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News » Philadelphia 76ers Getting Inside 2008-05-30

Philadelphia 76ers Getting Inside 2008-05-30

Philadelphia 76ers Getting Inside 2008-05-30
Ed Stefanski has some offseason priorities. The 76ers president and general manager wants to acquire a back-to-the-basket power forward, would like to re-sign restricted free agents Andre Iguodala and Lou Williams, and add a quality player with the No. 16 pick in the June 26 NBA Draft. He should make sure trying to extend Andre Miller's contract is also in the mix, too.

Miller was the Sixers' MVP in 2007-08. He averaged career-highs in scoring (17.0 points) and field goal percentage (.492) and ran the team very well. His ability to pick up the offensive slack when the Sixers had trouble scoring was a huge plus. While Miller is on the books for $10 million next season, his contract is up in 2009. With no future point guard waiting in the wings, Miller, who believes he has at least two more high-level years left in him, would be eligible for an extension this summer.

"I think we'll have time for that," Stefanski said. "We'll have to sit down and see. I don't see it as a priority. I don't think it's something we have to do immediately."

Miller doesn't seem like he's too keen on the idea. He hedged when asked if he'd be interested in staying beyond next season.

"It's hard to tell right now," Miller said. "I'll just sit back, watch the playoffs and the other teams and see what happens from there. I'm going to take care of my body, enjoy the offseason and worry about that later. We'll see what happens."

Miller, a Southern California native, might want to play for a West Coast team that could contend for a title. He's been to the playoffs four times, but his teams have gone 6-16 in the postseason. This year was the first time his team won more than one game in a series -- the Sixers lost 4-2 to the Pistons.

"I'm here, so I can't control what happens with the team," Miller said. "I think I've made a good impression and been professional since I got here. But that's up to the management."

Part of Miller's reluctance might be that he thinks the Sixers are at least two years away from being a real factor in the Eastern Conference. At the age of 32, he's not sure he has time to wait for his teammates to develop. If that's the case, Stefanski should deal Miller by next February's trade deadline so the Sixers won't lose Miller and get no compensation a little over a year from now.

"Andre has to be on board and so does the team," Stefanski said. "There are two sides to this thing. I don't know where Andre's totally thinking right now and I don't think you guys know because Andre's a man of few words."

SEASON HIGHLIGHT: Beating the NBA-leading Celtics 95-90 on March 24 in Beantown. That come-from-behind victory gave the young Sixers a big confidence boost in a month that also featured road wins over the Suns and Pistons as well as a home victory over the Spurs.

TURNING POINT: A five-game winning streak -- all at home -- going into the All-Star break got the Sixers started on a 19-5 stretch that turned them from a lottery team to a playoff team in the Eastern Conference. They dispatched three losing teams, the Wizards and the Mavericks to begin establishing a home-court advantage that produced 12 victories in 13 games at the Wachovia Center.

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: May 30, 2008


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