As the saying goes, things have to get worse before they get better.
— Robert Lepelstat (@STATSports23) July 9, 2017
In 30 years, loyal fans of the Philadelphia 76ers can look back on their Processed dynasty with 20/20 hindsight, eating cheesesteaks and laughing at the mythical “Philadelphia curse” of old.
Joel Embiid will have two MVP awards in his trophy case, three “Trust the Process” engraved championship rings and a first-ballot Hall of Fame induction. Ben Simmons and Markelle Fultz will share a 2017-2018 season Rookie of the Year award, while they will respectively win multiple Skills Challenges and Three-Point Competitions. Teams will strive toward what the Philadelphia 76ers were able to accomplish in their 2017-2018 season setting a new regular-season-wins record at 81, when the only game they lost was out of respect to living-legend Sam Hinkie’s new allegiance with the Sacramento Kings.
This rose-colored future for the young 76ers squad is not unachievable. While critics fail to see through the surface of the “Philadelphia curse,” and its infamous reputation in injuring promising rookies, the 76ers have mastered the modern “tanking” strategy. After years of letting themselves fail and staying under the radar, they are ready to make a playoff run starting four players aged 23 or younger.
The floor is healthy rookies
— #NBA (@ThatsNBA) July 10, 2017
Here is a look at the starting lineup for the Philadelphia 76ers entering their upcoming, 81-win season…
Guard: Markelle Fultz (Rookie)
In the latest stretch of bad luck in Philadelphia, Fultz suffered a sprained ankle during a Summer League game against the Golden State Warriors. Thankfully, it doesn’t look too serious and he will be back in action in one to two weeks according to a medical update released by the 76ers.
Markelle Fultz will be the perfect sharpshooting compliment to point-forward, Ben Simmons. In his rookie season at the University of Washington, Fultz shot over 41 percent from beyond the arch, showed flashes of taking over a game offensively and proved effective on defense with over a steal and a block each game. He brings a valuable competitiveness to a young team eager to make the playoffs.
Guard: J.J. Redick
The two largest contributions from J.J. Redick this season will be from the three-point line and in the locker room. Combining the past two seasons, Redick has shot over 45 percent from deep and has proven a keen ability to move without the ball. Ben Simmons will likely run the offense, and Redick will be a reliable go-to kick-out option when the defense collapses to defend the paint. Secondly, the tattooed sharpshooter will provide a winning mentality with veteran experience, which will be essential in the 76ers transition to becoming a playoff team.
— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) July 8, 2017
Forward: Ben Simmons (Rookie)
Acting as a key building block of the teams’ construction, Ben Simmons showed his potential last year during Summer League before a season-ending Jones fracture in his foot that inevitably required surgery. Whether he will be as efficient in the upcoming season will be seen come October, but thankfully most of his skills do not require an outrageous amount of athleticism. Even if Simmons has lost a step or two in speed, which rumors say he hasn’t, he still possesses an extremely high basketball IQ, court vision rivaling Magic Johnson and a physical frame compared to LeBron James.
Forward: Dario Saric (Sophomore)
After earning contention for Rookie of the Year last season, Dario Saric is a highly underrated, overall-gifted player. While most of his offensive contribution comes from passing IQ and high post isolation, he was bred with a European “space and pace” style of play. Head coach of the 76ers, Brett Brown, loves to slow the game down and play in the half court, catering perfectly to Saric’s talents.
Center: Joel Embiid (Sophomore)
Otherwise known as Hakeem Olajuwon 2.0, if not to anybody but myself. Joel Embiid has potential to be a transcendent NBA player bringing back the value of big men in a small-ball league. From two and half blocks and eight rebounds per game to twenty points each night on nearly 40 percent three-point shooting, the seven footer will undoubtedly be a perennial All-Star. The only thing holding the big man back from true greatness is health. All eyes will be on Embiid this upcoming season to stay uninjured. If something does go wrong and he lands on the bench in a suit, critics will scream “bust” as we wait yet another season for the emergence.
Lavar Ball Fires Back At Joel Embiid, You’re Dumb and Injury Prone https://t.co/sTs3ZpNoI9
— TMZ (@TMZ) July 8, 2017