The Philadelphia 76ers will be entering next season with a new head coach, a new lottery pick rookie, and hopefully a new free agent class. To be honest, there is nothing that can happen this offseason that is going to turn the team from lottery bound to contender. But this offseason is crucial nonetheless because it will either turn the 76ers in the right direction of rebuilding or send them even farther down.
In terms of selecting a head coach, the team needs to choose a candidate who can relate to this young roster. Guys like Evan Turner, Jrue Holiday and Spencer Hawes are very fragile emotionally, and their confidence can swing from play to play. They need a coach that will be willing to let these guys play through mistakes and provide guidance instead of belittlement.
In addition, the new coach needs to go back to what made this team successful the year before: defense. This roster will never be able to put up 110 points a game. They need to win by competing on the defensive end of the floor and getting to the free throw line to get easy buckets on offense. A new game plan on offense and defense will be key for this team to bounce back.
The 76ers’ draft strategy should be to take the best player available. Outside of Holiday, no one on this team should have a guaranteed spot in the starting rotation. With the Sixers more than likely having a pick around 10 or 11, they need to take whoever the best player available is and whoever is the most ready to play right away, regardless of position.
Finally, the Sixers have major decisions to make during free agency. If not for the mistake signings of Kwame Brown ($3 million player option) and Lavoy Allen ($3 million remaining in final year), the Sixers would have a lot more cap space. But with a core of Holiday, Turner, Hawes, Arnett Moultrie and Jason Richardson, the Sixers will have about $12-14 million to fill their final three roster spots. One way to go about it would to try and bring in a big name like Andrew Bynum or Al Jefferson, but it might be wiser to take some low risk options and try to get faster and more athletic on the wings.
Since the departure of Andre Iguodala and Louis Williams, the 76ers lack any sort of explosiveness and ability to score off of the dribble. With front court depth with Hawes, Moultrie and Allen, it might be best to use this free agency period to address other needs such as a serviceable backup point guard, an athletic wing player and a knockdown shooter.
The truth is the 76ers need a lot to happen to be close to competing for an NBA title any time soon. The key for right now is to make smart decisions to better their chances of competing in the future. Starting with choosing the right head coach and being smart in the draft and during free agency, this offseason will prove to be crucial for the future of the franchise.