15. Philadelphia 76ers
In time, the Philadelphia 76ers will get there.
They have drafted many talented young players over the years, and are assembling a young core. But two of their young pieces, Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, have yet to play a regular season game in the NBA.
How will all of the big men, including Embiid, Jahlil Okafor, Nerlens Noel and others mesh? Each of these players, individually, was talented in College, and some have already produced in the NBA. But others have not, including Dario Saric.
At this point, the Sixers simply lack enough experience and veteran leadership to compete in the East. Philly is still a few years away, and they would likely be content with making a bit of headway out of the Conference’s cellar. That’s possible this season, especially if Embiid, Simmons, and Saric can give Philly some production that they have lacked in the past.
Just because the Sixers may not win many games doesn’t mean they’ll be boring to watch. Simmons, it seems, is on track to be the next big thing in the NBA, provided he puts the necessary work in over the next few seasons. Fans have heard a lot about Saric and Embiid over the past few years, and they’ll now get a long awaited look at those two players as well.
Still, though, this figures to be another trying season for the Sixers, and for that reason they come in at No. 15 on this list.
Next: No. 14