Thursday, February 24, 2005

The Bell Tolls for Webbs

So Webber was traded to Philly for an assortment of undersized PFs (Kenny Thomas, Corliss Williamson, Brian Skinner). What does this mean? I think it says a few things about Webber for one. It says that despite his talents he was not a positive influence in team chemistry. We know Peja was unhappy and Webbs did call out Vlade last year after another playoff flameout. Perhaps the Kings felt they would be better without him. Secondly, it says that his value around the league is extremely low. Sacto didn't get one of Phillies talented youngsters as part of the deal or any draft picks. I'm sure this is for two reasons, his poor influence on team chemistry and his injury history. Even though he continues to put up good numbers, Webbs just isn't effective physically anymore. He cannot get tough boards or hustle much on defense, and that's pretty important in the Western conference. And because he's a little soft, you can't be sure when the next injury is coming meaning that you're paying a guy $20 mil to sit on the bench and pout. He's 32 and still has three years left on his contract so I think this was all about dumping a player who had reached his potential with the Kings and was only declining. From Philly's perspective, this has to be about keeping Obie and AI happy. AI now has a marquee big man to play with and they will undoubtedly play the pick and roll together well. And maybe this brings Philly a little closer to climbing the ranks of the Eastern Conference, but it still seems that Detroit and Miami are major obstacles that cannot be overcome by a less talented Philly team. It will be interesting to see how this plays out. It certainly makes Philly the favorite to take the Atlantic and secure a home playoff series. And to think, Philly and Sacto match up this Saturday. Too delicious.

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