Previewing Complete Philadelphia 76ers Depth Chart with Andrew Bynum Aboard
With this new addition along with others and departure of Andre Iguodala, Philadelphia's lineup, as you an imagine, has substantially changed.
The Sixers have always been a team with great depth and also a team where every player contributes through their own role.
Let's take a look at what their depth chart might look like this season...
Point Guard: Jrue Holiday
We all knew this wouldn't change.
Jrue Holiday, who just turned 22 years old, is entering his fourth season with Philadelphia. He has a career average of exactly five assists per game, but know that the number should increase now that he is the primary ball-handler with Iguodala out of the picture.
Holiday is also improving on his three point shot, as he increased his three point percentage from 36 to 38 percent over the last two seasons.
Once Holiday really solidifies his shot, he could turn out to be a point similar in the stature of Chauncey Billups, or even a better version of him.
Holiday is loaded with potential and Sixers fans should have no doubts that he will come through.
Shooting Guard: Jason Richardson
And now is where things start to change.
Although fans were not anticipating Richardson to be the starter, it just doesn't seem likely that they will bench a player who is getting paid what he is making. That just doesn't happen.
But put the money aside (which isn't even that bad to begin with) and look at Richardson from purely a basketball standpoint.
He's a two guard who spreads the floor for with a threatening three point shot. In fact, over the last five seasons, Richardson has shot nearly nearly 40 percent from three point range. Long story short, he gets the job done.
Small Forward: Evan Turner
After years of waiting, Evan Turner will finally have full control— the reigns have officially been handed down to him. Finally.
Now, many argue that Turner isn't big enough to play the 3. But really, at the end of the day, he's still a wing with similar responsibilities as a two-guard.
That being said, Turner is also the most capable wing player on the team to defend against big small forwards.
Last season Turner averaged 9.4 points and 5.8 rebounds per game in a setting that played against him (playing next to Iguodala and limited minutes off the bench). This year he can be the prime distributor next to Holiday and take control of the game.
We've seen flashes of greatness from him many times in the past, but expect it to come on a more consistent basis.
This season is where Turner can really breakout to his number two overall pick potential, and it can only go higher from here.
Power Forward: Spencer Hawes
This starting spot is pretty much up for grabs, but at this point it's more logical to assume Hawes has the starting job.
Despite not being the best starter at center these past two seasons, Hawes has always fit the system well. He's a good passer and has a solid mid-range jumper.
Anyone is a good option to play next to Bynum and if Hawes sticks to the high-post and focuses on his mid-range game this could work out.
The one thing to worry about Hawes here is on the defensive end. True, he will be much bigger than the typical power forward, but how effective has he used his size defensively in the past? Plus, if he's up against a quick power forward, chances are he gets beat most of the time.
Hawes was originally moved to this slot because Kwame Brown was expected to be the starting center. Now that the plan has changed at center, we don't know if he moves to the bench as well. Since nothing was said otherwise, he'll stay put for now.
Center: Andrew Bynum
The Sixers have Andrew Bynum.
Woah, wait. Did I just use the Sixers in the same sentence as a legit big man? In fact, the new best big man in the Eastern Conference?!
I still can't believe I'm not dreaming.
Anyway, Bynum will contribute in ways this team has not seen in decades. Currently, he's the best center in the Eastern Conference, and just so happens to play the position of the Miami Heat's only big weakness.
Think about the centers in the East who can compete against Bynum. I can think of two: Tyson Chandler and Roy Hibbert. That's it. And Bynum is still significantly better than them.
Bynum will dominate the Eastern Conference the same way Dwight Howard did.
Oh yeah, and one more thing: Philadelphia has a center!
Backup Point Guard: Royal Ivey
On paper, he's the backup point guard. In reality, it will be Turner bringing up the ball when Holiday isn't.
Nonetheless, Ivey was brought to provide the team with a veteran presence. After amnestying veteran power forward Elton Brand and with the intention of trading Iguodala, the Sixers lacked a guy with real experience.
So you may not see Ivey dishing out assists and scoring a lot of points, but this former Sixers will be doing most of his contributions off the court rather than on the court.
Backup Shooting Guard: Nick Young
Nick Young definitely has a chance to take the starting job, but he will start the season as a key bench player.
