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As we prepare for the 2016-17 Fantasy Basketball Season, I’ll be taking a look at each NBA team with their major adds and drops to see if we can pan for any surprise rotational gold.  This open is especially witty for the Nuggets.  We’ll be counting down the teams from worst 2015-16 NBA regular season to the best, mainly because I’m still figuring out how to rank the Warriors…

Philadelphia 76ers (10-72)

76ers

Key Acquisitions:

F Ben Simmons (Rookie)

G Jerryd Bayless

[edit – he’s coming!] F Dario Saric

G/F Gerald Henderson

G Timothe Luwawu (Rookie)

G Sergio Rodriguez

Key Losses:

G Ish Smith

G Isaiah Canaan

G/F JaKarr Sampson

F/C Elton Brand (hahahaha I keed)

WE NEED BIG MEN!  THE NBA IS WON WITH BIG MEN!  BIG MEN BIG MEN BIG MEN!  …and then Sam Hinkie starts brushing his teeth with his forefinger…  Then following this 3-year, drug-fueled, obsessive binge, he steps out before being fired…  It’s like Requiem For A Dream but he didn’t lose an arm!

So now we have some new GM named Bryan Colangelo, which sounds like some sort of hybrid citrus fruit.  He should do an Amazon Prime Day flash sale and unload half the roster…  But until then, we can only break down who they have on paper right now:

PG – JB is a starter!  Something no one ever told me on organized teams…  Wahhhhh, I’m Jarrett Jack!  With Ish gone, Bayless assumes the starting role unless backup T.J. McConnell somehow takes the starting role.  I guess it’s possible TJ starts, but the Sixers love 3PT shooters at point rather than ball handlers…

Bayless had a pretty pedestrian 10.4 Pts 3.1 Ast in 29 MPG last year, but did knock down 1.9 treys (by far a career high) and nab 0.9 steals.  He played a lot of swing minutes off the bench, but his numbers as a starter in 32 MPG are actually worse.  So there’s not exactly a ton of upside.  That said, something like 13/3/4/1.2/0.2 with 2.5 treys a game isn’t out of the question.  Boring, but streamable and verrrry useful in the deep leagues.

SG – Welcome to the mess, Gerald Henderson!  I guess the Sixers want nothing but completely bald guards…  It doesn’t get much more boring than Hendo, but the price wasn’t bad at 2 years, $18 mil.  The Sixers will just hope he turns into something.

I want to talk now about my boyfriend Timothe Luwawu.  This dude is AWESOME!  He’s still pretty raw and not doing great in Summer League, but there’s some long-term upside here.  Depending on Sauce Castillo, Luawawu is likely destined for some D-League time.

[edit] I’m going to put Dario Saric here, because I think he pushes Hendo for playing time and they move Covington to the pure 2.  After winning MVP at Olympic qualifying, Saric announced he will indeed come to the NBA after it sounded like he might stay when I originally put this update together.  Last year in Euroleague he was 11.7/5.8/1.5/0.5/0.5 in 22.5 MPG.  So not “dominant”, but he did shoot 50% from the field with 1.2 treys.  He’s definitely got some multi-cat upside, but it depends on the run he gets.  At 6’10, he can indeed hang with SF, but this team just keeps getting bigger and bigger!  The Hinkie fingerprint remains…  Worth a flier in deeper leagues, I don’t think I’d invest in redraft.

SF – Speaking of D-League, how about the ascent of Lord Covington!  I wish he was handed the keys to the offense…  While it was overall a pretty disappointing season for Robert Covington, don’t forget he was hurt early on and did improve his REB/STL/BLK.  I’m going to like Covington a good bit heading into the season as long as he’s healthy.

PF – Yikes, to the big men… where it gets messy.  Well, it shouldn’t be “that” messy for Ben Simmons, who should get his no matter what.  Looking at this roster and the complete and utter lack of playmakers, I’m starting to buy in more and more on Numero Uno.  He’s playing pretty well in Summer Ball – mostly keeping the TO down, getting dimes, hit some jumpers his last game…  I like it.  I’m going to lump Noel into the C discussion, but as Slim mentioned on our last Podcast, this has become the complete and utter death of Jerami Grant, who was a key contributor in even shallow redrafts last year!  Uggghhhh.  All those blocks, GONE!  Instead we get anemic block rates from Okafor…  Aight, aight, to the center:

C – Ummmm, Jahlil Okafor is hopefully traded?  You’re only gonna play Nerlens Noel 20 a night?  Is Joel Embiid secretly Greg Oden?  All these questions and more will be answered in 2016-17!  Can I end my preview there?  Fineeeeee.  I think I’d still have to rank Noel first of the group because, well, he’s by far the best in fantasy.  I’ve always felt Okafor is a little overrated, but he surprised with a usable-enough 68.6 FT% and “only” 2.3 TO, two knocks on his game I thought would be worse.  That said, 7.0 rebounds in 30 minutes is pretty atrocious, with only 1.2 blocks factored in as well.  I’m completely and utterly avoiding unless he or Noel are dealt.

