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Experts Agree: The Sixers Are Gonna Be the Absolute Worst Next Season

Jul 31, 2013, 3:04 PM EDT

NBA: Philadelphia 76ers-Press Conference

Well, we traded our only reliable offensive creator, we drafted a guy who might not play at all next year, and we still don’t have coach. Aside from that, things are looking bright for the Philadelphia 76ers–seriously, we got all them prospects and draft picks and cap space and whatnot–but obviously, winning games next year does not appear to be a top priority. Indeed, a whole lot of people think that they just might end up winning fewer games than any other team next season.

This includes Bill Simmons of Grantland, who today evaluated the Sixers as the best bet (+120) to win the Andrew Wiggins sweepstakes (a.k.a. “Riggin’ for Wiggins”) in next year’s draft lottery. Simbo writes:

Philly (+120): They’re cruising a few million under the league’s salary floor,11 with no real interest in signing anyone else. (They didn’t even halfheartedly pursue Pekovic.) They haven’t hired a coach yet. Their offense revolves around Evan Turner and Thad Young. They’re bringing in two lottery picks from the worst draft in 13 years — one (Noel) is recovering from major knee surgery, the other (Michael Carter-Williams) can’t shoot and might not even be a point guard. And their organization seems totally fine with sucking as flagrantly as possible. This is gonna be tough to beat, folks.

You know what the last piece of the Riggin’ for Wiggins puzzle is for the Sixers? I have four words for you: that’s right, “Head coach Allen Iverson.”

Very original on that last point, Bill.

Simmons isn’t the only one who seems to think the Sixers are headed for the cellar in ’13-’14. The SB Nation NBA blogger community recently assembled their aggregate Power Rankings going into the next season, with the Heat a unanimous choice for #1, and the Sixers a not-quite-unanimous-but-pretty-close choice for #30. (The average ranking among the 22 bloggers was a 29.7, and no one had them listed higher than 27.) Jason Patt, who assembled the rankings, sympathizes:

And finally, those poor Sixers. It’s going to be a rough go for them next year, although that’s pretty much the plan. If the Basketball Gods have any mercy, Philadelphia wins the Andrew Wiggins sweepstakes in exchange for dealing with the Bynum nightmare.

That would be a start, sure. In the meantime, though, get ready for more L’s than a full Tetris screen next season. You heard it everywhere first.

  1. Matt S. - Jul 31, 2013 at 3:47 PM

    10 9 8 76 losses. I actually can’t wait for this upcoming season there’s no doubt this is the worst team in the NBA. Orlando and Phoenix have the potential to give us a run but the pure lack of talent on this team should get us that coveted worst record. If the Pelicans flop and finish with a top 10 pick the Sixers are set. Never been more excited about the prospect losing 70 games.

    Reply
  2. Hannibal Smith - Jul 31, 2013 at 4:07 PM

    I’ve always wanted to sit courtside at a sixers game, even when they’ve sucked in the past those were hard to find, hoping this season they are going to be pathetic enough that I’ll actually be able to afford that.

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  3. thesixersbench - Jul 31, 2013 at 4:45 PM

    I am 100% fine with this upcoming season being a wash – this is the quickest way to become a contender in the NBA (short of a Miami Heat situation, which is impossible in Philly right now because we didn’t have the cap room or the talent base) and I think we all are sick of mediocre basketball.

    So here we are, at a point where the expectations are clearly laid out and the entire organization seems to be on the same page,with a firm strategy in mind. Isn’t this what we always wanted? Isn’t this how the Spurs and other great franchises operate?

    I am ecstatic over Hinkie’s decisions and Harris’ willingness to back him up, which is not something to be overlooked. Harris seems to ‘get it’, seems as if he is beginning to understand the rules of the game. I’m not surprised – he was always described as “the smartest guy in the room” – if that’s really the case, I think the learning curve he’s currently showcasing is appropriate. The hiring of Hinkie – I thought – showed a willingness to invest in new ideas and a commitment to building a championship level team. He’s not just chasing profit, playoff berths and mild relevance. You don’t hire a guy like Hinkie if you aren’t buying all-in on his strategy.

    So yes – this Sixers season will be ugly – but there is at least a light at the end of the tunnel. A bright one.

    I mean….what were we going to accomplish anyway had we stayed the course? For christ’s sake, Spencer Hawes is our starting 5.

    Reply
    • Cary - Aug 6, 2013 at 7:03 PM

      That is without a doubt the most intelligent review of the Sixers’ situation I’ve read — professional writer or not. Agree with everything 100 percent. Very well said. I may copy/paste this in a group email I’m part of. I’ll give credit, of course. :-)

      Reply
  4. Lol - Jul 31, 2013 at 4:55 PM

    Wow, what a great league.

    Seriously though, they should hire AI as head coach for next season. Give him some money to help crawl out of bankruptcy, generate some fan interest in an otherwise throw away season, and spare some actual coach the embarrassment.

