The Philadelphia 76ers have been near the bottom of the league for several years. The worst of which was the 2015-16 season when they finished with a measly ten wins. Their roster has lacked talent, and any potential talent has been plagued with devastating injuries. The myriad of lottery picks have yet to pay off for the young squad, but there is hope.
Joel Embiid, the 2014 3rd overall pick has ignited the team with hope. He is oozing with potential, but did not play in a regular season game until last season due to major injuries. However, last season he showed off his limitless potential in limited minutes and games, due to another major injury. Embiid played 31 games last year and everaged 25.4 minutes per game. In this limited time he scored 20.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game. When comparing all players on a per 36 minute basis, he is fourth in points at 28.7, and would average 11.1 rebounds and 4.5 blocks per game. These numbers are MVP worthy, but he must stay healthy or he is worthless to the team. If he can stay healthy he will be the cornerstone of the 76ers for years to come.
The 76ers have a generational talent in Embiid, but they have a lot of young talent around him. Dario Saric was a rookie of the year finalist last season at power forward. He averaged close to 13 points and 7 rebounds per game on 26 minutes. However, the two players that have yet to play are arguably generating the most buzz. Last year’s first round pick Ben Simmons, and this years first round pick Markelle Fultz. Simmons, who has been compared to Lebron James, broke his foot last summer and missed his entire rookie year. Fultz looked good during the summer league and looks to lead the 76er offense as he did at Washington last year.
Overall the 76ers are built for the future, but have enough talent to make the playoffs this season. They have several potential lottery picks over the next couple seasons, and most of their roster is very young. If the injury bug will spare Philadelphia this season we will finally see what they have to offer. There is a possibility that they could finish as high as the fifth seed in a depleted eastern conference if they get the ball rolling. As of now, it looks like the process is paying off.