Philadelphia 76ers' Stefanski Should Look to Contend Sooner Rather Than Later

Gabe AllenContributor IJune 27, 2009

PHILADELPHIA - APRIL 26:  Andre Miller #7 of the Philadelphia 76ers shoots against Dwight Howard #12 and Rafer Alston #1 of the Orlando Magic during Game Four of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2009 NBA Playoffs at the Wachovia Center on April 26, 2009 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Orlando defeated Philadelphia 84-81 to even the series at 2 games each. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

The Sixers stellar draft Thursday night has this team on the edge of contending for a championship.

Jrue Holiday reminds me a lot of Dwyane Wade. He is a combo guard, capable of playing the one and the two. He has all the tools to be an all-star in this league in time.

That leaves us with Holiday, Iguodala, Young, Brand, Williams, Speights, Smith, Kapono, Green, and Dalembert. The 76ers with this lineup will still be pretenders, not contenders.

While the Sixers do not have much cap to work with, they will have a good opportunity to be contenders if the front office does things correctly.

First, the Sixers cannot afford to lose Andre Miller. He is the floor leader of this 76ers team, and the most underrated point guard in the NBA. Miller is crucial to the 76ers staying competitive while Holiday and the rest of this young team is growing.

Furthermore, I get the feeling there won't be much of a market for Miller this offseason, and as long as the 76ers aren't throwing low ball offers at him, I think he would love to come back to Philly.

Looking ahead, Dalembert has two years left on his contract. How often do you see a team unload a huge expiring contract of a player who can't play for peanuts and bring back an all-star caliber player from a team in rebuilding mode?

The light is there at the end of the tunnel. It's up to Stefanski to get us there.