Are The Sixers In The Early Stages of Forming Their Own Super Team?

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In the modern NBA, “super teams” seem to be a necessity in order to achieve the ultimate goal of winning the NBA Championship. Super teams are typically consisted of at least three All-Star caliber players and a strong supporting cast.

The Golden State Warriors are the most recent super team to win a championship. General Manager Bob Myers has organically morphed this team from a low tier playoff team into arguably the best NBA team of all time.

The team was constructed so well that they were able to sign 8x All-Star and 2014 NBA MVP Kevin Durant in the 2016 off season. With Durant on the team, the Warriors had themselves a “Big Four” consisting of the first ever unanimous NBA MVP Stephen Curry,  3x All-Star Klay Thompson, Defensive Player of the Year nominee Draymond Green and Kevin Durant  himself. Not to mention that they also have Sixth Man of the Year nominee and 2015 NBA Finals MVP Andre Iguodala, who just so happens to be a former Sixer.

With teams in the league trying to compose a super team of their own in order to defeat the Warriors, Bryan Colangelo, the Philadelphia 76ers General Manager, is laying the foundation for a super team of his own.

The 76ers drafted Joel Embiid with the 3rd pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. Embiid would have gone first overall to the Cleveland Cavaliers if it weren’t for a foot injury that sidelined him until the 2016-2017 season. The young center has certainly showed flashes of being a perennial All-Star. The only problem is that he only played 31 games due to a knee injury that he suffered right before the 2017 All-Star game.

Health is the only thing that could possibly prevent Embiid from being a dominant center in the league for years to come. He averaged 20.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 2.4 turnovers in only 25 minutes per game this past season and is a nominee for the 2016-2017 NBA Rookie of the Year award. If Joel Embiid can stay healthy, he will definitely become an anchor for the Sixers.

Another key component is Ben Simmons who was drafted first overall in the 2016 NBA Draft. Simmons, who has often been compared to 4x MVP LeBron James, has all the tools to become a transcendent player. He is 6’10” and has handles and court vision like a guard and the athleticism and rebounding ability of a forward. He did not play his in his would-be rookie season due to a foot injury that he suffered during a Sixers practice before the season even began.

Recent training videos that Simmons has put out on social media would suggest that he is healthy and ready to play this upcoming season. Not only does Simmons have the ability to be a MVP-caliber player but he could certainly go down as one of the greats if he lives up to his (key word here) potential.

Then there is the recent acquisition of Markelle Fultz, who after a trade with the Boston Celtics, was drafted by the Sixers with the 1st overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. Fultz is exactly the kind of player that not only should excel in the uptempo style of the modern NBA, but also the kind of player that the Sixers desperately needed.

He has good size at 6’4” with a 6’10” wingspan that allows him to switch onto bigger point guards and shooting guards. He is a dynamic scorer capable of creating his own shots and consistently knocking down jumpers. His great passing ability is merely a plus. Let’s just hope that he doesn’t quit basketball and becomes a Chick-Fil-A employee so that he can get a discount on some chicken sandwiches.

We can’t forget to mention the Croatian Sensation, Super Dario, The Homie, Dario Saric. Saric looked absolutely amazing after Embiid went down with his foot injury, creating offense for the team and carrying the scoring and rebounding load in the final two and a half months of the season. He is a Rookie of the Year nominee and should make a big improvement next season with more help and better talent on the team.

The current core of Fultz, Embiid, Dario and Simmons, who have recently been nicknamed “The FEDS”, should be one of the better cores of any team in the league after a few years of building chemistry and developing. The young Big Four should be a cause of excitement for Sixers fans and a cause of fear in opponents, especially when they reach their prime a few years down the road.

They have solid depth around them in one of the best defensive wings in the league in Robert Covington, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, T.J. McConnell, Richaun Holmes and Jahlil Okafor, although his future with the 76ers is still questionable.

Along with the talent, the Philadelphia 76ers have plenty of cap space and draft picks that will give them flexibility in years to come. Brett Brown has been brilliant at developing these young players so far and the team will be in good hands with him running the show on the sidelines. Bryan Colangelo looks to be ready to make big moves when the team is ready to  make a deep run in the playoffs and they have a great support staff that includes former Sixer Elton Brand and former USA Basketball Chairman Jerry Colangelo.

By the time the young Sixers hit their peaks LeBron James should be on a decline, opening a path for the Sixers to battle their way to into the top of the Eastern Conference standings. They should be strong enough to make noise in the playoffs and even give the historic Warriors a run for their money. They might be young now but be warned NBA, the FEDS are coming.  

 

Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

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