I think this is the biggest question now among all Sixers fans. A couple days ago I speculated that the starting lineup would be C Nerlens Noel, PF Spencer Hawes, SF Thad Young, SG Evan Turner, and PG Michael Carter-Williams. But this could easily go a whole different direction if Noel isn’t healthy by the start of the season. Then we might see this lineup: C Hawes, PF Thad Young, SF Turner, SG Damien Wilkins, PG Carter-Williams. Or could the shooting guard be Jason Richardson? Or what about Nick Young? Or what about keep the original lineup and just fill in Lavoy Allen at center?
Here’s the good thing with this situation: if one guy goes down, they have a lot of options to fill in and shift the lineup to still get their top guys on the floor. But here’s the bad thing: who are their top guys?
They don’t have a set group of guys that are guaranteed starters, and this could prove to be problematic come the start of the season. They went wild in the offseason last year, picking up Andrew Bynum, Kwame Brown, Royal Ivey, Wilkins, Richardson, Nick Young, and Dorell Wright. The only one of those guys that really did anything for the team was Wilkins, and that was only for about a quarter of the season. The rest of the guys were total busts, especially Bynum. Richardson is old, Brown is a bust, Ivey’s a career backup, Nick Young only scores points and can’t do much else, and Wright was a one-hit wonder for Golden State. Even though it sounds like a lot of big names, they obviously didn’t get it done. And then you take away Jrue Holiday, who led the team in both points and assists per game. That doesn’t leave them in a good situation.
There are a lot of actual top free agents out there that the Sixers should pursue. People such as Tiago Splitter, Kevin Martin, and Nate Robinson are all guys that could really help the team. After looking at their roster, they are losing about half of it to free agency, so a lot of new moves will likely occur. I wouldn’t expect them to re-sign Bynum, Nick Young, or Dorell Wright, so those guys seem to be gone. The only guys that are free agents that I would consider re-signing are Wilkins and Ivey. Those guys might actually help the team. They have a lot of cap space, so why not go after a top name? If they could get someone like Josh Smith, that would be amazing. While he’s likely to go to a team that’s already established as a contender, there’s no hurt in dreaming. But dreaming about possible free agent signings is for another day.
Bottom Line: with the people that the Sixers already have, their starting lineup is a big question mark. While a lot of the guys that they currently have on their roster will be in the mix, there is no guarantee as to who will be in the starting lineup during the first game.