76ers staring down the lottery
So that Andrew Bynum deal didn't work out all that well, did it?
Bynum, he of the increasingly ridiculous hairstyle, never suited up once for the Sixers after coming over as the team's prized offseason acquisition from the Lakers due to knee problems. He signed this past summer with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Twenty-sixth in offensive efficiency, last season was decidedly unremarkable for the Sixers outside of head coach Doug Collins's rope getting shorter and shorter to the point that his postgame pressers became must-see due to their overwhelming contentiousness.
A ninth-place finish seems to indicate that the Sixers fell just short of the playoffs, but they weren't even close and the forgettable year ended with Collins' resignation.
The 76ers have now embraced a full on rebuild. The front office made some nice moves for the future this summer, but it could make the present tough to watch.
Who's In/Who's Out
Key Additions: Nerlens Noel, Michael Carter-Williams, Tony Wroten, James Anderson, Daniel Orton, Darius Morris
Key Losses: Jrue Holiday, Andrew Bynum, Nick Young, Dorell Wright, Damien Wilkins, Royal Ivey, Charles Jenkins
Rookie head coach Brett Brown (coming over from San Antonio) knows that expectations are almost nonexistent for the Sixers this season and won't be given the baptism by fire that his Brooklyn counterpart Jason Kidd is in for.
The Nets are all in
2nd fiddle in New York
Flirting With .500
Embrace the rebuild
This could get ugly
Last season's best player, Jrue Holiday, was dealt in the summer (somewhat inexplicably considering he's just 23) to New Orleans and Nerlens Noel, the talented centre from Kentucky who was likely going to be the first-overall selection at June's draft until tearing his ACL and falling to the Sixers at #6, isn't expected to play at all this season.
Brown knows that this year will be all about figuring out what he has in his young players. Evan Turner is going to score, because he pretty much has to and is far and away the Sixers' first option, but it will be interesting to see how the former second-overall pick stays motivated in what's going to be a long year.
Thad Young will be expected to build on an impressive 2012-13 campaign and rookie Michael Carter-Williams will have the opportunity to step up in Holiday's absence.
76ers fans can also look forward to a very good 2014 draft class.
The Not So Good
Take your pick.
The talent and depth just aren't here and nobody is pretending otherwise.
They lack a true No.1 scorer so points will be at a premium as guys more suited for a supporting role will have to carry the load.
If the Celtics weren't in the Atlantic, then the Sixers would be the surefire favourite for dead-last in the division. They still might be but with the Celtics also rebuilding, there may actually be a battle for the basement.
What To Expect
Expecations are very low in Philadelphia and a trip to the lottery is all but assured as this team is the odds on favourite to finish last in the NBA this season.
Twenty-five wins is the likely ceiling. The floor is much lower.