The Philadelphia 76ers always seem to find their way into the playoffs by landing the seventh or eighth seed, which yields to the inevitable first round boot and middling first-round pick in the draft.
What am I getting at here? It is the stage of mediocrity that the Sixers are stuck in and have been stuck in since, well, Allen Iverson left Philadelphia.
However, as impossible as it may seem to free themselves from this stage, there is still one solution that can free them from this: rebuilding.
The Sixers currently have five guys under contract, and assuming they give contracts to rookies Maurice Harkless and Arnett Moultrie, every player on the roster will be 24 years old or younger. That is, with the exception of Andre Iguodala (we'll get to him in a little).
A lot of these guys mentioned still have high ceilings to fill. Holiday has displayed flashes of what it takes to be a good player in the league and came through hitting big shots when the Sixers needed them.
Turner especially is someone the Sixers have not fully given the keys to (the Iguodala case just keeps unintentionally coming up). The only way we will find out what his full capabilities are is if he is given more responsibilities.
Plus, with competition such as the Miami Heat and the Chicago Bulls, as well the up-and-coming Nets—who potentially may land Dwight Howard—the Sixers won't be able to get passed the second round of the playoffs. They simply are not ready to compete with those types of teams right now.
They still do not have a legit starting center (sorry, Spencer Hawes) and they are still experimenting with the power forward slot. These are the types of problems they face. Until they overcome these early stage issues, winning now is just something too premature to conclude as a possibility.
Is rebuilding the right option to take?
And yes, rebuilding also means trading Iguodala.
If the Sixers keep Iguodala (unfortunately what it seems like they are leaning towards by the day), it would be completely worthless. What is the point in keeping a player who is built to win now on a team that is built to win five years from now?
Basically, everything that Iguodala would be doing that is productive wouldn't exactly matter because we already know that this team cannot win with what they have now.
Rebuilding involves trading Iguodala for young talent and expiring contracts that will give Philadelphia young guys with potential and also put them in a good place financially, so will be able to compete in free agency for young and emerging players.
They made the mistake of not trading him in the draft, by the way. Let's just hope they learn from it.
Their state of being just shouts mediocrity, and since bringing in another superstar to play next to Iguodala is predetermined as unrealistic, the only way to get out of it is by rebuilding.