Offseason Preview: Philadelphia 76ers
Philadelphia 76ers (10-72)
*Photo via NBC
Philly. The City of brotherly love. Sometimes I wonder if there’s any love in Philly for the 76ers. Yes, the history is rich. Dr. J,. Allen Iverson. Charles Barkley. These Sixers? Not so rich. How about the fact that they only won 10 games this past season and will be in the lottery on Thursday, again, for the fourth straight year. If there was no other reason to purchase a Sixers ticket, Jahlil Okafor helped in that regard. Last year’s 3rd overall pick dazzled during his rookie year, averaging 17.5 ppg and 7.5 rpg. His excellence in the post gave hope to a team that hasn’t enjoyed a winning season since the 2011-12 season, but know that Okafor, outside of Nerlens Noel, is on an island in terms of supreme talent. Having the first overall pick in this year’s draft is a blessing, but it’s time for the Sixers to change their focus from stacking up the most lottery picks in NBA history to seriously competing in the Atlantic Division.
Restricted – Christian Wood
Options – Kendall Marshall, Robert Covington, Isaiah Canaan, Jerami Grant, T.J. McConnell
Unrestricted – Christian Wood
Who Leaves, Who Stays
*Photo via USA Today
Jerami Grant is someone I believe the Sixers would like to retain. Grant averaged 9.7 ppg and nearly five rpg last year and while the numbers don’t jump off the screen, watching Grant play is a different story. You see youth, only 20 years of age. Size, 6’8, weighing 210 pounds and an understanding of what his game entails. Grant is a slasher and with his length it doesn’t take too many steps for Grant to reach the rim. When he arrives, he can finish, get his own rebound and repeat amongst the trees. There’s a lot of talent here and the only thing missing from Grant's game is a reliable 15-footer, and a stable 3-point shot, since he rarely takes perimeter shots. He’ll be back. Covington served as the Sixers answer to a shooter, hitting 35 percent of his three-point attempts, averaging 12.8 ppg and I think the Sixers feel like Covington is worth holding onto because of his ability to shoot.
*Photo via Getty Images
The Sixers have a logjam in the front-court. Okafor, Joel Embiid and Nerlens Noel. Selecting Ben Simmons first overall would just add to that problem. Trading Okafor for a pick within the Top-5 to acquire a guard is what the Sixers would like in return and the guard of choice is Providence’s own Kris Dunn. He’s a John Wall type that could be exactly the type of franchise guard the Sixers have been looking for since Iverson, and sacrificing Okafor might be the only way to get it done. The bench can also use some patching up as well.
*Photo via Sports on Earth
Bradley Beal – Shooting guard with a lot of potential if he can stay healthy
Nicolas Batum – Would easily form a great one-two scoring punch with Okafor
Arron Afflalo – Sixers are in desperate need of a veteran presence
Jordan Clarkson – Clarkson will have the keys and be able to run the show, being the man
Evan Fournier- A guard on the rise