After a successful 2011-2012 season, the Philadelphia 76er’s now will look to the off-season to continue their development as a contender in the Eastern Conference. After an extremely hot start, the team cooled off significantly but still managed to make the playoffs. The Sixers put up quite a fight in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals but weren’t able to knock off the Boston Celtics. With another off-season of growth under their belt, the Sixers hope to be one of the better teams in the East.
The Sixers have an extremely good foundation with Rod Thorn and Doug Collins running the show. Both are very experienced and have a reputation as some of the best in the business. Thorn has helped put together a good, young roster and found the right man to coach it. Collins was pulled from the broadcast booth two seasons ago and coached the Sixers past the First Round since the 2002-2003 season. Both Thorn and Collins might not have much left in the tank but for now the Sixers are in good hands.
While Thorn has done a good job of constructing the roster, he will face many tough decisions this off-season. One of the biggest is whether or not to trade Andre Iguodala, who has been on the trade block for the past few years. While Iguodala is a very good player in the prime of his career, his production does not match his salary which is a problem. The Sixers also face the impending free agency of Lou Williams and Spencer Hawes, two key cogs to the success of the team. Lavoy Allen, Xavier Silas, Jodie Meeks, Sam Young and Tony Battie will also be hitting the free agent market. The Sixers will be entering the off-season with 6 players under contract for next season.
The Sixers will enter the 2012 Draft with 3 draft picks. They currently hold the #15 pick in the 1st round, the #45 pick in the 2nd round and the #54 pick in the 2nd round. The Sixers acquired the #54 from a previous trade with the Memphis Grizzlies. While the Sixers are not in the top-14 picks, they still figure to get a very good player in the 1st round.
The biggest needs for the Sixers entering the draft is upgrading their frontcourt and adding another perimeter player. That could change based on what the Sixers do with Andre Iguodala and what their plans are with Spencer Hawes, but regardless the Sixers have needs in both areas. With the depth of the draft at both positions and where the Sixers currently sit at #15, they will be in a good position to add a very good player. Right now the Sixers will likely have their option of Tyler Zeller, Arnett Moultrie, Royce White, Terrence Ross and Moe Harkless. Depending on how the draft falls, they could also be in a position to select someone who falls like Meyers Leonard, Austin Rivers or even Jared Sullinger. In the 2nd round, the Sixers will be able to find some good depth with their own pick at #45.
The Sixers are a young team with a good, young core that is looking to take the next step in their development. With a good off-season, they could be in discussion as one of the better teams in the East. Under the current guidance of Rod Thorn and Doug Collins, the Sixers have the right foundation in place to get them to where they want to go.