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    • thesixersbench - Jul 31, 2013 at 5:18 PM

      “Wow, what a great league.”

      I’d love to hear you expand upon this, oh philosopher. I’m sure any point you offer can be rendered moot by a comparison to another big time professional sport, depending on which tired argument you’re trotting out there.

      Lazy thinking, dumb post.

      Reply
      • Chris - Jul 31, 2013 at 5:59 PM

        Ugh, this is the problem with talking sports online. There’s always some guy who needs every one-liner, throwaway line, or random comment to be quantified, qualified, and expanded upon. Lol was just expressing the fact that it sucks that you have to tank to succeed in the NBA, which is a completely justifiable opinion held by many in regards to the league. Does he really need to draw you a diagram?

      • thesixersbench - Jul 31, 2013 at 6:11 PM

        “Ugh, this is the problem with talking sports online. There’s always some guy who needs every one-liner, throwaway line, or random comment to be quantified, qualified, and expanded upon.”

        Thinking sucks. Sorry to offend your….delicate sensibilities.

        “Lol was just expressing the fact that it sucks that you have to tank to succeed in the NBA, which is a completely justifiable opinion held by many in regards to the league”

        I understood the post. That same truth holds up for the NFL too, but people don’t seem to draw the connection…because why not just bash the NBA for a bogus reason? It’s lazy thinking and isn’t something exclusive to pro basketball.

        Good luck winning a Super Bowl in today’s NFL without a franchise quarterback. Aside from the extremely unlikely and once-in-a-generation Tom Brady type players ( The NBA has the Tony Parker’s of the world too – not quite on the same level, but both franchise players and superstars ), you need to suck the year a stud QB is available or have a diesel scouting department….which again, holds true in the NBA.

      • Chris - Jul 31, 2013 at 6:43 PM

        Thinking doesn’t suck. Self-congratulatory condescension on the other hand…

        And the reason why the tanking thing sticks out so much in the NBA is that in other leagues there tends to be around eight-to-a-dozen teams with a realistic shot at a title going into each season whereas in the NBA there’s rarely more than three or four and sometimes as few as, well, one…

      • thesixersbench - Jul 31, 2013 at 7:18 PM

        “And the reason why the tanking thing sticks out so much in the NBA is that in other leagues there tends to be around eight-to-a-dozen teams with a realistic shot at a title going into each season whereas in the NBA there’s rarely more than three or four and sometimes as few as, well, one…”

        Not many people had San Antonio going to the Finals last year and they’re a hair away from a title. Knicks, Pacers, Spurs, Thunder (pre-Westbrook injury), Grizzlies, all had legitimate title hopes. Clippers were a pretender, but loaded with talent (Falcons). Lakers are your 2012 Eagles equivalent. And by the time the Finals came around, I thought the Spurs were going to win.

        It was by no means a given that the Heat would take it – they did play two series to Game 7 – and prior to this win they were 1-1 in the Finals (when NOBODY had Dallas winning it).

        Is that somehow inferior to just ‘a team’ getting hot and rolling through the playoffs? Or should the best team win? In the NBA, the best team almost always wins. Yes, you need a star to win – but you don’t HAVE to get the #1 pick to get that star. You gotta have great scouting, good timing, and be a little lucky. And isn’t that every sport? If so, all this talk killing the NBA about it is nonsense.

      • Lol - Jul 31, 2013 at 9:13 PM

        I mean, in the last 15 years, 3 teams have won 12 of the championships.

        That kind of disparity is pretty specific to the NBA.

  5. Captain_Awesome - Jul 31, 2013 at 6:30 PM

    Who are we kidding, Boston will win the lotto and get him and we’ll be stuck with a scrub.

    Reply
  6. sfsu - Jul 31, 2013 at 11:23 PM

    +120 is basically a 50% chance (just barely under)….is Simmons saying that the Sixers will change the rules of the lottery next season to increase their odds of winning Wiggin? The worst record in the league only gets a 25% chance of the first draft pick.

    I only skimmed the article, so maybe I missed a Sixteen Candles reference that explains the whole thing.

    Reply
    • clubberlangphila - Aug 1, 2013 at 11:54 AM

      Simmons is putting odds on who will have the worst record next season.

      Reply
  7. Cary - Aug 6, 2013 at 7:08 PM

    Not sure I agree with the comparison with the NFL.

    Aaron Rodgers was taken late first round and, while it took a while, led his team to a title. Colin Kaepernick was a second round pick and got his team to a Super Bowl, thanks in large part to a defense built with draft picks from multiple rounds and some shrewd free agent signings. Joe Flacco, while a first rounder, was hardly the product of the league’s worst team grabbing the overall number one pick. Tom Brady, we all know about.

    The league is littered with relevant teams led by quarterbacks taken beyond the top pick. In the NBA, as was mentioned, you have to go all the way down to come all the way back up. That’s not the case in the NFL.

    Reply

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