The Philadelphia 76ers likely have their roster set for the NBA’s restart, but here is a list of past performers that could’ve made an impact.
As COVID-19 cases continue to spike in Florida, it seems that the return of the NBA is still upon us, which means the Philadelphia 76ers will be making their third playoff appearance in three years.
Yes, it’s happening. Despite all of the hubbub over canceling the season, basketball will be starting again. Finishing? Well, that isn’t really for anybody to say right now.
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The Sixers are among a group of eight teams that are traveling to Orlando on Thursday, as reported by Shams Charania of The Athletic.
With three weeks of training camp and three intrasquad scrimmages, the Sixers will be getting plenty of work in before the regular season games begin this month. But compared to previous years, where exactly is their confidence level?
While it’s hard to feel much optimism with the confirmed coronavirus cases around the NBA, and the more that could potentially follow as testing moves along, things seem to be going the Sixers’ way as they prepare. The NBA tested 344 players for COVID-19 from June 23 to 29, and as of last week, an additional nine have tested positive since the initial testing, bringing the current total to 25 out of 351 players.
On a brighter note, the league’s testing protocols have allowed these players enough time to isolate themselves and rejoin their respective teams. Even so, it will definitely be interesting to see how this goes once all 22 teams are inside the bubble.
Head coach Brett Brown will presumably have a lively, intact unit. He announced last Wednesday that none of the Sixers’ roster tested positive for COVID. On the contrary, it appears that the Sixers are better health-wise than they have been all season. According to Brown, Joel Embiid has gotten himself into “the best shape” of his career, and Ben Simmons will be a full go after recovering from his back injury during the hiatus.
Though all is well with the two cornerstones, the rotations are visibly unresolved. Brown, for one of the only times all year, has options. The paradox is that, on one hand, do you start Shake Milton for his red-hot scoring? Or, do you give Al Horford the nod because of the veteran presence? On the bench, when do you utilize Matisse Thybulle’s defense and versatility? Which shooter gets more minutes between Furkan Korkmaz and Glenn Robinson III?
While the eight-game schedule is looking fairly easy, the Sixers have plenty to sort out before they consider themselves “sleepers,” and … Soon enough, it’ll be clear if they are either well-equipped to actually win the whole thing, or wishing they still had the reliable weapons that bailed them out in recent history.
The Sixers have seen a variety of talent come and go inside the friendly confines of the Wells Fargo Center. The persistent chatter is that fans always wind up wanting a player to come back to the roster, whether it was because they fit the team’s rotation like a glove, had a workable contract, or because of their personality on and off the court.
Bearing all of this in mind, here’s a list of former Sixers that would’ve been beneficial in Disney World.