A BRIGHT FUTURE (SOONER THAN YOU THINK)

Posted by: Jake Fischer
07/27/13 9:11 am EST

76ersmantraLogoeditedOver the past several weeks, everyone in Philadunkia nation has been discussing how dreadful the Philadelphia 76ers will be on the court next season.  After all, they don’t even have a coach yet, Michael Carter-Williams will most likely average at least 4 turnovers per game and the team’s best three point threat is arguably Spencer Hawes.

Yikes.

But, instead of just brushing it aside and saying, “Yeah, they’re going to suck, but they’re going to be so fun to watch in two-three years,” why don’t we take a look and actually try to predict what this team will look like on the court by 2015-2016.

Based on several reoccurring themes in General Manager Sam Hinkie’s press conferences, his draft picks and offseason acquisitions, we actually can make an educated guess on the rough foundation and style of play Hinkie is envisioning for the Sixers once this rebuilding process starts to win some regular season games.

 

In order to do so, let’s take a look at the strengths and skills of Hinkie’s three draft picks, his two acquisitions and his thought process that he has shared publicly.

No. 6 overall pick: Nerlens Noel, 7-0, C, Kentucky

Strengths and Skills: Height and size, athleticism, shot-blocking and defense, high energy, high basketball IQ

 

No. 11 overall pick: Michael Carter-Williams, 6-7, PG, Syracuse

Strengths and Skills: Height and size, athleticism, ball-hawking defense, ability to get to rim, draw contact and finish, high basketball IQ, high motor

 

No. 58 overall pick: Arsalan Kazemi, 6-8, F, Oregon

Strengths and Skills: High energy and motor, smart and scrappy defender, high basketball IQ, smart slasher, foot speed

 

Waiver Acquisitions: James Anderson, 6-6, SG, Houston Rockets; Tim Ohlbrecht, 6-10, PF, Houston Rockets; Royce White, 6-8, PF, Houston Rockets; Furkan Aldemir, 6-10, PF, Turkey

 

General Manager Sam Hinkie

Notable Quote: “At the draft started this year, we were very focused on finding more talented players to add to our team.  Finding more players who wanted to be hardworking, competitive everyday, trying to add to this pipeline of what we’re trying to build here in Philadelphia.”

It’s not too hard to tie all these pieces together and figure out the direction Hinkie is trying to take this organization and team.  Take his three draft picks, for example. The GM took three players who have defense-first mindsets, play with a lot of energy and have high basketball IQ’s.  Also, they’re all 6-7 or taller.  Those draft picks forecast Hinkie trying to build a defensive juggernaut that likes to get out in transition.

Honestly, in two years, with Noel defending the rim and some very stingy perimeter defenders, it’s not unrealistic to predict that this team will force 16 turnovers per game and score around 20 ppg. in transition.  Basically, this team is going to be playing an up-tempo, exciting style similar to the Golden State Warriors of last season and Steve Nash’s Phoenix Suns (with a better defensive effort).

Yes, that’s something that will  take time to foster, but it’s not completely impossible if these high-motor players improve steadily over the next two-three seasons, especially when you consider that Hinkie’s analytical mind will likely push the team to shoot mostly threes and layups.

Consider the basketball mind-set and physical build of the guys, including acquisitions, Hinkie is bringing in to Philadelphia.  They’re all long (nobody is shorter than 6-6) and work hard while having a very high, yet-to-be-tapped ceiling. They’re all guys that Hinkie says, “get better when nobody is watching.”  Hinkie could very well be trying to build a lineup of long and versatile players that are all 6-6 or taller that would make defensive rotations very dangerous.  This team is going to have some very exciting practices in the near future.

With this foundation and direction in place, Hinkie just needs to fill in the pieces around his young building blocks to get this team competitive.  Two likely draft picks in the lottery next season will help round out Hinkie’s starting lineup for 2014-2015.

What do they need to add?  Hinkie needs to plug a shooter alongside MCW and Noel, along with a low-post presence on the block and another perimeter player who can get to the rim and create his own shot.  If he can get two of those players in the lottery next June — obviously Andrew Wiggins is the most favored addition among fans — and bring in a veteran leader through free agency like Indiana has done with David West and Golden State did with Carl Landry and Jarrett Jack last season, the Sixers could arguably compete for the 8th Seed in the East just two years after wiping their roster almost completely clean. in letting go of Andrew Bynum and Jrue Holiday and letting their expiring contracts roll off the cap after this season.

Yes, next season will not be any sort of entertaining and the Sixers will likely struggle to win 30 games.  However, with a smart and aggressive leader in Hinkie at the helm of the franchise, it’s not to unrealistic for his meticulously calculated plan to come to fruition very quickly and before you even know what happened.

 

Jake Fischer is a scribe for Philadunkia.  You can follow him on Twitter @JakeLFischer

You can follow us on Twitter @philadunkia


 
 
 

9 Responses to “A BRIGHT FUTURE (SOONER THAN YOU THINK)”

  1. apfan
    27. July 2013 at 09:55

    It’s going to be a long rebuilding process, no doubt. We will need some luck too, I mean with the future drafts, but also with injuries, recoveries etc. I agree that rebuilding starting from defense minded and high basketball IQ players (is the latter valid for Nerlens? It is a question not a conclusion) is a great approach, hope will pay. If the various parts combine together well, I guess we will be in the conference finals in no more than 4 years from now.

  2. Sakit
    27. July 2013 at 10:21

    Royce white still has not reported to the team . Or undergone any physical. The fans do not deserve to go thru this again!

  3. Slap Dog Hoops (SDH)
    27. July 2013 at 15:34

    A bright future sooner than you think? IDK about that. Unless they win the number one overall pick in the draft, the Sixers will be bad for quite a while.

  4. Steve Toll
    27. July 2013 at 18:35

    20 transition points per game would be the 4th best mark since 03-04.

  5. ken
    28. July 2013 at 01:21

    slap dog why would we be bad for quite a while if we don’t get the number one pick? this draft is supposed to rival the LeBron draft which means there will be plenty of all stars to draft

  6. Alex
    28. July 2013 at 02:27

    Perhaps Evan T and Thad Young are now assets to be maximized for trade? I do not foresee keeping Evan except…..but Yong is a needed piece in any contending team.

  7. Bill
    28. July 2013 at 06:02

    Everything depends on Noel. Get healthy Nerins! Not encouraged though that Hinkie stated he was willing to trade Drue for two other players in the draft though.

  8. GDG
    28. July 2013 at 18:31

    “Steve Nash’s Phoenix Suns (with a better defensive effort)” might be a little optimistic. With the players they acquired this off season, as you describe them, I see them evolving more into a though defensive team with an ugly offense. Great length, no shooting, no low-post threat. They better get a great offensive talent in next year’s draft.

  9. Renegade_H
    29. July 2013 at 10:48

    I think depending on how the cards fall, we could be quite good in 2015. If we get a top 3 pick, grabbing one of Randle, Parker, and obviously Wiggins immediately makes our team core very good. I believe Turner will put up good points this year and I am hoping Hinkle can trade him and a 2nd rounder for a 1st this year.

    Free Agency next offseason could be crucial. Kevin Love is available and having the core of (Wiggins, Love, Noel, MCW, Harris?)- legit. I think people would want to play with Wiggins.

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