Old Faces in New Places: Your Guide to Former Sixers' Current NBA Teams

Old Faces in New Places: Your Guide to Former Sixers' Current NBA Teams

In years' past, there'd be no real need for a column about where former
Sixers are playing now, since the team was so focused on keeping its
core intact that if the Sixers let one of their guys go, chances were
pretty good he'd already have one foot out of the league. Not the case
anymore, especially after this last off-season, and now a number of
post-Iverson era Liberty Ballers have found themselves some new digs.
With the NBA regular season kicking off tonight, hooray, here's a brief
refresher about where our old guys are at now.

Elton Brand:

New Team: Dallas Mavericks

Acquired Via: Auction bid, after the Sixers amnestied him in the off-season for cap-room purposes.

Role:
Starting power forward while Dirk Nowitzki is out with knee issues,
primary post defender. When Nowitzki comes back, he may move over to the
starting pivot, or come off the bench behind Dirk and one-time Clipper
teammate Chris Kaman.

First Game: Tonight, the late TNT game against the Lakers.

Samuel Dalembert:

New Team: Milwaukee Bucks

Acquired Via:
Trade with the Houston Rockets, in a H-Town salary dump while GM Darryl
Morey was trying to clear cap space for a potential Dwight Howard
trade.

Role: Starting center, at least at first. We bet they revert to the Drew Gooden high-post offense soon enough.

First Game: Friday against the Celtics in Boston

Willie Green:

New Team: Los Angeles Clippers

Acquired Via: Trade with the Atlanta Hawks for Sofoklis "Baby Shaq" Schortsanitis.

Role:
Third-or-fourth-string shooting guard, behind at least Chauncey Billups
and Jamal Crawford, and possibly Grant Hill too if they need to find
room for him on the wing.

First Game: Tomorrow night against the Grizzlies

Andre Iguodala:

New Team: Denver Nuggets

Acquired Via: Trade, as the final piece of the four-team swap that saw Dwight Howard go to Los Angeles and Andrew Bynum come to Philly.

Role:
Starting two-guard, defensive stopper, secondary play-maker, and—the
Nugs hope—the player the puts them over the top as a contender in the
West.

First Game: Wednesday night—in Philadelphia, natch.

Jodie Meeks:

New Team: Los Angeles Lakers

Acquired Via: Free agency, a one-year, $1.4 million deal.

Role: Floor-spacer off the bench, though if Kobe Bryant sits
tonight with ankle trouble as it is rumored he might—we'll believe it
when we see it—Jodie will be the starting two-guard for the Lakers'
season opener, alongside Steve Nash, Metta World Peace, Pau Gasol and
Dwight Howard.

First Game: Tonight, the late TNT game against the Mavericks.

Nikola Vucevic:

New Team: Orlando Magic

Acquired Via:
The four-team Bynum/Howard trade, one of the "prospects" received by
Orlando in exchange for the second-best player in their franchise's
history.

Role: Backup center behind the more
defensive-minded Gustavo Ayon, though in the long sense, he and
would've-been Sixers rookie Moe Harkless share the burden of proving
that the Magic at least got something out of the whole Dwight Howard deal.

First Game: Friday night against the Nuggets

Lou Williams:

New Team: Atlanta Hawks

Acquired Via: Free agency, a four-year, $20 million deal.

Role:
Probably a similar instant-offense slot off the bench to the one he had
with Philly, though with similar perimeter scoring issues to ones
enjoyed in Philly during his tenure, it's entirely psosible he'll spend
large times as an offensive focal point, especially in late-game
situations.

First Game: Friday against the Rockets

Also Still Kicking Around:

Lou Amundson, Minnesota Timberwolves
Matt Barnes, Los Angeles Clippers
Raja Bell, Utah Jazz
Reggie Evans, Brooklyn Nets
Kyle Korver, Atlanta Hawks
Andre Miller, Denver Nuggets
John Salmons, Sacramento Kings
Jason Smith, New Orleans Hornets
Marreese Speights, Memphis Grizzlies
Sam Young, Indiana Pacers

Doug Pederson: Dak Prescott knew he didn't have to win by himself

Doug Pederson: Dak Prescott knew he didn't have to win by himself

For the most part, Carson Wentz had a pretty successful rookie season. 

