Trade would leave Sixers even more inexperienced

Trade would leave Sixers even more inexperienced
August 11, 2014, 3:15 pm
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A potential trade with Thad Young and the Cavs' Anthony Bennett would leave the Sixers looking for scoring abd experience. (USA Today Images)

If Thaddeus Young gets traded to Minnesota for Anthony Bennett, it still cannot happen for 12 more days.

Bennett, Andrew Wiggins and Cleveland's 2015 first-round draft pick for Minnesota's Kevin Love is a deal that must take place first.

NBA rules will not allow rookies to be traded prior to 30 days after signing their contract. Aug. 23 is the first day No. 1 overall pick Wiggins can be moved.

Let's assume the speculated trades happen, and Bennett lands in Philadelphia. The Sixers' overall roster for the upcoming season will lack experience and proven scoring.

When the season ended last April, Young was the team's leading scorer, averaging 17.9 points per game.

Michael Carter-Williams, Nerlens Noel, Bennett, Hollis Thompson will likely be starters come the fall.

Tony Wroten, K.J. McDaniels or Jordan McRae will be the fifth guy. Wroten is entering his third NBA season, but the rest are first- and second-year players.

Carter-Williams, the reigning Rookie of the Year, brings the most experience with 70 NBA starts. MCW averaged 16.7 points, 6.2 rebounds and 6.3 assists playing 34.5 minutes per game.

Tony Wroten and Hollis Thompson were regulars in Brett Brown's rotation last year. Wroten averaged 13 points playing 24.5 minutes, while Thompson saw time in 77 games, 41 starts, but he averaged just 6.0 points.

Anthony Bennett enters the 2014-15 season a mystery man. Bennett had rotator cuff surgery in May of 2013. Bennett participated in Cleveland’s training camp only he was out of shape and overweight.

The rookie season that followed equaled 4.2 points and 3.0 rebounds in 52 games. Bennett shot 35.6 percent from the floor, 24.5 percent from behind the arc, playing 12.8 minutes on average.

A change of scenery, a healthy body and Brett Brown's system may be what is necessary to have Bennett reach his projected potential, but it will take time.

Bennett and the other newcomers will discover the importance of "career-best fitness." They will learn what it means to play on the No. 1 pace team in the league. They will also discover the difficulties of scoring when outside shooters are lacking.

There are a number of deficiencies the team has not addressed this offseason.

Outside shooting leads the list. The Sixers shot a league-worst 31.2 percent from behind the arc.

Hollis Thompson did lead his rookie class last spring shooting 40.1 percent from long distance, but Thompson had just 2.16 three-point attempts per game.

Second-round pick Jordan McRae was a 35.1 percent three-point shooter as a senior at Tennessee, but how much playing time he earns as a rookie and his ability to shoot an NBA three, remains to be seen.

Defensively, despite adding a rim protector in Noel and a willing defender in McDaniels, the Sixers are not where they need to be.

The Sixers allowed opponents a league-high 109.9 points per game. Part of that high number is a product of the up-tempo style, but their point differential was the worst, minus-10.4 points.

Noel will block shots and alter others, but the good defensive teams have a strong grasp schematically. With so many new faces and the youth factor, mistakes for the Sixers defensively are bound to be prevalent.

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