It is a great time to be a Philadelphia sports fan at the moment. The Eagles are currently atop the NFL in the standings and “The Process” is finally paying off. The Eagles are literally destroying everybody in their path and the Sixers young core is looking like Shaq and Penny 2.0. The huge question is, which team should Philly fans put stock in for the future.
Looking at the Eagles, the team is currently at 8-1 and Carson Wentz is on pace to be the MVP in only his 2nd season. That is pretty incredible. Along with having a super scary defensive line and a growing secondary the Eagles are looking like formidable squad for years to come. At the moment, the Eagles defense is setting the team up for success. Opposing teams are only rushing 18 times per game on average against the Eagles. That is actually the lowest amount of rushes per game of all time. That means teams are throwing 30-40 times every week and it is not working out. Patrick Robinson is playing out of his mind ranking as the #1 DB in the NFL according to PFF (Pro Football Focus). Jalen Mills is only in his 2nd year but has proved that he should go up against the opposing #1 WR every week. The linebacking core doesn’t get enough credit. Nigel Bradham and when healthy Jordan Hicks are among the best in the NFL as well as Mychal Kendricks who has seen an uptick in production since Hicks was placed on the IR a few weeks ago. To top everything off the Eagles have a pretty decent running game that features newly acquired Jay Ajayi and Corey Clement. Blount is on a one year deal and it is not clear whether the team will retain his services after this season. All together the Eagles have a solid foundation and look to win their first Super Bowl this season.
The 76ers are on a whole other level than the Eagles. Ben Simmons is already locked in on winning the NBA Rookie of the Year award and Joel Embiid and dominating along side his 6’10 point guard. Robert Covington has budded into a good 2 way way player and Dario Saric is doing whatever he can to help the 76ers win. The great news is that the 76ers core is in place and under contract. The 76ers can add around their core and and be even better than what they are now in the future. The crazy part is Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid aren’t even in their primes yet. Imagine Simmons with a functioning jump shot. Imagine Embiid playing a full season. It is amazing to think of how good this team can be when the team hits their stride. Fultz is dealing with a shoulder injury and the team is still managing to win despite the loss of Fultz. The Process has finally payed off and the team is starting to look like the team that can take on the Golden State Warriors and win. The Eastern Conference lost a lot of talent in the offseason and it is up for grabs. The Sixers are going to be the team to step up. If not this year than for sure next year with a fully healthy core.
Sadly, the Eagles are in prime position to lose a few of their coaches in a few months. Quarterback coach John Defilippo may be the most intriguing candidate in the off season for a head coaching position. Jim Schwartz may leave for his last try at being a head coach for the right opportunity. The loss of Defilippo may stunt Wentz’s growth and that is a huge deal. Not to mention the the NFC is starting to look like the Western Conference in football. The Eagles may be the team this year but next year and the year after that is a huge question mark. The Sixers may be young but like stated earlier, the core is there and is staying . The Sixers have more favorable odds to be contenders than the Eagles do. Philadelphia fans should love both teams but if you were to say which team is the next dynasty in Philadelphia the answer should be the Sixers.
The Philadelphia 76ers and Boston Celtics have agreed to a trade that would send Philadelphia the #1 pick in 2017 and Boston gets 2017 3rd pick, 2018 1st round Lakers pick (2-5 protected) and 2019 Kings 1st round pick. The Sixers will draft presumptive top prospect Markelle Fultz out of Washington with the first pick. Fultz averaged just over 23 points along with nearly 6 assist and rebounds per game.
The best part about the trade is that the Sixers will have their foundation for the future. The starting rotation is filled with potential. There is a strong argument to be made that the rotation is the most athletic in the NBA. As well as having 4 players that are 6’7 and taller in the starting 5 making Fultz the smallest in the lineup at 6’4. The height isn’t a weakness in this case. Defensively, Covington is a lockdown defender. Embiid and Saric have shown they can defend the paint and Simmons hasn’t played a game yet; however, his versatility should allow him to defend every position making him a valuable asset in Philadelphia.