Sure, the Eagles finished with a 7-9 record, but Wentz did enough to continue the franchise's belief that he is indeed the quarterback of the future. 

Another guy in Dallas did the same thing with the Cowboys. Actually, Dak Prescott had an even more impressive rookie season, leading the Cowboys to 13 wins, while winning the Offensive Rookie of the Year award. 

Prescott, a fourth-round pick, had a great year, but didn't try to do too much. And that's what impressed Eagles head coach Doug Pederson the most. 

"[Prescott] understood this right away, that he didn't have to win the game for them," Pederson said on The Doomsday Podcast, hosted by Matt Mosley and Ed Werder. (Pederson also talked about running the Rocky steps). "He knew that he had a good defense, a tremendous offensive line, a great runner, he had some veteran players that he could rely on and he learned that early. As soon as he had the opportunity to play and that was early, from Day 1. 

"That's something that a young quarterback, sometimes it takes them a while to figure out the game that way. That's the impressive thing, that he learned how to handle that business that well, utilize the people around him and understand that he didn't have to go win the game."

While Prescott had plenty of help during his rookie season, it was pretty evident Wentz was lacking in that area. 

Prescott had a great offensive line, Dez Bryant, Ezekiel Elliott and others. Wentz had an offensive line that was missing Lane Johnson, an often-injured Ryan Mathews and receivers like Nelson Agholor and Dorial Green-Beckham playing serious snaps. 

So it made sense when the team went out this offseason and signed Alshon Jeffery, Torrey Smith, and recently LeGarrette Blount, as free agents, finally getting Wentz some real help. 

"We had opportunities to get those two guys and it was obvious last year, we were young at the wide receiver position," Peterson said. "We needed some leadership, some veteran presence there and we went out and got that with Torrey and Alshon. We still want to build through the draft, we still want to acquire young talent. 

"LeGarrette Blount now is a guy that gives us that big back, running back, that can come in and compete and hopefully he does everything he did at New England the last couple of seasons. He had 18 rushing touchdowns for over 1,000 yards and we just expect that same level of performance here."

Maybe having weapons will allow Wentz to do what made Prescott so impressive to Pederson in 2016: not too much. 

Tonight's lineup: Michael Saunders dropped to eighth in order

Tonight's lineup: Michael Saunders dropped to eighth in order

Pete Mackanin is still searching for answers to the Phillies' offensive woes following Sunday afternoon's disheartening 1-0 loss in Pittsburgh during which the Phils could only muster three hits.

The latest lineup twist as the search for an answer continues will see Michael Saunders bat in the eight-hole tonight as the Phils open a four-game series with the surging Rockies tonight at Citizens Bank Park (see game notes).

When he has started this season, Saunders has been a fixture within the middle of the Phillies' order. After all, the offseason free-agent signing was an All-Star for Toronto last season when he hit 24 homers and drove in 57 runs.

But this season hasn't gone as planned as Saunders is hitting just .232 with four homers and 15 RBI in 41 games with the Phils this season.

With Saunders' drop down the lineup, Tommy Joseph will bat fourth, Maikel Franco fifth and Odubel Herrera sixth against Rockies spot starter Jeff Hoffman.

Tonight's full lineups can be found below:

Phillies
1. Cesar Hernandez 2B
2. Freddy Galvis SS
3. Aaron Altherr LF
4. Tommy Joseph 1B
5. Maikel Franco 3B
6. Odubel Herrera CF
7. Cameron Rupp C
8. Michael Saunders RF
9. Jerad Eickhoff SP

Rockies
1. Charlie Blackmon CF
2. D.J. LeMehiau 2B
3. Nolan Arenado 3B
4. Carlos Gonzalez RF
5. Mark  Reynolds 1B
6. Gerardo Parra LF
7. Alexi Amarista SS
8. Tony Wolters C
9. Jeff Hoffman SP