5 former 76ers who would’ve turned Philly into true title contenders this season

These former 76ers would make the franchise a title contender in 2024.

Philadelphia 76ers, Jimmy Butler, Joel Embiid
Philadelphia 76ers, Jimmy Butler, Joel Embiid / Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
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2. Jrue Holiday

The Sixers drafted Holiday out of UCLA with the 17th overall pick in 2009. The 6’4 guard spent his first four seasons in Philadelphia where he became an All-Star and helped his team make two playoff appearances. He was at the end of his rookie deal, and the 76ers decided to embark on a total rebuild. They traded Holiday to the Pelicans for the sixth overall pick in 2013 and a 2014 first-rounder.

Few thought the 6’4 guard would become one of the best defenders in the NBA. No one wants to match up against Holiday. He has made five All-Defensive teams, including three times on the first team. Holiday can get stops on the ball or guard much larger players. He is a menace on defense and capable of scoring 19 every night and dishing out six dimes.

The Sixers are no strangers to dealing with him. He helped the Bucks win a championship in 2021 and continues to be on one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference after being traded to the Celtics in the offseason. Holiday is sacrificing in Boston, but his team is among the favorites to win the championship in 2024.

Jrue Holiday is the perfect backcourt partner for Tyrese Maxey. He could take away some ball-handling pressure and handle the toughest defensive matchup. It would give Maxey more opportunities to space the floor and allow head coach Nick Nurse to hide him defensively. The Sixers would be a scary team if Holiday was back on their roster, but one star stands out as the former player they wish returned most.