteran?

Keith Pompey: Don’t rule out anything. The Sixers have shown that they will make any move to advance the franchise.

Hoops Rumors: The Sixers signed Kendall Marshall for four years and $8MM, a relatively cheap deal that’s nonetheless the most lucrative free agent contract Hinkie has handed out to date. Do you think the Sixers made the expenditure because they believe Marshall has a decent chance to become the long-term solution at point guard, or were they just looking for a stopgap at a position of need?

Keith Pompey: Kendall Marshall will get every opportunity to show that he can become a long-term solution at point guard. Marshall will determine if he’s a stopgap or not. But if the Sixers get a chance to upgrade the position, they’ll do it in a heartbeat. Personally, I see him as a long-term backup.

Hoops Rumors: I’ll ask you this one since you were the reporter Markieff Morris talked to when he made his trade demand: Are you surprised that he now says he wants to be with the Suns?

Keith Pompey: I’m not surprised, because Markieff Morris’ trade value dropped after saying he no longer wanted to play there. His best option was to become a happy camper and make people think things are mended with the organization to drive up his trade value.

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13 thoughts on “The Beat: Keith Pompey On The Sixers

  1. ryan1017

    If the 76ers were smart they’d ship out embiid or Noel while their respective stocks are still high. There’s no sense in keeping 3 top 5 picked centers on a roster. They could grab a swingman type player to help relieve the shooting responsibility that they’re putting on stauskas already.

    • marckahn

      As long as Embiid is injured his trade value is zero. They will not trade Noel

    • Stock relatively high on Embiid and Noel? Embiid has no value whatsoever. He won’t have any value until healed, especially since the first year of healing was such an abject failure. Noel has quite a bit of value, but he’s also a player that fits what they want to do. You may see them move Noel if someone offers them a sweetheart deal, but nobody is going to offer them anything for Embiid. Maybe a 2nd round pick, although I doubt it, but who wants that?

      • ryan1017

        In a league that’s starved for centers you’d think that a team would take a chance on either 21 year olds with solid talent. I understand injuries are a concern with embiid, and I also understand you would have to wait until he’s healthy, but if he shows the talent that made him 3rd pick there’s no doubt teams would be calling about his availability.

    • smittybanton

      The beauty of them is they specialize in different areas. Jahlil Okafor is the only one who is too slow to play anything other than center, and folks will see very soon even his game is designed after Tim Duncan’s (not Shaq or Dwight Howard). Embiid is the ridiculously athletic (former volleyball player) and his a sweet jumper. He can play the four as well as the five. He’ll be no less than Serge Ibaka. Most controversially, Nerlens Noel averaged as many steals as he did blocks. He picked Michael Conley clean off the dribble. Noel can be the defensive Kevin Durant at the three position. No, he can’t shoot. But Embiid can. Noel, on the other hand, would be devastating in the pick and roll if the other tries to defend it with their small forward. The Sixers can rotate in shooters as they feel it necessary–Dario Saric, Robert Covington, Richaun Holmes, Christain Wood–yet always have two of the three of Embiid, Okafor and Noel in the game at all times.

      Don’t let the Sixers get 6’10 Ben Simmons with all that. Eff small ball!

      • will

        your right they as rw very different players. Noel playing sf is a ridiculous thought yes he can defend the perimeter he provides most of his value defending the paint with his shot blocking but 18 months sgo his offence game was nonexistent and is still devealoping. Yes Embuid can shoot mid range but he will never have ibakas range also like okafor they both sre best scoring in the paint or post. If Okafors anything less then a franchise cornerstone player he will traded

        • Brian

          Embiid made 46 out of 60 threes in a pregame in March.

      • Roni

        Good write,,,

    • Todd

      2 can actually play the 4 spot, also. Noel & Okafor.

    • Brian

      You dont trade embiid, he’s a combination of Noel and okafor.

  2. Todd

    Brother, I surely do hope my SIXERS begin to play at least, 80 % better.

    • Roni

      25 this year ,,

  3. shawnpunter

    I think sometimes even Sixer’s fans are idiots..why trade anyone we got! after all is said and done our front court would be like no other ever!!..okafor and joel or noel and all three alternate the 4 and the five..okafor is not as slow as u think and has a better jumpshot than u think too..way better than noel and he can possibly defend the four and put Joel as the center..Joel is gonna be a beast!! of the best centers ever if he gets wanna give another team that!..okafor is the next Duncan..noel a poor mans Kevin Garnett!! wanna give away that?!..for what?!..we have a wealth of picks to get a star point(s) and shooting gaurd(s) and a wing (even tho we still have saric coming)..all of whom can shoot and play defense at the same time!..why do we need to trade anyone!!..alls we need is patience and to believe in a couple years we will be a dynasty garaunteed!!!!

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