The Sixers season is thankfully over, so it’s time to give out some team awards.
Well, it’s finally over. 82 Sixers games of sanguine yet depressing basketball, sparse wins, front office drama, injuries abound, and disgusting hot takes have finally come to their long awaited end.
With the worst record in the NBA neatly sealed up and tucked away, the Philadelphia 76ers‘ sights have now set on free agency and the draft. The team is sure to look drastically different next year with the arrival of countless new faces on the roster as well as a new-look front office and a brand new practice facility. But, it would be premature to jump ahead before handing out some awards to a few deserving members on the Sixers’ roster.
Acquired in a trade between the Sacramento Kings and the Sixers, Nik Stauskas has grown leaps and bounds since his arrival in Philadelphia. Coming in primarily as a shooter, Sauce has developed both his defense and drive to the rim.
The Sixer Sense
Being one-dimensional would not earn him any playing time, so developing into a complete player has been paramount to his success. Teetering between starter and bench player, Nik has made the most out of his minutes, averaging 8.3 points per game and a 38.9 field goal percentage.
Rookie of the Year
I was going to go with Jahlil Okafor because thats kind of a gimme, but I think TJ McConnell is a bit more deserving. Yes, Okafor did have an outstanding year while cementing his place as an offensive juggernaut, but he and fellow rookie Richaun Holmes had a plethora of injuries that plagued them throughout the year.
McConnell’s consistency and grit, while with a rather clean bill of health, have allowed him to showcase his unappreciated talent for a longer duration of time. Though he should have been the starter, TJ has gone above and beyond as the back up point guard. He leads all rookies in steals and is second in assists. Being undrafted makes you work a bit harder than a lottery pick would, and his hard work is evident in the product he puts on the floor.
When Elton Brand signed on to the team, nobody expected him to be much more than a mentor to the young guys. I didn’t think he was ever going to play in an actual game. But, necessity called, and EB took us back through a time machine.
The purge of Sixers big men got so bad that Elton even started a game. He had a good presence on the boards, grabbing 63 rebounds in his 17 games, while also shooting 43 percent. Brand making on court contributions rather than behind the scenes babysitting was definitely a pleasant surprise for the Sixers.
Carl Landry has already been voted MVP of the Sixers by the people, so this was easy. The eight-year veteran power forward and his infallible elbow jumper has really taken over games at certain points this season.
He shoots an impressive 55% field goal percentage and 46% from behind the arc (small sample size there, though). ‘Nuff said.
Kendall Marshall was a shoe-in for biggest disappointment until the Sixers had a stroke and forgot how to Process. So, now the award is emphatically delivered to Josh Harris and the ownerships doorstep.
I wasn’t necessarily disappointed in Sam Hinkie for stepping down. I mean who wouldn’t resign when the business you work for says they will abide by your plans and see them out, then hire an old guy to help do the exact opposite, and then have plans to hire that old guy’s son?
The more discouraging part to all of this is that the ownership is easily swayed and really seems to have no idea what they should be doing. It’s actually quite sad that Bryan Colangelo had to save the inherently awkward and squeamish Josh Harris a few times during his introductory press conference. Bryan made a pretty good first impression, while Harris fumbled to find coherent answers to any questions posed.
Okay, rant over, but we should expect years and years of more Sixers disappointment in the future.