Next up, the rebuilding Philadelphia 76ers
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The Philadelphia 76ers are entering the 2013-2014 season with something they have not had in a while: a clear direction. The Sixers have stripped the roster of All-Star PG Jrue Holiday and much maligned and injured center Andrew Bynum. In come two lottery picks: Nerlens Noel and Michael Carter-Williams, a roster filled with stop-gaps for the 2013-2014 season and dreams of Andrew Wiggins. This season might not result in the most wins, but Philadelphia has a roster full of young, hungry, and energized talent that can result in some fun times in the City of Brotherly Love.
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The Affect of Sam Hinkie and Brett Brown
Sam Hinkie is best known as being the No. 2 guy in Houston next to GM Daryl Morey who has constructed a Houston Rockets team that includes superstars James Harden and Dwight Howard. Actually, Hinkie might be best known in Philadelphia for stopping everyone’s heart when he traded much loved All-Star PG Jrue Holiday to the New Orleans Pelicans (still weird) for Nerlens Noel and a lottery-pick in the 2014 NBA draft. It was clear on that night that Hinkie had a direction for the team that includes not many sunny days for the next few seasons, but with a light at the end of the tunnel. Hinkie is considered an analytical genius by many, and fans in Philadelphia should feel safe about the future with Hinkie in power.
Next, we have the man on the bench, Brett Brown. The Sixers went over 100 days without a coach after Doug Collins resigned. False rumors ensued that possibly Kwame Brown could wind up coaching the team, or a coach would not be hired to ensure this team wins as few games as possible. There was even a report on draft night that Brett Brown was hired as coach, but those reports were shot down. A few months later, Brett Brown was hired to become the coach of the Sixers. Brown comes from the Gregg Popovich brain trust in San Antonio, something fans in Philadelphia should be thrilled about. Brown is a mastermind in the player development area, something that Philadelphia’s roster will need a lot of in order to be successful in the future. Even if this season doesn’t produce many wins, the cornerstones of the future in Nerlens Noel and Michael Carter-Williams should take huge leaps forward under the tutelage of Brett Brown. Brett Brown won’t try signing Kwame Brown to a four-year extension (COUGH, Doug Collins) when this year is over, and all the young talent should grown extensively with Brown on the bench.
The Royce White Experience
Royce White may be one of the most talked about players in the NBA, even though he’s never played a minute in a regular season NBA game. White is a talented player, which is why the Rockets took him with the No. 16 pick in the 2012 NBA Draft. Unfortunately, White suffers from severe anxiety that includes fear of flying, a necessity in the NBA grind. This led to White not playing a single regular season game in 2012 and eventually being traded to the Sixers in July for virtually nothing. White missed the Sixers trip to Spain and England a few weeks ago to play preseason games, even though White said he would fly with the team. However, White made his Philadelphia 76ers preseason debut on Friday against the Boston Celtics and recorded five points, three rebounds, and five personal fouls in less than 10 minutes on the floor. Not anything to be excited about, but it’s a start.
The 76ers acquired a first round talent for virtually nothing. If White produces anything, it will be a good thing for the team. If he doesn’t, then no harm was done. Nonetheless, White will be an entertaining story to follow this year for sure. White has the opportunity to make an impact on this team if he can play. All eyes should be kept on Royce White in Philadelphia, because he can be talented if he actually gets on the court.