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NBA 2016 Team Preview – Philadelphia 76ers: Bevy of Rookie Talents

By Tamberlyn Richardson
Sep 26, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) takes a break during media day at the Philadelphia 76ers Training Complex. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 26, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) takes a break during media day at the Philadelphia 76ers Training Complex. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
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Sep 26, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) takes a break during media day at the Philadelphia 76ers Training Complex. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 26, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) takes a break during media day at the Philadelphia 76ers Training Complex. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Sep 26, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) takes a break during media day at the Philadelphia 76ers Training Complex. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

NBA 2016-17 Team Preview – Philadelphia 76ers

To prepare our readers for the regular season SCS  offers a series entitled NBA 2016-17 Team Preview for each of the Houston Rockets’ 29 opponents. Who will return to the playoffs? Which team will fall from grace and who will be the Cinderella team?

Included in each profile:

  • Where the team finished 2015-16
  • Key 2015-16 stats
  • Future draft pick status
  • Current and future salary rank
  • Off Season Moves
  • 2017 Free Agents
  • Schedule, NBA League Pass and Win Projection Ranking
  • Team Overview entering season (Starting 5, reserves and notable injuries)
  • When each team will play the Houston Rockets
  • Strengths, Weaknesses and Prediction

NBA 2016-17 Team Preview now looks at the Atlantic Division Philadelphia 76ers. Despite the loss of the top draft pick Ben Simmons the 76ers have a bevy of rookies ready to make their mark on the NBA. Specifically Joel Embiid who Philly and NBA fans have been thirsting to see in action. Furthermore Dario Saric is set to also make his rookie debut.

With new GM Bryan Colangelo taking over the helm it feels like it’s only a matter of time before he pulls the plug to trade one or both of Nerlens Noel and Jahlil Okafor. Regardless of how this Sixers look this season they are closer to turning the corner than they’ve been for years. With that SCS offers up the NBA 2016-17 Team Preview for the Sixers.

NBA 2016-17 Team Preview: Philadelphia 76ers

2015-16 Record: 10 – 72

Playoffs:

Missed playoffs, finished 15th in Eastern Conference

Points Per Game: 97.4 (29th )

Opponent Points Per Game:  107.6 (29th)

Pace: 97.9 (6th )

Offensive Rank: 98.8 (30th )

Defensive Rank:  109.2 (26th)

Three Point Rank:  33.9% (24th)

Rebounds: 41.2  (30th)

Assists: 21.5 (20th)

Steals: 8.3 (10th)

Blocks: 6.0 (3rd)

Turnovers: 16.4 (29th)

Next: Future postioning - draft, free agents

Sep 26, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers forward Nerlens Noel (4) dribbles the ball during media day at the Philadelphia 76ers Training Complex. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

2017 Free Agents

Restricted:

Unrestricted: 

All free agent updates confirmed via Basketball Reference and Sportrak

Future Draft Picks

See Real GM for full details:

Incoming:

  • 2017 first round draft pick from L.A. Lakers L.A. Lakers’ 1st round pick to Philadelphia (via Phoenix) protected for selections 1-3 in 2017 and unprotected in 2018 [L.A. Lakers-Phoenix, 7/11/2012; Milwaukee-Philadelphia-Phoenix, 2/19/2015]
  • 2017 first round draft pick from Sacramento (swap, Philadelphia outgoing) Philadelphia has the right to swap its 2017 1st round pick for Sacramento’s 2017 1st round pick protected for selections 11-30 (if this pick falls within its protected range, then Philadelphia’s swap right and Sacramento’s obligation to Philadelphia will be extinguished) [Philadelphia-Sacramento, 7/9/2015]
  • 2018 second round draft pick from Cleveland or Brooklyn (more favorable)
  • 2018 second round draft pick from L.A. Clippers or New York (more favorable)
  • 2019 first round draft pick from Sacramento
  • 2019 second round draft pick from Milwaukee or Sacramento (more favorable)
  • 2019 second round draft pick from New York
  • 2020 second round draft pick from Brooklyn
  • 2020 second round draft pick from New York
  • 2021 second round draft pick from New York

