The Philadelphia 76ers haven’t been good since AI’s exit. In 2010, they drafted Evan Turner who was later traded to the Pacers along with the 76ers 2nd round pick, Lavoy Allen. In 2012, they draft Mo Harkless who wound up in Orlando because of the Dwight Howard-to-LA move. The 6ers finally have a draft pick that is sticking around – Michael Carter-Williams. (Nerlens Noel, who ended up in Philly via trade has yet to play a full season. The jury is still out.)
As a Syracuse product, Carter-Williams didn’t come with high expectations in last year primarily because the 6ers have no real identity. Now in his 2nd year and the face of the youthful franchise, Carter-Williams is tired of hearing people talk about the 6ers’ annual tanking strategy.
In his post on The Players’ Tribune, he defends his role and responsibility on a team that has become a joke:
You can question my shooting. You can question my ceiling. Just don’t question if I’m giving my all every single night. Don’t talk to me about tanking.
MCW put up a spectacular freshman year including 9 steals in his very first game; something no rookie has ever done. He un-apologetically criticizes the media’s obsession with the 6ers’s purposeful tank in order to get the 1st pick year-to-year. “Grown men are going to go out and purposely mail it in for a one-in-four shot at drafting somebody who might someday take their job? Nope.” MCW states. And I couldn’t agree more. Last year, the 6ers won more games than Orlando, Cleveland, and the Kings yet wound up with the 11th pick. Thanks to the lottery system, just because you suck or go on a historic losing streak doesn’t guarantee you’ll get that coveted #1 pick.
The 6ers are rebuilding mode. Both the coach and front office people have been honest in saying this. However, when it comes to rebuilding a team, there has to be some of type of end goal in mind. What exactly are the 6ers is building towards should be the real question. What good is drafting new talent and signing veterans if there is no plan to bring all of it together and execute an above .500 record?
The 6ers need to look at how the Bulls did it after they drafted Derrick Rose.