Of the 20 players at Sixers’ training camp, only 15 can remain on the roster come opening night.
Differentiating between which players to keep and which to cast away will likely be especially difficult with this Sixers squad, since many of the players have little or no NBA experience.
Still, the deed needs to be done, as Brett Brown needs to consider which players he feels may have a future with the franchise. Some of the selections are obvious. It is safe to assume that players who have achieved starter status such as Thaddeus Young, Spencer Hawes, and Evan Turner will be back, and the same goes for high-potential prospects like Nerlens Noel and Michael Carter-Williams. These guys are going to be on the squad when the Sixers open the season against Miami on October 30th.
As you venture further down the roster however, the distinctions become more difficult, as you find a lot of players with similar skill sets, all looking to make their mark with the Sixers this season.
The players still have plenty of opportunity to prove themselves, starting with their upcoming games across the pond, but after a week’s worth of camp here’s how I see the 15-man roster shaping up on opening night, organized by position.
Note: It will be interesting to see how injury issues impact the roster throughout the season. Nerlens Noel is out indefinitely, and there is no timetable for when Kwame Brown and Jason Richardson will return to action. Throw in the fact that Arnett Moultrie is likely out until 2014, and it seems that several of the spots that the team may like to dedicate to development will instead be taken up by injured individuals.
Michael Carter-Williams (S*): 2013 lottery pick and potential franchise point.
James Anderson (S): May be the starting shooting guard on opening night by default.
Tony Wroten: Will provide off-the-bench energy and could play at either guard spot.
Darius Morris: Will play in a reserve role, may be looked to relieve Carter-Williams.
Khalif Wyatt: Improved defense and conditioning could secure him a spot. The team could certainly use his offensive abilities.
Jason Richardson: Probably the team’s best shooter, unfortunately he will be sidelined for much, if not all of the season.
Thaddeus Young (S): Will likely be the team’s best, and most productive player this season.
Evan Turner (S): Is this the season Turner finally lives up to some of that Buckeye potential?
Royce White: Huge question mark, but Brett Brown seems to really like White’s potential. If he can get himself out onto the court, he could be a contributor.
Gani Lawal: Signed Friday, will likely be looked at as addition depth for the front court.
Arnett Moultrie: This season would have been a good opportunity for Moultrie to get some major minutes, making his injury especially unfortunate. We will now likely have to wait until the next year to see him get some on-court action.
Spencer Hawes (S): The team’s best [active] three-point shooter. I can’t believe that was just typed.
Lavoy Allen: Will likely be the first big off the bench.
Kwame Brown: It’s Kwame Brown.
Nerlens Noel: Won’t be rushed back into action for this struggle of a season. His potential remains a bright spot for the franchise’s future.
*S = Projected starter on opening night