Can the Philadelphia 76ers be the Boston Celtics' foes for years to come?
The Philadelphia 76ers has had a more difficult time of rebuilding than the Boston Celtics have had. The 76ers struggled to win games and their top draft picks were getting hurt. It seems like the drafting is slowly but surely coming together.
Point guard Markelle Fultz was the first pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. He is only 19 years old and Fultz has had a shoulder injury and it has caused him to only play in four games so far this season but Joel Embiid (third pick in 2014 NBA Draft) and Ben Simmons ( first pick in 2016 NBA Draft) have already gotten the comparisons of Los Angeles Lakers greats Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Magic Johnson.
That is a far stretch considering both Embiid and Simmons have a long way to go. They are injury prone, but the both of them is something special when they play on the court together.
Embiid is averaging 23 PPG 11.2 RPG 3.5 APG and 1.9 BPG so far this season. Embiid is a potential MVP candidate if he stays healthy and Embiid received a contract extension for a reason. Simmons is averaging 17.8 PPG 9.2 RPG 7.7 APG and 1.9 SPG so far this season. Simmons already has a triple-double this season and he could of had more already. Simmons is the real deal.
The unsung player that will be a part of this team for the next decade is Dario Saric. He was not drafted by the 76ers, but Saric was drafted 12th overall by the Orlando Magic in 2014 and he was acquired in a trade.
Saric is averaging 9.6 PPG and 5.3 RPG so far this season. Dario Saric can score 20 points and grab 10 points night in and night out if he wants to.
Brett Brown is a very good coach for the 76ers despite coaching those bad teams. He knows has a very good team and they are off to a 8-6 start so far this season. Philadelphia is currently 6th in the eastern conference.
That is a far cry from Boston's 14-2 start this season, but the 76ers could be Boston's kryptonite for years to come. Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid, Dario Saric, and Markelle Fultz is the 76ers core for years to come. Kyrie Irving, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Al Hois the Celtics core for years to come.
The Philadelphia 76ers future draft picks for the first round for 2018 and 2019 is very complicated between the Los Angeles Lakers, Boston Celtics, and/or Sacramento Kings. Philadelphia will have four second-round draft picks in the 2018 NBA Draft (Their own, from Brooklyn or Cleveland, from Houston, and from the Clippers or New York).
In 2019, they have three second-round selections as well (Their own, from Sacramento or Milwaukee, and from New York). Depending on how the draft order goes the next couple of seasons and how well they draft, the 76ers could be right there with the Celtics in competition for eastern conference championships year in and year out.