5 Things to Watch for During Philadelphia 76ers’ Preseason
5 Things to Watch in Sixers Preseason
Preseason for the Philadelphia 76ers tips off tomorrow as they spend some time in Spain in anticipation for the 2013-14 NBA season. The Sixers will most likely be one of the worst teams in the league this season, but that is by design.
New general manager Sam Hinkie has decided the only way to build this franchise up is to start from the ground floor. Leading scorer and young All-Star point guard Jrue Holiday is gone. The Sixers are planning to rebuild through the draft and free agency because they will have tons of cap space in the next few years.
The young nucleus is in place thanks to this year’s draft when the Sixers selected Nerlens Noel with their pick from the Holiday trade and Michael Carter-Williams with their own pick. Next year they will also potentially have two lottery picks; one of their own and one from the Holiday trade. That’s a foundation of four top-10 players and the Sixers will look to couple that with free agents.
Looking at the contract situation, at the conclusion of the 2014 season, the only players under contract will be Noel, MCW and Thaddeus Young. The Sixers will have a ton of money to do whatever they please with. The Sixers need a lot to go their way but if they can rope in a free agent and get the ping pong balls to bounce their way, they could be very good down the road.
In the meantime, there will still be basketball to be played this year. When the Sixers take the court tomorrow and for the rest of the preseason, here are five things to watch for.
5. The Maturation of Michael Carter-Williams
MCW will get his chance right away as the starting point guard of this team. He was up and down during Summer League. He made great plays but also shot poorly and turned the ball over. We will see how he plays during the preseason.
4. Evan Turner in a Contract Year
This is Evan Turner’s fourth season and the Sixers likely will not give him a qualifying offer. He is playing for a job next year and he needs to show an improved jump shot if he is ever going to live up to the hype of a No. 2 pick.
3. Shooting Guard Battle
The one position that the Sixers lack is shooting guard. Turner and Young are both better suited as a small forward and power forward. The shooting guard battle will likely come down to James Anderson or Tony Wroten and it might take all of preseason to decide.
2. Can Khalif Wyatt Contribute?
A great training camp invitee for the Sixers was Khalif Wyatt. He has the ability to be a good scoring guard off the bench. Coach Brett Brown has expressed concern about his fitness but if he can get it together he could have a real impact on this team.
1. What Will the Frontcourt Rotation Look Like?
The Sixers have a ton of injuries up front. Noel and Arnett Moultrie will both be out until at least January. They have Spencer Hawes and Young starting and Lavoy Allen off the bench. But after that, it’s all question marks. Royce White’s status is still uncertain, and the rest of the bunch is unproven guys like Gani Lawal and Tim Ohlbrect. It will take all of preseason to see who ends up getting the minutes off the bench.