This is a blockbuster deal for the 76ers. With the acquisition of Dikembe Mutombo and Roshown McLeod, Philly has gained great yardage in this race for NBA supremacy. This trade makes them the best team in the East, by far; and it puts them in a position to challenge anybody in the West. This is a huge deal.
There should be no concern that this trade will disrupt the 76ers chemistry, because Mutombo is a great team guy. He's a wonderful personality who everybody loves. He will have no problem melting into the team fabric in Philadelphia. Defense has always been Mutombo's trademark, plus he will give them immediate overall strength. The Sixers have been a good defensive team, now they can be a great defensive team.
Mutombo doesn't always need the ball. He can score on opportunities that come his way: offensive put-backs, defensive errors. If opponents become too concerned with Allen Iverson's drive to the basket and leave Mutombo open, he can catch and score and make them pay.
McLeod is a good player, too. The small forward will give them a weapon that can replace Toni Kukoc. McLeod is an adequate passer, is scoring about 10 points per game, is decent from the field and is a nearly 90 percent free throw shooter.
With the exception of Kukoc, the players the Hawks picked up are young. Both Theo Ratliff and Nazr Mohammed can play, and will only get better. And Pepe Sanchez could be a big surprise; he's an excellent ball handler and passer. If Sanchez is given the chance to play, he'll really open some eyes.
Atlanta may have some further plans to deal Kukoc, but if they keep him, he'll give them another scorer that they need. The Hawks have had problems not scoring enough to win games, and Jason Terry hasn't been enough. The Hawks needed more talent, and they got it. They've been given younger talent in a year when they weren't going anywhere anyway and have really helped themselves for the future.
It really is a win-win trade for both teams. But it is the 76ers who have stepped out of the pack. They had a good team before this trade; now they could possibly be great. They were a contender for the NBA championship, now they are the favorite. Send this story to a friend | Most sent stories
Mutombo goes to Sixers for Ratliff, Kukoc, two others
Trade breakdown: Mutombo to Philly
Philadelphia news conference
Dikembe Mutombo says he can't want to play for Larry Brown.
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Eric Snow thinks Dikembe Mutombo will fit well in the Sixers starting lineup.
Allen Iverson says Dikembe Mutombo is an intimidator.
ESPN's David Aldridge has no problems with Dikembe Mutombo being traded to the Sixers.
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