Great news that Humphries has signed for the Sixers! Would like it to have been 3 years, but I'll take it as it gives us a shot at a title this year if they sign the right pieces around him.
I'd strongly disagree with the idea of DJ leaving the club early. I think he and Humphries were very effective together last year and if you watched closely, DJ's intensity was very high in the first half of the season before the number of games and having to carry the front-court by himself wore him out.
The other thing people are critical of is that he doesn't challenge enough players at the rim. I would say true, BUT a lot of the time it is DJ making the decision not to risk a foul, because he knows from long experience that if he is out of the game, there is NO-ONE on the bench who can hold down the fort! That has been true of nearly all Sixers teams throughout DJ's career.
Now I do agree that in the 4th quarter of games, when he has had fouls to give, he has not been aggressive enough defensively. Personally, I too would like to have seen him be a bit more aggressive on the defensive end, but I don't think he has been as bad as some like to make out.
Regardless, we all agree that he's not as good defensively as you'd like your centre to be, but that is why you need a GOOD front office who can find a strong defender to pair with him.
In the early part of DJs career, we had Petrie and made the Grand Final in 2013-14. After Petrie, the only good defensive front-court player we had was Childress and guess what, we made the Grand Final again that season with our defence forcing the lowest opposition FG% in the league.
Most of DJ's career, he played for Wright, who always emphasised guard play and a run and gun offence. So his offensive skills have never really been capitalised on as much as they should've been. But he has still been the best offensive big man this league has had for the last 6 years or so.
To me, when you have an unusually talented Aussie that no-one else in the NBL can match, you build the right team around that guy and capitalise on it. It took until last season to finally get a coach who wants to run his offence through his big men and believes in the importance of good half-court offence and defence. We also finally got a big in Humphries who can cover defensively for DJ.
Personally, I want to see what a healthy Sixers team constructed around DJ, Humphries and McCarron can do if the coach can get a good half-court offence and defence installed.
If it turns out that the DJ and Humphries combo doesn't work, then by all means, they could look at trying to stretch DJ's final year or something. But at 33, this is almost DJ's last dance, so I'll be getting behind him and hoping he and Humphries can bring home our first title in 20 years!