Grantland is getting ready for the upcoming NBA season with their NBA Preview, and part of that series of posts is Zach Lowe’s “33 Crazy Predictions,” three of which are about our own 76ers. The first? Wins:
Philadelphia will win fewer than the 19 games it won last season.
Those Sixers started 3-0 and have since jettisoned their only three NBA-quality veterans in Evan Turner, Spencer Hawes, and Thad Young. Those guys aren’t world-beaters, but they are actual NBA rotation players. The Sixers’ roster is so bad, some guys have the NBA equivalent of the Facebook question mark for their official league profile photos.
I recently talked to someone about the “no harm, no foul” prospects of throwing $50 down on the “over” for Vegas’ 15.5 wins prediction on the Sixers. I think that’s a relatively safe bet to make, considering that while they’re worse this year than they were last, I can’t imagine them dropping all but one game over two months as they did last season. Winning more than 19 though? That’s a tougher call. Lowe’s predictions carried on to MCW:
Philly will sniff out Michael Carter-Williams deals.
They tried hard during the draft, but they couldn’t draw the trove they envisioned or guarantee that the player they wanted with an acquired pick would be there, per several league sources. Expect Philly to repeat the exercise. It’s not a shot at Carter-Williams, or even a signal that the Sixers are dying to trade him. He may well end up a long-term cog in Philly.
The team knows point guard is the most replaceable position in the league today, and it will seek out any deal that adds to its stockpile of high-value draft picks.
That’s a no-brainer there. As Bill Simmons — back from his forced break — and Jalen Rose said in their Sixers breakdown video, there isn’t a man on the roster of a 19-win team that is off-limits if the right deal comes up. And finally, something to look forward to:
Joel Embiid will play this season.
He’ll be ready by the last couple of weeks, and the Sixers will want to remind dispirited fans that the cavalry is coming.
That’s fantastic news if it turns out that way, since both Joel Embiid and Dario Saric (whose season has already begun in Turkey) have logged the same number of minutes.