Basketball season won't be starting for awhile, but it's never too early to start looking at teams now. With free agency still going on, I don't know what the final Sixers roster will look like.
It isn't looking like the 76ers are going to make any major trades at this point. Most people are assuming this current roster is basically the team that will be the home team in Philly.
Here are your 2010-2011 Philadelphia 76ers, ranked from worst to best.
Jodie Meeks(Shooting Guard)
H/W: 6'4", 208 lbs.
Drafted: 2009—41st overall by the Milwaukee Bucks
Statistics in 2009 (with 76ers): 5.9 PPG, 0.9 APG, 1.4 RPG
Meeks had a solid rookie season in limited minutes as both a Buck and Sixer. He won't see too many minutes this season, since the Sixers have so much depth at guard. He showed flashes of greatness in college (he scored 54 points in a single game in his final season at Kentucky), but it might be awhile before he gets enough minutes to score that much in the NBA.
Don't count this guy out if something happens to Lou Williams, Jrue Holiday, or Willie Green.
Jason Smith (Power Forward, Center)
H/W: 7'0", 240 lbs.
College: Colorado State
Drafted: 2007—20th overall by the Miami Heat
Statistics in 2009: 3.4 PPG, 0.6 APG, 2.4 RPG
Smith has been plagued by injuries throughout his short professional career. He missed his sophomore season in the NBA with an ACL injury.
Last season, his third since being drafted but second that he's played in, he didn't show the Sixers that he deserved to start. Although he averaged less than a quarter's length in minutes (11.8), his play was not spectacular.
I honestly don't see a huge future for this young man in professional basketball. It was unfortunate that he suffered such a bad injury so early in his career. Hopefully, he will eventually get over it completely and go on to have a successful career.
Jason Kapono (Shooting Guard/Small Forward)
H/W: 6'8", 215 lbs.
Drafted: 2003—31st overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers
Statistics in 2009: 5.7 PPG, 0.7 APG, 1.2 RPG
Kapono, the three-point specialist for the Sixers last season, finished the year as the starting small forward. This was not due to great play, but to just test out what they had in Kapono.
He's way overpaid, and I would not be surprised if Kapono is wearing a different jersey by the end of the season. A guy who doesn't average double digits in any category (who has reached the peak in his career) should not be making $6.2 million. End of story.
Hopefully the Sixers get more out of Kapono this season. You need to get more production from a guy that you gave up Reggie Evans to get (That guy is a beast).
Willie Green (Shooting Guard)
H/W: 6'3", 201 lbs.
Drafted: 2003—41st overall by the Seattle Supersonics
Statistics in 2009: 8.7 PPG, 2.1 APG, 1.8 RPG
Another guy not worthy of starting on too many NBA rosters, but a decent sixth or solid seventh man. Green is a very good 3-point shooter and has averaged points in the high teens when he gets lots of starting minutes.
Green's problem is consistency. He seems to have a good week, then a terrible one, then an amazing one, then a terrible two. Unfortunately, like Kapono, guys who rely on the three-ball have that problem.
I would like to see Green as a Sixer this year, and I enjoy watching him play in Philadelphia. He just isn't great enough to start for this team. He needs to improve his drive to the rim and his shot taking selection. If he does this, I could see him cracking the Sixers starting lineup and getting some quality minutes.
Andres Nocioni (Forward)
H/W: 6'7", 225 lbs.
College: Played in Argentina
Drafted: 2001—Undrafted Free Agent
Statistics in 2009 (With Sacramento Kings): 8.5 PPG, 1.0 APG, 3.0 RPG
Nocioni was one of the players who came over from Sacramento in the Sammy Dalembert deal in June. He's a forward who is definitely better than the players already named in this slideshow, but he's certainly no starter on this team. He could end up getting a lot of good minutes for this team, and I see him averaging 9-10 points along with a couple of rebounds and a pair of assists this season.
Spencer Hawes (Center)
H/W: 7'1", 245 lbs.
Drafted: 2007—10th overall by the Sacramento Kings
Statistics in 2009 (With Sacramento Kings): 10 PPG, 2.2 APG, 6.1 RPG
Hawes was on the Sixers' draft radar back in 2007, but they never pulled the trigger on the big guy. He didn't live up to the hype in Sacramento because people weren't exactly fond of his numbers.
However, I think Hawes will be the starting center for the Sixers in a couple years, if not this year. He wasn't able to play as many as he should have been because of the young Jason Thompson.
Hawes has a lot of energy, and hopefully he can energize this Sixers team that sometimes looks out of it. He will bring this team many more wins this season.
Marreese Speights (Power Forward/Center)
H/W: 6-10, 250 lbs.
Drafted: 2008—16th overall by the Philadelphia 76ers
Statistics in 2009: 8.6 PPG, 0.6 APG, 4.1 RPG
Speights had a very good season last year, and there are only going to be better things in the future for the second-year big man out of Florida. He has a good post game and has decent size, which helps him stay strong in the paint.
I'm looking at Speights being higher on this list by the end of the season, but who knows what the future holds. One thing for sure is this: Speights will be a fan favorite in this town for a long time, as long as he keeps putting in the work and giving it his all.
