Predicting the 76ers' 2013-14 Lineup Based on Free Agency, Draft Rumors
A roster makeover is in order for the reeling franchise that is the Philadelphia 76ers.
While it isn't quite ugly, it is definitely bad.
This season has been filled with disappointment and question marks, requiring a roster realignment this offseason. The team can build through acquiring free agents, re-signing its own free agents and drafting.
Let's project their 13-man active roster come opening night of the 2013-14 season.
Jrue Holiday, PG
If there is one definite starter other than Thaddeus Young next season, it is point guard Jrue Holiday.
Holiday has proven at times this season that he can handle the scoring load, but some assistance would be greatly appreciated.
Jrue Holiday earned his first All-Star birth this season and to date has posted 17.9 points per game along with 8.2 assists.
The offense has run through Holiday the entire season, causing him to force shots and produce bad turnovers at times. Some help on the offensive end would allow Holiday play looser and not feel like he has to do too much to lead the team to victory.
Look for Holiday to feed off this year and build upon it next year. The 22-year-old will always be a viable scoring option for this team, and there is no question the Sixers will their offense through the their best player.
J.R. Smith, SG
J.R. Smith as a bench player for most of this season has received starter minutes and produced starter numbers for the New York Knicks.
Deep down, Smith would have no problems being a starter, and the starting shooting guard position for the 76ers is certainly up for grabs next season.
J.R. Smith is fearless. He can score at will and if he gets hot, there is usually no stopping him.
Defenses were able to key on Jrue Holiday this season because the 76ers had no other consistent backcourt scorers. Smith would definitely take the load off of Holiday in the scoring department; he's the type of player the Sixers desperately need.
When Carmelo Anthony was out for the Knicks, Smith showed he could shoulder the scoring load on any given night and knock down clutch shots late in games.
Smith is averaging 18.1 points per game this season, and most Sixer fans would welcome the acquisition of such a top-flight offensive force.
For the right price, Smith would be a much better fit at the 2-guard next season than the underachieving Nick Young was this season.
Evan Turner, SF
The 2013-14 season will be the last chance for Evan Turner to prove to the 76er fans that he is not the bust that most consider him to be. Based on his athleticism and potential, Turner should slide into the starting small forward position for the 2013-14 campaign.
Acquiring J.R. Smith could allow Turner to cut down on the perimeter shooting that leads to forced shots at times. Instead, he can focus on taking the ball strong to the hoop—something he does very well when playing with confidence.
While Sixers fans wouldn't mind seeing Turner traded, the second overall draft pick back in 2010 still must feel he has something to prove and shouldn't have the burden of a rough relationship with his head coach weighing on him.
If Turner can play freely and confidently, knowing that he has players around him who can help him excel, perhaps a breakout year is in the making.
One thing Turner must continue to do is rebound consistently at the small forward position. This is a valuable element to his game.
Thaddeus Young, PF
Thaddeus Young, like Jrue Holiday, is as close to being a lock to start next season as anybody.
Young has proved this season just how valuable an asset he is to this Sixers.
Though his averages in points per game (14.9) and rebounds (7.6) are career highs, it is the intangibles that make Young so useful.
Young is always the first one on the floor for a loose ball, and whenever the Sixers take a charge, you can usually find Young on the floor clapping his hands after taking the impact. He makes the kind of hustle plays that determine wins or losses down the stretches of close games.
While Young does possess the size to possibly play small forward, power forward best fits his game and skill set.
When he posts up and goes to that sweet left-handed baby hook, he is virtually unstoppable. The versatile Young also has the ability to knock down mid-range jumpers, though the 76ers would like to see him do it at a more consistent rate.
Al Jefferson, C
Happy trails, Andrew Bynum.
Welcome, Al Jefferson.
Jefferson would step in at the starting center position and immediately provide the strong inside presence the team has been lacking for quite some time.
"Big Al," as he has came to be known, would be just that for the 76ers.
Averaging 17.7 points per game this season for the Utah Jazz coupled with 9.2 rebounds per game, Jefferson would pose a dual threat—a guy who can post up and finish strong around the rim but also face up and knock down elbow jumpers.
This type of play would go perfectly with power forward Thaddeus Young.
Both have the ability to knock down shots and with Young being left-handed and Jefferson right-handed, defensive matchup problems for the opposition could arise.
If the money would work out, Jefferson's arrival would address a desperate need. He is only 28 years old, but he brings along plenty of experience.
This type of veteran leadership is something the Sixers roster was missing out on this season.
Jefferson could step in both as a go-to guy in terms of scoring in and around the paint and as an emotional leader.
The Temple product Lavoy Allen shined in the playoffs last season but has disappeared for the most part this season. Under the tutelage of Al Jefferson, Allen would develop his inside game and be in line to be a vital big man for the 76ers down the road.
Hawes' ability to score down low and his physicality must improve, although he has shown flashes of brilliance this season, posting some eye-opening lines. Some lineups could see Hawes at the power forward and Jefferson at the center, expanding the defense because of Hawes' shooting ability.
Richardson hasn't played since Jan. 18 and he is getting up there in age at 32. He is another player who can provide veteran leadership. Richardson always has the ability to knock down three-point shots at a consistent rate which could be an important element if starters were to go stagnant.
Moultrie was severely underutilized this season, especially because it's been known that reaching the playoffs has been a long shot for a while. The Mississippi State product averaged just under 11 minutes per game but has shown flashes of constant hustle and a knack for scoring around the rim. Next season, Moultrie will be given more minutes, thus giving him the opportunity to prove himself.
Re-signing Wilkins to a relatively cheap contract won't mean much in the long run for the organization. Wilkins has looked like a quality NBA player at times, but then at other moments he has fans wondering why he is in the game, let alone starting. Wilkins plays hard, so if anything he will battle starters in practice, fighting for playing time.
Nate Robinson (Free Agent)
The Sixers drop-off at the point guard position behind Jrue Holiday has never been more evident than this past season. Nate Robinson would certainly change that. He is having an outstanding year in Chicago, averaging 13.3 points per game and bringing tenacity every time he steps on the court.
Robinson coming off the bench to spell Holiday would ensure a backup point guard who can control the tempo of the game.
C.J. McCollum (Rookie)
Playing behind J.R. Smith could do wonders for the senior from Lehigh. McCollum can score in bunches and coming off the bench in limited minutes as a rookie would open some opportunities for big scoring nights, while asserting himself as a consistent scorer as his career progresses.
James Southerland (Rookie)
Coming out of Syracuse, Southerland can play at the small forward or power forward. His shooting in the NCAA Tournament caught a lot of teams off guard. If he is able to knock down open shots off of dribble drives, he will be doing all he is asked to do for the most part in his rookie season.