Then to Embiid, and just who knows what you’ll get.  Without a trade, I can’t see more than 15 MPG, and even with a trade, 22-23 seems about the max.  He just feels like the worst asset right now – not enough upside for a shallow league gamble, too much downside to take a risk in a deeper league where you need just mindless production.  I’ll be surprised if I get any of these Philly bigs.

JB’s 2016-17 Projection: 15-67

I think Simmons is enough of an asset to give them 50% more wins.  Even though it’s still not a huge upgrade haha.

  1. Nate says:
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    Thoughts on Saric?

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Nate: Good point, I probably should’ve mentioned him, but when I put most of this together, last update was he was likely staying in Europe another year.

      Sounds like he’s coming now… Let me add him in, good catch!

  2. Slim

    Slim says:
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    We are going to disagree about Covington. I’m going outside the top 100. So I noticed in Summer league that the Sixers brought in Jerami Grant and twice started a lineup of Holmes (center) and Simmons/Grant at SF/PF although I don’t know which is playing which but if either is going to play SF then either could run away with the job. Then if they wanted they could use Hollis Thompson at the 3 too, or Henderson since they paid Serge Rodriguez 8mil to play some SG. And we still have Saric to deal with and he could very well be playing SF or PF. And I assume they haven’t given up on Stauskas… All in all I can’t stand this roster for fantasy and without a trade Ben Simmons will (probably) be my only target.

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Slim: I was thinking 80ish or 90ish, so not that far off. Feel like he was available to add a lot last year, so I think that’s why I think I’ll value him OK.

      Agree, Simmons is my only target too. Saric messes up any Jerami value. They just need to dump Okafor and then I can like Nerlens again!

    • Lasandro says:
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      @Slim: Great writeup @JBGilpin, can’t wait for our dynasty league to kick-off. I, too, am incredibly disappointed in their logjam of bigs and yes, Stauskas still being around does indeed hinder Cov’s upside. I dont quite get why teams are willing to give this guy a shot despite his horrific percentages, particularly as a titled “shooter”. What gives? I still remember watching the behind-the-scenes vid of Vivek R influencing/forcing the rest of the Kings board to draft Stauskas over Elfrid: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jEK_d-SFfCQ.

      80 – 90 is still somewhat low for such a talent tho, right? You dont think that Brown will try and get his mins up the the mid 30’s? His size allows for him to defend both wing spots and some PFs (although they wont need him to take on 4s). And RIP J Grant. Yes, I’m in a shallow 9-team roto and yes, he absolutely helped my Obrds and blks cats towards the end of the season. *weep*

      • JB Gilpin

        JB Gilpin says:
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        @Slim: @Lasandro: Meh I’m not really factoring in Sauce that much, he just isn’t that good and we agree there. Lol awesome vid find!

        Ummm, well not for the minutes risk for RobCov. I agree he “should” but he had weird minutes waffling last year and now Saric and Simmons can play some SF/PF too. I think it comes with some risk in that range, but worth the upside

  3. DORIAN says:
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    Great write-up, a few thoughts:
    – I think Covington gets decent run, as the 76ers defintely will need his shooting out there. I wouldnt be suprised if a trade of one of the big men doesn’t include Hollis Thompson or Grant, freeing up more wing minutes. I would look for discounts on Cov, because we know he can go big in many cats.
    – I’m actually bullish on Embiid as a flier in redraft/keeper (assuming a trade of one of the other Cs) as he could have a Blake Griffin-ish rookie year – he has a great skill set for fantasy. Full disclosure, I have the opportunity to keep him for $7 this season, so I’ll be watching him like a hawk.

    • Lasandro says:
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      @DORIAN: Completely agree with your thoughts re: Cov. Really hop he gets that heavy burn.

      Don’t know much about Embiid’s potential, but a 23/12/4 line projection is kinda strong, no? Can he even pass that well? Blake was stupid in his rookie season.

      • JB Gilpin

        JB Gilpin says:
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        @DORIAN: @Lasandro: True, but Fg% is a risk, too many TO, and it is the friggin Sixers haha. I think he should get the run, but I feel like investing too high in this team is risky.

        Yikes Las, forgot Blake’s rookie year was THAT good! No way we’re seeing that. Blake played 38 minutes rookie season, I don’t think we see more than HALF that for Embiid. I’m staying pretty far away

        • DORIAN says:
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          @JB Gilpin:

          Yeesh, ok, yeah maybe not Blake-like statistically, more blake-like as in sitting a year (or two) and being a post-hype fantasy success.

