Players Who Will Impact 76ers Wins Next Season

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Apr 6, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Duke Blue Devils center Jahlil Okafor (15) drives to the basket defended by Wisconsin Badgers forward Frank Kaminsky (44) during the first half in the 2015 NCAA Men

Jahlil Okafor

I know, you expected this one to be on the list, too. This incoming freshman will be likely finding himself on the starting roster, and in a role playing type of position early on in his career. As I’ve mentioned before, he must take this opportunity by the horns, because not only is he laying the foundation for his career, he’s laying the foundation for the next chapter in the Sixers’ franchise.

Okafor is big. Very big. He’s big to the point where he can be an intimidating person to guard, even to experienced NBA players. It’s going to take a little bit before teams figure him out (although I’m sure Okafor will need some time to transition as well). We are absolutely unsure of what he can offer in the NBA, but we’re hoping it’s similar to what we saw from him at Duke.

He averaged over 17 points per game there, and that’s not a stat that is going to come easily in the NBA. Sure, he’ll have the minutes to do it, but certainly not the experience with just one year of college.

Okafor comes in with lots of skills. He can drive to the hoop, and find ways to dunk, even when he’s well guarded. Some bigs are hindered by needing to use their physicality, but not Okafor. Okafor can sink a turnaround jumper with no problem without needing to initiate any contact whatsoever. That was one of the first things he showed off in Summer League this year:

Consistintely during Summer League that was something I was looking for. Mid-range shots without needing to utilize physicality to score. Okafor continuously showed that, in my opinion.

He will, however, have a shot at showing how he is also a huge component of the future of the 76ers. He’s another young guy who is expected to be big, and expected to put big numbers up, even in his first year.

It’s not so much a matter of how Okafor will impact games for wins, because he was brought in with that intention as the third overall pick in the draft this year. He is expected to do so.

Next: Isaiah Canaan