Hell no. Of course not. That’s absurd. It’s impossible for a team to lose every single game. Especially when there’s 82 chances to even fluke a way into victory. The Philadelphia 76ers losing all the games, all of them, would be like Nic Cage making the Left Behind trilogy a blockbuster success which is only rivaled by the Matrix or something.
The curiosity with Philadelphia isn’t if they can win any games. It’s how people can talk about their players so positively when all they ever do is lose. Sure, some of the players are solid. Obviously, there’s a glimmer of hope for a better future with Jahlil Okafor and some others. But not every player on the roster can be deemed “good” if they can’t win basketball games.
McConnell and Jerami Grant may very well end up being competent NBA players. They could even manage to be decent. Thing is, especially with Stauskas as we have an actual history of him being bad at NBA basketball, players who aren’t good tend to revert to being bad again. Let’s not make a string of decent games into something it’s not.
This last part being key because riding the highs and (mostly) lows of being a Sixers fan doesn’t have to be complicated by making yourself think any player in the Philly wasteland is some sort of hidden gem.
The Sixers being an abomination of a team allows for plenty of chances for ho-hum to wretched players opportunities to have decent games or put up solid numbers. That doesn’t actually mean they’re good, though. It means they can get theirs because there’s literally no one else to turn to. It’s why Hollywood still puts Chris Evans in big time movies…because who else is going to be Captain America?
We know — mostly — that Okafor is going to be good. He’s productive now. It’s something that nearly everyone can agree on. The same can be applied to Nerlens Noel. They’re somewhat known commodities, and players Sam Hinkie is going to build around. It’s been the literal point of this entire debacle.
The rest of the ragtag group? It would be shocking if most of them were on the roster in two years.
When you take into account Dario Saric coming to the team next season and another lottery pick or two are simply waiting in the wings, there’s an actual chance Hinkie might attempt to put real-life NBA quality players on the roster over the next two years. You know, culminating years worth of his tanking plan after landing his core group of young players and attempting to win games.
Winning games? Blasphemy, I know!
All the other guys on the current rosters are mostly holdovers. It isn’t that hard to figure out. Hinkie hasn’t hidden the fact he’s been trying to lose. He’s gone out of his way to put together as bad a supporting cast to his current core as humanly possible. So why are we trying to pretend these players are anything other than glorified D-League talents?
At best, some of them are backup players in the NBA. Decent players. Maybe even competent. Not a single guy getting minutes now, sans a very few, have any actual future getting major meaningful minutes in the NBA. They’re only getting minutes for Philadelphia now because the minutes aren’t meaningful — they’re minutes that need to be had by someone, to pass time, until Hinkie feels like its time to win games with his young core.
I get it from those who cover the Sixers on the daily. What are they to do; write features on how good Noel and Okafor are each day? Still, for those on the outside, it’s as absurd to think Stauskas, Grant, McConnell, Covington, Holmes, etc. etc. etc., are good NBA players as it is to think Philly will win zero games this season.
The proof that they aren’t good? Because the team stinks. If any of the guys mentioned, or the guys not, were as good as people want to believe, Philadelphia would probably have more wins in the NBA right now than me.
Again, this has to be said another time so it doesn’t feel like a personal attack: some of the players on the roster do have a future in the league. Just not in the way people make it sound when you read positive articles or tweets about them. Logically speaking, it makes no sense. Players can’t all be good when the team is worse than the Glacier WCW gimmick.
What does that mean for the rest of the season for Sixers fans? I don’t know. Whatever you want it to mean. The season is essentially over. There’s no need to watch anyone other than Noel and Okafor — and you’d only be watching them to see them develop.
It’s the sad reality of Philly basketball right now. They’re the worst team in the NBA — by leaps and bounds — and there’s very little reason to say or think anything positive about their current season. As per Sam Hinkie law, though, there’s always next year.
That said, next year is something people should be legitimately excited about. Noel will be better, Okafor will be more developed, Dario Saric will be by default their (at worst) third-best player (if he comes over) and there’s going to be some really tremendous talent in the next NBA Draft. Couple that with Hinkie likely starting to have his seat feel a tad bit hotter and having a core group in place for next season, it’s more likely he’ll finally go after actual NBA players in free agency than him bringing in his usual second-round plethora of garbage.
If any of the holdover pieces on this roster end up being truly, tangibly, actually decent, then it’s all merely a bonus for Hinkie and fans. None of them actually matter in the grand scheme of things, though. So stop pretending they do.