The Sixers Are Mad That the NBA Wants Them to Stop Losing So Damned Much

Nerlens Noel and Michael Carter-Williams

You know what was fun about this most recent Sixers season?

Not a damn thing. The team was built to lose, accomplished its mission, and ended up with the third pick in the draft. As a reward for fans, the Sixers now appear constructed to … lose a lot more in 2014-15, in hopes of securing just one more high draft pick.

The NBA has had enough. The league is pushing a new draft system that would give aggressively crappy teams like the Sixers a reduced chance of being rewarded with a high pick. Basically, every team that misses the playoffs would have the same chance, in the lottery, of getting the No. 1 pick.

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Ex-Sixers GM: ‘Girls in Philly Wanted to Kill Me’ When I Traded Kyle Korver

Photo | USA Today Sports, Mike DiNovo

Photo | USA Today Sports, Mike DiNovo

ESPN’s Grantland has an engaging profile of ex-Sixers guard Kyle Korver today, which speaks of the NBA sharpshooter as one of the NBA’s more underrated players. Korver played with Philadelphia from his rookie year in the 2003-04 season to Dec. 27, 2007, when he was traded to the Utah Jazz.

Here’s what’s fun: The article goes into how Korver ended up with the 76ers. The New Jersey Nets, fresh off an NBA Finals appearance, selected Korver with the 51st pick in the NBA Draft. Korver had spent four years as a sharpshooter at mid-major Creighton University. In order to pay for their summer league team, the Nets traded Korver to the Sixers for $125,000 of Comcast money. The Nets bought a new copy machine with the leftover money from the Korver trade.

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Would the “Hometown Sixers,” an NBA Team of Philly Natives, Be Any Good?

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LeBron is back home in Cleveland as its homecoming King, and that got Elite Daily thinking — what would happen if every NBA team was composed of its hometown players?

Back on Monday, the website posted hypothetical starting fives for 27 NBA teams — and the Sonics — which got us thinking as well: How would the hometown Sixers actually play?

We’ve dealt with hypothetical sports scenarios before, but an NBA starting five is a completely different animal. Let’s take a look at the starting lineup:

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Joel Embiid’s Foot Surgeon: It’s Possible He Could Play for Sixers This Season

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The Inquirer‘s Mike Sielski has an interview with surgeon Richard Ferkel, aka the guy who operated on Sixers’ No. 3 pick Joel Embiid’s balky foot, in which Ferkel is quite optimistic not only about the talented big man’s career prospects, but about the possibility that he could play next season. Not, y’know, that the Sixers appear to be in any hurry to get their first round picks onto the court.

Why the optimism, other than the fact that Ferkel’s like the go-to man for ballers with foot ouchies? It’s that Embiid is so darned responsible:

Embiid sustained what Ferkel called a “clean break” of the navicular — a weight-bearing bone in the middle of the foot — “without any major separation, which is important.”

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Nerlens Noel Finally Plays a Game for the Sixers (Kind Of)

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I enjoy NBA summer league basketball immensely. I like basketball, of course, and will watch it when I get the chance to. But there’s more: Where else can you see young NBA talent and young, not-quite-NBA talent play in a gym that would be too small to hold Holy Family’s basketball camp? At the end of the Orlando Summer League, the top two teams even play in what might as well be a camp championship!

With the Sixers drafting two top players this year who won’t get on the court for a year or two, the summer league becomes a little more fun. How much different will the summer league team be than the regular season squad? You might be seeing swaths of the actual team already! Plus, this year, Sixers fans get to see Nerlens Noel — a player the team took in 2013 who didn’t suit up all last season.

Noel finally saw some game action on Saturday, and acquitted himself quite well in the opener: Though he only grabbed two rebounds, Noel had 19 points, 4 steals, 4 assists and a block in 26 minutes in the first game, a loss to Orlando.

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Report: Sixers Engaged in Trade Talks for Jeremy Lin

Apr 30, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets guard Jeremy Lin (7) celebrates after making a three-pointer during the fourth quarter against the Portland Trail Blazers in game five of the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Toyota Center. Photo |  Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Sports

Apr 30, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets guard Jeremy Lin (7) celebrates after making a three-pointer during the fourth quarter against the Portland Trail Blazers in game five of the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Toyota Center. Photo | Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Sports

The Sixers are attempting to pry Jeremy Lin away from the Houston Rockets, according to a report from Liberty Ballers Jake L. Fischer. Lin will be in the last year of his contract next season; he makes $8.4 million.

It would be pretty cool to have a player on the Sixers who casual sports fans have heard of for the first time since, um, Allen Iverson. But the deal is another of general manager Sam Hinkie’s “acquire as many assets as possible” strategy. The Rockets are attempting to sign star free agent Carmelo Anthony, and would have to trade Lin in order to get the salary cap space for Anthony. The team even put up posters with Carmelo wearing Lin’s No. 7 Rockets jersey in an attempt to recruit him.

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Sixers’ Draft Makes It Seem Like They’ll Be Tanking Again Next Season

Kansas Jayhawks center Joel Embiid celebrates after scoring in the first half of a Feb 22, 2014, game against the Texas Longhorns. Photo | Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Kansas Jayhawks center Joel Embiid celebrates after scoring in the first half of a February 22, 2014, game against the Texas Longhorns. Photo | Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

As a fan, you want to believe the Sixers did this draft right.

But it’s hard. This is Philadelphia, after all, and you’ve gotten burned so many times before. In 1993, the Sixers took Shawn Bradley over Penny Hardaway and Jamal Mashburn. In 1994, they took Sharone Wright at No. 6 — and ended up picking in the No. 3 and No. 1 spots the next two seasons. One year the Sixers took two guys who’d go on to make the majors — in baseball. Between 1999 and 2003, the best player the Sixers drafted was Samuel Dalembert. The Sixers had the No. 2 pick in the 2010 draft and took Evan Turner, who had just completed one of the best college seasons of all time. He was a disappointment here.

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Sixers Take Embiid: What They’re Saying

As you know by now, the Sixers used the third pick of the NBA Draft on Thursday night to pick Joel Embiid, the injured freshman big man from Kansas. The 10th pick was eventually converted to Dario Saric, a good European player who is at least a year away from coming to this country to play.

Here’s what they’re saying about the Sixers this morning:

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Sixers Fans: Beware a Wiggins/Embiid Combo

On my very first day in Philly, I walked into the office of an editor who greeted me with a quick question:

“What do Philadelphia and Lawrence, Kansas have in common?” he shot.

It wasn’t an inappropriate question: I was just finishing eight years working for the newspaper in Lawrence — home of the Kansas Jayhawks — and was ready to move onward and upward in the journalism industry. So I gave the first answer that came to mind.

“Wilt Chamberlain,” I said, and dingdingdingdingding I was right. A few years later, and I might also have mentioned the Morris twins. Philadelphia and Kansas have long had a cozy little relationship: The city sent players to the country to be groomed, play high-stakes NCAA tournament games, and move on to the NBA. The closest we Kansans ever came to reciprocating was when Larry Brown — who won the 1988 championship at KU — came here to try to get Allen Iverson to practice for a few years.

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