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Basketball philosophy

NBA Franchise Power Rankings – #25: Philadelphia 76ers

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Jrue Holiday of the Philadelphia 76ers dunking...

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Previous rankings:

#30 - Charlotte Bobcats (+ introduction)

#29 - Phoenix Suns

#28 - Denver Nuggets

#27 - Detroit Pistons

#26 - Milwaukee Bucks


#25 – Philadelphia 76ers

Total Trade Value Ranking: #26 (Feb. 2011 ranking: #26)

Managerial Grade: C-

Financial Grade: C

Estimated Record next year: 38-44 Ws, lower level playoff team

Best assets – SG Evan Turner (young, projects as legitimate to borderline starter), PG Jrue Holliday (young, projects as legitimate starter), SG Andre Iguodala (expensive borderline all-star), RFA SF/PF Thaddeus Young (young, projects as legitimate to borderline starter), 2012 1st, SG Louis Williams (borderline starter), RFA C Spencer Hawes (borderline starter), C Nikola Vucevic (rookie, projects as bench player to borderline starter), 2013 1st, PF/C Mareese Speights (young, attitude issues, projects as bench player to borderline starter), SG Jodie Meeks (bench player)

Bad contracts – PF/C Elton Brand (2 years, 35.1 million)

Other chips – SF Andres Nocioni (expiring)

Overall synopsis – Philadelphia’s situation resembles Milwaukee’s. The Sixers have talent, but are in the dreaded “middle” of the NBA as a borderline playoff team. By this metric of course, they are not in the middle but at the bottom. So much of their future potential depends on Evan Turner, who hardly looked like a starting caliber prospect his rookie season – But you can’t write players off after a rookie season. My question is whether Turner ever had that much talent. You always have to worry about draft picks who weren’t considered top 8 caliber prospects through their sophmore seasons, but lit it up after that against younger competition. Turner in his rookie season almost immediately looked obviously less athletic than his supporters projected for him. One wonders if he’ll be a player who can constitently get to the rim and finish there, or if he’s destined to be a 15 feet and out player, perhaps more like a John Salmons. Noteably, Turner needs an improvement in shooting to even be that. Turner’s caliber as a prospect may resemble James Harden, a player who’s future I like a lot – But neither will be franchise changers.

Jrue Holliday may be the player with real star upside on the roster, forgetting his and Turner’s draft rankings (Holliday was picked #17 in 2009). With size, athleticism and skill, he could be a candidate to make a 3rd year breakout and became a pseudo franchise player. I’m that high on him – and he helps the Sixers avoid a much lower ranking on this list. Nevertheless, until he or Turner really prove that upside, they remain in the bottom 6.

The rest of the team isn’t much to be excited about. Iguodala is good but incredibly expensive and his limited shooting makes me question if he’s an even above average halfcourt offensive player. Still, there is value in arguably the best perimeter defender in the league. Teams would want him. I expect this is Iguodala’s last season, if not last half season with the Sixers. They’ll give his minutes to Evan Turner and look to get draft assets for Iggy, while saving the money. Trading Iguodala also allows them to take more hits in team record this year and improve their own draft pick, a necessary evil for the Sixers right now. Spencer Hawes and Nikola Vucevic are both big and grounded/slow Cs, which isn’t a good fit with an increasingly speeding up league. Still, size and skill has a place in this is league. Brand is still a horrible contract despite a solid season last year. RFA Thaddeus Young will likely be overpaid if the Sixers choose to keep him.

Finance/Management: The Sixers are loaded with huge contracts as they have yet to move the Elton Brand mistake, paid Iguodala like a franchise player and are about to pay Thaddeus Young. Management has proven to be consistently terrible since about 1986 and has been as bad as ever in the post Allen Iverson era, pushing in win now chips too early. The Brand contract handicapping thems to mediocre 40 W seasons and an empty stadium in a city that simply loves the Eagles, Phillies and Flyers far more. Coaching may be a bright point with Doug Collins COY caliber work last year, however like Scott Skiles one has to think he will burn out eventually.

Next season: Much depends on Holliday and Turner’s improvement and whether Iguodala and Young stay on the team, but no matter what happens, I think we can pencil down 35 to 45 wins with strong defense and athleticism and ugly offense and spacing. It’s the Iguodala era Sixers way. Projected ORTG: 21st, projected DRTG: 11th, projected record: 42-40

Projection: Flat. Holliday and Turner’s potentail gives them a possibility to rise, but the other teams around them should be getting higher draft picks. So I would not be surprised with a marginal rise, flatline, or marginal fall. I’ll say flat.

Written by jr.

September 10, 2011 at 12:30 pm

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