Offensively, the Sixers are bound to put up numbers all day everyday. For the other 29 teams it will be a challenge to match up with Philadelphia. Embiid can literally play any position. He has said that he can play at the point guard position and dominate. How Embiid stretches the floor and has improved his range since being drafted it’s hard to disagree with his statement. Dario Saric is an athletic forward who can play as the stretch forward or center if Head Coach Brett Brown implements a small lineup. Ben Simmons is literally everything. The boy is 6’10 and has Magic Johnson written on his forehead. When Fultz is not playing point it is likely that Simmons will takeover. Every team needs a 3 point shooter in their lineup and Robert Covington is that guy. He can shoot and defend making him an asset. Covington isn’t guaranteed a starting spot but it is very likely if the Sixers do not add a high profile shooting Guard in Free Agency. Of Course Markelle Fultz is going to be the starting Point Guard in Philadelphia. He is the best shooter in this year’s draft class and he can rebound and pass the ball efficiently. Fultz probably can be compared to Russell Westbrook. Westbrook is this year’s MVP by a long shot and if Fultz is half of the player that Westbrook is than Fultz will be a great ball player.
This year is the year that the Sixers absolutely must spend their money. Philadelphia leads the NBA in cap space and it is a perfect time to spend it. J.J Redick should be at the top of the list for the Sixers in Free Agency. Redick has shot and drained 3 point shots his whole career. He can play defense and maybe most importantly he is a locker room leader. The young Sixers roster really has no veteran experience. Especially players who have played on contenders. Redick is a lifelong Clippers player and has played on both a terrible and good Clippers team. Dion Waiters should take a serious look at joining his hometown team. Waiters has never been a key part of any team before; however, he would be a solid 6th man in the rotation and could serve as a leader off the bench.
T.J McConnell started at point guard for the 76ers last year and is better served coming off the bench. McConnell is the blue collar player that gives it his all every night and exemplifies Philadelphia’s culture. Richaun Holmes is a solid young forward that can play power forward behind Saric. Holmes got lost in the shuffle when Nerlens Noel still played in Philly but after that Holmes showed that he can contribute whenever called upon. The Sixers need to sign Luc Richard Mbah a Moute this off-season. People reading this are probably asking why. Two reasons and one is huge. Joel and Luc are best friends. They are both from the same country and having him return to Philly would be awesome. The guy has way to long of a name to write but he shot close to 40% from three last year and is a solid defender. The partnership is highly ideal and would help the Sixers in more ways than one.
The biggest issue that the Sixers face is injuries. Ben Simmons hasn’t played a game yet and Embiid played 31 games in 3 years. That’s insane and scary at the same time. Fultz has suffered a not so serious knee injury last season and hopefully that’s all that it will ever be.When healthy the Sixers are a super team on paper. Maybe not now because of the inexperience but playoffs are bound to happen this year and beating the Cavs in the Eastern Conference Finals next season. This is what Sam Hinkie was put on Earth for to be the Sixers GM. He may not be there now but Trusting The Process has never been stronger. Instead of beetlejuice beetlejuice beetlejuice in Philly it’s Super Team Super Team Super Team.
The Philadelphia 76ers have the 3rd pick in this year’s draft and it grants the franchise a great opportunity to reap the rewards of “The Process”. Boston is most likely going to draft Markelle Fultz and the Lakers are most likely taking Lonzo Ball. The 2017 class has been put in the same category as the 2003 draft. The same draft class that produced LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Dwyane Wade. With De’Aaron Fox, Jayson Tatum and Malik Monk on the board at 3 the Sixers will have plenty of ways to be a playoff team next season.
The 76ers will be a playoff team next season if Joel Embiid stays healthy and Ben Simmons plays like he did in last year’s summer league. Even with T.J McConnell as their starting point guard the team can still be a formidable force in the East. But what if Bryan Colangelo pulled the trigger and drafted Kentucky Point Guard De’Aaron Fox. Fox is fast, athletic and dropped 39 points on Lonzo Ball. Just for shutting up LaVarr Ball the Sixers need to draft Fox.
