Sixers will benefit most in ending one-and-done

Philadelphia 76ers (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
Philadelphia 76ers (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Philadelphia 76ers are best positioned once the NBA ends the one-and-done rule.

If you’ve spent any time listening to the not so quiet hints and whispers of NBA news, you will be in the know regarding the controversial “one-and-done” rule in the league. The Philadelphia 76ers should be listening more closely than anyone.

Since 2006, the NBA has required NBA hopefuls must “…be at least 19 years old and a year removed from high school” prior to entering into the draft. The 2018 NBA Draft saw several of the top ten players having to play in college for a year before entering the draft as a result of this rule.

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However, according to the previously linked article above and various rumors around the league, Commissioner Adam Silver is ready to do away with this rule. This could come as early as 2021, though no official statement has been made. The potential effects of that are worth strong scrutiny.

Not only will this create far more depth in the coming drafts, but also more uncertainty. College allow players to gain more maturity, more experience in a further developed system against better athletes and sets the table of expectation higher for those who enter the league.

One of the reasons the rule was implemented was because the high quantity of players who did not amount to anything in the professional league and then were left with no further skills to fall back on. The re-implementation of this rule, while exciting for some, in my own opinion creates too much risk in terms of young hopeful who forgo education only to fail in their question for basketball immortality.

However, in a very arbitrary sense, this also create more mystery and risk for NBA franchises. How good with that player’s game really translate in to the NBA? Funneling players to colleges for a year(s) was an opportunity to find out, that will no longer exist.

As mentioned before, it creates the potential for monumental depth going forward. How could this effect the Philadelphia 76ers? Glad you asked. As it stands, the Sixers have more draft assets than anyone in the NBA. Right now, among those assets are 11 drafts picks between 2021-2023, six of which come in 2021, the first thing we might be looking at increasing depth.

From the next draft, until 2023 the Sixers hold 19 total draft picks. Additionally, the Sixers have $101K in salary and $115K in guaranteed cap accumulation. By next year, $30 million in cap will have rolled off and going into the 2020-21 season down to a total $62M. Lets assume Ben Simmons takes up another $20M-plus of this and Dario Saric takes $12-15M putting us around $95-100M.

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Those draft picks become immensely valuable in either being able to move them for cost efficient players, to support the stars or the acquisition of low cost players to build on for years to come. The 76ers find themselves in perhaps the most unique situation in all the league. They own the inimitable freedom to use cap space knowing they have the assets to rearrange salary as needed.

When looking around the league, a few teams that are built well for the next five years to thrive. However the question becomes, how many of those teams also have remaining assets and cost-efficient contracts to keep building?

Philadelphia very well may be able to keep Simmons, Markelle Fultz, Saric and Joel Embiid together for the next eight years without flinching or being concerned about the luxury tax. This gives immense flexibility to whoever will step in as the next general manager.

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Speaking of the next GM, this flexibility should be one of the main selling points of the position. In fact, this can be a selling point for a GM or a head coach pursuit. Whoever steps into a leadership position for the Philadelphia76ers can walk in knowing he (or she) has control of the way this franchise grows and achieves for years to come.