Philadelphia 76ers: Should They Settle for Mediocrity or Rebuild the Roster?

Michael FoglianoAnalyst IFebruary 3, 2011

CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 21: Evan Turner #12 of the Philadelphia 76ers sits on the bench during a game against the Chicago Bulls at the United Center on December 21, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bulls defeated the 76ers 121-76. 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 Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Philadelphia 76ers currently reside at a record of 22-26 and hold the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference, four games behind the Knicks for the sixth slot.

Now, I don't know if you have noticed, but is this not the same thing every year?

If you answered "yes" to this question, you are 100 percent right.

In the past decade, the Sixers have only broken .500 just three times and it was in the early 2000s. The last time they broke an even record was in 2004-2005 season, where they were just three games above average.

Basically, ever since Iverson left, the Sixers have been on a major downfall.  

For the past six years, the Sixers have either made the playoffs as the six or seven seed, or they just didn't make them at all.

And when they make the playoffs, they lose in the first round.

Not only do they lose in the first round every year, but it also gives them that dreadful mid-first round pick come draft time.

With these picks the Sixers have gotten players like Jrue Holiday, Marreese Speights, Thaddeus Young and Rodney Carney in exchange for Thabo Sefolosha (that really worked out didn't it?)

The only player who has proved something is Holiday. I like Young, but he hasn't made an impact yet. He is a great player to have coming off of the bench, but not to start.

Speights can't play more than 20 minutes per game, even Doug Collins said it himself. As for Carney, he was just a complete bust.

Either way you look at things, the bottom line is this: Every year, the Sixers are just under .500 and are usually one of those teams in the East that make the playoffs as the seven seed. Then they get knocked out of the first round and get an adequate draft pick that normally does not result in anything good.

Then the cycle repeats. Every year.

I'm sorry, but does the front office not see this happening or are they too busy sleeping with all of their money and don't care about the franchise?

Quite frankly, I'm tired of this and speaking on behalf of every Sixers fan out there (for the ones that remain standing, like me), they are too.

Every single season, the Sixers are this mediocre team that will never go anywhere. This isn't March Madness where you play a team one time in the playoffs, upset them, get hot and keep winning.

In the NBA, the best teams come out on top.

Now that we all have seen how much our franchise is failing, the Sixers have to find the right way to approach this mess. They need to address they huge problems first and solve them.

There is an answer on how to do so and that simple answer is to rebuild.

The first main thing are the contracts of Andre Iguodala and Elton Brand. They have to get rid of them; without doing so, they can't enter the stage of rebuilding.

Brand has rejuvenated himself and is playing really well lately. In other words, now is the time to trade him. This is most likely the only time a team will take on his massive contract.

Now Iguodala is a whole other story. He is a higher priority to get rid of than Brand.

One thing we have learned form Iguodala is that he cannot be the best player on a team to win a championship. But another thing we have learned this season is he is doing even worse by stunning the growth of Evan Turner.

Turner needs minutes to become a better player and live up to his potential. Iguodala is just eating away what should be Turner's minutes and it's not helping anyone.

Do you realize that we aren't going anywhere and it is pointless to have Turner sit on the bench during a season that should be an experiment of our young guys?

This just hurts talking about it.

Iguodala could be a great player on just about any other team in the league besides the Sixers. He would be a great complementary player as long as he is playing next to a superstar, almost like Scottie Pippen type of player.

A lot of teams have expressed interest in him and he would be a perfect fit on many.

The bottom line is that he is not needed in the direction we are heading, plain and simple.

So let's recap on what we have gone through so far.

First off, the Sixers front office has to wake up and smell the coffee and realize what the heck is going on (I think we've known that for quite a while). Next, they need to get rid of Iguodala and Brand's massive contracts. Finally, they need to build around Turner.

The Sixers were very fortunate (for the first time in a long time) to be given the second pick of the draft  and get Turner, but they aren't even playing their second overall pick.

It's clear that no superstar wants to come here, so the best thing to do is build around the best of what the Sixers have. And potentially, it's Turner.

Right now, the Sixers have a deep bench a good amount of role players. Now, they need to let Turner grow into that superstar he is supposed to be. He's proved he can lead a team at Ohio State.

It is black and white on what the problem is with the Sixers and the solution to the problem is black and white as well.

However after saying all of this, I will say this about the Sixers: They are putting up a fight night in and night out. They have almost taken down teams like the Lakers, Magic, HeatHawks and more (don't get me started on the overtime losses against the Wizards or them blowing a 21 point lead against the Grizzlies).

They have lost about ten games that easily could have resulted in a positive outcome for the Sixers. 

Let's say the Sixers win those close games, they would be ahead of the Knicks in the playoffs, who by the way, spent 100 million dollars on Amare Stoudemire and the Sixers spent zero.

Doug Collins has also done a tremendous job of turning this team around from a dreadful season. He keeps pushing the troops and is taking it game by game.

The talent is there for the Sixers and they are just about one player away from being a very scary team. 

They just have to utilize that talent the right way by rebuilding the franchise around Turner.


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