It is nitty-gritty time for players trying to make the Sixers' 15-man roster. Tonight the Sixers play the Timberwolves in their final preseason game. They are still carrying 20 players. In the next couple days that number will be reduced.
“There are some legitimate spots available,” head coach Brett Brown explained. “In your mind you can’t help but think you are a long way down the tracks in terms of who you think is going to make it, but there are one or two areas of the roster you really still have to think through.”
In other words, Brown is pretty sure who the 15 players will be but because the skill difference is minimal he will make sure it is a character-first roster -- the circumstances demand it.
“I feel like I have five guys that are clear starters, and you have an experienced player in Lavoy [Allen] who is finding his way and after that, who knows,” Brown said prior to the game against the Cavaliers a couple days ago. “So you have six NBA players and bunch of guys fighting for spots that need to be seen and need opportunities.”
“I go straight away to the type of people,” Brown continued. “Are they going to compete? Day to day are they going to come with personalities? Can they be coached, do they want to be coached? All those things matter.”
“And so you try to select your team in a year that is going to be extraordinarily difficult around the types of people that can take hits, withstand it, stay positive and keep the locker room together,” Brown finished. “That is how I see it and that is how it has to be done.”
Given the parameters, here are the 15 names I think will be on the roster for opening night:
Evan Turner, Michael Carter-Williams, James Anderson, Thaddeus Young, Spencer Hawes, and Lavoy Allen are givens.
Despite being injured, Nerlens Noel, Arnett Moultrie, Jason Richardson and Kwame Brown are also givens.
That leaves five spots left, to be filled by Darius Morris, Daniel Orton, Tony Wroten, Royce White and Vander Blue.
Bubble guys Khalif Wyatt and Rodney Williams are out. Williams was hampered by a hamstring injury that kept him from playing much of the preseason.