The Sixers can exhale. The abysmal season is finally over and things could be looking up. They have three, possibly four, first rounders in this years’ draft, and the newly appointed general manager, Bryan Colangelo, might be the guy to bring some legitimacy to back to the franchise and attract some big name free agents. The Sixers though, still have a dozen or so guys still on this roster. After the expected flurry of moves this offseason, which of those guys will still be representing Philadelphia on the basketball court?
Brand was brought back for a second tenure with the Sixers, primarily to be a mentor for the young players on the team. He is past his playing days and he probably will retire this offseason.
I thought Canaan might have panned out when they first acquired him at the deadline last year. Unfortunately, he is probably nothing more than a solid D-League player. He could not eclipse 40% shooting both years in Philly, and that is unacceptable for an NBA rotational player.
Sam Hinkie was able to hang his hat on a few things during his reign as GM, one of them being the signing of “RoCo”. Covington is perfect for the new small ball NBA. He is a long, rangy three point specialist that can play the three or the four on defense. He is a keeper, at least for next year.
Embiid, as of right now, is the future of the 76ers. His development and durability, could validate or crush this entire rebuild. He has special potential as a center, but he has not been able to stay healthy. This is a no-brainer. We have not seen the kid play yet so you have to keep him and see what you got.
Out of all the players on this team not named Okafor, Embiid, or Noel, Grant might have the highest upside. He is an impressively gifted defender, finishing 12th in the NBA in blocks at 1.65bpg as a small forward. His offense could use some work, but his defense would come in handy on any team, let alone a team that desperately needs talent.
I like Holmes. He is an undersized big man, with a high motor and plus athleticism. It is fun to watch him play as he has shown flashes of talent that would warrant him a roster spot on a good team. Although the sample size is small, Holmes has proved enough to at least slide in on the back end of the roster.
Landry quietly had a very productive season last year. He sported a surprising 22.51 player efficiency rating and he shot over 55%. He is 32 years old, but now that Hinkie is gone, veterans might have a place on this team. This is still a young team and Landry still offers some mentoring abilities as well as the production on the court. If Landry is interested in returning, I don’t see why the Sixers would oppose a reunion.
Kendall Marshall is an old school pass-first point guard in a new age league that requires the point guard to be able to do everything. Marshall not only lacks premier athleticism and ball handling ability, but he also cannot shoot. He should get another opportunity in the NBA, but his days as a Sixers are over.
TJ McConnell is similar to Marshall, but he has a better shot and he is younger, offering a bit more potential at the point guard position. McConnell played well enough last year to get one more shot to prove himself in the Association.
Noel is an easy call. Nerlens may never be an offensive threat, but if he develops nicely, he could easily take home some Defensive Player of the Year awards over the course of his career. His defensive upside is way too exciting to give up on.
This seems like a simple decision, but if and only if Embiid comes back, Okafor might be on his way out via trade. “Big Jah” is already one of the better low post offensive players in the league however, if we are being honest, his defense was brutal. In today’s NBA, defense is so crucial. Until Embiid proves that he can be durable though, Okafor has to be retained. On the other hand, if Embiid shows some promise, Okafor could be gone, so we will give him an asterisk.
Ish Smith is a journeyman point guard and there was a reason why he could never stick with a team. He is inconsistent offensively, and sometimes plays a bit too out of control. If the Sixers were still in rebuild mode, Smith could come back, but if the Sixers want to start to compete, and I think they are beginning to get on that track, Smith should move on to his next team.
I really thought that Stauskas could have been very good this year with the Sixers. Last year with the Kings it looked as though he just needed minutes, but with Philadelphia and with a considerable amount of playing time, the Michigan product underperformed. He was a high draft pick and he can definitely shoot, but I don’t know if he will ever pan out. He still offers the Sixers value though, so they should give him another shot.
The swingman has been productive for the Sixers and is probably their most polished three point shooter. However, with Dario Saric coming over from Europe, and a likely pick of Ben Simmons or Brandon Ingram, there is little room on this team for small and power forwards. Thompson would be better off looking elsewhere to continue his career.
At one point Wood seemed like a surefire top 15 pick in last year’s draft. He fell though, all the way past the second round and was eventually signed undrafted by the Sixers. The former UNLV star would be wise to play in the D-League for some time to work on his game because he does offer some considerable potential at the NBA level.
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