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For Sixers, judging keepers and pieces

Who will stick for the rebuilding organization?

Luc Mbah a Moute has been a solid veteran presence in the Sixers' locker room. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)
Luc Mbah a Moute has been a solid veteran presence in the Sixers' locker room. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)Read moreYONG KIM / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

WE ARE ABOUT one-quarter of the way through another dismal season for the 76ers and we all know the theme: development. Coach Brett Brown and his staff have been given the task of building the players they and general manager Sam Hinkie see fit to be a part of the future and find others who might be able to stick around and contribute during the process.

With that said, let's take a look at the players and what we know so far. They are broken down into "keepers," which means just that, and "pieces," which are players who can either be helpful here in the future or a valuable commodity in a trade.

Obviously, without seeing him play, we'll label Joel Embiid as a keeper. Here's a look at the others, excluding newly acquired Andrei Kirilenko and Jorge Gutierrez.

Michael Carter-Williams: I've heard all the trade rumors and read all the emails from fans who think it would be better off to deal him. I just keep coming back to my thoughts of stability. He appears to be the one true piece for this organization who has a definitive spot and might turn out to be really good at it. The turnovers are a concern, but he barely has a year under his belt in the league and he's not playing with a roster bubbling with NBA talent. His aggressiveness is a very good sign. Keeper.

Nerlens Noel: It is unfair to even start forming a judgment on the 6-11 project as he has only 18 games on his NBA resume. Still, when there is so much expectation, scrutiny is a given, so here goes. The good thing about Noel is that he has improved just about every day since the beginning of the season, but there is still a long way to go, which is OK for someone only 20 years old. He has guard-like quickness with his feet and hands, a huge asset defensively. Once he becomes more familiar with where he's supposed to be defensively, he'll become more aggressive and an even better shot-blocker. Offensively, he's going to have to develop a more powerful game. He's gotten good at hitting floaters in the lane and little baby hooks with both hands - finesse stuff. Now he needs to learn to attack the rim. Hard. Piece.

Tony Wroten: There's no question Wroten is a legitimate NBA player and could have a very long career in the league. He is incredible at getting to the basket, has terrific size and is both quick and fast. His turnovers will make people shake their heads and his desire for the flashy instead of the steady play can turn a coach gray quickly. The problem here is that he and MCW are probably the two best players on the team, and they play the same position the same way. Imagine if this organization does get good. Imagine what kind of a weapon Wroten could be coming off the bench for 25 minutes a game, providing a true offensive spark. That is probably where he's best suited in the league, whether here or somewhere else. Piece.

Hollis Thompson: He raised eyebrows last season when he led all rookies in three-point shooting percentage (67-for-167) at 40.1 percent. He was solid, if not spectacular. What is becoming clear now, however, is that without other scorers on the floor, Thompson struggles to find his shot. His ballhandling isn't good enough right now to create much off the dribble and he sometimes seems reluctant or a bit slow pulling the trigger on outside shots. One of the better shooters on this team, he should be able to free himself up for more than the 7.3 average he gets in his 28 minutes of play. Piece.

Luc Mbah a Moute: "There's me, Luc and a bunch of 20-year-olds," is how Brett Brown describes the 7-year vet. He brings a stability to the team, whether it be defensively, offensively or only having a familiarity with the rigors of the league. He is a great pro to have around a locker room full of wet-behind-the-ears players. There's always a place for someone like him on a team, and if he builds relationships with these young players, he's even more valuable. Keeper.

Henry Sims: There is nothing but good things to say about Sims, who puts his head down every day, plays as hard as he can and doesn't question anything. He certainly isn't a starting center in the league, but on this team he is. He has developed a decent midrange game and has some deceptive moves around the basket. Not sure how much he's worth anywhere but on the Sixers, but could be a capable backup. Piece.

K.J. McDaniels: This kid might be the steal of the second round in the 2014 draft - and might be among the biggest steals overall when all is said and done. His athleticism in jaw-dropping, from his ability to get loose balls on the offensive end to his uncanny shot-blocking ability. He'll need to improve his outside shooting, but the intangibles are there. He is the real deal, it appears. Keeper.

Robert Covington: He is by far the most talented shooter this team has. He has NBA range and form, and his offensive game is expanding as he becomes more comfortable in the NBA game. He could turn out to be a gem. Keeper.

The rest: This group includes Alexey Shved, JaKarr Sampson, Jason Richardson and Jerami Grant, and Grant is probably the player to look at more closely. He could be a piece. The others probably won't fit into the future plans of the club.

Upcoming games

Sixers at Brooklyn Nets

When: Tonight, 7:30

Where: Barclays Center, Brooklyn

TV/Radio: Comcast SportsNet/The Fanatic (97.5 FM)

Game stuff: Just after the teams made a not-a-big-deal trade, they'll face each other for the second time this season. The Nets are extremely shorthanded, as Mirza Teletovic, Joe Johnson, Brook Lopez and Kevin Garnett are all battling ailments.

Memphis Grizzlies at Sixers

When: Tomorrow, 7:30 p.m.

Where: Wells Fargo Center

TV/Radio: Comcast SportsNet/The Fanatic (97.5 FM)

Game stuff: Maybe the surprise team in the NBA so far, the Grizzlies have a perfect balance of offensive and defensive dominance. Center Marc Gasol has topped the 30-point mark four times this season, and the team still boasts one of the league's best defenders in guard Tony Allen.

Boston Celtics at Sixers

When: Monday, 7 p.m.

Where: Wells Fargo Center

TV/Radio: Comcast SportsNet/The Fanatic (97.5 FM)

Game stuff: The Sixers gave the Celtics a good game when Boston visited last month but lost, 101-90. As usual, guard Rajon Rondo was the difference as he went for nine points and 13 assists, many of them going to Jared Sullinger, who torched the Sixers for 22.

By the numbers

35: Turnovers by Michael Carter-Williams over the past six games.

18: Points per game Robert Covington has averaged over the past four games.

On Twitter: @BobCooney76