34-48 overall; 7-9 vs. Atlantic
Finished 9th in Eastern Conference
93.2 points, 41.3 rebounds, 96.5 allowed per game
Lavoy Allen, PF
James Anderson, G
Kwame Brown, C
Michael Carter-Williams, PG
Spencer Hawes, C
Arsalan Kazemi, PF
Arnett Moultrie, PF
Nerlens Noel, C
Tim Ohlbrecht, PF
Jason Richardson, SG
Evan Turner, SG/SF
Royce White, PF
Tony Wroten, PG
Thaddeus Young, PF
Nerlens Noel (trade from New Orleans), Michael Carter-Williams (draft), Arsalan Kazemi (draft), Tony Wroten (trade from Memphis), Royce White (draft), James Anderson (FA), Tim Ohlbrecht (FA)
The Philadelphia 76ers’ offseason signaled one thing: They are about to enter a full rebuilding process.
New general manager Sam Hinkie made his mark quickly, trading All-Star point guard Jrue Holiday to New Orleans for Nerlens Noel and a future first-round draft pick. Many fans were outraged; trading away Jrue Holiday left the Sixers without any real elite level talent for the coming season. Thaddeus Young and Evan Turner are both solid players, but Jrue Holiday had made the leap to borderline All-Star. However, this was just what the Sixers wanted. They do not want to have players near All-Star level this season.
Drafting Nerlens Noel is a risk. There’s no getting around that. He’s very, very slight, is coming off an ACL injury and has no real offensive game aside from finishing alley-oops. But the move has unbelievable upside. Near 7’0’’ rim-protectors are rare in the NBA. And near 7’0’’ rim-protectors that can run the floor like a guards are an even rarer commodity.
Noel could be that. He might be that elite defensive player that Sam Hinkie can build around. Championship-level teams tend have that one elite defensive player they build around — think Kevin Garnett with the Celtics in 2008.
So, in short, the 2013-14 is not going to be a memorable one on the court for the Sixers. But it might just be one of the most important ones. Philadelphia have assembled a roster that shouldn’t win many games. The only player considered a 3-point threat is Jason Richardson, who is currently injured. I’m struggling to see where the points are going to come from. They will be horrific. Like, historically bad. Think Charlotte Bobcats circa 2011-12, but worse.
But that doesn’t matter. There’s a plan in place. Rebuilding is underway; the foundations have been laid by Sam Hinkie.
The Philadelphia 76ers finish with the worst record in the NBA, before winning the NBA Draft Lottery, thus giving them the chance to select highly rated prospect Andrew Wiggins. This is strange for a best-case scenario, but being horrifically bad — which the Sixers will be — is the only way Philly will ever be a title contender again. Evan Turner is also involved in the possible best-case scenario. He needs to either make the jump into finally becoming the player we thought he would be coming into the league or Sam Hinkie needs to move him before the trade deadline.
In a horribly weak Eastern Conference, the worst-case scenario for the Sixers is that they are good enough to win enough games to significantly hurt their chances of landing a high draft pick. Last season, Philadelphia finished in the ninth position in the East. If that happens again — which is highly unlikely — it will be disastrous for the franchise’s future.
13-69, 15th in Eastern Conference