2013-14 NBA Season Preview Player Power Rankings for Philadelphia 76ers
It's no secret by now, Philly is projected to be one of the NBA's worst teams during the 2013-14 season. There is a rare lack of depth, and above all, the squad is simply too young. There just isn't much experience to spread around.
Let's take a look at the Sixers power rankings and what each player brings to the team.
12. Darius Morris
Morris was almost a lock to make Philadelphia's final roster. He's the most experienced of the non-guaranteed players, and has proven that he can be successful in the NBA.
Morris will provide relief for Michael Carter-Williams as the season goes on. He'll definitely have a chance to make an impact off the bench.
13. Hollis Thompson
Thompson did it.
His physical tools and 6' 8" frame are ideal for playing at either shooting guard or small forward. On top of that, he's very quick and has some leaping ability.
At first it looked like he was about a year away from making an NBA roster, but that appears to be wrong. Developing stronger ball-handling skills is in his best interest and will help him stay on Philly's roster.
14. Daniel Orton
Orton was a first-round pick in the 2010 draft. Since then he's played for two franchises in 29 games.
The Sixers will be his third team.
His potential and size were enough to make the Sixers' final roster, even though he joined the team late in the preseason. His experience is a bit limited, but he'll probably get more playing time than he ever has with Philadelphia.
15. Brandon Davies
In a bit of a surprise move, Philadelphia announced that the team had signed former BYU big man Brandon Davies.
The Sixers had cut their roster to 14 players and had one more spot. If they were going to sign anybody, then grabbing a power forward or center is definitely the right move.
It's unclear as to how much time Davies will end up seeing, but giving him a realistic shot can't hurt the team. Plus, potentially finding a diamond in the rough makes it worthwhile.
11. Kwame Brown
In all honesty, Brown's rank is closer to the number he wears on his jersey. Philadelphia just doesn't happen to have 54 players on its team.
Brown is the last player on the Sixers with a guaranteed contract so he gets the No. 12 spot. He would be ranked below those with a non-guaranteed contract, but like their contract states, there's no guarantee of them making the team.
We could be witnesses to some career numbers out of Brown during the 2013-14 season. He's never averaged less than 1.9 points and 3.4 rebounds per game. Could he drop below those numbers this year?
We'll have to control ourselves as the anticipation builds and see.
10. Jason Richardson
Richardson is still recovering from a knee surgery and his status for the upcoming season is unknown.
The two-time NBA Dunk Contest champion's knees have gone through a lot of wear-and-tear over the years. Not returning until the All-Star break or even later might be what's best for a player going into his 13th NBA season.
A patient recovery is more than necessary for a guy going through knee problems at 32 years old.
9. Lavoy Allen
Lavoy Allen is such a troubling player. Not because he lacks the skill set to succeed in the NBA. And not because he has severe personality problems that impede his progress as a basketball player.
No, he's troubling because he could be sponsored by a pillow. He's simply way too soft.
Allen's number one area of improvement needs to be in his toughness. He's proven that he'll never be an 11 or 12-point scorer every night. Instead of strictly working on his offense, he needs to devote his time to becoming a defensive stopper and setting good screens. It's all dirty work, but players who succeed in these areas tend to survive in the NBA.
Becoming a tougher player is all about if Allen wants it enough. We'll see if he has what it takes to get his mind right and toughen up.
8. James Anderson
New head coach Brett Brown has talked about the three-point line being important to the Sixers. The three-point line must be important to James Anderson too because he's absolutely lighting it up from out deep during the preseason.
In four games, Anderson has shot 8-16 from the three-point-line. Shooting 50 percent in one game is good, stretching it out to four means that his shooting ability is no fluke.
Barring a random injury, Anderson will start the season out as Philadelphia's starting shooting guard. Philly won't be asking him to do too much, but if they need a big-time three-pointer, then it looks like Anderson could be the guy.
Note, it's important to point out that Anderson's contract is non-guaranteed right now. There's virtually no fear of him not making the final roster, though.
7. Tony Wroten
At worst, Tony Wroten is just another inconsistent player who goes through stretches of good games and stretches of rough ones.
At best, he wins the 2013-14 NBA's Most Improved Player award.
It sounds crazy, but Wroten has the potential to average around 12 points per game as Philadelphia's sixth man. If he's able to contribute on the glass and rack up a couple of assists, then he definitely has a shot at the award.
Wroten's ability to create for himself will end up being his best weapon as the season goes on. His craftiness also has the ability to give his teammates some space on the offensive end of the floor.
Wroten's game screams "fan favorite" so it'll be fun to see what he does.
6. Arnett Moultrie
Arnett Moultrie is recovering from ankle surgery that will keep him out until at least January of 2014.
His return can't come soon enough.
