I realize this may sound delusional, but bear with me.
I'm having a hard time finding mistakes the Philadelphia 76ers made this season, both on and off the court.
Yes, I realize they went 19-63 and at one point in the season lost 26 straight games. Yes, I realize they finished with the league's worst plus/minus (minus-10.5), even worse than the Bucks. Yes, I realize the on-court product was ugly and inefficient most of the time.
But what did anyone expect?
This was the contract everyone entered into when the team traded Jrue Holiday to New Orleans on draft night and moved on from Doug Collins' antiquated techniques and vehement disgust with all things analytical. A new era of 76ers basketball was upon us, and it was made clear that there were going to be bumps in the road.
There were a few pleasant surprises along the way. Michael Carter-Williams, the 11th pick in last year's draft, is the front-runner for NBA Rookie of the Year. He won Rookie of the Month four times. There are only two players in the NBA this season who averaged at least 16 points, six rebounds and six assists: Carter-Williams and LeBron James.
Just ignore his shot chart for a second and let that sink in.
Tony Wroten proved he deserves to be on the roster next year. Henry Sims came out of nowhere and showed flashes. Nerlens Noel recovered from his ACL injury and is ready to compete for next year's Rookie of the Year.
That brings us to this year's draft—the moment we've all been waiting for—where the 76ers have two lottery picks at their disposal. That's two more talented pieces to add to the Carter-Williams/Noel nucleus.
Do you see how people in Philadelphia are actually looking forward to the 76ers' future now?
It may be difficult to sell that message to season-ticket holders who spent their money on a 19-win team, but you would be hard-pressed to find one who doesn't think this season was a necessary sacrifice. This organization is trying to build a winner for the long haul, it isn't trying to sneak into the eighth seed and get swept by whatever team LeBron is on for the next five seasons.
The city has bought in.
76ers owner Josh Harris said last week that this season was a success, and frankly, I would have to agree.
That being said, there's a few things that could have made one of the wackiest and free-wheeling seasons in 76ers history even better.