76ers fans around the globe (or the 10,000 that are located in Philadelphia) have their sights set on next Thursday’s NBA draft. That is when the 76ers will likely select Evan Turner to become a franchise cornerstone. But lost in the conversation is last year’s first-round pick, Jrue Holiday. Holiday got more playing time in his rookie year than Marreese Speights and Thaddeus Young did, who were the first-round picks the years before Holiday.
But if the 76ers were smart, Holiday would be starting next year. Even though he is still raw and developing, he needs adequate playing time. Lou Williams is just not cut out to be a starting point guard. With his shoot-first mentality and scoring ability, he is far better served as a sixth or seventh man. Even though Holiday just turned 20, he would still be the better starting option.
Thaddeus Young was able to have a very successful sophomore season in this league because the team increased his minutes by over 13 per game. Marreese Speights showed minimal improvement in his second season, largely due to the fact that he did not see an increase in minutes. But both have been mishandled, as Young has not been given the chance to get a lot of shots, and Speights did not see any increase in minutes last year.
Assuming Philadelphia does not screw up and they draft Evan Turner, he has all the makings to be a star. And if Holiday is a starting point guard at the young age of 20, the sky could be the limit for him. For a team that does not have much to look forward to, there could be a dynamic backcourt in a few years for many years to come. Unless management screws it all up.