The Sixers aren’t interested in winning in the immediate future, preferring instead to acquire assets and young talent that has a chance to be special for years to come.
The team has jettisoned all of its relevant veteran players to proceed with its rebuilding project, which favors player development above all else, the hope being that the dividends will be huge in the future.
Philadelphia drafted Nerlens Noel a season ago, but didn’t play him the entire year as he recovered from injury — even though he himself said he could have gone later in the season. This summer, the team similarly drafted players who aren’t expected to play for the team this season in Joel Embiid and Dario Saric, with the former similarly being sidelined due to injury, and the latter expected to play overseas.
The Sixers headed to Spain to get an up-close look at Saric, and though he won’t play for the team this season, head coach Brett Brown believes his skill level is NBA-ready.
How long do you think Dario needs in order to become an NBA player?
“I think he can play now! I think that in Philadelphia we are about development and about opportunity. He would look around and see a lot of fellow young players that just want a chance to play. Our whole emphasis in Philadelphia is about development and help our players. We are trying to be as good as we can be in sport science and growing up players physically and from a skill perceptive. He is an other one of our young lottery picks that we hope to grow the program with”.
This is mildly amusing, of course, because of the fact that the Sixers (for two years straight now) keep adding players that are talented, but won’t play for the team anytime soon.
This is all part of the plan in Philadelphia, and it may indeed one day pay off with a consistently competitive club that’s capable of contending on a regular basis. Rebuilding this way requires patience (and lots of losing), but to the team’s credit, they’ve been very open about the process all along.