Fitness is the key to success for Brett Brown
The Sixers have very little depth at point guard and center behind Michael Carter-Williams and the rehabbing Nerlens Noel. (AP)
When the Sixers officially begin training camp on Saturday at St. Joe’s University, a little team-building could be in order for new head coach Brett Brown.
Brown is hardly the only new face in the Sixers’ locker room this season. In fact, the makeover in the front office, coaches’ room and the roster has been virtually complete. Only six players return from last season, including Kwame Brown, who did not see action in any of the final 30 games.
Of the five guys returning who actually saw action on the court, Thad Young and Spencer Hawes are the oldest at age 25. So not only do the Sixers have a lot of new faces, but also they are very young.
Rookie draft pick Michael Carter-Williams is 21 and No. 6 overall pick Nerlens Noel is just 19 years old. Tony Wroten, acquired from Memphis during the summer, won’t turn 21 until the end of the 2013-14 season, while newly signed free agent Rodney Williams just turned 22.
Rookie Royce White is only 22 and James Anderson, a three-year NBA veteran, is the old man amongst the newcomers at age 24.
So how does the roster shape up on the eve of training camp? What’s the team’s depth chart going to look like when it opens the season against the Miami Heat on Oct. 30?
Here’s one way it could shape up:
The Sixers could add another point guard -- preferably a veteran -- to help school Williams. Though the first-round pick turned a lot of heads in the Orlando summer league, point guard is a pretty demanding position. Ask Jrue Holiday, the former Sixers All-Star point guard, about how difficult it can be to play piles of minutes at the top of the floor.
To be determined
Guards who could make the team (non-guaranteed contract division)
Darius Moriss, Khalif Wyatt, James Anderson, Rodney Williams
Finally, Turner can take as many shots as he wants and no one will get upset. After all, who else is going to take the shots? On one hand, Turner couldn’t ask for a better scenario -- he’s headed into a contract year and he will be carrying the scoring load.
On the other hand, the Sixers need some guards. Then again, maybe having a thin, inexperienced roster is the whole point.
Arnett Moultrie, Lavoy Allen, Royce White
This is a wild bunch. Thad Young is as gritty and fun to watch play the game as any player in the NBA. Hawes can be both brilliant and maddening. And then there is Arnett Moultrie, who one got a sense from former coach Doug Collins was the second coming of Marreese Speights. Fitness will be important for Moultrie as well as Lavoy Allen.
Royce White? We’re waiting to see what happens here, too.
Center (by default)
Backup (by default)
Big man out until December (where have we heard that before?)
So Brown is finally going to get off the bench? Collins signed the veteran with the hope that he would be a defensive presence on the low block. But then the Sixers traded for Andrew Bynum, Brown got dinged up and Collins buried him as deep as possible on the bench.
Ohlbrecht is a 25-year-old German who played three games for the Rockets last year. In 32 games for the champion Rio Grande Valley Vipers in the D-League, Ohlbrecht averaged 13.4 points and 7.4 rebounds. At 6-foot-11 and 255 pounds, Ohlbrecht likely sticks around until Noel is ready.
Noel? He played 24 games in college and led the SEC in blocks. How does that translate to the NBA? We’ll find out.