July 19, 2016, 8:56 pm
One of the more interesting things to watch next season will be how Philadelphia chooses to handle their group of promising young front court players. While the possibility of trading one away to make room has been brought up this offseason, they will still have plenty to manage with Dario Saric, Ben Simmons and (hopefully) Joel Embiid all debuting next season. Philadelphia 76ers beat writer Tom Moore spoke with Brett Brown about the challenges and potential fits going into next season:
— Tom Moore (@tmoore76ers) July 20, 2016
Spacing will be an obvious concern, but time management will likely be an even trickier one. Finding minutes for five recent lottery picks that all spend time at center or power forward won’t be easy, and the fact that none of them has proved that they can stretch out a defense will make it even more difficult.
With all of that said, Brown will have some nice flexibility going forward. Simmons will likely be asked to run the offense quite a bit, and Saric has shown a good ability to pass and handle the ball as well. It doesn’t seem likely that Saric would be able to defend small forwards on a regular basis, especially with the rest of the league’s affinity for using smaller lineups on a more regular basis, but Simmons’ athleticism could allow him to switch with Saric on defense, which would let him focus on guarding opposing power forwards.
In the interview, Brown noted the defensive versatility that he sees Simmons bringing, but also noted that Saric could potentially play center at times. The idea of him as a center with Simmons at power forward is really intriguing offensively, and if they think that Saric could handle the position defensively then they may have a really good combo to try out next season.
The fact that Philadelphia isn’t going to be competing any time soon gives the team a good opportunity to try out different rosters and see what direction works for them, and should also give the players a great opportunity to try and develop new skills to compliment what they already have. If Simmons were to develop a jump shot, then they would a have some frightening possibilities going forward.