During the 2017-18 NBA season, the Philadelphia 76ers were hoping to show that they were a squad with loads of talent and a knack for winning. They proved this by making it to the conference semifinals; however, the unceremonious departure at the hands of the Boston Celtics confirmed that there is still room for improvement.
Here at Spike’s Trophies, we may be known for our customized awards and trophies for people in NJ, PA, and DE; but we also know a thing or two about “trusting the process” and the up-and-coming Philadelphia 76ers. Check out our preview of the 2018-19 season and who we think has the potential to make a name for themselves this year.
2018-19: The Season of Opportunity in Philly
Most of the 76ers roster from last year will be returning, which allows for the integrity of the team to remain the same. Everybody knows who the stars of the team are. Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, as projected, are the two centerpieces of the organization. Guys like Dario Saric and Robert Covington will once again play key contributing roles, while the elite shooting of JJ Redick and toughness of TJ McConnell help the Sixers close out big games.
After these players though, there are some serious question marks left for this team. Let’s take a look at five players who could rise to the occasion and be the next breakout star.
5. Mike Muscala
The Sixers need all the shooting help off the bench they can get. This was extremely evident during the playoff series with Boston. Mike Muscala comes to Philly as part of a three-team deal involving Atlanta and OKC and could be of assistance. Standing 6-foot-11-inches tall, Muscala can play the four or five and become a versatile player in the Sixers lineup.
4. Furkan Korkmaz
Furkan also brings shooting skills to the Sixers, which they are desperately looking for off the bench. His silky, smooth release will allow him to earn quite a few minutes this season, but it’s his thin physique which makes him vulnerable on both sides of the ball.
3. Wilson Chandler
Averaging double-digit scoring every year besides his rookie year and one injury-plagued season where he only played eight games, veteran Wilson Chandler looks to become the team’s prominent scorer off the bench. While his jump shot isn’t his strong point, he is known for driving hard to the net and finishing around the rim.
2. Zhaire Smith
In true Sixer fashion, rookie Zhaire Smith is already injured. His foot fracture will leave him sidelined for who knows how long. From what he showed in college at Texas Tech, however, expect Smith to drive hard to the hoop while refusing to back down on defense.
1. Markelle Fultz
Everyone in Philadelphia and around the NBA is patiently awaiting the return of Markelle Fultz. Arguably the biggest x-factor in the Eastern Conference, Fultz showed in limited games that he can be one of the most dangerous offensive point guards in the game.
The 2018-19 season will show Philadelphia if they have what it takes to remain a contending team in the East and how their talented young nucleus can develop to take down the elite teams in the NBA.
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