Despite the Philadelphia 76ers roster paring down to the 15 man season limit, this year feels little different than last year’s opening.
Not many surprises, despite my efforts to predict a surprise retention of guard Brandon Paul. In the end, the Philadelphia 76ers looked at undrafted rookies, but elected to retain veteran presence.
The team opted to part ways with guards Brandon Paul and Cat Barber, and forwards James Webb III and Shaun Long. While Paul will not be eligible to be assigned to the Delaware 87ers, Barber Webb and Long are all expected to sent to the team’s development league. With the team owning the right to assign four players to the D-League, the 76ers signed recently waived guard Dionte Christmas.
Dionte Christmas likely to get cut & play for Delaware, according to league source. Sixers can designate 4 affiliate players to go to 87ers.
— Jake Pavorsky (@JakePavorsky) October 24, 2016
With the assignment of Christmas, the team will sit at 15 players and preparing for the season home opener against the Oklahoma City Thunder Wednesday October 26. Many had thought that the team had adequately addressed the point guard situation. Unfortunately, the team is once more entering the season with question marks at the most critical position. Expected starter Jerryd Bayless is out with an injured wrist and top rookie Ben Simmons is out until January 2017 with a fractured foot. Even Nerlens Noel is out for the beginning of this season with a knee injury.
With so many out to open this important campaign, the team is working frantically to prepare injured players. Players who are on limited minutes but who may see the season opener include Joel Embiid, Gerald Henderson, Robert Covington, Jahlil Okafor, and now perhaps Dario Saric .
With so many players in some stage of recovery, head coach Brett Brown has his work cut out for him.
The more things change, the more they stay the same. With the exception of players already in the pipeline for the Philadelphia 76ers, this roster feels no different, no better prepared, no more in sync, than that of the 2015-2016 roster. The difference? Bryan Colangelo is the NBA approved executive which will deflect open NBA criticism of the team this year.