Philly Sports Live

The Outlook For The 76ers

Well, it’s been an eventful summer for the Philadelphia 76ers. Hardly a year after obtaining Andrew Bynum in a massive 4-team trade that saw Andre Iguodala shipped out of town, 76ers fans watched him sign with the Cleveland Cavaliers after not even suiting up for a single game in Philly. Additionally, the team made a blockbuster draft night deal, effectively trading Jrue Holiday to the New Orleans Pelicans for the rights to rookie center Nerlens Noel, before drafting Syracuse point guard Michael Carter-Williams with its own lottery pick. In short, the starting roster (and the plans for the future) experienced something of an overhaul.

Now, in terms of immediate ability to win, the 76ers aren’t looking too great. It’ll come as no surprise that the Betfair sports betting section has Philly posted with 100/1 odds to win the NBA Championship! But, despite the fact that the deal involved surrendering a point guard as strong as Jrue Holiday, and despite the fact that Andrew Bynum is out of town, there’s plenty of reason to be optimistic for the future. Here are a few specific reasons that the 76ers’ summer will ultimately be viewed as a great one.

To begin with, Michael Carter-Williams is potentially a stud. If you watched him at Syracuse, you saw a creative and composed playmaker with excellent leadership qualities, and if you take a look at his Grantaland interview with Bill Simmons and Jalen Rose, you’ll see the maturity required of a young star who’s going to succeed. MCW will benefit from having a year or two during the team’s “rebuild” to adjust to the NBA, and should emerge as a strong point guard.

Similarly, Nerlens Noel has the potential to develop into a solid starter, but could use a year to take his time recovering from an ACL injury. That about rounds up the 76ers’ significant new additions (though some chance remains the team will sign Temple star Khalif Wyatt, who, despite going undrafted, is an incredibly talented scorer). These young players will join Thaddeus Young and Evan Turner to make up the heart of the roster for this coming season.

Where the 76ers did their best work, however – and why fans will likely be flooding Ticketmaster when the 2014-2015 season rolls around – is in positioning for the packed 2014 draft. The 76ers procured the Pelicans’ first round pick in the Holiday trade (so long as it isn’t a top 5 pick, and it seems unlikely that the Pelicans would slip that far), and will likely have a lottery pick of their own as well. That means 2 lottery picks in what just about everyone is calling the most stacked draft since 2003. From Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker, to Julius Randle, Marcus Smart and Andrew Harrison, there are franchise-altering talents that could be on their way to Philly.