Sixers: Time to Trust the Process
The Sixers seemed to be a team headed nowhere, losing season after losing season, but luckily the team stuck with the plan of building through the draft, even trading their best player at the time Michael Carter–Williams who appeared to be a triple-double machine. He turned out to be a player putting up good stats on a bad team, this decision to totally rebuild led them to wear they are today.
The Sixers had a plethora of big men, but have found a star in one, C Joel Embiid, a very athletic big man who can score inside and outside to go along with his solid defense and footwork; however, staying healthy has been his issue and the Sixers are doing a great job working around that. C Nerlens Noel was a good defensive prospect, but the offensive potential wasn’t there. C/PF Jahlil Okafor had the offense, but no defense to see enough floor time; this made the decision to choose Embiid obvious. Despite all of the criticism, the Sixers took a chance on a SF/PF Dario Saric who wanted to spend two years in Europe instead of coming to the NBA, despite the high pick. The wait has been worth it as Saric has developed into a legit outside threat, scorer, and better rebounder than expected. SF Ben Simmons was expected to be an instant star, but due to injury missed his rookie season. This year Simmons seems like a given for rookie of the year, despite a lot of talent entering the league. Simmons has been a star and his passing has been as good as advertised, as he can fill in at PG despite being 6’10. He is the much needed franchise player the team has needed and a walking triple-double machine. The surprise of the team has been SF/PF Robert Covington who has been a solid complement to Simmons, as a good glue guy who doesn’t mind doing the dirty work, as one of the best 3 and D players statistically this season. Covington is a good passer for the position and can play inside and outside or both ends of the court; the Sixers have rewarded him with a big contract. At SG veteran J.J. Redick has been a nice consistent piece and continues to be a sniper from the 3pt line and underrated passer and defender; he is on a one year deal.
PG T.J. McConnell continues to develop as a reliable passer who can fill up the stat sheet, but he is probably best off the bench, as opposed to playing too many minutes due to his limited offense and defense. Veteran combo guard Jerryd Bayless has been injured often and is probably no longer in the future plans, but he does serve as scoring depth at both guard positions for now. SG/SF Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot is another young prospect from France who could develop into a 3 and D wing for now he is a defensive energy guy who can get to the line, but he will continue to get better. Veteran PF Amir Johnson has been a solid energy guy and all-around player when Embiid misses time. C Richaun Holmes continues to be a nice surprise, as a tough-nosed dirty work post guy who plays with good energy on both ends; he seems to have found a spot as Embiid’s backup and spot starter, despite being undersized and from a small school. The trade for the #1 pick Markelle Fultz appears questionable for now as he has seen injury after injury, but his triple-double numbers from college and the fact he went #1 says it’s too early to write him off. Newly acquired veteran PF Trevor Booker was a good offensive starter and passer for his position with the Nets who depended on him; it will be interesting to see how he fits in with this team going forward.
The Sixers finally have something to build off going forward with a star in Ben Simmons who will fill seats for years to come, along with outspoken big man Joel Embiid, solid 3 and D player Robert Covington, and a tough to defend scorer in Dario Saric. This team is and will be a problem in the East for years to come once they learn how to win collectively.