Moultrie was consistently denied an opportunity to play during the 2012-13 season for no apparent reason. The Sixers weren't winning any games, so giving the rookie a shot seemed like an obvious step for Doug Collins at the time.
Coach Brown's entrance would have given Moultrie that chance to play. Unfortunately, the ankle injury delays this process for a bit.
It might take around a month or so in order for his game to get to its actual level, but Philadelphia fans should see a patient, yet energized game when he finally does hit the floor.
The anticipation level is at full blast for Moultrie. Let's hope his surgery heals properly.
5. Spencer Hawes
Why lie about it? Watching Spencer Hawes play can be a frustrating ride at times. A lot of it is because he’s more of a perimeter-based center, who is far from athletically gifted.
With that being said, Hawes always plays his heart out and sticks to doing what he does best. Those are both traits that should be respected.
On offense, he knows that he's significantly more effective when he's 20-feet from the basket rather than around the post. Defensively, he makes sure to play between his man and the basket on the block because of his shot-blocking ability.
Hawes knows his place and he plays it very well.
4. Nerlens Noel
Putting Nerlens Noel at No. 4 on the list could be a stretch considering he has yet to even play in a summer league game. We won't see him suit up until at least Christmas, so his rank is definitely based on potential.
Most people don't know this, but Noel's last name is short for "rim protector." Pretty crazy, right? In all seriousness, we don't need to worry about him making an immediate mark on the defensive end of the floor. Even after a serious knee injury, his defense wouldn't have fallen much because of how instinctual defense really is.
If you can defend, then you can defend. It's almost as simple as that.
Noel's offense is where his development will start from the ground up. We've all seen him catch lobs for alley-oops at Kentucky, but there's no memory of seeing him with a 15-foot jumper. This area of his game will come along incredibly slowly, and that's more than okay. If his defense is strong, then he can afford to take a little extra time on offense.
It's very early and again, he has yet to play in a game, but Noel has the chance get to No. 1 on this list in a couple of years.
His upside is that high.
3. Michael Carter-Williams
Michael Carter-Williams has yet to play in an official NBA regular season game, but he isn't shy about his goals for the 2013-14 season.
Express.co.uk's Ben Jefferson wrote an article on the rookie point guard and his aspirations. Here's what Carter-Williams had to say about his goals:
I’m targeting the All Rookie Team and the Rookie of the Year award. Those are things I believe I’m capable of achieving.
Jefferson ended the article with some reasons as to why Carter-Williams could actually pull it off:
Carter-Williams looks set to be handed the starting point guard duties for a rebuilding 76ers team this year, and with only Darius Morris and Tony Wroten backing up the former Syracuse guard, there are definitely going to be minutes available for the 21-year-old to make his mark.
That gives Carter-Williams an advantage over fellow Rookie of the Year contenders who are likely to be introduced more slowly by their respective teams.
Being a rookie comes with a sense of invincibility. It's their first year in the NBA, so they know that their team is going to cut them some slack if they end up making mistakes.
Carter-Williams probably knows that he has an extremely long leash with the Sixers during his first season, but it's extremely encouraging to hear about him having big aspirations.
Striving toward something like the Rookie of the Year award is a great start.
2. Evan Turner
Evan Turner, Evan Turner, Evan Turner.
He is constantly getting bombarded with criticism, but here he is. Playing great basketball in the 2013-14 preseason.
You could be wowed by a variety of Turner's numbers. Averaging just under 20 points per game definitely looks great. His 46.5 shooting percentage is better than he's ever finished a season with. Both of those are nice and all, but it's his aggressiveness that should have people most excited.
In four preseason games, the fourth-year small forward is averaging 7.75 free-throw attempts per game.
Getting to the charity-stripe is very undervalued, but it leads to easy points. Turner's early signs of aggressiveness could signal a change in his game.
There might be a better chance of him ending the season on another team, than with the Sixers.
An improved Turner is the only kind of guy who Philadelphia would want to hold on to. It's early, but he just might be turning into that guy.
It's about time, too.
1. Thaddeus Young
Consistency is the name of Thaddeus Young's game.
Philadelphia is one of the NBA's most unpredictable teams. It's nearly impossible to tell what the Sixers will do on any given night. It starts broad from a team standpoint, and trickles all the way down to individual players.
That applies to everyone except Young.
He's an undersized power forward who uses his athleticism to gain an advantage over his bigger and taller opponents. He doesn't need any plays called for him, he manages to put himself into good positions just by being a smart player.
The question of the year is will Young end up being traded? If the Sixers traded Holiday, then clearly anybody is fair game. Hinkie looks to be clearing out Philadelphia's best players for a fresh start so he's definitely on the chopping block.
For now, though, Young's place in Philly is about as safe as it could be.
It helps that he's the team's best player.