NBA season preview: Philadelphia 76ers


STAYING: Elton Brand, Robert Covington, Joel Embiid, Jerami Grant, Richaun Holmes, TJ McConnell, Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor, Nik Stauskas and Hollis Thompson.

ADDED: Anthony Barber (North Carolina State), Jerryd Bayless (Milwaukee), Gerald Henderson (Portland), Shawn Long (Louisiana-Lafayette), Timothe Luwawu (Mega Leks), Brandon Paul (Joventut Badalona), Sergio Rodriguez (Real Madrid), Dario Saric (Anadolu Efes), Ben Simmons (Louisiana State) and James Webb (Boise State).

GONE: Isaiah Canaan (Chicago), Carl Landry, Kendall Marshall, Ishmael Smith (Detroit) and Christian Wood (Charlotte).

STRENGTHS: As far as young nucleus, it doesn’t get much better than what the Sixers have … Ben Simmons, Dario Saric, Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor, Joel Embiid … The frontcourt oozes with talent and potential … You have athleticism, intimidation, low-post scoring and passing there … The do-it-all Simmons is clear-cut favorite for Rookie of the Year … Looks ready to contribute a lot right away … The Sixers play with a high pace and should improve fast-break scoring with the personnel they have this year … Super athletic squad … Brett Brown deserves credit for getting this team to play with effort given how young his players are and how often they are routed.

WEAKNESSES: They have a bunch of future great players, just not a single great player right now … It’s still about developing talent first … They are still too young, so they will be inconsistent … Closing out games will be a challenge … Could the logjam in the frontcourt lead to chemistry issues? … Backcourt is quite underwhelming with veterans that wouldn’t get a lot of playing time elsewhere and young guys who have yet to prove they belong … They are ways away from running a somewhat efficient offense … Philadelphia has been the worst team in Offensive Rating three years in a row … Defensive lapses will be a common occurrence.

PREDICTION: 4th in the Atlantic Division, 14th in the Eastern Conference.



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