Sixers Are Better? We’re Better! You Bet!

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Dec 3, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Philadelphia 76ers forward

Nerlens Noel

(4) and forward

Robert Covington

(33) celebrate during the fourth quarter against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center. The 76ers defeated the Timberwolves 85-77. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

It’s The Climb

In the 2013 NBA draft, the team traded point guard Jrue Holiday and 42nd pick point guard Pierre Jackson for center Nerlens Noel and a 2014 protected first round draft pick.   Noel had fallen out of favor due to his need to rehab following a successful ACL surgery, and sat out the 2013-2014 season for the Sixers.

In the 2014 NBA draft, the Philadelphia 76ers selected center Joel Embiid  with the third pick of the draft.  Just as happened a year earlier, the team had a prospect who would be rehabbing for an entire season after a foot surgery.   They also used the second first round pick to select power forward Dario Saric.  Saric had signed a contract with the Turkish team powerhouse Anadolu Efes.  His contract was for three years, but offers him an out after two seasons.
Fortunately, the knee of Nerlens Noel was now healed and he was able to take the court for the Sixers.

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Despite the poor records, and a draft designed to place struggling teams back into the fray by giving them better NBA draft placement, the Sixers turned that currency into “tomorrow”.  Tomorrow that is now slated to be the 2016-17 season, as that is the year when both Embiid and Saric will likely arrive to the NBA.

In 2015, the Philadelphia 76ers broke tradition when the once more selected a center, this time in the form of Jahlil Okafor.  But unlike the previous two seasons, Okafor is NBA ready and will likely start at center.   This move allows the Sixers to slide a very strong defender in Noel to the power forward position.   The front court of the Sixers is taking shape this season.

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