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Sixers make the right move with Evan Turner, but the Phillies can forget about Cliff Lee


Did anybody else get an unsettling feeling when former Sixers great Moses Malone threw out the first pitch New Sixer Evan Turner. Photo: http://newsone.com/files/2009/12/evan-turner-p1.jpgof yesterday's Phillies  game?

I did. As most of you know, Malone was part of one of the worst and most lopsided draft day trades in NBA history 24 years ago around this same time. Having him participate in the pre-game festivities at Citizens Bank Park on the afternoon of the NBA Draft  had "bad omen" written all over it. Especially for the Sixers, who have the number two pick in the draft this year.

Turns out, there would be no drama in Sixerville last night. Everything went according to plan and Evan Turner  is now a Sixer. It was no surprise the Sixers selected the Ohio State guard with their pick. They were the only team Turner (the Associated Press Player of the Year) worked out for, and his work ethic (evidenced by his quick return from a serious back injury in December) and overall attitude won raves from new Sixers coach Doug Collins.

When you add Turner along with second-year guard Jrue Holiday, Thaddeus Young, and Andre Iguodala  (who definitely won't get as many touches with Turner's arrival), the Sixers (on paper) look like an improved team, and might be actually fun to watch in 2010-2011. By now, expectations are not very high for Elton Brand, so anything the Sixers can get from him is a plus. His salary is way too expensive to unload, so for now the Sixers are stuck with him.

Speaking of Citizens Bank Park, at least the Phillies are starting to show signs of life again. I know, I know, they swept Cleveland. In saying that, they gained three games in the loss column over the last three days thanks to the smoking hot Chicago White Sox, who for now have seemed to cool off the Braves. That's good, because the showdown at "The Bank" in two weeks between the current NL East division leaders and the reigning division champs will be huge.

By now I'm sure you've heard the latest buzz concerning our old hero Cliff LeeCliff Lee Photo: Getty Images (who seems to be pitching right where he left off last November despite some early season injuries) and whether the Phillies should try to reacquire him for AA prospect Domonic Brown. Well before you go any further, you can rest assure that this deal is highly unlikely. The Phillies' farm system isn't like it was in 1988, but after the Joe Blanton and Lee trades from the last two summers, there are probably more C Grade prospects than anything.

And it's not like the Phillies can really offer Tyson Gillies, Phillippe Aumont, and J.C. Ramirez (the prospects acquired for Lee) either- none of the three have made an impact all season down on the farm. Brown is clearly the Phillies top prospect. And with an aging Raul Ibanez  and the uncertainty regarding Jayson Werth after 2010, dealing Brown would be a move the Phillies would NEVER pull the trigger on. The future has never been "now" for them, despite their recent success. With success however, comes risk. This core has already been to two World Series, and it's not like 2004 when Ed Wade wouldn't mortgage the future by trading Chase Utley or Ryan Howard.

For most of these guys however, the future IS now. It seems almost overnight that the Phillies, while not exactly old, have aged before our very eyes with the emergence of all the young talent you now see in the National League East. The average age of the Phils starting eight is 32. Now compare that to the Nationals (29), Mets (29), Braves (28), and Marlins (27).

Ah yes, Ruben, Dave and Co. have some big decisions to make. In the next few weeks, and in the next few years.

Contact Joe Vallee at jvallee@philly2philly.com