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Open thread: Regular season game 16

The essentials:
Wizards (7-8) at Sixers (4-10)
7 p.m.
Wachovia Center

This year:
November 21: Wizards 116, Sixers 101.

Last year:
December 8: Wizards 113, Sixers 98.
February 14: Wizards 92, Sixers 85.
March 28: Wizards 111, Sixers 108.

Notable Sixers numbers this season (pound the salt):
20th in expected winning percentage (.376).
26th in pace factor (89 possessions per game).
23rd in offensive efficiency/offensive rating (102.4)
16th in defensive efficiency/defensive rating (106.2).

Notable Sixers numbers last season
20th in expected winning percentage (.402).
20th in pace factor (89.4 posessions per game).
26th in offensive efficiency/offensive rating (105.2).
15th in defensive efficiency/defensive rating (108.3).

Key links (drop any others in the comments)
Passion and Pride.
Sixers Shots.
Sixers Journal.
Wizards Insider: No plans to make a move at this time (thanks crucifictorious).
Les Bullez preview.
Ture Hoop: Is three the magic number?.  My take: So long as it's not interpreted too literally.
Passion and Pride blog preview.

Starting lineups:
PG: Andre Miller
SG: Willie Greene
SF: Andre Iguodala
PF: Reggie Evans
C: Samuel Dalembert

PG: Antonio Daniels
SG: DeShawn Stevenson
SF: Caron Butler
PF: Antawn Jamison
C: Brendan Haywood

Tonight's lines:
Sixers at Wizards: Sixers by 2 (really).
Over/Under on Big 2 scoring: 45.2 points.

We know this team, so there's little need to go in-depth about them again.  They've become better offensively since the last meeting, but have slipped on the other end.  Their struggles prompted Andre Iguodala to give the quote of the year earlier in the week, as he said "we suck in practice too."  Beautiful.

So instead, let's discuss whether it makes sense to not add another player.

First things first, when it's said that we're right up against the luxury tax, it's beyond true.  HoopsHype has the Wizards' total team salary this year at just under 67.5 million dollars.  The luxury tax threshold this year is 67.86 million.  Basically, if those figures are correct, the Wizards can only add someone making less than 250,000 dollars, which is pretty hard to find.  Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe a rookie minimum salary for the entire season is more than that.  

Going over the luxury tax is very significant.  Not only do you have to pay double for any dollar you go over, but you also lose the chance to get any of the money from other teams.  At the end of the year, the luxury tax money is divided up and distributed among all the teams that are underneath the threshold.  If we were to go over the tax, then, we'd lose more than just the extra money we have to pay.  Now, it makes sense why Ernie and Abe are leery of going over for a guy who will basically amount to being a 12th man.

Now, clearly, we need more bodies, especially behind Antonio Daniels.  Getting Pecherov back in a couple weeks will help inside, but even now, there's nobody to back up AD.  Roger Mason, quite simply, isn't going to cut it.  So what can we do?

The most likely solution is to wait until January 20 and sign someone to a ten-day contract.  It'll cost us, but it won't cost much, and even if we keep him for the rest of the season, we can renounce that guy's rights at the end so that we get back under the tax threshold.  The problem is we can't do that until January, so we have to cross our fingers and hope AD holds up for a month.

The other option is to make a trade.  We have precious little assets to trade, and I imagine Ernie would rather hold onto that conditional pick we got from Memphis to get something better than a backup point guard.  One guy who might be interesting is Roger Mason, who doesn't have much of a role here as long as he's just a spot-up shooter.  If we packaged Mason with the pick, maybe we could get something and still remain under the luxury tax.  That strikes me as the best option, but then again, it's also the most inconceivable.

So basically, we're stuck, unless Abe magically decides he doesn't care about the tax.  Knowing him, and the rest of the owners in this league, that's just not going to happen.

Anyway, this is an open game thread, so debate whether Jerry Stackhouse was more of a failure here or in Philly.