Philly Sports Live

2014-2015 NBA Season Tip Off: Embii-d Patient, Sixers Fans

Brett Brown is by no means the envy of NBA coaches. However, if he holds on to that job long enough to see the Sixers’ incredibly talented young core reach their potential, then he’ll become one. Joel Embiid, Nerlens Noel, and Michael Carter-Williams are the players Philadelphia is pinning much of its hopes for a near-future resurrection, but for now, all the dudes on the Sixers’ bench will have to abide by general manager Sam Hinkie’s order to tank ‘till kingdom come.

A look at the team’s current roster, though, suggests that even if this team wants to win, they simply can’t. It’s obvious that the Sixers are going nowhere this upcoming season. Embiid, the team’s first round pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, is not expected to play this season to heal from a foot injury. Noel looks ready to be a Rookie of the Year contender, averaging 8.5 PPG, 8.5 RPG, and 2.5 BPG during the preseason, but he’s really all the Sixers have in the no. 4 position. When it’s his time to get a breather don’t expect Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, who averaged 3.5 PPG and 2.3 RPG playing for the Timberwolves and Kings last season, to do much. Noel will get help from Henry Sims, but like the former Kentucky Wildcats star, Sims doesn’t have reliable backups.

The Sixers’ backcourt situation is just as grim. Carter-Williams is unquestionably the brightest player in the 1 and 2 positions, but the Sixers will have to wait until November before the sophomore sees action. The Rookie of the Year winner put up 16.7 PPG, 6.2 RPG, and a team-leading 6.3 APG last season.

This leaves Tony Wroten as the temporary starting point guard, which doesn’t sound soothing to Philly fans. Newcomer Alexey Shved, meanwhile, is an interesting acquisition who can provide much-needed firepower for a team that finished last season in offensive efficiency with a 0.962 clip.

All told, there’s going to be a lot of excruciating losses Sixers fans have to endure this season. TopBet gives the 76ers the worst odds to win the NBA championship at +40,000. Nevertheless, the Sixers’ cap space – their payroll is only $23.38M in 2015-16 and $19.71M in 2016-17 – will allow them to sign big free agents in the future to make this team a force not just in the Eastern Conference but in the entire league. It’s just a matter of having a little patience.