There are still so many questions surrounding the 76ers. But little by little, answers are coming.
It may not be enough to satisfy the fanbase yet. However, assets continue to pile up under the direction of President and General Manager Sam Hinkie.
Will they win a championship this season? Of course not. Will they even make the playoffs? Highly doubtful. The Sixers are building for the future and patience is required.
Potential franchise cornerstone Joel Embiid recently had a setback in his recovery from a stress fracture in his foot. There’s no reason to rush Embiid considering what’s at stake down the road.
The Sixers still have Nerlens Noel, No. 3 overall pick Jahlil Okafor and shooting guard Nik Stauskas. Hinkie orchestrated a stellar trade with the Sacramento Kings, giving up the rights to a pair of second-round draft picks for Stauskas, Jason Thompson and Carl Landry. The Sixers will pick up a protected first round pick and could also swap first round picks with the Kings in 2016 or ’17.
Don’t forget about Dario Saric, who could come over to the Sixers after one more season overseas. There was speculation it might happen this season, but that a deal was unable to be completed.
Stauskas is the key to this deal and gives the Sixers a much-needed boost in terms of a shooter. Now it doesn’t solve all their issues. And it doesn’t look as if the Sixers will be very active in free agency.
The Sixers’ fans do have reasons to have a positive outlook. That’s saying a lot following 37 victories combined over the last two seasons. With Embiid slow to return, Okafor will get an immediate chance to prove his mettle. He has been a winner at every level and helped guide Duke to a national championship as a freshman.
Sixers coach Brett Brown has proven to be terrific at developing players. Getting NBA experience for Okafor will pay huge dividends in the future.
“I think what's been clear over time, not just in today's NBA but really over history, is having the best players wherever you can find them,” Hinkie recently told reporters. “Whether that's at shooting guard, whether that's at center, whether that's at the point guard, having the best players is what's the most critical thing.”
When Ohio State guard D’Angelo Russell was selected by the Los Angeles Lakers at No. 2, the Sixers didn’t hesitate in choosing yet another big man.
“One of the things we do is talk to a lot of the players in the draft about each other because they grew up together,” Hinkie told reporters “And one of the things you’ll hear from Jahlil’s contemporaries is how strong he is and how amazing he is. He’s been the best player of that class for some time now, so they have played with him and against him and hold him in high regard as well.”
The Sixers keep adding assets. Whether you agree or disagree with the rebuild, there are reasons to be positive and optimistic.
Don’t expect a bevy of victories in 2015-16. The overall outlook is improving.