Predicting the Philadelphia 76ers' Starting Lineup Next Season
Having seven eligible free agents, an amnesty clause still ready for use and a big-name player that teams would like to trade for, the Philadelphia 76ers have a lot of potential to change next season.
With many young and upcoming players, the Sixers are built to win for the future. Thus, with their options being wide open, they will do their best to trade for what puts them in the best place for the future.
Free agents like Lou Williams and Spencer Hawes most likely will not be returning in a Sixers uniform. Williams will want a lot of money while Hawes has proven he cannot be the starting center.
It's important to note that the following predictions aren't necessarily what I think they should do, but rather what they will do based on a likely scenario.
PG: Jrue Holiday
Jrue Holiday is undoubtedly a key piece to the Sixers future, and the Sixers would not think of trading him.
Holiday, who is just 21, really stepped up in the postseason. He really orchestrated the offense and took charge, something you typically do not see from a player of his age.
This postseason, Holiday averaged 15.8 points, 5.2 assists, 4.7 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game. In fact, he led the team in all of those categories aside from rebounds. On top of this, he recorded two double-doubles and came just one rebound shy of a double-double in three games.
He was the most productive and consistent player for Philadelphia this postseason.
With two years of postseason experience under his belt at such a young age and ceiling still to fill, Holiday will play a big part in the Sixers' future.
SG: Jeremy Lamb or Bradley Beal
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Here is where things start to change, and let me explain how this would become a possibility.
The article states that Andre Iguodala is a definite target for them. This trade would be perfect for Philadelphia, and there is no reason not to do it. Regardless of this rumor, though, the Sixers should be looking to trade up in the draft anyway.
Jeremy Lamb, shooting guard from UConn, and Bradley Beal, shooting guard from Florida, are each projected to get drafted in the top 10.
Both of these players are solid three-point shooters, and each would serve a good role as a shooting guard for the future.
SF: Evan Turner
Evan Turner continually showed flashes of greatness during the season and the playoffs.
This postseason Turner averaged 11.2 points and 7.6 rebounds per game. Turner recorded two double-doubles as well and was just one rebound shy of a double-double in three games.
Turner showed this season that he is a true threat when driving to the basket. Using his craftiness and exceptional ball handling skills, Turner is willing to take on any defender.
He wants the ball and wants to score. The Sixers need this type of drive in a player, especially one like Turner who has a lot of potential to be an All-Star in the league.
His ceiling is still very high. Get used to seeing Turner in a Sixers jersey for a long time.
PF: Kris Humphries
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Now this is where the Sixers could use their money saved from amnestying Brand.
Kris Humphries is probably the biggest name on the free-agent list who is a power forward. However, I don't know how crazy I am for Humphries to come here because we really don't know how effective he will be in the future.
The problem in acquiring Humphries is that the Sixers would not be dedicated to a rebuilding stage or a build-now stage. Humphries lies in the middle of that.
Nonetheless, he would provide offensive production and a physical presence down low that the Sixers have been looking for.
C: Nikola Vucevic
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In this scenario, Nikola Vucevic is the only option left to start at center.
Some may suggest to attempt to sign JaVale McGee, but I'm not so confident in him as a player and also not confident that the front office will make that many moves.
In this scenario the Sixers would have used the money saved from Brand's contract on Humphries, and they would have traded up in the draft with Iguodala and spending their pick on a 2-guard.
Vucevic did not see a lot of playing time this postseason, but he can be a solid contributor off the bench for Philadelphia. He has an effective jumper, but he needs to get stronger down low.
Finding a center is clearly the hole in the plan, but they would look to improve at center in the future. Plus, logistically speaking, it'd be difficult to address all of their problems this offseason.
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Honestly, the Sixers have so many routes they can take that the only definites to stay in the starting lineup are Jrue Holiday and Evan Turner.
Every position after that can be open to anyone, really.
If they decide to trade up in the draft, then they can get a solid 2-guard and possibly sign a power forward, like I demonstrated. However, there are so many options they can take that it is really hard to tell what is going to happen next season.
Perhaps they might blow up the team and settle for a bunch of draft picks and see where it takes them. Maybe they will trade for a big man and keep their pick, or just sign a big-man free agent.
We really don't know what we are going to see, but the most important thing is if the Sixers have a plan.