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The Philadelphia 76ers: Growing Slowly
By Clayton Ruley
 

This season for the Sixers is about watching for the development of the young players. The Sixers have decided to really go young and see who can play and who cannot so as a observer it's wise to not get your hopes up and learn to appreciate the little things like team play, hustle and making the open pass/shot. Watching a young team can be fun though and it's because you don't know whose going to step up. Also remember this watch is for two reasons: first to see if they can play at all and second: to see if they are tradable players for the future.

 

Players like Andre Iguodala and Samuel Dalembert will have to show they can become leaders on a young team and Iguodala is playing to prove he can be a number one go-to guy. Samuel Dalembert is playing to show more promise on offense and needs to stay healthy and out of the consistent foul trouble he's been prone to. Willie Green and Louis Williams need to show they can play the guard spots especially because both could be playing for a healthy pay raises.

Rodney Carney and rookie Thaddeus Young are looking for minutes whenever they can get them and the Korver trade will benefit them more than they'd probably admit. I really like rookie forward Jason Smith from Colorado State. He seems to be without fear yet not a low IQ player either. He has shown the ability to bang down low, finish strong or hit a jumper from outside 12 feet. Young from many reports seems to be getting stronger and is getting more aggressive going towards the hoop.

 

Kyle Korver's shooting will be missed and he was a fan favorite but he was overpaid to be one-dimensional so far in his career so getting a future 1 st rounder and the Gordan Giricek's expiring contract was too good to pass up. Korver will benefit from being a role player on a very good team where the expectations of him are just to be a spot shooter and not one of the main guys. Giricek will benefit because he has more skills than he could show in Jerry Sloan's basic and detailed offense. He a above average three-point shooter can handle better than Korver and has some international playing experience.

 

Carney needs to get to the hoop more in the future

The players and head coach Maurice Cheeks needs to perform because this is a young team and new Philadelphia Seventy Sixers Team President and General Manager Ed Stefanski looking evaluate both under more scrutiny than recently fired G.M. Billy King probably would have. I'm confident Stefanski will do his best to resign Iguodala to a respectable deal that doesn't break the bank and allows us to bring some more talent on the team. Larry Brown is still on staff and is in the background watching and waiting.

 

After this season, the Sixers have the contracts of Aaron McKie (now a Sixers Assistant coach), Kevin Ollie, Andre Miller, Giricek and Chris Webber salary off the books and will look to make a splash in free agency there although I don't see a big time player I think fits their movement like Ben Wallace did for the Chicago Bulls besides maybe a healthy Elton Brand. Also the Sixers will likely have another lottery pick and have made some nice picks with low picks despite what King has done otherwise.   The Sixers will likely have to use a few pieces from their youth pool and trade with a team to bring in a big name next season.

 

I think the team is making moves in the right direction and shouldn't give up veteran point guard Andre Miller. Miller can play a five more seasons and be effective because he's heady and his game is below the rim so age wont effect him as much as a high flyer. Plus Williams hasn't shown that he's more than a scorer and could use more direction. That being said he's made great strides and is starting to show why he was a nationally ranked player as a high schooler.

 

Patience people, patience!

Any questions, comments, suggestions email Clayton at clayton@geoclan.com.

Old to the new (l-r) King to Stefanski
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