The season is hitting the final home stretch and, at this point, our eyes should be on the other teams that the Sixers hold protected picks from as much as they are on the Sixers. More about that, a former Sixer’s progress, Nerlens for ROY, and more, after the jump.
1) Let’s start it off with a former Sixer: Michael Carter-Williams ended up going from the worst offensive team in the NBA to the worst offensive team in the NBA. “Well, that makes sense and it’s MCW’s fault,” you may be saying to yourself. Stop talking to yourself, and it’s weirdly not his fault. The Bucks are injury-laden (MCW included), but the former Sixer’s game has actually improved:
You can of course preface that with an “extremely small sample size” alert, but MCW’s offensive and defensive ratings have improved, and so have basic numbers. That doesn’t include 3PT %, because that number is UGLY.
2) The Sixers recently set a nice little record by having their 25th player (Glen Robinson III) suit up this year. In fact, a search of “76ers Media Day” on Getty Images brings up a who’s who of “who’s who”s. And that doesn’t even count the people who were added to the team after media day (like Isaiah Canaan, who sent Jarrett Jack backwards on skates so hard he’s still sliding). Brett Brown really has had his work cut out for him.
3) But, he’s been doing a great job developing those players who have been around. Nerlens Noel has steadily improved his game since the season started and is beginning to get thrown into the Rookie of the Year conversation. He won’t win, but when Brown talked to us about Noel and player development, it shows that it wasn’t just talk.
4) But what about next year’s Rookie of the Year? The just-turned 21-year-old Joel Embiid will have a good chance at it if he’s healthy. So will whoever the Sixers draft this year. Who will it be? That all depends on where they pick. And where are their picks? Well that all depends on how the Lakers, Heat, and Thunder finish. The absolute best-case scenario (which will never happen) would see the Sixers with picks #1, #6, #11, and #19. We thought we’d definitely get that Heat pick (top 10 protected) and it looked good that we’d get the Thunder pick (top 18 protected), but the odds on both of those seem to be slimming as the year comes to an end. To help you follow along with these picks — and you really should — Derek Bodner’s doing all the dirty work.
5) Also, if you aren’t keeping up with the Sixers on Snapchat, you should be. Because not only do you get warm up videos and fun memes, but you get some hardcore shade throwing. Earlier this season, before George Karl picked up the mantle and came back into the coaching fray to lead the Sacramento Kings, he said the Sixers would be hard-pressed to win an NBA game, among other things. Then the Sixers beat the Kings. And then the Sixers’ Snapchat sent this out:
6) And so what now? There are 15 games left in the season, 63 days until the draft lottery, and 100 days until the draft. The Sixers will only be busy until April. The next 100 days are going to be very interesting. The MCW trade caused many people to declare that the Sixers were “starting over” or “delaying the tank.” Maybe. But we’ll find out a lot more about the Sixers’ future on June 25.