We all remember the game musical chairs right? You walk around slowly with great anticipation of when the music will stop, the game gets more and more intense as it goes on, and then inevitably someone ends up falling on their ass trying to get the win. The Sixers are that person — night in and night out.
Yes, the goal of the season is to lose and lose a lot. I personally know Philly fans who get upset when the Sixers win games. I don’t think it’s a problem for the NBA as some analysts do (ahem, Bill Simmons) but it could turn into a problem for a proud franchise if they aren’t able to re-tool the roster the way they planned when this started — with a legitimate star in the waiting.
There are maybe four NBA players on this roster right now and I might be being generous. Obviously Thaddeus Young, Michael Carter-Williams and Tony Wroten have proven to be NBA-caliber players (though the latter is a bit of a wild card) — that fourth player could be James Anderson. Thad and MCW are starters while Wroten and Anderson are young, energetic role players that could find a niche next season with a new crop of young talent. Beyond that; phew, it’s a struggle. (see season stats)
So, that leaves the Sixers with four NBA players to start their roster with next season, though there are of course more that will be there. Right now per www.tankathon.com the Sixers would be slotted for the second and 11th picks overall in the first round of the draft — the latter coming from the Jrue Holiday trade (top-five protected in 2014).
The Sixers really, really, really need to hope that Andrew Wiggins is there wherever they end up drafting with that first pick. The second pick at 11 definitely matters as well, but that first pick needs to be the home run the city and franchise have been tanking for.
Wiggins over his last three games for Kansas: 31 points, 7.7 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 1.7 blocks and 3.0 steals per game. He also shot 50 percent overall, 40 percent from deep and 79.5 percent from the stripe (with 39 FTAs in 3 games!). The negative side — Kansas went 1-2 in those games; get used to it ,Wiggins, because if you get drafted by the Sixers, there will be much losing early. The team is not going to go from 20 wins (if they even get that many this year) to 50 overnight.
What’s my point here? The Philadelphia 76ers are still a long way from being relevant in the NBA again and they still desperately NEED to hit it big in this upcoming draft, or else all this losing would have been in vain.
What would hitting in this draft look like? Wiggins with their first pick and a Doug McDermott, Rodney Hood or Zach LaVine with that second lottery pick. Then they roll out 2014-15 with a core of Michael Carter-Williams, Wiggins, Thad Young, Nerlens Noel, Tony Wroten and whoever that second lottery pick is. Don’t forget the Sixers also own about half the second round draft picks in 2014, so we shall have to wait and see how creative Sam Hinkie can get on draft night with those.
Who knows, maybe Thaddeus Young is moved for another lottery pick or mid-late first round pick. Lord knows this team needs talent and they needed it yesterday. They have now not won a single game since Jan. 29, when they squeaked by a marginal Boston Celtics team 95-94.
They have lost 19 straight games, all of their games in February and so far all of their games in March. It’s bewildering to see, but through all the pain and suffering of Sixers’ faithful, we can see the light and his name is Andrew Wiggins.