While it’s probably too early to be thinking about who the starters will be on the Sixers roster when the regular season begins, I’m going to think about it anyway. Obviously they are probably not done making moves, but this guess will reflect who I think they’re likely to have and won’t take into account any hopeful or wishful moves in free agency or in trades. So here it is:
C Lavoy Allen
Last year, Allen proved both why and why not the Sixers should put him as the starting center. So why do I have him here in the starting slot? Because I think his good side outweighed his bad side. He’s nowhere near a stud center that will dominate, and is probably one of the weakest starting centers in the league, but that doesn’t mean he’s bad. He played a lot more towards the beginning and middle of the season when Doug Collins was still figuring out the lineup, and he actually played pretty well. While only averaging 5.8 PPG and 5.0 RPG overall last season, he managed to pick up six double digit rebound games and many more double digit point games, with his best game where he picked up 14 points and 22 rebounds. He was given 41 minutes in this game, meaning he can definitely produce if given more than the 21.1 MPG he averaged on the season.
PF Spencer Hawes
By the end of the season, Hawes was the hottest commodity on the Sixers’ roster. He was whipping out double doubles like there was no tomorrow, and he proved that he could easily start on this team after being seen as only an average player before that. He had nine double doubles in the month of March alone, proving his dominance against all sorts of teams. While the team is thinking about trading him, I think him and Allen could be a great tandem considering Hawes is a combo center. I think it would be a mistake to get rid of Hawes.
SF Thaddeus Young
Young is a combo forward and can actually play the PF position too, but I think he’s better fit at the 3. He excels at shooting and posts a shooting percentage that is a coach’s dream- 53.1%. That’s amazing for a player that shoots as much as he does. He also can provide rebounds at will, averaging 7.5 RPG last season. In addition, he can steal the ball better than many players in the league overall, snagging s.8 SPG. Trading Young I think would be a mistake too…this guy is good and deserves to start.
SG Evan Turner
If Turner is still on the roster at the beginning of the season, which unfortunately seems like a question at this point instead of a definite, then he will be the go-to scoring threat. I can easily see him leading the team in points if he’s the one who controls the ball. While he actually shot the ball too much last season, this could change if he knows that he’s got to be the leader out there on the court. He can both pass and rebound the ball, making him an interesting combination for the shooting guard position. He can also play SF, but if they’re going with a big lineup like I’m predicting, then I see him settling at the 2. His one big weakness is his inconsistency. One game he could flirt with a triple double, and the next game he could miss 80% of his shots and not do much else good. If he can become more consistent, I don’t see why he can’t stay with the team and be a part of their future.
PG Michael Carter-Williams
I’m not really sure what’s going to come of him during his rookie season. He looked bad in the summer league games, and those were against many players that won’t even make an NBA roster. What happens when he’s being covered by stud point guards like Rajon Rondo and Deron Williams? Is he going to shoot worse than the 20 something percent he shot in summer league? I sure hope not, or someone else will be starting instead. The only problem is who…they don’t have another point guard on the roster. While this will likely change, there isn’t anyone out there that would be good enough to be better than Carter-Williams. MCW deserves to be a backup at this point, but he’s going to be forced to start and see what he can do.
Sixth Man: SG Jason Richardson
I’m not sure how much more he has left in the tank, but hopefully it’s enough for another season and a position as the team’s sixth man. I don’t see anyone else on the team being in this position because no one else has the experience capable of coming off the bench and providing a spark. He played fairly well last year until getting injured and having to miss the rest of the season. His three-point shooting is something the team needs desperately considering they don’t really have anyone else that can be counted on consistently from beyond the arc. If he stays healthy, he could be a solid player on the team.
And this is where the roster drops off like a cliff. There is almost no solid talent beyond these top six guys, and saying that these guys are a solid starting roster is almost a lie. There’s no doubt that this team is destined to lose a lot next season, so I guess it just depends who they want to have on the roster while they’re doing it. Since I can’t say much about the rest of the team, I’ll just list the rest with small comments:
7. Arnett Moultrie (looked great in summer league, could be another solid player if given the minutes)
8. Khalif Wyatt (if this guy doesn’t make the team, it would be a travesty. He looked awesome this summer at SG, and this would allow him to come in and push all the starters up the lineup to make the lineup small)
9. Royce White (who knows if this guy is even going to want to play…or fly for that matter. If he plays then it could be great)
10. Arsalan Kazemi (could be a good bench player. Not a bad option, but nothing too special yet. Still raw)
11. Kwame Brown (he’ll likely ride the bench for most of the time. Or at least that’s what I’m hoping…)
12. Justin Holiday (didn’t perform well in summer league; won’t play much, if at all)
13. James Anderson (who?)
14. Nerlens Noel (I wouldn’t be surprised if he sat the whole season, so I’m taking a guess that he will)
15. Tim Olbrecht (Other than the fact that he played for the Rockets last season, I know nothing about him. I’d be surprised to see him on the roster)
The team would greatly benefit from the signing of another point guard (considering they don’t have one) because Carter-Williams can’t play the whole 48 minutes. Also, I think re-signing Damien Wilkins would be an excellent move. He’s a solid veteran that can come off the bench and even be the sixth man if Richardson doesn’t work out. My guess is that Olbrecht and Anderson don’t make the team if they sign two more people (and assuming they sign Wyatt, which in my opinion is a must-do). Who knows if any of these predictions are right, but I’m certainly hoping they are, or the season could be worse than I’m expecting.