          • JB Gilpin

            JB Gilpin says:
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            @Lasandro: @DORIAN: Ah I gotcha. It’s possible… I just dunno if he has that kind of scoring upside

  4. Foreign Affairs says:
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    Props for trying to sort out the Sixers JB, they are a Mad Max roster for warring tribes right now for fantasy purposes.

    I think Simmons isn’t as safe this year as he seems if they can’t get any trades done, his jumper still looks like it doesn’t exist in summer league and he still seems scared to try it at times when he knows he can just pass so I think if they don’t trade two of there bigs hes going to be riding the pine in games against teams with good defenses that will cut off his passing lanes especially because this team is desperate for someone who can space the floor more then once a weak.

    I think people should keep an eye on Sergio for deeper leagues, back when he was in the league before, he had this habit of having some recent seasons Jose Calderon levels of production for stretches when he was given minutes so any injury to Bayless could make him interesting as a plug and play.

    ……Then again maybe this is mute and they just play Simmons at pg….I hate that I have to pay attention to this roster by having Embiid and Saric in REL

    • Lasandro says:
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      @Foreign Affairs: a shaky jumper, potential for Wall-like turnovers, below average ft%, low scoring numbers, no 3s… Simmons not looking like a great redraft pick. He’s certainly fun to watch.

      • JB Gilpin

        JB Gilpin says:
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        @Foreign Affairs: @Lasandro: Haha awesome analogy! Hinkie was kinda like the old man with the face gaurd, and finally got too old…

        Oh I am in no way labeling him safe! Maybe like Batum lines from a few years ago minus the 3s and blocks? Which would be a big hit haha

        Yeahhhh, maybe in the really deep leagues. Older Euro PG haven’t seem to translate that well lately, but he has played NBA before…

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @A Hill O’ Beans: Yup someone should emerge, be it Covington or one of the centers gets the full time cstarting role.

      Hah yeah I read it… What a dbag. All the luster of #OccupyDraymondGreen is wearing off…

  5. Drez1 says:
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    My man Terrence Jones reuniting with Anthony Davis in New Orleans. Doesn’t look like they have much depth at the 4/5, and Davis is as injury prone as they come. Bounce back year for Jones? I just can’t quit him for some reason. 🙁

    • Lasandro says:
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      @Drez1: oh, you should haha. On top of his underperforming ways and ridiculously long injury history, he’s got to compete for minutes with their young new stud Diallio (so?). Trust me man, I love his potential as much as the next guy. But last year I remember the Razzball boys ranking him pretty high based on said potential and possible playing time. He had a game early in the season with stupid stats across the board so everyone went wild. Then proceeded to lose his job and poop the bed.. On the bench.

      Never forget.

      • MAC says:
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        @Lasandro: im 1 of those! drafted jones in the 70s. though i did give up on him, it took me up to january. hehe. contract year for the 2nd season in a row, so maybe he gets it done. and in a better situation than in houston a year ago. maybe a good late pick in the 120 up range?

        • JB Gilpin

          JB Gilpin says:
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          @Lasandro: @MAC: Wellll, to be fair it was all lost on an injury then a coaching change. Tough to foresee that with pre-ranks. Now we have a for-sure injury history and he’s off his original team already.

          Def like him as a last pick or two for the upside. I don’t think it’s crazy to think he can play 25 minutes with a few next to Brow…

  6. Lasandro says:
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    I am so looking forward to your Minny write up, now that they’ve added yet another big to the fold. I was already a little concerned for my man Dieng’s PT once J Hill arrived, but now they signed a really talented big in Aldrich and I’m starting to lose faith in Dieng’s fantasy potential next season. This is starting to look a lot like what ORL is doing with A Gordon’s PT..

    • MAC says:
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      @Lasandro:
      i dont think j hill and aldrich gonna impact dieng much. thibs gonna play his rotation, and expect starters to log atleast 32mins, and thats being conservative. dieng finished almost top 50 last year with only 27minutes and getting coached by sam mitchell. both signings are for depth, and 1 of hill and aldrich will definitely be on thibs 8 man rotation. might be depending on game to game basis. hill for offense and aldrich for D. just hoping dieng doesnt get so hyped up, so i can pick him in the 70s again. hehe

      • JB Gilpin

        JB Gilpin says:
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        @Lasandro: @MAC: Hah I’ll get there sooner than later! Well don’t forget this is a Thibby team! Loves to run his starters big min! And yeah I’m not too worried about Hill either. Aldrich is a pure C and not like he’s gonna cut into Towns #s.

        MAC – I won’t be helping with trying to keep the lid on Dieng 🙂

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