NLL Insider - Team by Team: Philadelphia 76ers
by dunadan, updated on Thursday, October 08 2015, 10:17 am EST
The Sixers topped their previous season-high of 67 wins from 2002/03 and stormed to the league's best regular season record with 69-13. They also prevailed in game seven of the Conference Finals against the star-studded Hawks.
Four weeks into the season the team's top pick Jabari Parker tore his ACL and had to be shut down for the remainder of his rookie season. While it didn't impact the Sixers' performance much, it is always terrible to see a guy go down. Espcecially a young budding star like Parker.
The second and major lowlight of the season clearly were games 5 to 7 of the finals. The Sixers were up 3-1 and almost had their second O'Brien Trophy within their grasp. But the Lakers switched lineups and took game four. The stubborn Sixers coaching staff refused to adjust to the Lakers' changes and lost the two remaining games as well.
The Sixers uncharacteristically didn't make major moves last season. Midway through they sent Napier to their later nemesis for Tyler Zeller. Neither player made an impact during the finals. But trading small for big is always a bonus.
The more interesting deals happened before the draft. They acquired a first-rounder from Toronto in exchange for cash considerations, then moved up in the draft and acquired a couple of second rounders.
Quality moves to bolster out a roster that will be facing another season of luxury tax. Whether the players drafted, can make an impact remains to be seen.
"The Philadelphia 76ers send Drew Gooden, Robin Lopez and Jordan Clarkson to the Sacramento Kings. The Sacramento Kings send Kosta Koufos to the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Sacramento Kings send Shawn Marion and Jordan Farmar to the Philadelphia 76ers. The Minnesota Timberwolves send Ed Davis to the Philadelphia 76ers. The Philadelphia 76ers send a 2nd-Rounder (Min) to the Sacramento Kings."
Blockbuster alarm! At first this didn't look bad for the Sixers. They got a still overrated Marion, a talented big in Davis and a solid backup PG in Farmer.None of these guys really worked though and are now all gone.
While Lopez will likely be leaving Sacramento as well, the prize of this trade now seems to be Jordan Clarkson, who surprisingly blew up in the NBA, in the later part of the season. Vt has repeatedly stated that he would love to have Clarkson back.
Best FA Signing
Vince Carter Redux. For the second time Carter joined the Sixers as a free-agent. Last time he was bargained into #2 pick Parker, after riding the IR for several weeks and with only six month left on his contract.
This time he played almost 20mpg over 70 games and was traded for a pair of second rounders.
Worst FA Signing
Carter was the Sixers only pre-season FA signing. They later picked up Jakarr Sampson and Lorenzo Brown. Neither stuck around.
21.7ppg, 6.4apg, 3.2rpg and 49% shooting. All that over 82 games, for the third straight year. This is Dame's team now. Aldridge, Derozan, Leonard, Noah. All these guys are just support for their point guard. And things are unlikely to change with the NLL continueing with 2k14. Unless he is the starter reportedly on the move. But that is highly unlikely.
Air Philly: Despite (mostly) coming off the bench for only 20 minutes per game, the old man was fourth on the team in scoring at 12.4ppg. That's best per minute on the entire squad.
Kawhi Leonard. Leonard wasn't not asked to contribute much on the offensive side all season long. And he didn't. As a DOPY candidate you simply cannot let Gerald Green score 39 on 8-14 shooting from downtown in a crucial game six of the finals and then have him go for another efficient 21 in game seven.
Draft Report Card
RJ Hunter: Derozan, Martin and McLemore have the 2-guard spot covered nicely. Kawhi and Parker are locking down the three. It is unclear how Hunter fits in.
Kevon Looney looked like a steal at #27, but his NBA situation and recent hip surgery make for good reasons why he fell so far. His upside is still higher than what you'd expect in the late 20s. But the Sixers have already pulled the plug. Same goes for Christmas. Both have been traded already.Harrisson is a long shots to make the team this fall. He is more likely to play overseas than in the NLL in the near future.
Looking to the Future
It is hard to find a team with more young talent than the Sixers. It is also hard to find a team paying more luxury tax. But vt has always walked that fine line exceptionally well. With one starter reportedly on his way out, expect an influx of even more young (and cheap) talent.
Upcoming Free Agents
LaMarcus Aldridge: Despite his NBA departure, LMA is either staying or ends up a sign-and-trade if the Sixers can turn him into a younger star. There is no way vt is taking chances here.
Kawhi Leonard: He has underachieved so far. Cconsidering the paycheck he is due next season and Parker needing minutes, Leoard may be trade bait after signing his extension.
Luis Scola: vt loves Scola, but it seems unlikely that he will go out of his way to keep around the 35-year old backup. If Scola comes back by himself, all the better. If not, fairwell.
Ed Davis: ED is looking for more playing time, which he wont get on the Sixers. Even if Scola is really leaving, with Parker coming back and taking away minutes at PF as well as SF on the second unit, there is no place for Davis.