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Rebuilding the Philadelphia 76ers

Rebuilding the Philadelphia 76ers: The 76ers are the most confusing team in the NBA, but through the draft and free agency they should get back on track.

The Philadelphia 76ers are arguably the most confusing team in the NBA. They are what I call a terrible yet promising team. In another dreadful season under head coach Brett Brown, the team finished with just 18 wins, yet this didn’t come as a surprise to anyone, as many predicted the 76ers would have such a poor season. Looking towards the future, this is a team that can completely turn things around next season if they play their cards right. This is definitely a bold prediction, but don’t be too surprised if the Sixers get back in the in column.

Rebuilding the Philadelphia 76ers

How do the 76ers turn things around?

For me there is one easy way this team can get over the 35-40 win mark, and that is with young talent and lots of it. It all starts up front with center Joel Embiid, the big man out of Kansas who sat out the entire 2014-15 season with a stress fracture in his left foot. The former third overall pick should be ready to play organized basketball once the NBA summer league comes around. Embiid can offer a lot to a team despite being unproven at the NBA level. A player of his size and wingspan can definitely be successful at the highest level. Embiid will be paired in the frontcourt with another former lottery pick, Nerlens Noel. Now this may surprise you, but I would go as far as to say that if things between Embiid and Noel go perfectly in the next couple of years, there will be nothing to stop these two potentially dominant big men from becoming the new Tim Duncan and David Robinson at the power forward and center positions. This is as bold of a statement as it gets, but these two young big men have limitless potential, as both players are just 21 years of age. I think it’s fair to say that the 76ers have their big men of the future, which will be a key factor in turning the sinking ship around.

The Draft

This year’s NBA Draft will be an intriguing one for the 76ers and their fans, as the team still hasn’t set their eyes on one particular target.

These are the three potential draft options for the 76ers:

  • If team lands the first overall pick in the lottery, then they should take Duke center Jahlil Okafor. After selecting Okafor, its possible for Philadelphia to trade him to the New York Knicks in exchange for future picks. Stockpiling first round draft picks will be essential.
  • The next best player on the board for the 76ers is Ohio State point guard D’Angelo Russell. Russell is a creative and exciting point guard who many consider the best guard in the draft. Russell would add something to the 76ers that they currently don’t possess, which is energy and a player who is willing to be unselfish and spread the ball around. With players like Nerlens Noel and Joel Embiid on the court, Russell wouldn’t find it too hard to rack up assists.
  • The last option for the 76ers is point guard Emmanuel Mudiay who is only 19 years old. He is a very talented and energetic player who is currently based in China. Mudiay is extremely athletic, and just like D’Angelo Russell, he is a perfect fit for this team. An offensive point guard is surely needed by the Sixers.

These three options would all be good for the 76ers either for both the future and now. The chances of the team landing the number one overall pick and taking Okafor is unlikely given that they have just a 15.6% chance of winning the NBA lottery. Both Russell and Mudiay would prove to be great additions for a young and struggling Philadelphia team.

Free Agency and Dario Saric

Free agency will also be interesting for the 76ers. During this time they will have the ability to sign some quality players to improve the talent level on the roster.  If they upgrade anywhere, it should be at the shooting guard as that is one of the team’s biggest needs. Current starter Jason Richardson is open to re-signing, but he isn’t such a great option at this point in his career. There are dream players out there like Jimmy Butler or Monta Ellis, but those two are very likely to be staying with their current teams. The smarter move for GM Sam Hinkie would be to strengthen the bench, especially at the guard positions. As for the frontcourt, depth may come from an unlikely source: Dario Saric. Do you know who he is? If not, I don’t blame you; Saric is an interesting player who has the potential to have the same impact on the 76ers as Nikola Mirotic has had on the Chicago Bulls. Saric will be a very productive player in the NBA, and if you have never seen him play before, just imagine a big man with the handles of Manu Ginobli. It sounds very strange, but it really is how Saric plays. I can see Saric coming off of the bench and being a main piece to the puzzle for the 76ers.

Rebuilding the 76ers will be a very difficult challenge for all players and coaches on the team. After two straight horrific seasons, the Sixers will hopefully be competitive within the next few years. Fans in Philly are very demanding, and I can see this crop of players responding to such demands of even mild success. So my tip to fans in Philly is to be very patient, as better days await.


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