The 76ers are absolutely sure about three things — Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, and Markelle Fultz.
It’s not that they are sure they will be healthy, or sure they will be able to meet the ridiculous expectations set for the young trio.
The Sixers are sure that these guys are the nucleus of what will take them to the next level — competitive basketball that hopefully ends up in the realm of the postseason.
Outside of the that, not much else is sure.
There was a clear theme Monday during the Sixers media day. Player after player sat at the podium and said they did not know how they were going to fit in or what their role would be on the team.
Dario Saric: “It’s a hard question…You’re ready to take any role on the team that they give you. That’s how I feel now.”
Jerryd Bayless: “I think in the coming weeks it will be a little bit more defined with playing and practice starting. But whatever Brett [Brown] sees for me, you know, I’ll make it work.
Jahlil Okafor: “I’m not sure…As far as my role goes, I’ll leave that up to coach Brown.”
Nik Stauskas: “To be honest I’m not sure. That’s why we have training camp and the preseason, so people can get a feel for what their role will be… For me I’m coming in to training camp and I’m competing for a position on this team.”
T.J. McConnell: “Honestly, I think that’s up to coach Brown and the staff. I’m going to work my butt off every day to make sure that I’m on the court.”
Justin Anderson: “We have a lot of guys, and it’s a great problem to have if one may consider it a problem.”
J.J. Redick: “We haven’t really practiced yet or had a game so, I don’t know how I fit in.”
That’s a nice chunk of the roster that doesn’t seems have a clear picture of how they will play into the new Sixers’ plan with just over three weeks before the 2017-18 season opens.
With so much uncertainty it’s clear that the competition during training camp and preseason is going to be more heated for the Sixers than it has been in recent memory. The importance of developing on-court chemistry and getting into some sort of rhythm will be a high priority when camp opens Tuesday.
Injuries and restrictions to Joel Embiid and Jahlil Okafor complicates the front court situation.
In the back court is a group that has barely shared time on the floor, if any. Defining a depth chart and units that work together cohesively will be one of the bigger challenges for the coaching staff.
Having a lot of players to choose from is a good problem, as Anderson pointed out, but weaving them together so they can be successful is a lofty task with less than a month before the first tip-off that matters.