Can The SIxers Win WIth Sam?

Samuel Dalembert is among the most interesting people we have met on the NBA beat. He is intelligent and has a great sense of humor.

Of course, he is also one of the most difficult players to evaluate. Few centers are more athletic. Dalembert is a great weakside defender, where he gets many of his blocked shots. He is a strong rebounder, but has yet to develop a go-to move in the low post.

While some may question his competitive desire, remember that Dalembert has played all 82 games each of the last two seasons. And that included this year after entering training camp with the stress fracture in his left foot.

From a consistency standpoint, this was his best year, 10.5 points, 10.4 rebounds and 2.34 blocked shots.

Dalembert had a lot to be proud of until the postseason, where he was soundly outplayed by Rasheed Wallace.

Again, that's no disgrace because Wallace is a four-time all-star and when he's motivated, can be a dominant factor on both sides of the ball.

On the surface, Dalembert's playoff numbers against Detroit, weren't that bad - 9.0 points, 9.5 rebounds and 1.7 blocked shots. Of course Wallace averaged 14.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3.3 blocks.

The major question as Dalembert turns 27 on May 10, is can the Sixers be a team that goes deep into the playoffs with him at center?

Most people focus on his salary, that has three years remaining and about $34 million left. We've been told that in today's NBA, that there are teams that wouldn't be turned off by that salary. However, if a team wanted to acquire him, they would have to ask the same questions the Sixers must be mulling - can he take a team to the next level?

While he has continued to improve, Dalembert still makes a lot of questionable basketball decisions on the court.

One would hate to give up on sombody if he begins hitting his prime and centers usually take longer to develop. Plus, Dalembert really didn't begin playing baskeball until he was a teenager, which might explain why his instincts are still lacking.

Either way it's a tough call for the Sixers. There are plenty of reasons to keep him and probably almost as many to think about exploring a trade.

So that brings a simple question. Should the Sixers keep him or explore a trade. (And they would have to get decent value back if they did trade him).

Ed Stefanski will look at any way to improve the team, which means there should be no untouchables (although Thaddeus Young might be the closest thing to that).

The question about Dalembert is among many that the Sixers face in this offseason. On this topic, there isn't an easy answer.