The 2013-2014 76ers season has not been for the faint of heart, and tonight in Houston it will get a little more painful for us die-hard fans. Tonight the Sixers will match the NBA record for most consecutive losses at 26 straight. Two years ago when this franchise was one quarter of solid basketball away from the Eastern Conference Finals, a losing streak of this brutal nature seemed impossible.
What makes this season even harder to swallow is that according to Brett Brown, all this losing is just the beginning. Brown’s vision requires this once proud franchise to plod through the rebuilding phase for the next “three to five years”. Sure, that sounds like a very long process, but we all know it’s the right thing to do.
But will the rebuild truly take three to five years as Brett Brown claims?
Does Brown’s quote mean three to five more seasons of the beautiful tank job we’ve seen in 2013-14? Not necessarily. To say the team is going to take three to five years to complete a total rebuild doesn’t mean we will continue to see record breaking losing streaks for the next few years. Rebuilding can be executed through great draft picks, gaining experience, and great coaching. If Brett Brown and his staff continue to coach up the young guys on this roster, they could become something special fairly quickly. Sure there will be players that will come and go along the way, but Sam Hinkie will continue to look far and wide for undervalued potential to add to the core of this team.
The first year of the rebuild is coming to a close. The season of the tank has been quite successful, but it will be even sweeter if it ends with one of the top two picks in the 2014 NBA draft. Two potential top 12 picks in a deep draft will help speed up the rebuilding process. This is why I believe the rebuild will be complete sooner than expected. I think next year will be another difficult season for the 76ers, but the talent will start to come together. Just imagine a trio of MCW, Wiggins, and Noel leading the team into next season. The athleticism will be something to witness live in the stands. But athleticism alone will not lead to a championship. Brett Brown and his staff will have to develop their young guys to help them reach their full potential.
Obviously, the 2014 and 2015 NBA drafts are going to be extremely important for the 76ers. It is vital to the rebuilding process that they draft well, because one bad draft may set this team back substantially. Expect Hinkie to keep shuffling in unsigned free agents and D-League players until he finds the right combination. Additionally, expect Sam to keep acquiring young, cost efficient “assets” to help make the team stronger in the future.
Once our current young guys and upcoming draft picks mold into a decent team, the 76ers’ cap space will become the final piece to completing the team’s rebuilding process. That cap space will allow Hinkie to add one or two big name free agents to a Sixers team that is stacked with young talent and led by a solid head coach. If all of this goes to plan, we could be competing for a championship in year three of this rebuilding plan.
So as you watch the 7-6 lose their 26th straight game in Houston tonight realize that this franchise has the potential for a very bright future and stay focused on the “three” part of Brett Brown’s “three to five years” quote.
Rich Iacuzio is a scribe for Philadunkia. You can follow him on Twiiter @richiacuzio.
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