76ers roster projection for 2014-15
With the NBA Summer Leagues officially over and training camp still a while away, the Sixers are entering the quieter portion of their offseason. There are still a few fringe free agents available to be signed but, as expected, the Sixers have been pretty quiet this summer, and will likely continue to be.
Rather than adding a plethora of players, the Sixers' roster for the upcoming season will largely consist of returning players, draft picks, and prospects. Thus, while the team's roster and rotation for the 2014-15 NBA season is far from set in stone, it is possible to get an idea of what the opening day roster will look like, considering current contracts and summer league performances.
Keeping in mind that moves could be made to affect the rotation, here's a look at what the Sixers' opening day roster may look like.
1. Thaddeus Young – Young, who seems to be perpetually involved in trade talks, is entering the last year of his current contract with the Sixers. He has a player option for 2015-16, but after another stuggle of a season with the Sixers, no one would be shocked to see him split. But, barring a trade, Young will be starting for the Sixers come opening night.
2. Michael Carter-Williams – It is safe to assume that the reigning Rookie of the Year will be back in a starting spot for the Sixers this season. Despite some draft day rumors, Carter-Williams is still a Sixer and he figures to be a big part of the franchise going forward.
3. Nerlens Noel – Throughout the summer leagues, Noel's play was promising and he looks beyond ready to get back to basketball. This season will be important for acclimating Noel to NBA play, and fully exposing him to the rigors of an NBA season.
4. Jason Richardson – Not so surprisingly, Richardson exercised his player option back in June and opted in with the Sixers for the final year of his contract at $6.6 million. That was likely the most Richardson was going to get, so he can't be blamed for opting in. It will be interesting to see how much burn he gets with the Sixers this season. If he can get back into shape, maybe the Sixers could flip him to a contender come trade deadline day.
5. Tony Wroten – Wroten showed signs of his potential as a player last season and should get an opportunity to do so again this season. Certain areas of his game (see: shooting) need vast improvement, but his ability to get to the rim and put up points makes him very valuable. A reserve role seems suiting for Wroten.
6. Arnett Moultrie – It is difficult to determine what exactly Moultrie's role with the team will be, if any, as opportunities to watch him play have been few and far between recently. He is under contract with the Sixers for the 2014-15 season at over $1 million, so the organization may give him another opportunity. Moultrie is still only 23 years old after all.
7. Joel Embiid – It is likely that Embiid won't suit up for the Sixers this season, but the team has to secure a spot for the center, who figures to be a big part of the franchise's foundation going forward. Embiid will likely experience a similar sidelined season to what Nerlens Noel went through last season.
8. K.J. McDaniels – McDaniels was a first-round talent, but the draft's depth forced him to slide to the second. He is an ultra-athletic wing player who can do a bit of everything. He has a shot at starting for this Sixers squad, although he needs to develop his handle and shoot more consistently. His ability on the defensive end will help keep him on the court. His summer league play was promising, and at 32nd overall, he may have been a steal for the Sixers.
9. Jerami Grant – Like McDaniels, Grant is an athletic wing option, who should be given ample opportunity in the Sixers' up-tempo system.
10. Jordan McRae – Talk about draft day steals. McRae, drafted 58th overall, was named to the summer league's second team, leading the Sixers in scoring with 21 points per. Along with showing an impressive offensive arsenal, McRae was dedicated defensively, and he has nice length for a perimeter player. In the absence of other perimeter producers, McRae could see some solid time with the Sixers this season.
11.Hollis Thompson - Thompson showed increased ability to beat defenders off of the dribble in Orlando, as well as an ability to finish at the rim. Combined with potentially the team's best shooting stroke, Thompson should see a lot of minutes for the Sixers this season.
12. Henry Sims – Sims showed some great promise and potential at the end of last season. He started 25 games for the Sixers after coming over in the Spencer Hawes trade, and averaged 11.8 points and seven rebounds in 27 minutes of action. His return should provide the Sixers with some frontcourt fortification, as he could come off of the bench or play alongside Nerlens Noel. Sims' development will be something to keep an eye on.
13. Brandon Davies – Davies isn't the most polished player, but he plays hard and is dedicated defensively. On a contending team, Davies likely wouldn't crack the rotation, but Brett Brown is a fan of his motor and that may afford him another opportunity this season. The Sixers, as currently constructed, have room for role players, especially big bodies.
14. Casper Ware – After last season, expectations were low for Ware but he impressed in Orlando. He demonstrated that he could score, and also showed potential as a passer. Although his diminutive stature doesn't mesh with the size of other Sixer guards, he has speed and may be able to serve as a backup option to Michael Carter-Williams.
15. Sean Kilpatrick – The Sixers need scorers, more specifically shooters, and that might help Kilpatrick's shot at securing a spot. Throughout college and the summer leauge he demonstrated an ability to put the ball in the basket, and if he can demonstrate his ability to consistently knock down NBA threes, he will likely get a serious look from the Sixers.
Alternate: Ronald Roberts – Roberts is a local kid who made a serious summer league impression. Roberts' combination of size, energy and athleticism make him an intriguing prospect. Although slightly undersized for a professional power forward, Roberts demonstrated an ability to use his body and anticipation to create second chance opportunities on the glass. He can get up and down the court, and finish with a serious slam. His performance in Orlando may have been impressive enough to at least get him an invite to training camp.