Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Welcome home, Mr. Marshall

The biggest news, from my perspective, since my last post is that the Sixers have added another player to their roster. As detailed here, the Sixers signed Donyell Marshall as a veteran presence who can (in theory) spread the floor with his 3-point shooting ability.

Until reading the article, I hadn't known that Marshall had played at Reading in the early 1990s. Or, if I'd known, I'd someone forgotten. It's always nice to bring a hometown guy back to play (or, as appears to be the more likely case here, to provide a steadying veteran influence on the bench).

Having a veteran presence on the bench is nice, but the real question for me is always, "Can he contribute?"

To answer that question, we'll turn (as we have been all summer) to our three advanced statistical measures- PER, Adjusted +/-, and WP48. Last season, Marshall had a PER of 9.73 in limited minutes , didn't play enough minutes to have an Adj. +/- calculated, and had a WP48 of .007 while playing for Seattle and a WP48 of -.092 in Cleveland before he was traded.

Hmm. None of those numbers really make me want to go out and celebrate his signing.

Now, if Marshall is content to play hard in practice, dispense wisdom, and not complain about barely getting any minutes during actual games, then I guess I have no problems with the signing (especially since he reportedly signed for the veteran's minimum). You really can't ask for more than that from an end of the bench player. And, of course, you can always hope that Marshall returns to his 2006-07 form (WP48 of .102).

That said, I'm terrified that Mo Cheeks will fall into the trap of playing the veterans in tight situations-- i.e., putting not-as-good players on the floor because there's a comfort level with playing veterans. After last season (playing Thaddeus Young big minutes), I'm not as worried about that possibility, but it still worries me.

With Marshall signed, the Sixers now have 14 players on their roster. Not sure who they'll tab for the final roster spot, but it doesn't seem unreasonable to believe that it might be one of the three players who were on the Sixers' roster last season but are still currently free agents- Kevin Ollie, Herbert Hill, and Shavlik Randolph. Of the three, I'd go with Randolph. But we are talking about the 15th man on the roster, so I'm not sure it really matters.

1 comment:

Louis said...

I don't see the signing of Marshall as significant in the least. In his prime I would have been thrilled to have him on the team. In this case, if he's really just there for practice and wisdom, it's almost like bringing in another assistant coach. Why not just hire a coach and fill the spot with someone who will play?