Jrue Holiday was the last point guard that made a significant impact in Philadelphia. Almost every playoff team has a solid point guard and that is the biggest need at the moment. Sergio Rodriguez and Jerryd Bayless won’t take any team to the playoffs. T.J McConnell has heart and that is why he fits in Philly. Drafting Fox makes the most the sense simply because paying Kyle Lowry a max salary isn’t a good move and letting Ben Simmons be the full time Point Guard is risky.
Just because the Celtics and Lakers are likely to take two guards over Fox doesn’t mean Fox is the 3rd best point guard. There is a case to be made that he is better than both Ball and Fultz. Fox is said to be the fastest player in this draft and his experience at Kentucky may put him ahead of the curve when it comes to being prepared for the NBA. Coach Brett Brown might die early and go to Heaven just thinking about utilizing the Pick N Roll with Fox and Embiid. Or put Simmons at the point and let Fox play off the ball, the possibilities are endless with De’Aaron Fox. The draft is just under a month away and the Sixers are a month away from becoming playoff bound.
The Philadelphia 76ers traded away Nerlens Noel to the Dallas Mavericks for Andrew Bogut, Justin Anderson and a 1st round pick. It has been rumored for weeks that Jahlil Okafor would be traded but that doesn’t seem to be the case. There is a case to be made that Noel is better than Okafor and that is the problem with this trade. Noel can play defense and has a game that compliments Joel Embiid. Jahlil Okafor plays on the block and that’s all he does.So for Bryan Colangelo to trade away Noel instead of Okafor is a total disaster.
Embiid and Okafor on the same court will not work out. Add simmons into the mix and it makes matters even worse. The Sixers should look to deal Okafor at any cost now. Take a hard look at drafting Jayson Tatum and of course a Guard like Ball or Fultz and call it a day. Move Simmons to the Power Forward position and let Tatum play on the wing. That lineup would have the potential to contend in a few years.
This deal signals that the tanking is not yet over and shows the Sixers won’t be ready to win for another couple years. Sam Hinkie is probably in his feelings right now after seeing the first player he ever drafted being traded away for absolute nothing. This trade is almost as bad as Eagles WR Nelson Agholor.
Not to mention that the Sixers traded away Ilyasova away to the Atlanta Hawks for Tiago Splitter and 2 second round picks. The Sixers have turned a bad situation into a protected(1-18) 1st round pick and 2 2nd round picks. The trade deadline is at 3pm today so let’s see if Colangelo can deal Okafor away before that.
The 2016-2017 Trade Deadline is nearing and Jahlil Okafor is still on the roster. GM Bryan Colangelo has yet to pull the trigger on a potential deal that sends last year’s 3rd round pick Jahlil Okafor packing. It was reported that the Sixers had several deals worked out for Okafor but ultimately choose to hang on the big man. Obviously, the Sixers are looking to get draft picks for Okafor. The Sixers are in a position where they can take on a salary just to receive a 1st round pick. That was great when the Sixers were tanking but that is not the current state of the team anymore.
The Sixers have proved the process has payed off. Watching Joel Embiid turn into a stud was worth the wait and seeing role players like Robert Covington, Dario Saric and TJ McConnell playing well is an added benefit. The stock is rising with this franchise and it is time for the Sixers to become buyers not sellers. The team is in need of a guard so why not try to get a highly valued guard for Okafor.
Okafor was last year’s 3rd overall pick and his value should be treated like it. Okafor has shown that he can produce offensively and spread the floor. Defensively he is a liability and that is what scares teams away from Okafor. Knowing that, teams will only want Okafor if they have a proven defender playing next to him. Looking around the NBA these are the trades that Sixers should be looking for:
Sixers Trade Jahlil Okafor to the Phoenix Suns: Sixers get Brandon Knight and 2nd round pick and Phoenix gets Okafor.
Sixers Trade Okafor to the Trail Blazers: Sixers get Damian Lillard and Trail Blazers get PHI 2018 First round Pick, Jahlil Okafor and Sergio Rodriguez.
Sixers trade Okafor to The Lakers: Sixers get Jordan Clarkson and 2nd round Pick for Jahlil Okafor.
With the current state of the Eastern Conference and the rising stock of the team it is time for the Sixers to buy in and start to contend sooner than later.