Why Colin Cowherd is wrong about the Philadelphia 76ers

AUSTIN, TX - MARCH 13: Radio host Colin Cowherd speaks onstage at 'The Evolution of Audio in the 21st Century' during the 2015 SXSW Music, Film Interactive Festival at Four Seasons Hotel on March 13, 2015 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Amy E. Price/Getty Images for SXSW)
AUSTIN, TX - MARCH 13: Radio host Colin Cowherd speaks onstage at 'The Evolution of Audio in the 21st Century' during the 2015 SXSW Music, Film Interactive Festival at Four Seasons Hotel on March 13, 2015 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Amy E. Price/Getty Images for SXSW) /

In response to the trade between the Celtics and Cavaliers on Tuesday night, Colin Cowherd proclaimed that the Celtics have a brighter future than the Philadelphia 76ers. Here’s why he may be speaking too soon.

On Tuesday night, the NBA world was shaken by the news that the Boston Celtics and the Cleveland Cavaliers had made a blockbuster trade. Shams Charania of The Vertical broke the news on Twitter, notifying the public that the Cavaliers would be sending Kyrie Irving to the Celtics in exchange for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, and the Brooklyn Nets 2018 first round pick.

As a result, anyone and everyone began spewing their thoughts on the deal onto their Twitter timelines. Whether the Cavaliers or Celtics won the trade was the main topic of discussion amongst the masses, but one particular sports talk show host went in a different direction.

Colin Cowherd, host of The Herd on Fox Sports One, declared the Celtics the new rulers of the Eastern Conference for the next six seasons. He congratulated them on winning the conference title until 2023, which is already quite a bold statement to begin with as only the Celtics from 1959-1966 have ever won that many eastern conference titles in a row.

In response to this, many fans began to reply to the tweet saying things along the lines of “what about the 76ers?”. Cowherd, however, was not having it, as he responded with a tweet for the sole purpose of bashing the up-and-coming Philadelphia 76ers.

Ignoring the blatant disrespect (hard as it may be), this take is just incorrect and will more than likely be something fans look back on and laugh at in the future. First of all, he says that the Philadelphia 76ers are not going to be a playoff team, even with the additions of Ben Simmons, Markelle Fultz, J.J. Redick, Joel Embiid for more than 31 games (hopefully), Amir Johnson, and Furkan Korkmaz. That sure is a lot of firepower to add to a team that won 28 games last year.

Additionally, In the month of January last season the team went 7-2 in games Joel Embiid played in and were finally beginning to click on both ends of the court. The Philadelphia 76ers had the third ranked defense in the entire NBA in January and were only five games back of the playoffs at the time.

The glaring issue last season was that the team did not have a very threatening offense. This season, players like Markelle Fultz, Ben Simmons, and J.J. Redick are sure to improve the team on that front. Fultz and Simmons are each the number one picks of the previous two NBA Drafts, and they were chosen so high because of their elite offensive talent. Fultz is a combo guard capable of scoring the ball in a plethora of ways, and Ben Simmons is a point forward with fantastic court vision and the ability to elevate the play of others around him. Redick is one of the best shooters in the NBA, which will surely improve the 76ers court spacing after ranking 23rd in three point percentage last season.

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All of these reasons have given the fans in Philadelphia good reason to believe that they will be vying for a playoff spot this season, and they are not alone in this belief either. Both Bleacher Report and ESPN have recently put out columns predicting which teams will be in the playoffs next year, and both included the Philadelphia 76ers. With the Pacers, Bulls, and Hawks all turning their attention towards rebuilding, there are three open playoff spots in the east and the 76ers are destined to snag one of them.

The next thing that Colin Cowherd got wrong, this time live on his show, was that he said that the Celtics have a “potential star” in Jayson Tatum, but all the 76ers have are “prospects.” His rationale for this was “who knows how good Ben Simmons is?”. In case Cowherd forgot, Tatum has also not played a single minute in the NBA, so to declare him as a “potential star” over a guy selected number one overall in the draft the year prior is a bit absurd.

It is also absurd to refer to Tatum in such high regards and then completely ignore the fact that the 76ers also have another player on the roster that was drafted higher than Tatum in the same draft. If anyone from the class of 2017 has star potential, its Markelle Fultz, not Jayson Tatum, who will not even be a starter as long as Gordon Hayward is on the Celtics roster.

Additionally, the Philadelphia 76ers will have almost $60 million in cap space, so there is plenty of room to add a few more talented players to the roster in the coming years.

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Overall, Cowherd’s comments were narrow minded and lacking the full truth, and in time his words will come back to bite him. The Sixers are in a great spot moving forward no matter what nay-sayers like Cowherd think. Barring health, the Sixers have one of the most talented rosters in the league, and their youth gives them plenty of time to get acclimated to the league before the pressure of winning rings comes into play.