Outgoing:

  • 2017 second round draft pick to New Orleans Philadelphia’s 2017 2nd round pick to New Orleans [New Orleans-Philadelphia, 12/24/2015]

Average Age of Team: 24.2 years (as per Real GM) *youngest team in NBA

Next: Off Season Moves

Sep 26, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers forward Ben Simmons (25) during media day at the Philadelphia 76ers Training Complex. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Draft Picks

Round 1: Ben Simmons (1), Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot (24), Furkan Korkmaz (26)

Round 2: N/A

2016 Free Agents

Unrestricted: Elton Brand, Ish Smith

Restricted: Isaiah Canaan, Hollis Thompson

Incoming:

Exiting:

Re-upping:

Waived:

  • Carl Landry

Next: Schedule, League Pass, Win Projection Rankings

Nov 7, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) waits to enter the game against the Utah Jazz during the second quarter at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Vegas over-under for wins: 27.5

Schedule strength:

As ranked by ESPN: 2nd with 5.07 extra losses

The worst of it: The Sixers have their one four-games-in-five-days cluster in early December and it’s a doozy. The fourth game is in Memphis after the Sixers play in Philly three of the previous four nights.

Games versus Rockets:

  • Monday November 14 at Toyota Center, in Houston, TX, at 7PM CT/8PM ET
  • Friday January 27 at Wells Fargo Center, in Philadelphia, PA at 6PM CT/7PM CT

Zach Lowe NBA League Pass Rank: 18th

Believe it or not, these guys ranked a few spots higher before the sad news about Ben Simmons. I mean, I’m sorry, but watching Simmons and Joel Embiid develop during another mega-losing season would have been more fun — and more appealing to dabbling fans– than a garden-variety game between 42-win Eastern Conference teams.

As it is, we finally get to see Embiid play against something other than air, chairs, and 5-foot-10 coaches. I can’t freaking wait. Once the Sixers deal either Nerlens Noel or Jahlil Okafor, the other will get to go solo as Embiid’s backup — and probably share some minutes with him.

Next: Team Overview

Oct 6, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers forward Dario Saric (9) in action against the Washington Wizards at Wells Fargo Center. The Washington Wizards 125-119. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 6, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers forward Dario Saric (9) in action against the Washington Wizards at Wells Fargo Center. The Washington Wizards 125-119. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Oct 6, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers forward Dario Saric (9) in action against the Washington Wizards at Wells Fargo Center. The Washington Wizards 125-119. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Committed Salary

2016: $76,348,462 – 28th ranked

2017: $33,880,532 – 30th ranked

Team Salary Ranking as per Hoops Hype, and team salary overview also via Hoops Hype

Starting 5:

Point Guard:  Jerryd Bayless –10.4 points, 3.1 assists, 2.7 rebounds

Shooting Guard:  Gerald Henderson – 8.7 points,  1 assists, 2.9 rebounds

Small Forward:  Robert Covington – 12.8 points,  1.4 assists, 6.3 rebounds

Power Forward: Dario Saric – 11.7 points,  1.5 assists, 5.8 rebounds (European 2015-16 stats)

Center: Joel Embiid  – 11.2 points, 1.4 assists,  8.1 rebounds (NCAA Kansas 2013-14 stats)

Reserves:

Guards: Sergio Rodriguez, T.J. McConnell

Wings: Ben Simmons (injured),  Nik Stauskas, Timothe Luwawa-Cabarrot, Hollis Thompson

Bigs: Jahlil Okafor,  Nerlens Noel, *Ersan Ilyasova, Richaun Holmes,

*note Jerami Grant traded for Ersan Ilyasova

Injury News:

