Welcome to the first of thirty NBA team previews! Up until the start of the NBA season, October 29, 2013, here at the Sports Script, I’m going to be giving you my predictions, and thoughts for each team. We’ll be going from my 30th rated team, all the way down to who I consider the very best team in the league. So without any further adieu, lets begin with my pick for the worst team in the league, the Philadelphia 76ers!
Key Additions: Nerlens Noel (Draft), Michael Carter-Williams (Draft) Royce White (Trade via Houston) Brett Brown (Coach)
Key Departures: Jrue Holiday (Pelicans) Andrew Bynum (Cavaliers) Nick Young (Lakers) Dorrell Wright (Blazers)
Projected Starters: PG Michael Carter-Williams, SG Evan Turner, SF Thaddeus Young, PF Lavoy Allen, C Spencer Hawes
The 76ers are horrible. Terrible. Awful. Horri-awful if we’re going to make up words, for how bad this team is. The 76ers went into full on tank mode in preparation for the 2014 NBA Draft, which is loaded with stars like Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker, Julius Randle and many other potential stars at the top of the draft. But that’s a ways off, and until then, 76ers fans will have to bear one of the worst seasons in franchise history.
In an effort to have the best chance to grab the number one overall pick in June, the 76ers traded away young all-star Jrue Holiday to the New Orleans Pelicans in exchange for the number six overall pick in Nerlens Noel, and a future number one in the 2014 draft. While many thought this was an awful move, I actually really liked it. You sold very high on a player like Holiday, got a potential star center when healthy in Noel, and got what will probably be a lottery pick, in a very loaded lottery this year. The also let massive failure Andrew Bynum walk free to the Cavaliers, a player who did not play a single game for the 76ers last year, but managed to entertain everyone with his increasingly weirder and weirder hair-styles throughout the year, otherwise known on twitter as… #YOLOBynum, something I will miss greatly.
Looking at the starting lineup for the 76ers, and again, it doesn’t inspire much confidence. Noel is hurt now, meaning Hawes will continue start, and right now, Hawes is probably the best wing shooter this team has with Nick Young and Dorrell Wright leaving in the offseason. Hustle player Lavoy Allen will most likely take the power forward slot, and while I do like Allen, I don’t like him at all as a center. Allen is better off being the second or third big man off the bench on a contender, where he grit and toughness can provide some energy. Don’t expect much offensive production when Noel comes back, and we see those two on the court together. There is some young, intriguing talent at small forward and shooting guard with Evan Turner and Thaddeus Young, but both have been frighteningly inconsistent in their years with the team, and both could become trade chips if the team wants to further tank. Finally we have Michael Carter-Williams, the 11th overall pick in the draft starting at point guard. I don’t love MCW, I feel like he’s not a good enough defender, ball handler or shooter to be starting in this league, but he might end being a surprise, and put up good stats on this team, considering the other option, and at 6’5, he’s a pretty tantalizing prospect.
In conclusion, this is again, a very, very, VERY bad team, and they will show that most nights. There are only a few players on this team that would actually be rotation players on a contender, and those players will be the 76ers go-to-guys this year. I would expect one of Turner or Young to be dealt this year, for more salary cap space, and more picks or young players that could contribute a few years down the line. It’s going to be a very long season in Philly, but if everything goes right in getting the number 1 pick in this years NBA Draft (knock on wood), the 76ers could have a very bright future.
Final Prediction: 21-61, 15th Eastern Conference