Lou Williams (Point Guard)
H/W: 6'2", 175 lbs.
Drafted: 2005—45th overall by the Philadelphia 76ers
Statistics in 2009: 14.0 PPG, 4.2 APG, 2.9 RPG
Lou Williams isn't your typical point guard. His points-per-assist ratio is not very good for a point guard, which means he's not exactly willing to share the ball. I don't want to say selfish, but it just means he is meant to be a shooter, not a passer and court leader.
The Williams experiment last year failed miserably. It did land the Sixers Evan Turner, which isn't all bad. Still, if this team wants to make the playoffs and stop getting lottery picks, it needs change. That change starts with the quarterback of basketball: the point guard.
Lou is a great sixth man off the bench. I see him scoring just as much as he did last year, but in fewer minutes. Hopefully he can learn to dish the ball more and improve as a point guard, because I don't see him being a shooting guard at his size. I like this kid, I just don't see him as the "future" of this Sixers team.
Elton Brand (Power Forward)
H/W: 6'9", 254 lbs.
Drafted: 1999—1st overall by the Chicago Bulls
Statistics in 2009: 13.1 PPG, 1.4 APG, 6.4 RPG
Brand has not earned a single paycheck. Somehow, he manages to crack the starting five on the Sixers team.
Yes, I know he has been injury-prone for his whole career. I understand that he's "getting up there in age" (I don't necessarily agree with that, Shaquille O'Neal had just as good of a season last year as Brand, even though O'Neal has been in the league for seven more years).
Still, Brand is not playing up to his contract. That being said, he's contributing more to this team than the previous eight players. He works hard, and it's unfortunate that his body is breaking down in his early thirties.
I expect Brand to start at power forward and keep it that way for this season. Look for him to average 15 PPG, 7.5 RPG, and just over an assist.
Jrue Holiday (Point Guard)
H/W: 6'4", 180 lbs.
Drafted: 2009—17th overall by the Philadelphia 76ers
Statistics in 2009: 8.0 PPG, 3.8 APG, 2.6 RPG
Holiday's numbers are not an indication of what he brings to the table. He played limited minutes and did not get many starts until the end of the year. While Williams got more of the playing time, Holiday developed physically (he was a freshman when he left college for the NBA) and as a player.
The sky is the limit for this energetic guard. He's the best point guard Philadelphia has seen since Allen Iverson early last decade. Even A.I.: Part One was not a great passer like Holiday is.
Philadelphia fans are going to love this guy as long as he keeps it up. I am "Jruely" delighted he is going to be a Sixer for a long time.
Thaddeus Young (Forward)
H/W: 6'8", 217 lbs.
College: Georgia Tech
Drafted: 2007—12th overall by the Philadelphia 76ers
Statistics in 2009: 13.8 PPG, 1.4 APG, 5.2 RPG
Young has improved greatly as a professional basketball player from the time he was a rookie through the end of his third year in the league. He's become a leader on the court and seems like the only guy who always sticks through the good times and bad times with a positive attitude.
This guy is the epitome of what Philadelphians believe is a great player: hard worker, dedicated, and produces as much as he can. Now with Holiday as a true point guard, Young will get better passes and more open looks. It will be interesting to see what the Sixers do with Young and the two men ahead of him on this list. One of them may not start, or we could see Young as a power forward.
Young could easily be number two on this list. He sure will be number two next year, and I wouldn't be surprised if this guy is eventually an All-Star.
Andre Iguodala (Shooting Guard/Small Forward)
H/W: 6'6", 207 lbs.
Drafted: 2004—9th overall by the Philadelphia 76ers
Statistics in 2009: 17.1 PPG, 5.8 APG, 6.5 RPG
You didn't think he was going to be number one on this list, did ya?
Listen, this guy is pretty good. He led the Sixers in points and assists last season and was second in rebounding. Sounds like an All-Star to me, right?
Well, not really. His shooting percentage is not great, especially from three. He either throws a high-arcing 3-point bomb that almost hits the ceiling of the arena, or a line drive that's straighter than Ray Allen's. He'd be the third-best guy on a solid playoff team, like the Bucks or Jazz.
At the end of last season, he would be number one on the list. But then the NBA Lottery took place in May, and everything changed...
Evan Turner (Shooting Guard)
H/W: 6'7", 210 lbs.
College: Ohio State
Drafted: 2010—second overall by the Philadelphia 76ers
Statistics in 2009 (In college at Ohio State): 20.4 PPG, 6.0 APG, 9.2 RPG
Isn't it crazy that a guy who has never played a single game in the NBA is the best player on his team? Not when that guy is Turner.
There's a reason why this guy was chosen with the second overall pick in the NBA Draft on June 24th. He can do it all. Score from anywhere, play defense, you name it.
Turner is being compared to Brandon Roy. If he can play as well as the All-Star from Portland, then there's no reason why he isn't the best player on this team.
Do these rankings seem right to you? Anything you agree or disagree with?
Also, what players are getting you excited? I'm interested to see how the last four first round choices by the Sixers (Young, Speights, Holiday, and Turner) play together and watch them grow together.
Leave a comment, question, or rant below.