The 76ers were supposed to be bad, and, well, they are. Maybe not worst-record-of-all-time-bad like some proclaimed they might be before the season, but this team isn't good. That doesn't mean there aren't signs that might point to a bright future, though.
For starters, Michael Carter-Williams is in Philadelphia. Nerlens Noel will be suiting up soon. But for now, as David Rueter of Liberty Ballers will explain, the 76ers are looking to trade their vets, stock up on assets, and ride out a wave of poor basketball until it leads them to a team packed with elite young talent, a team they hope will make the one currently calling the Wells Fargo Center home seem like a distant memory.
Question (Daniel Christian): Michael Carter-Williams is the leading candidate for rookie of the year so far this season. By most accounts, he's been great and an indicator of what Philly's future might hold. Tell us a little bit more about MCW's game and what type of performance we can expect against the Hawks.
Answer (David Rueter): I'm not saying that MCW is the savior here in Philly, but I did just attend a baptism for a beautiful little girl named, Carter-Williams.
MCW is tall. He's 6'5" and has been consistently able to get in the lane. His jump shot is still a work in progress (29% from behind the arc), but he has shown enough glimpses that improvement in that area is possible. MCW's biggest strength, though, is probably his versatility. He fills up the stat sheet (5+ boards, 6+ assists, 2+ steals).
Before the year, Sixers fans were looking at an unknown quantity. Now, we're all putting our MCW tattoos on Instagram.
Q: Thad Young, Evan Turner, and Spencer Hawes have all been in trade rumors throughout the season. What's an ideal trade for Philly regarding one of these guys, and who do you think will be the first one to go (if you believe any of the three will be gone by February)?
A: Draft picks, draft picks and more draft picks.
What do you have to offer? Because Turner, Thad Young, Spencer Hawes and Andrew Lang are all very, very, very available.
It appears that GM Sam Hinkie is trying to follow the coveted OKC Thunder blueprint, where you bottom out, reload through the draft and then pummel the rest of the league in three to four years. A month ago, I would have said that all three would be gone by the deadline. And I still believe Hinkie pulls the trigger somewhere, but that trade deadline is rapidly approaching.
I think the organization wants to trade Turner yesterday, but Thad is the first to go. He seems to be coveted around the rest of the league.
Q: Believe it or not, I get around to watching some 76ers basketball. Sometimes it makes me mad at the sport, but other times it's actually quite enjoyable. Philadelphia has a lot of young energy guys who can show up on any given night (or not show up and just be flaming garbage) and provide the team with a welcomed offensive boost. I'm talking about guys like Tony Wroten, Hollis Thompson, and Elliot Williams. Of these players (not limited to the above three), who is your favorite to watch and who do you think has the best chance of sticking in the NBA?
A: Personally, I find Wroten incredibly entertaining and think he's a back-up PG in the league. He reminds me of the guy in pick-up who thinks he's way better than he is, and only passes when he picks up his dribble in the backcourt. And even then, he's like,
"Right back. Right back."
But he, and Hollis Thompson and Elliot Williams for that matter, are a testament to Hinkie's plan. He has acquired some undervalued assets, and when your team stinks, that's all you want. Anything other than status quo*.
Q: The Hawks are favored in the game but have been hit with the injury bug of late. In the battle of former Popovich coaching prodigies, who are you taking in this one and why? Give us a final score.
A: Liberty Ballers nearly revolted after Evan Turner hit a game winner against our hated rival on Wednesday. It was a death blow to our lottery chances. It's a strange world we live in. Fans are disgusted by the Sixers hitting a game-winner in Boston. What's up is down. What's down is up, so on and so forth.
But make no mistake: The Sixers aren't good. Our point differential is an eye sore.
Atlanta: 113 Sixers: 105.