None, though, were as sour tasting as what really happened on Thursday night with the Sixers coming away with no starters for the upcoming season despite holding the Nos. 3 and 10 spots in the draft. Instead, the Sixers drafted two guys — Joel Embiid at No. 3 and Dario Saric at No. 10 — who probably will not play in the upcoming season.
That is the sour taste many Sixers fans have in their mouths today and not even the strongest mouthwash can wash that halitosis away. It has simply come down to the Sixers’ management asking the fans to stomach another 16-to-19-win season, and that might be too much to ask of any fanbase.
All of this tanking was to get two immediate starters — and future stars — at Nos. 3 and 10, and that’s what the Sixers fans imagined would happen in the days before the draft. If the Sixers wound up with Julius Randle at No. 3 and Doug McDermott at No. 10, they would have immediately upgraded and might have doubled their win total in a single season.
The Sixers would have had the perfect blend of a 7-foot shot-blocker in the middle in Nerlens Noel, a 6-foot-9 power forward in Randle, a better-than-average forward like 6-foot-8 Thad Young in addition to the NBA Rookie of the Year in Michael Carter-Williams at the point. Even though McDermott is a forward by nature, the team could get away with playing a shooter like him at the two.
That’s a pretty formidable team right there in year No. 2 of the rebuild, maybe doubling last year’s win total. It was right there for the taking, but the Sixers did not take it; and that’s why tanking this year will be a lot harder to accept.