'Fact or Fiction' with Each Philadelphia 76ers Player as a Building Block
The Philadelphia 76ers find themselves in a somewhat early stage of development. Right now, the idea is looking toward the future and nothing more. Because of this the organization needs to make key decisions as to decide who is best to keep for the long run in their efforts to build a championship contender.
The Sixers are a very young team, so they have lots of options. A lot of these decisions are subjective and truly depend on how things play out this season. It is a little difficult to predict exactly what will happen with some players.
There is still a long way to go for Philadelphia. Let's just observe their options and see exactly who brings value for the long term.
There isn't much to say here. Royal Ivey was solely brought for the sake of a veteran presence and the need of a backup point guard.
Nevertheless, it was reported by Ric Bucher that the Sixers were still looking for backup point guard help, specifically Shaun Livingston. Basically, they do not value Ivey that much.
With just one year on his contract at the age of 31, Ivey is definitely not in the long-term picture for the Sixers.
Lavoy Allen brings value to the team. He may not be the flashiest player, but Allen is a solid contributor off the bench who can effectively guard opposing big men and sink mid-range jump shots.
In just 23 minutes per game, Allen is averaging 6.6 points and 5.4 rebounds.
Hopefully he can turn into a Brandon Bass-type player. Either way, he has already exceeded expectations from when he was drafted. Allen is a guy the Sixers will keep for the future and comes at a cheap price.
Spencer Hawes is another guy seeing a little bit of playing time, but producing well over the limited span.
Hawes is averaging 9.1 points and 6.1 rebounds per game, which is solid production for his 22.5 minutes per game. That said, he can get carried away with deep two-pointers.
For his height (7'1") Hawes plays a little too soft, but he is the only healthy true center the Sixers have at the moment. Plus, he fits the system really well because he is a great passer, especially for a big man.
Considering Hawes is only 24 and with Bynum's health risks, the Sixers will probably keep Hawes around as a solid bench option.
Signing Nick Young wasn't all the Sixers had hoped for, but he still has put forth decent production, averaging over 10 points per game.
Young has the ability to provide the scoring spark off the bench. This season he has scored more than 20 points (scored 30 against the Lakers) four times off the bench.
With that said, Young currently has a one-year contract, which means his future with the team will be decided by the end of this year. The thing is, though, the Sixers will be making this decision while they decide what to do with Dorell Wright, who also has a one-year deal.
It's hard to say if they will be willing to keep both of them, but assuming they choose one, they will probably go with Wright. He has the ability to rebound and play better defense. Plus, they have Jason Richardson under contract for three years at any rate.
Although Young is a solid scoring spark off the bench, his future with Sixers is hard to predict. If he stays he should stay for a while, but there is a good chance he will be gone after this season.
Of all the shooters on the team, Wright has appeared to be the most effective one.
Wright is averaging just 8.8 points and 4.4 rebounds per game this season. Keep in mind he was seeing minimal playing time for a handful of games when Doug Collins was experimenting with the lineup. In fact, there have been just four games this year where Wright did not record double digits when receiving over 30 minutes of playing time.
He is one of the best free-throw and three-point shooters on the team and certainly has value. At 27, he is a player the Sixers should be looking to keep.
Jason Richardson is a three-point specialist and shooters never lose their stroke. Although Richardson is 31 years old, he is currently under a three-year contract.
This season he is averaging nearly 11 points and 4.1 rebounds per game. Plus, he has scored at least 20 points in four games thus far. Like I said, he still has not lost his scoring touch.
It is possible for him to be traded again, but chances are the Sixers will ride out his deal and choose not to re-sign him once his contract expires.
This really depends on how he plays this season. Bynum recently announced that he will play this year, but there is no timetable for a return. Basically, he needs to play in the regular season if he wants another max-contract. That is exactly what he will do.
However, the concern is if he will prove himself to be healthy and productive after his injury.
From the Sixers' perspective, they probably want to keep him. Despite his injury liabilities, he is still the second best center in the league when healthy and the Sixers went all-in for him.
The other concern surrounding Bynum is whether he chooses to stay in Philadelphia. Bynum assured fans that he wants to make Philadelphia his home, so hopefully he lives up to his word.
In terms of a building block, he is virtually the centerpiece if he decides to stay and remains healthy. However, as of now, that cannot be determined.
Evan Turner was a key investment when the Sixers drafted him No. 2 overall. The real criticism aimed in his direction is that he was not worth it.
Judging from right now, there were definitely players the Sixers passed on who are currently more productive (DeMarcus Cousins, Greg Monroe and Paul George to name a few). That said, he was the right pick at the time and the Sixers have not given up on him, yet.
While this year has been Turner's most productive (14.2 points, 6.7 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game), he has been inconsistent. Take a look at some recent games. Against the Lakers Turner played 41 minutes and scored 22 points and grabbed 13 rebounds with five assists. This is the promising Turner we all love to watch.
However, just three games before, against the Grizzlies, Turner played 41 minutes and scored just one point. Against Portland, two games later, he scored just four. Quite frankly, sometimes he just seems invisible. This is the Turner we do not like.
Despite his inconsistencies, Turner still holds more value than the majority of the team. He is still young and still has some time to live up to his potential.
Turner is obviously a keeper for now. With that said, if Turner does not become consistent soon, moving him elsewhere could turn out to be a realistic option.
Thaddeus Young has always been an integral part of the team. In terms of where they are now, it should stay that way.
There has been no one on the Sixers over the last decade that puts forth the same hustle as Young. The man never gives up on a play. He is a one-of-a-kind player and has always been part of the picture in building for the future.
This year Thad is having his best season, averaging about 15 points and 7.1 rebounds per game. As smaller guy at his position, he has definitely learned how to use his strengths, such as speed, to help him take advantage of mismatches.
The fans love Thad and it seems as though he loves being a Sixer. Unless the Sixers are in the running for a big-time player, Thad should remain in Philadelphia.
Jrue Holiday has been nothing short of outstanding this season for Philadelphia. While fans entered the season hesitant with Andrew Bynum hurt, Holiday has countered the doubts with superb leadership and consistency.
This season Holiday is averaging nearly 19 points, exactly nine assists and 4.1 rebounds per game. Oh yeah, and he ranks fifth in total assists across the NBA (and had he not missed four games he could easily be ranked higher).
Not only has he put up the productive numbers, but Holiday is showing that he wants to orchestrate the offense and has the ability to distribute the ball exceptionally well. Plus, he has improved his shot, now shooting over 45 percent from the field compared to 43 last year.
In his fourth year as a Sixer, at the spry age of 22, Holiday has shown that he is more than ready to run the offense and could turn into a top point guard in the NBA.
He is without a doubt the most valuable player on the team and is the only absolute lock to stay.