Monday, October 28, 2013

2013-14 Season Preview: Philadelphia 76ers

Let's cut right to the chase. The Philadelphia 76ers are going to be terrible. Yes we all love a good underdog, youth story, but that is not what's happening in Philly. General Manager Sam Hinkie has all but shouted to the world that the Sixers will be tanking starting from Day 1, and that is perfectly fine. In the NBA there really is no room for middle of the pack teams, and continuing to claw it out for an 8th seed year in and year our isn't beneficial to the longterm goals of this new regime.

With that said this entire season will come down to development. While the players will certainly be playing their hearts out with every game hoping to bolster stats as most are auditioning for other teams, they still won't win many games. They'll definitely get double digit wins this season, but expecting anything more than 20 is a stretch. One that Hinkie and new Coach Brett Brown will gladly endure throughout this destroy and rebuild process.

Additions: Michael Carter-Williams, Nerlens Noel, Tony Wroten, Royce White, Darius Morris, James Anderson, Coach Brett Brown, GM Sam Hinkie

Subtractions: Jrue Holiday, Andrew Bynum, Dorrell Wright, Nick Young, Coach Doug Collins

As you can see this roster is filled with players filled with youthful potential that probably wouldn't amount to much even if it was given sufficient enough time to grow. Most likely many of these players won't be on this roster next season. Hinkie has done good filling out a low risk roster that most doesn't hurt their cap space in anyway moving into the 2014 Free Agency period.

Evan Turner

While it has been unfair being Evan Turner, as the 2nd overall pick of the 2010 draft there is certainly justification behind his criticisms. At this point the writing is pretty much on the wall as far as his Sixers days being numbered. Anything short of a break-out All Star campaign for the 4th year player will see him taken out of the Hinkie rebuild equation. The Sixers are hoping he has a season that at least makes him a trade commodity come February. His shooting is still horrid, and while he is capable of doing a lot of good things, he's rarely been great or consistent enough to truly be taken serious.

Michael Carter-Williams (R)

MCW has some serious shoes to fill. The Sixers have given up a a young All Star in Jrue, and pretty much handed the kings to the fallen kingdom to the rookie. He'll need to seriously work on his shooting if he's going to be taken seriously. His length and wingspan gives him a distinct advantage over smaller point guards, though his slim frame still leaves him vulnerable against the highly athletic Derrick Roses and Russell Westbrooks. As he matures into his adult body he should progress into a very capable defender. His vision is solid for his skill level, but unfortunately he'll make plenty of mistakes and the team around him won't give him much room to build with. Still, his upside is promising.

Thaddeus Young

Would it be asking too much for a team to rescue Thad Young before it's too late? This ship is sinking and if anyone deserves a chance to stay above water, then it is certainly him. Firmly expect him to at least be on the trade block. He is by far the best player on this roster at this point in time, and since Hinkie is intent of clearing up cap space, he should tempt a few contending teams looking to add depth around the trade deadline.

Most Exciting Player To Watch: Tony Wroten

Continuing in their tradition of wild card players that will excite you for all the wrong reasons (Lou Williams, Nick Young), Tony Wroten is the latest Sixer to be on the watch for. The second year player will undoubtedly see major minutes this season as they acclimate MCW to the NBA. Wroten is a quick,  semi-efficient scorer that leaves much to be desired in the point guard role. The beauty of it is he's every bit exciting as he is careless, as his passes will hit their targets in the most unusual of ways. Though he was never going to get a fair shot in Memphis, if MCW struggles more than expected, Wroten could potentially challenge for the starter position, and possibly do well in it. That is of course, pending his floor vision improves and shot decision improves to satisfactory levels.

Prediction: 18-20 wins

The amount of wins might actually be extremely high, but truthfully this team will compete every night. The front office is dead set on tanking, but that doesn't mean they'll play any less than they're capable of. Brett Brown has already hinted that conditioning plays a key role in his coaching philosophy, and keeping players in position at all times may make them a defensive minded team that could frustrate opponents. Obviously with the statuses of Jason Richardson and Nerlens Noel ranging from January start dates to missing the whole season, it's almost a definite that several players on this bench will earn major minutes on any given night throughout the season. Temper your expectations here, as the "Andrew Wiggins Sweepstakes" begin.


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