One of the offseason's primary storylines has been the Rockets' search for a superstar, which has yet to come to fruition. The 76ers, on the other hand, could be viewed as the anti-Rockets — last month, Philadelphia was able to turn a couple young players, a future draft pick, and Andre Iguodala into star center Andrew Bynum.
As the new-look Sixers prepare to head into the 2012/13 season, coach Doug Collins appeared on 97.5 the Fanatic in Philadelphia to talk to Mike Missanelli about transitioning from a roster that he felt had been "maxed out" to one with greater upside. Here are a few highlights from the conversation, via Sports Radio Interviews:
On the Sixers' offseason moves and the increased expectations on the team:
"I would much rather have expectations to be really good then to have to overachieve and scratch into the seventh or eighth spot and get beat in the first round by the first or second seed. We’ve got a great opportunity this year to have some good things happen. We think we have made some nice changes on our team — we have gotten bigger in the backcourt, we’ve added some shooting, we’ve gotten bigger on the front line, we think we’ve added the premier low post center in the NBA on the offensive side of the ball, and now it’s going to be up to us to try to put the pieces together. But I like what we’ve done and we’re going to see how long it will take us to get it together."
On the team's salary cap situation going forward:
"We planned to put ourselves in a position where the cap was not going to kill us. I don’t think people realize how important it is to have cap flexibility. And I think the neat thing about… all of the things that we have done, we also have a bright future, just from the standpoint that we don’t have any bad contracts and we have flexibility moving forward. And for a franchise like us, that is going to be so important as we continue to add the pieces to try to get to that championship level."
On getting involved in the blockbuster deal that saw Bynum land in Philadelphia:
"We knew that Orlando was going to do something with Dwight Howard and so we had had some conversations along the way — there were three or four teams involved. Houston was really involved and they were trying to get Dwight Howard. Obviously the Lakers, Brooklyn. And so we kept paying attention to what was going on and when it looked like the deal was going to have to go through L.A., we knew either Pau Gasol or Andrew Bynum was probably going to be involved in that, so we got ourselves involved actually by getting in with a fourth team."
On working with Bynum this season:
"I think he’s excited that he’s going to be the primary focus of us, playing through the post rather than being the third option in LA. He’s a very smart and bright guy, he’s articulate, he knows the game and we talked a little bit about it. Sometimes you say things, and I think even he would agree that some of the things that he said came across maybe being a little immature a couple of times. He knows the play on J.J. Barea is going to be seen forever and he will always be a part of that, but I just feel like he’s in a great place. I think he and I are going to have a great connection with one another."