I’m all for rebuilding the right way, so when I here things like this, I’m fairly concerned.
Former Spurs asst & current 76ers head coach Brett Brown was at SAS practice Sat. He told Danny Green PHI will make playoffs next year
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) April 19, 2014
I’ve been very quick to caution fans that even if the Sixers land the number one pick this year, they aren’t going to magically turn into a contender next season. That’s even taking into account that they will likely end up with a second top-10 pick, that they obtained from the New Orleans Pelicans in the Jrue Holiday deal last draft day.
The Sixers won 19 games this year, and will for sure bring back Michael Carter-Williams, Tony Wroten, Thaddeus Young, and Nerlens Noel (who will make his NBA debut). The possibility of trading Young exists, but I don’t get the sense that it is likely.
Out of that group, I only view Carter-Williams, Young, and Noel as starters. Wroten is much more valuable as an energy guy off the bench for Carter-Williams, as he is most effective when the ball is in his hands. If he improves his shot, he could start as a shooting guard, but definitely not on a playoff team.
So that leaves the Sixers with two solid NBA starters, and Noel, who will remain a question mark on the offensive end until he proves otherwise. His addition to the rotation should help the defense to improve, but he certainly doesn’t make them a playoff team. The biggest hole on the team still would be finding consistent scoring.
If I was a big conspiracy theorist I would say that this quote indicates that the Sixers are higher on Jabari Parker than Andrew Wiggins, because Wiggins is considered much more raw offensively than Parker is, but that seems like a stretch to me. But anyone who wants to make a case that Parker would make the Sixers more of a competitive team next year than Wiggins, would probably be right.
All of that taken into account, the Sixers won’t be a playoff team next year, and I doubt that Brown believes they will be. While I’ve had a tough time evaluating Brett Brown as an Xs and Os coach because he has been coaching such a bad group, I have learned that he has brought the best outlook for the Sam Hinkie analytics program that a coach possibly could have. He knows the situation, and is embracing it. I think that this is just another case of him being positive about the group of guys that he is working with, some of whom he ultimately believes will help to bring a parade down Broad Street.