In less than twenty-four hours the Sixers will begin a long season by being absolutely throttled by the Heat.
This season will be an incredibly long march towards a new direction. The team hopes to land a top-five pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. Andrew Wiggins, Julius Randle, Jabari Parker, Dante Exum and Marcus Smart are all thought to be franchise-changing players, the kind the Sixers haven’t had since Allen Iverson.
The prize is, of course, Wiggins. The small forward is a freakish athlete and is considered the best prospect available in the draft since Lebron James in 2003. He’s the kind of player you throw a year for.
The future core looks promising. Nerlens Noel could be a defensive stalwart in the middle, and Michael Carter-Williams will have a chance to grow and learn. Add one of the five aforementioned players, you potentially have a starting five unlike any Sixers team of the past twenty-plus years.
The team will also purge itself of dead weight. Spencer Hawes will be gone, as will Kwame Brown and, like it or not, Evan Turner.
Gone too, we hope, are the days of a patchwork veteran presence trying to pull the young players together. Remember when the team brought in guys like Donyell Marshall and brought back guys like Rick Mahorn and Theo Ratliff? Now the young team will grow and leaders will emerge.
It’s a new day in Sixertown. It’ll just take an 82 game beatdown to get to it.