  • Ben Simmons – foot (Jones Fracture), targeting January
  • Nerlens Noel – knee, had surgery and is targeting late November
  • Jerryd Bayless – wrist, targeting late November

All injury news as per rotoworld

Next: Strengths, Weaknesses, Prediction

Nov 1, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers guard Sergio Rodriguez (14) dribbles up court against the Orlando Magic during the second quarter at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Strengths:

Trade-able Assets: With a myriad of front court youthful assets Bryan Colangelo will look to shop one or both of Nerlens Noel and Jahllil Okafor given the upside of Joel Embiid, Dario Saric and Ben Simmons.  Those 2 players specifically offer great trade chips, but then factor in the picks the Sixers currently hold.

Not only are they sitting with their own first round pick they are probably praying the Lakers continue to excel. The Lakers only retain their pick in a top 3 situation. Imagine if the L.A. end up with the 4th or 5th pick in this very deep draft. Colangelo could shop those 2 picks and definitely get a superstar.  Sure will be interesting to see how this story line develops.

Developing Core: All summer  in my podcasts whenever  my guests and I discussed the 2016 Rookie crop I kept referencing the  2 forgotten Sixers (Saric and Embiid). Cut to the start of this season with Ben Simmons out injured, Buddy Hield, Kris Dunn and Jamal Murray not yet recognizing success and almost everyone is honed in on Embid. I still maintain Saric will be a factor, but keep your eye on these 2 as the season progresses.

As much as Simmons injury hurts the 76ers chances of quick progression, the reality is it’s allowing Embiid and Saric time to acclimate. Once he does return let’s see how those 3 gel.

Brett Brown:  Imagine being head coach Brett Brown who has had to endure multiple seasons of losing. He’s shown the patience of Job and still worked to develop his young core. Sam Hinkie became a scape goat and got unloaded just at the very moment the Sixers are poised to ascend. Fortunately the franchise (so far) has shown a commitment to Brown who’ll have an opportunity to help develop his assets and showcase their growth this season.

Like Steve Clifford of the Charlotte Hornets I believe Brown has the potential to be an excellent 2-way coach. Remember this is another of the assistants fromt eh Gregg Popovich crop. I just hope Philly sticks with him so he gets to reap the benefits of his patience.

Weaknesses:

So many categories to improve: Philadelphia will enter the 2016-17 season needed to improve on both ends of the court. Last season they ranked in the bottom 2 of points per game, opponent points per game, offensive rank, rebounding and turnovers. That’s a heck of a lot of areas to improve. Look for Brett Brown to set reasonable goals for his young squad starting on the defensive end of the court.

Lack of veteran depth:  Though the Sixers have added Jarryd Bayless, Gerald Henderson and most recently Ersan Ilyasova they could still use a few more vets to help them turn the corner from perennial bottom feeders to moving up the ladder.

Getting over the habit of losing: It might sound easy, but it’s not. Once a team gets used to losing it’s often difficult to turn that corner. When put in a situation at closing time the team will revert to what they know. In Philly’s case they lost multiple games last season in those very clutch minute situations.  Hopefully the 3 vets will help them turn that corner, so they can begin to gain confidence and develop winning habits.

More from Space City Scoop

Prediction:

Best Case: Colangelo is able to trade Noel and Okafor to add a star and possibly shop his picks(s) to add a second star. Lakers end up with the 4th pick which then would fall to Philly.  Simmons returns in time to develop chemistry with Embiid and Saric.

Worst Case: Lakers retain their third pick, Colangelo can’t find a buyer for either of his front court assets. The apparent health jinx rears it’s ugly head to take down another of the teams young assets.  Come on basketball gods, enough already somebody needs to exorcise that curse, because watching a healthy Embiid and imagining him alongside Simmons is just too exciting.

Not much movement expected this season upward, but the emphasis will be entirely on developing that exciting core.

Bottom line, the future is bright in Philly – very bright!

FanSided Affiliate Site: The Sixer Sense

Next: New York Knicks 2016-17 Team Preview

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