Prior to the start of the 2014/2015 NBA season, we knew that the Philadelphia 76ers were in “rebuild” mode, just by looking at the players that they had on their roster. At the trade deadline, the 76ers traded two of their best players, if you ask me, in Michael Carter-Williams and K.J. McDaniels. This was puzzling to most NBA fans, even though there were rumours that MCW could possibly get traded because as of now, the 76ers do not really have a player to build the franchise around.
Nerlens Noel has had a solid season thus far averaging 8.7 points per game to go along with 7.3 rebounds and 1.9 blocks (which ranks him ninth in the NBA). Noel did not play last season because of injury, but he has shown that he could potentially be a piece to build around. His back to the basket game is not there yet and most of his points are off dunks and put backs, which is ok for now, but at some point he will need to add something more to his game. Sixers acquired JaVale McGee from the Nuggets on trade deadline and after a few games played, he was been bought out. The initial trade had people scratching their heads because Philadelphia already has Noel and Embiid on their roster and McGee was not a guy who can help them out necessarily.
K.J. McDaniels was one of Philadelphia’s better players this season, so it was fitting that they traded him to Houston on deadline day. K.J. was a second round selection and was one of Philadelphia’s more consistent players. Tony Wroten was also having a fairly solid season, prior to getting injured. Thomas Robinson’s acquisition was one that I actually liked from the Sixers perspective. Robinson is a guy who wanted to play more minutes and Sixers could certain provide that with a frontcourt full of unproven players. Robert Covington is another player who has done well this season, on a very bad team. 13 points a game and five boards are not too shabby and he can also shot the three (38%). It should also be noted that 16 different players have started a game for Philadelphia.
There are not too many pieces on this current Philadelphia team that you can build around, apart from maybe Noel. The Michael Carter-Williams trade has left a huge hole in the Sixers backcourt, something that they will need to address, either through the draft, or free agency. It should be noted that Philly does have highly touted Croatian forward, Dario Saric playing in Europe and it will be interesting to see if he makes his way over to the NBA next season; I certainly think so. In this year’s draft, Philadelphia has seven draft picks (two in the first round, five in the second round); I do not think that they will keep all seven. I could potentially see Philadelphia keeping the two picks in the first round and then possibly dangling some of the second round picks, to bring in some veteran leadership on a very young team.
Something that could play into the hands of the 76ers is the fact that it is a pretty deep free agent class in 2015. Philadelphia needs proven scorers and players with good track records-I am not saying they have to go all out in the summer of 2015, but it would be a small step in trying to get this team over the hump and back into the playoffs because let’s face it, all you really need in the east is about 35 wins to make it.
As I mentioned earlier, Noel’s starting spot is probably the only guaranteed one for next year. We do not really know what will happen with Embiid, since Philadelphia’s management has stated that no one is “untradeable” at this point. Who knows, with the way Philly does business, Noel could be out the door by the start of next year as well.
Ogi is a graduate of Humber College’s Sport Management program. He is the founder of Blago Blogger Sports.