2015-16 Sixers Roster Preview: The Front Court

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Mar 30, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers forward Furkan Aldemir (19) throws a novelty basketball to fans before a game against the Los Angeles Lakers at Wells Fargo Center. The Lakers won 113-111 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Backups

While Okafor and Noel are the focal point of the front court, they can’t play every minute of every game. For this reason, the backups are almost as important as the starters. This may be the last season for some of the front court reserves to get significant playing time with the impending debut of Joel Embiid next year.

Furkan Aldemir has already been brought up, and I think he could surprise some people this year. I wrote a prediction article on what he can do this season a few months back. Since Aldemir can fit nicely in as a center or a power forward, there is a good chance he could see am increase in minutes this year, compared to the 13.2 per game that he got last season.

This is Aldemir’s first whole summer where he hasn’t had to move around from team to team, so he’s been finally able to settle in and hit the gym, which is hopefully beneficial for him.

I see him mainly backing up for Noel, but I believe there’s still a place for him at center. Seemingly, he played more center in Turkey, but in the American rendition of basketball, he fits in better as a power forward. He’s certainly not huge at 6’9 and 229 pounds, but he is known for his ability to be on the boards and grabbing rebounds. I think he should get some looks at the five spot.

Richaun Holmes was taken 37th overall by the Sixers in this year’s draft, but had a rough start to his NBA career, after fracturing his elbow in Summer League. He should be on the upswing of his recovery at this point, though, meaning we could expect him to be available for the season debut.

Holmes is looked at as an incredibly underrated player, and not many expect him to be able to do much, but Sixers fans know this could easily be a false look at Holmes.

During the three Summer League games he did play, he only played about 16 minutes per game, but was still able to score 9.7 points per game, and grab nearly five rebounds.

Holmes is definitely a player on the fence as far as making the final roster. We could see him in the D-League this season, but if this second rounder plays his cards right, he could find him supporting one of the best front courts in the NBA as an off-the-bench asset.

Lastly, Gerald Wallace is a small and power forward with experience. Although he hasn’t done much power forward work at all in years, he could be a player who occasionally subs in as the four spot.

I’m a little leery to assume that Wallace has a place on the final roster. Although his age — which can be used to mentor younger players — can be seen as a positive aspect to the team, it can also be seen as a curse. There’s no doubt, he’s on the decline, as he hasn’t averaged double digit points in any of the last three seasons.

Wallace, to me, is good as more of an off-the-court player, and a coach that’s on player contract of sorts. Sure, occasionally he could come in and help get the ball moving, but he’s certainly not as good as he used to be. His experience though, could still be good for mentoring younger guys. He’s no Paul Pierce, but he’s pretty much all the Sixers have right now as far as a veteran influence.

Next: Projections