There’s been a lot of talk lately about how the Philadelphia 76ers roster now looks dangerous after acquiring the #1 overall pick from the Boston Celtics via trade. So the question arises whether or not their “process” has been completed.
The 76ers sent the Celtics their #3 overall pick in this year’s draft along with the Los Angeles Lakers‘ 2018 1st round pick. The Celtics will keep that Lakers pick if it is between the 2nd overall and the 5th overall selection. If not, the Celtics will then receive the more favorable 1st round pick of the 76ers or the Sacramento Kings in 2019. So the 76ers in total trade away two 1st round picks to move up two spots in the draft. The 76ers have been in desperate need of a point guard for years now. And now they’ll get a very talented one, when they select Markelle Fultz with the #1 pick. Fultz will join a young nucleus of players in Philadelphia, a team that for a while now, you had to think they’d piece everything together after how bad they had been and how many picks they received.
After winning 28 games in the 2016-2017 season, 10 more than in the previous season, the 76ers hope they can keep improving. Health is the main concern with this young team filled with unproven players who have big time hype. The franchise is centered around Joel Embiid, who is the one who adapted the phrase and mindset of “Trust The Process.” Embiid is one of the most talented center’s in all of the NBA. He is a 7-foot tall monster, who can handle the ball and with all the time he missed due to injuries (has played in only 31 games after being drafted in 2014) he developed a 3-point shot. The guy is a complete player and impacts the game on both ends of the floor.
With the 76ers 1st overall selection in the 2016 draft, they picked 6’10” F, Ben Simmons, who then fractured his foot in the 76ers final training camp scrimmage, he was shut down by the organization for the entire season. In 6 games during the summer league last year, Simmons averaged 10.8 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 5.5 assists per game. Although it was just summer league, Simmons proved how versatile of a player he is. He has a ton of potential and we’ll see how he showcases that in the upcoming season. Reports came out last season about Simmons playing the point guard position when he returns from injury, but with the 76ers drafting Fultz, they’ll most likely start Simmons at SF.
Dario Saric is another player the 76ers organization and fans should be pumped about. Saric signed with the 76ers in July of 2016 and had a very solid season, averaging 12.8 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.2 assists over 81 games (36 starts). Saric also won Rookie of the Month in February and March of 2017. With Saric and Embiid playing as well as they did, Jahlil Okafor was bumped out of the rotation. The former 3rd overall pick experienced much less playing time in his second season, including many DNP. His name was also tossed around in trade rumors throughout the season. This is after he made the All-Rookie 1st Team, averaging 17.5 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game in 2015-16. The 76ers could use Okafor as a trade piece for a potential pick or veteran presence on a team as young as the 76ers.
The 76ers projected lineup appears to be:
PG: Markelle Fultz
SG: Nik Stauskas
SF: Ben Simmons
PF: Dario Saric
C: Joel Embiid
That lineup includes two players entering just their second playing season in Saric and Embiid, two rookies in Simmons and Fultz, and then Stauskas who has 3 years of experience in the NBA.
The 76ers roster is finally filling out the way the organization has hoped, including young, talented players. The players, coaching staff, and executives all Trusted The Process, and as long as the team can stay healthy, they should be a fun group to watch play basketball over the years as they all develop.