On Tuesday May 17, 2016, the basketball Gods smiled down on the city of Philadelphia.
After three years of tanking, suffering through 47 wins and 199 losses, and watching the Sixers just miss out on Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns, luck has finally gone the 76ers way. And this is the reaction at Philadelphia’s Xfinity Live (via John Gonzalez)
The Sixers are finally in the position to get the player that will change the course of their franchise, bringing competitive basketball back to the city of Philadelphia. As I wrote a few weeks ago, that man is Ben Simmons.
Outside of shooting, Ben Simmons can do it all on the basketball court. He is a great passer, ball handler, defender, and is a match up problem on offense. It is also clear to me that he has the most elite potential in this draft. He has the passing ability to be your point guard but is also 6’10. He is versatile and I can’t wait to see him in Sixers red, white, and blue. When you add a guy that is frankly a big man, to a team filled with big guys, someone has to be the odd man out.
The current allotment of big men on the Sixers roster are Dario Saric, Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor, and Joel Embiid. Joel Embiid has the most upside of all of those players so he will stay. Then you have Dario Saric who is the most ideal fit next to all of these centers because of his ability to guard 4’s and spread the floor so he will be here. It then comes down to Nerlens Noel and Jahlil Okafor. The most logical move would be to trade Jahlil Okafor. Okafor is a great scorer but you can’t have your worst defender at the most important defensive position in basketball. How bad was he on defense? He had a worse defensive rating than James Harden. But, he has a lot of value to a team like the Boston Celtics. If you remember, the Celtics were talking to the Sixers about a trade for Okafor before the deadline. This is the one piece the Celtics are missing from being an elite team. They just need a center that can score. If the Celtics can’t get DeMarcus Cousins from the Kings, this would be the next move for them. The Sixers also need some back court help so they could get this third pick in exchange for Okafor and draft either Jamal Murray, Kris Dunn, or Buddy Hield.
Overall at the end of this night I cannot be more excited to finally be seeing this team come together. You add the future of your franchise in Ben Simmons and two other later first round picks. And I could not be happier for Brett Brown. This man has been through the worst of times in his three years in Philadelphia and he got to represent the Sixers when the card was revealed on lottery night. I cannot wait for draft night and the start of what should be an incredible 2016-2017 season. Thank you Sam Hinkie, your plan is coming to fruition.