Philadelphia 76ers: 2016 Preview, Offseason/Draft Recap, Outlook
Philadelphia 76ers 2016 NBA Season Preview
October 9, 2016
Another year in the rebuild process for the Philadelphia 76ers looms on the horizon, as the Sixers look to make some progress in the 2016-17 season. It shouldn’t be too hard to improve on a 10-72 mark from the 2015-16 season, however stranger things have happened.
Here is your 2016 Philadelphia 76ers preview.
USA TODAY Sports
Key Losses: The two most notable losses for the Sixers have to be Ish Smith who took his talents to Detroit after signing a three-year, $24 million contract with the Pistons, while the team made the choice to waive veteran forward Carl Landry. Many wonder if there is a spot on an NBA roster for Landry, as he had shown so much promise in the earlier stages of his career and appeared to come out of nowhere with a career resurgence on multiple occasions but just hasn’t had that breakthrough. It says something when a team that ends up 10-72 sends you to the D-League midway through the season.
Key Additions: This season marks the first in three years that the Sixers actually made a splash in free agency in an effort to improve the depth on the team. Philadelphia added Jerryd Bayless to a three-year, $26 million contract, luring Bayless away from a Milwaukee Bucks squad that appears to finally be turning the corner in the Eastern Conference. Gerald Henderson also inked a two-year, $18 million deal of his own. Philly also made a splash in the international pool, signing guard Sergio Rodriguez from Real Madrid Baloncesto for a year, costing the team $6.8 million while also coming to terms with 2015 draft pick Dario Saric, signing Saric to a five-year, $15 million deal.
Breaking Down the Draft: The Sixers finally won a lottery where they had the best chances of winning, drafting prodigy Ben Simmons 1st overall in the 2016 NBA Draft. Simmons has the versatility to be a 6’10” point guard if he wants to, with his jump shot needing some work, but the bigger concern for the Sixers is their prized prospect’s potential to miss the entire season with a fracture in his foot. Even if he doesn’t miss the entire season, Simmons will be the 2nd Sixers rookie in 3 seasons to have his debut pushed back due to a foot injury (2014 3rd overall pick Joel Embiid). The difference between Simmons and Embiid is that Embiid’s foot problems started in college at Kansas while Simmons injury is fresh so there’s optimism that if it’s treated properly, it may not be that much of a reoccurring issue. Still, a massive blow nonetheless.
Outlook: Although the Sixers have taken steps to improve, with Simmons out and Embiid coming in, it’ll still be hard for this team to string wins together. I’m not expecting a historic winless streak to start like years past, but at the end of the season, I expect Philly to be one of the 3 teams standing waiting to hear the reveal of the 1st overall pick.
Projected record: 17-65