5 reasons the Philadelphia 76ers are not the 2016-17 Timberwolves

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Despite the obvious parallels, the Philadelphia 76ers will likely not repeat the disappointment of last year’s Minnesota Timberwolves.

This time last summer the Minnesota Timberwolves were a very fashionable pick to make the playoffs. The T-Wolves had a “big three” of young players who seemed destined for stardom. In 2015-16 the Timberwolves were 29-53. They had added a transcendent young center to a lineup that had won just 16 games the previous season. The trend lines looked for Minnesota to take a big leap but that did not happen. Some are saying that the optimism for the coming season is premature and the Timberwolves are an example of how young teams don’t win.

In 2016-17, the Philadelphia 76ers were 28-54 after adding a transcendent young center and after winning just 10 games the year before.

The parallels are obvious, but the results are unlikely to be the same. Before we dive into why this Philadelphia 76ers team will likely avoid the disappointment of last years team in Minnesota, lets dive into the Similarities

The Similarities

  • Youth — The Timberwolves roster last season averaged just 25 years overall. But even beyond that, the average age of the starters was a positively cherubic 22.8. The Philadelphia 76ers roster this coming season will average 24 years old with the starters averaging just over 24 years of age. The Philadelphia 76ers average starting age is somewhat skewed by the 33-year-old old J.J. Redick. Remove Redick from the equation and substitute Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot at the shooting guard position and the starting average age plummets to just 22 years of age.
Philadelphia 76ers  Minnesota Timberwolves  
Justin AndersonSG23Cole AldrichC27
Jerryd BaylessPG28Nemanja BjelicaPF28
Jonah BoldenPF21Omri CasspiSF28
Robert Covington *SF26Gorgui DiengPF26
Joel Embiid*C23Kris DunnPG22
Markelle Fultz*PG19Jordan HillC29
Richaun HolmesPF23Tyus JonesPG20
Amir JohnsonPF30Zach LaVine*SG21
Mathias LessortPF21John Lucas IIIPG35
Timothe Luwawu-CabarrotSG22Shabazz MuhammadSF25
T.J. McConnellPG25Adreian PaynePF25
Jahlil OkaforC21Ricky Rubio*PG26
JJ Redick*SG33Brandon RushSG31
Dario SaricSF23Lance StephensonSG26
Ben Simmons*F20Karl-Anthony Towns*C20
Nik StauskasSG23Andrew Wiggins*SF21
Average Age 23.8Average Age 25.6


  • Roster Balance — The 2016-17 Timberwolves appeared to have a fairly good roster balance between bigs, wings and guards. With Karl Anthony Towns in the interior, Andrew Wiggins playing small forward and Kris Dunn, Zach Lavine and Ricky Rubio in the backcourt, the Wolves seemed to be balanced. The Philadelphia 76ers have thier own cadre of young stars in Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and Markelle Fultz.

On these two levels the two teams seem to share many similarities. So let’s dive into what the teams will likely not have similar results.

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