Young was brought here to replace Lou Williams. That means he will play the same role of providing a scoring spark off the bench. He has averaged 15.3 points per game over the last two seasons, so he's well suited for the responsibility.
Plus, with his 6-7 height and seven-foot wingspan he will serve as a better defensive presence against two-guards.
Throughout his entire career, Young has never really found the right environment that fits him best. Now, he's playing under Collins and on a one year deal where he has to prove that he is worthy to stay as a key member of this team.
The athletic wing can run the floor with this young squad, and just may have found the right place for him,
Backup Small Forward: Dorell Wright
With all of this offseason drama, it seems as though Dorell Wright falls behind the scenes.
It was just two seasons ago where he averaged 16.4 points per game led the league in three pointers made. He was a well-capable starter, and still is.
Wright can play on the floor with any wing because he has the size to play the three, but also the shot to spread the floor and play the two. It makes their expandable lineup even more expendable.
Wright is just 26 years old, and also has one year on his contract like Young.
Backup Power Forward: Lavoy Allen
Considering the amount of question surrounding the power forward slot, Lavoy Allen has a good shot to become the starter.
Drafted late in the second round, the 23-year old rookie out of Temple University wasn't expected to amount to much. However, after seeing him defend All-Star Kevin Garnett in the playoffs, the Sixers knew they had something in Allen.
Lavoy also has a solid mid-range game, shooting 47 percent from the field in the regular season and 56 percent during the playoffs.
He fixed his motor problem and proved he is a defensive presence and effective big man. Perhaps a backup on the depth chart now, but that can change fast once the season starts.
Backup Power Forward: Thaddeus Young
I hate using the term "backup" with Thaddeus Young because he has the talent to be an NBA starter. It's just that he is too small to start at the 4 and doesn't provide the skill-set asked of a small forward.
Regardless, Young will be a great asset coming off the bench serving as the sixth man.
He's quick, athletic and can out hustle any player in the league. He never gives up on a play and puts 100 percent out on the court every night. He's known as a finisher because he executes. It's just the type of player Thad is.
Young is great to use in situations where there's a slower big man that he can quickly drive on. He provides mismatches and takes advantage of them.
At just the age of 24, he is now become the longest tenured Sixer. Although still coming off the bench, he serves a much bigger role for this team than it seems.
Backup Power Forward: Arnett Moultrie
With all of the big men in the rotation, it will be hard for Collins to find time to play rookie Arnett Moultrie, especially considering his views on playing rookies.
Nevertheless, the 21-year old is still talented and has a lot of potential. He's measured at 6-11 with a 7-2 wingspan, so size is nowhere close to an issue.
Moultire also fits perfect with the offensive scheme perfectly because he can thrive in the transition game and he's a finisher.
Although he may not see a lot of time this season, Moultrie has the size and tools to become a reliable big men for the Sixers in the future.
Backup Center: Kwame Brown
I'm supposed to save the best for last, right?
Well, I think I can speak on behalf of every Sixers fan that we're happy to see him come off the bench rather than starting.
Unfortunately, when you hear Brown's name you immediately think "draft bust". However, understand that he wasn't brought here expecting to put up number one overall pick numbers. Instead, he was brought here to play defense and grab rebounds.
Two seasons ago Brown averaged 7.9 points and 6.8 rebounds per game. Obviously not the flashiest numbers, but if a guy like this is coming off the bench behind Bynum, I'll take it.
Backup Guard: Malik Wayns
The Sixers recently added local guard from Villanova, Maalik Wayns.
It's always nice to see a professional team take a chance on a guy from their own backyard. Wayns is a small, but smart guard who has exceptional court vision and passing skills.
However, he will most likely be the last option on the entire roster to use in a game. Compare Wayns' spot on the roster to Xavier Silas' of last season.
The Sixers have a ton of options to explore. The fact that they have so many capable wing players who can start and a competition for the starting job at power forward tells you a lot could change.
But the bottom line is this: the Sixers have Andrew Bynum, a legit (and I mean legit) center to build around, who turns the Sixers into a potential contender for years to come.
Sixers fans should be excited for this season and the many to come because this team is young, talented and willing to fight.
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