Tuesday, September 1, 2015

A Christmas present for the 76ers

I'm no NBA expert, but wouldn't Dionte Christmas look pretty good in a 76ers jersey?

A Christmas present for the 76ers

Basketball on Broad Street. (John Costello/Staff file photo)
Basketball on Broad Street. (John Costello/Staff file photo)

Let me acknowledge up front that I am not all that big a fan of the NBA. I pay some attention to the 76ers and I watch the playoffs when there isn't much else on TV, but I care much more about the college game and generally find it more worthwhile.

Having said that, populist speculation around drafts is a great pastime in this city, so allow me to indulge in a bit of my own. It might even make some sense, too.

From reading the various coverage of Eddie Jordan's introduction as the Sixers' new head coach, especially Dick Jerardi's analysis of the Princeton offense, it seems that the team's need for a quality shooting guard is about to become even greater.

It so happens that one of the better players at that position in the entire country this past season has spent the last four years plying his trade in an arena not very far from the Wachovia Center.

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(And one which is also operated by a subsidiary of Comcast-Spectacor, come to think of it.)

Three of those aforementioned years have been spent under the tutelage of a coach who has had quite a bit of success against the Princeton offense and the variations of it that succeeded Pete Carril in Old Nassau.*

So I ask you: wouldn't Dionte Christmas look pretty good in a 76ers jersey?

Now of course, there are complications. The biggest one is that the Sixers only have one pick, the 17th in the first round, and Christmas is currently projected as a second-rounder.

There's also the small matter of needing a point guard if Andre Miller leaves, and the not-unreasonable possibility that Wayne Ellington might also be around when Ed Stefanski goes on the clock. I'm sure the Episcopal Academy grad wouldn't mind a homecoming either.

But let's debate it for the sake of debating. Does Christmas make sense for the Sixers? And assuming the Sixers' pick stays where it is, who should they take?

* Fran Dunphy was 20-15 against Princeton in his 17 seasons at Penn, lasting from 1989 to 2006. The Quakers swept the Tigers in seven of those seasons, while Princeton swept five times. Carril was Princeton's coach until 1996, followed by Bill Carmody until 2000, John Thompson III until 2005 and Joe Scott thereafter.

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Soft Pretzel Logic is Philly.com's college sports blog, with a primary focus on the University of Pennsylvania. You'll also see coverage of the Big 5, other major college sports events in the region, and the annual Penn Relays track and field meet.

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