Okay, maybe this theory is far-fetched, but I believe with Evan Turner in the rotation, the 76ers are guaranteed at least 12 more wins from their 27-55 record in 2009-10 season. My theory isn’t simply based off the fact that the Sixers’ second overall pick’s new jersey number is 12 – there’s more to it, and it’s not only because of Turner’s presence.
Although Turner will certainly help pull the Sixers out from the bottom of the Eastern Conference, the additions of Spencer Hawes and Andres Nocioni should not be overlooked. In Sacramento, Hawes quietly recorded 6 rebounds per game and 10 points per game during his 2009 season, and had an even better sophomore season in 2008, averaging 7.1 boards and 11.4 points per game. With the biggest waste of space (aka Samuel Dalembert) gone, the Sixers will heavily rely on the injury plagued Elton Brand to return to his level of play previously seen with the Los Angeles Clippers.
Up front, the Sixers have veteran leadership in Elton Brand, along with athleticism in Mareese Speights, Spencer Hawes, and Jason Smith. I’m not saying that the Sixers have a great frontcourt, but they have the POTENTIAL to be a solid group… although, their success depends on the ability of Elton Brand to avoid any major injury throughout the course of the season.
With a solid frontcourt developing, the Sixers now have two talented playmakers in Andre Iguodala and Evan Turner. Philly fans will be the first ones to tell you that AI2 is not what he’s hyped up to be, but he certainly isn’t a bad player. His 17 points per game and 6 rebounds per game did not translate into wins for Philly last season, but if you combine those numbers with the talent of Evan Turner in the upcoming season, Philly has a chance to hold claim to a dynamic duo in the backcourt.
I forgot to mention Philly’s other backcourt member, Jrue Holliday, who is perhaps the key to Philly’s success. Every team needs a reliable point guard, and the former UCLA Bruin showed us glimpses of what’s to come in future seasons last year. As long as Holliday can avoid costly turnovers (and the sophomore slump), he should average around eight assists in 2010. Heck, I think he has a chance to average double-digit assists next year with Philly’s new weapons.
Oh yeah, free agency hasn’t even started yet! With a lot of teams (Miami, New Jersey, New York, Chicago, etc.) aiming for the big name free agents (none bigger the Lebron James), the Sixers can target the less-popular, smaller named players in free agency before the other teams even get the chance to offer these players. One possible target could be J.J. Redick, the sharpshooter and free throw specialist from Orlando. Another option could be a former 76er, Kyle Korver. But none the less, the Sixers still have a chance to improve before the season starts, and this should have fans hopeful for the upcoming season!