Lear Asplundh and Nathan Newman
With the 2016-2017 NBA season upon us, the Philadelphia 76ers seem to be poised for a breakout year. First overall pick Ben Simmons, out of LSU, will be paired with rookie Joel Embiid to create an exciting front court. Hall of Fame players have touted Ben Simmons to be a LeBron James-type player. They share great court vision and a gifted passing ability, as well as excellent athleticism.
Combining Simmons with Joel Embiid, a very efficient post scorer, could create a dangerous pick and roll offense. The 12th overall pick in the 2014 draft, Dario Saric, is also coming over from Croatia. The 6’10 forward will bring a lot of potential and excitement to the 76ers this year. Saric, who has spent the past five years overseas, will bring a shooting and passing ability that the Sixers need desperately.
With a very young core of players brought to the team by former GM Sam Hinkie, the Sixers needed a veteran presence from free agency. Bryan Colangelo has done a great job filling this void by signing point guards Sergio Rodriguez and Jerryd Bayless. Although all of this talent has been added to the roster in such a short time, the team will probably continue to struggle. The young core of players has a lot to learn before they find success in the NBA.
As the 2017 draft nears, this year’s draft class is showing potential to be great. The Sixers have the rights to swap draft picks with the Sacramento Kings, which could potentially land them a top three pick. The Sixers also have the Los Angeles Lakers’ top three protected pick. The 2017 draft could be the last piece of the puzzle for the talented young Sixers team to become great.
Projected Starting Five:
- PG Sergio Rodriguez
- SG Jerryd Bayless
- SF Robert Covington
- PF Dario Saric
- C Nerlens Noel
Projected Win Total:27-55