For years, the Philadelphia 76ers were always at the bottom of the Eastern Conference. After stockpiling draft picks (and missing on a few in the process), we started to see the franchise turn around in 2017. 2018-2019 was another positive season, finishing 51-31, placing second in the conference. The team had a lot of momentum heading into the 2018 playoffs […]
For years, the Philadelphia 76ers were always at the bottom of the Eastern Conference. After stockpiling draft picks (and missing on a few in the process), we started to see the franchise turn around in 2017. 2018-2019 was another positive season, finishing 51-31, placing second in the conference. The team had a lot of momentum heading into the 2018 playoffs but ultimately lost to the eventual NBA Champion Toronto Raptors 4-3.
Heading into the offseason, the team made some moves. The team traded away Jimmy Butler in a sign and trade with the Miami Heat in exchange for Josh Richardson. The team also signed Al Horford from the Boston Celtics to provide a veteran presence while also re-signing Tobias Harris to a huge contract. One of the main losses was letting JJ Redick walk in free agency as he signed with the New Orleans Pelicans.
Here is a look at the final roster, after the team made a few rosters cuts to finalize the 15-man opening night roster.
- Trey Burke
- Shake Milton
- Raul Neto
- Ben Simmons
Simmons had another great season last year, showing that his future is bright. Now I know people want him to develop a three-point shot but you gotta give him credit for excelling at all other aspects of the game. The shot will come but he is still an excellent scorer as well as rebound and assists machine. Burke has bounced around the league since joining the Utah Jazz back in 2013 and will look to provide depth to Simmons. Neto and Milton will look to earn minutes as the 3rd PG.
- Furkan Korkmaz
- Josh Richardson
- Marial Shayok *Two-Way
- Zhaire Smith
- Matisse Thybulle
Richardson was acquired in the Jimmy Butler deal. The former second-round pick back in 2015 developed into a solid player for the Miami Heat, improving his scoring average every season. A great defender and scorer, he may be a sneaky good pickup by the Sixers and I’m interested to see what he can do in a new system. Thybulle was the team’s first-round pick that was a great defender during his days at Washington University (led the NCAA in steals per game last season with 3.5). If he can develop correctly, he’ll have a huge presence on the roster. Korkmaz and Smith were on the team last year and will look to earn minutes as well. Shayok will bounce between the Sixers and G League Delaware Blue Coats this season under the two way deal.
- James Ennis III
- Tobias Harris
The Sixers made the decision to keep Harris over Jimmy Butler, signing him a new deal for five-years $180 million. Clearly, he is the starter and one of the go-to guys. A solid two-way player that can score 20 points easily. In a weak East, he could be in line to earn his first All-Star appearance. Ennis has bounced around the league and will look to provide depth off the bench as a wing defender.
- Jonah Bolden
- Kyle O’Quinn
- Norvel Pelle *Two-Way
- Mike Scott
Guys like Harris and Al Horford could play some PF but this is the group that they are running with. Guys like Quinn and Scott have proven that they can be solid contributors off the bench and start a few games if injuries take place. Bolden is a second-year guy that bounced between the G League and the main roster last season. Pelle under the two way deal is a guy the team will keep a close eye on a future contributor.
- Joel Embiid
- Al Horford
Embiid is one of the top centers in the league but injuries will always be a concern, as he has yet to play over 65 games in one season. On the court, he is a great scorer that can grab rebounds as well as block a few shots a night. Sixers fan hopes that he can stay healthy for the majority of the season. At 33, Horford is starting to head towards the end of his career and possibly his final shot to win a ring. He can still contribute at a high level and provide a veteran presence in the locker room.
Brett Brown has been with the franchise during their low points and he finally has a roster that can do great things this season. He has a 178-314 career record but the Sixers are very confident in what Brown can do here going forward.
Projected Lineup/Roster Cuts
- PG: Ben Simmons
- SG: Josh Richardson
- SF: Tobias Harris
- PF/C: Al Horford
- C: Joel Embiid
- Sixth Man: Zhaire Smith
- Key Role Players: Mike Scott, James Ennis III, Shake Milton
- Rest of the Bench: Matisse Thybulle, Jonah Bolden, Kyle O’Quinn, Raul Neto, Furkan Korkmaz, Trey Burke
- Two-Way Players: Norvel Pelle, Marial Shayok
- Roster Cuts: Haywood Highsmith, Christ Koumadje, Isaiah Miles
One thing is for certain in this starting lineup and that is height, as Richardson is the shortest one in the group at 6’5″. No doubt this will be a defensive lineup while also being solid on the offensive end. The bench provides some young talent while also having some solid veterans that can contribute.
The Philadelphia 76ers will be a top team in the Eastern Conference. The Milwaukee Bucks are the only team that I believe could have a better record when the season ends. The only question is can the team stay healthy throughout the entire season. Either way, fans have trusted the process for years and it looks like it’ll pay off.