IT’S no great secret the Philadelphia 76ers have been struggling to field a competitive team in recent times. However, they now find themselves in the rare position of having too many good players at one position. Because of the logjam at the position there aren’t enough minutes to go around. They can’t keep trying to shuffle the deck and mix up their line-ups, so what should they do moving forward?
Ersan Ilyasova – KEEP
NO one expected Ilyasova to be much of an offensive contribution since Philly traded for him roughly six weeks ago. But with inconsistencies from their younger guys, Ilyasova has been a stable contributor scoring in double digits 20 out of 23 games with the team so far, including averaging 16ppg this month. He is a free agent at seasons end too, so there is no reason to try move his salary.
Nerlens Noel – TRADE
THE time has come for the 76ers to farewell Noel. I started writing this piece before Noel spat the dummy over his low number of minutes the other night, and that just gives Philly more reason to move him. While his trade value might be low, moving him for picks or a three point threat is ideal, as he would be a great high energy bench guy in the right situation. The team and he have come as far as they can with their relationship.
Richaun Holmes – KEEP
FOR how much Holmes is costing the team there is no way they should consider getting rid of him. He is shaping up as the perfect back-up centre for the future, averaging nearly seven points and over four rebounds in 16 minutes each game.
Joel Embiid – KEEP
DESPITE Embiid’s anger over his minute restriction early this year, he is clearly the most important part of their rebuilding roster. Moving forward he will be the cornerstone of this franchise, therefore a large reason for freeing up minutes is to allow his continued development.
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Jahlil Okafor – TRADE
THIS one was a tough choice, but the 76ers are poised well to move on from Okafor. There have been tons of rumors surrounding the 2nd year stud, who has identified himself as a solid low post scorer and capable rebounder during his short career to date. Without him on the roster, Philly has the freedom to play Saric, Ilyasova or Simmons (when healthy) at the 4 spot and expose other teams defenses with their pace and ability to shoot from outside. Okafor is a good player, but the way the NBA is trending there isn’t a huge need for a slow post player (think Greg Monroe but better), but some teams could still benefit by adding him. If they can find a trade for a serviceable combo guard who has a knack for shooting the deep ball they should pull the trigger, even if it looks like the lose the trade on paper. The long term benefits will outweigh the negatives.
Dario Saric – KEEP
THE young rookie has shown promising glimpses in his first handful of NBA games and should only continue to develop. He has some talent as a playmaker, able to create his own shot, a trait not many guys on the roster have.
Ben Simmons – WHAT DO YOU THINK, KEEP
LAST year’s number one overall pick in the draft hasn’t seen the court yet thanks to a foot injury. He looks like a once in a generation talent though, and part of the reason they need to make a trade is to free up minutes for when he returns. Unless you are being offered an MVP candidate, do not even consider a trade.
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