Well the ping-pong balls finally fell the Sixers way and after a successful draft lottery the 76ers are sitting at the top looking down at the other 29 teams (Do we thank Hinkie for this?). The other things they’ll be looking at over the next 30 plus days are the top two prospects in this year’s draft. Forward Ben Simmons out of LSU or guard Brandon Ingram from Duke: this is the question that will be circling around Philadelphia and the rest of the league for the next 4 weeks. Both players have received very high praise heading into the draft so it appears that they can’t go wrong with either one of them. But the Sixers will be facing this tough decision all the way into late June, as this could potentially be a franchise defining moment.
Whoever they do decide to take with the coveted first pick, they aren’t going to be without help. Not only do the Sixers have two other first round picks in the late 20’s, but they also are welcoming Joel Embiid and Dario Saric to the court for the first time. Embiid, the Sixer’s 2014 3rd overall pick has yet to see any action coming off numerous foot surgeries and Dario Saric, the teams 12th overall selection that same year, has been playing over seas for the last two seasons. Now these two “rookies” will look to make an immediate impact for the Sixers in the 2016 campaign.
Saric and Embiid will be competing in a very young Sixers team that has had an extra year to develop on their absence. The team may not be filled with star power (yet), but what it is filled with currently is potential. A first overall pick who has very little “bust potential”if any alongside the likes of Covington and the ever improving Jerami Grant can surely only mean that this was all one very confusing step forward.
On top of Embiid and Saric, the Sixers will have a huge amount of cap space to make a dent in free agency and with the cap increase throughout the league, they’ll be able to make an even bigger splash than they could have before (if they choose to do so).
Another thing Sixers fans should look forward to is the return of two solid young big men in Nerlens Noel and Jahlil Okafor. Okafor coming off an impressive rookie season (with a few off the court hiccups) will look to build off of that, while Noel will look to add some more offense to his quality defensive game.
The 76ers have a great, young nucleus of talent and cap room that will make other teams jealous. Could this be the year they finally get back to being a competitor in the east? Could this first overall pick be the star this team has been searching for since Iverson’s departure? Soon enough we will have all of these answers but for now, things are looking up for the 76ers.
Mandatory Photo credit: Vavel.com