A team will never admit that it's tanking, but the Philadelphia 76ers essentially did just that by trading All-Star point guard Jrue Holiday to the New Orleans Pelicans on draft night for the injured Nerlens Noel and the Pelicans' 2014 first-round draft pick.
Rather than contend for one of the last playoff spots in the East, the Sixers have decided to blow it up and give themselves their best chance at landing Andrew Wiggins, the consensus No. 1 pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. Wiggins is a potential franchise changer, and with the roster the Sixers have in place, it's hard to imagine any other team having a worse record.
Not only are the Sixers rebuilding on the court, but there was some major change in team management as well. Doug Collins resigned as head coach, Tony DiLeo left his general manager role and Adam Aron stepped down as CEO. Sam Hinkie was hired to be the new general manager, and after a long process, Brett Brown was selected as head coach.
Michael Carter-Williams -- Carter-Williams boosted his stock by leading Syracuse to the Final Four, and he's pegged as the starter at point guard after being selected with the No. 11 pick in the 2013 NBA Draft. The rookie is a long, rangy player known for his excellent passing and ability to disrupt on the defensive end. There's a lot of upside with Carter-Williams, but the lack of a consistent jumper could be a huge problem in the NBA. Carter-Williams is also turnover prone, and both issues showed up at Summer League, as he shot just 27.1 percent from the field and turned the ball over nearly five times per game.
Evan Turner -- Turner is in the final year of his rookie contract, and he's going to shoulder much of the offensive responsibility for Philadelphia. Turner has been a disappointment with the Sixers, struggling to find a consistent role and posting less than impressive offensive numbers. The No. 2 pick in the 2010 draft shot under 42 percent last season, and he finished with a pedestrian 12.16 PER. Still, Turner has a lot of talent, and he has the chance to blossom playing in a role more akin to what he did at Ohio State.
Thaddeus Young -- Young is the longest tenured Sixer on the roster, as he enters his seventh year with the franchise. After back-to-back years of serving as the team's sixth man off the bench, he returned to a full-time starting position and averaged the highest minutes per game in his career. He's not a floor-spacing forward, but is great working in the paint and finding holes in the defense. Young has been a consistent role player for the Sixers despite the roster's turnover and could wind up as the team's starting small forward instead of its power forward, according to Sean O'Connor of Liberty Ballers.
Lavoy Allen -- With Young sliding down to small forward, the starting power forward position opens up for the Sixers. Allen started in 37 games last season for the Sixers, averaging 5.8 points and five rebounds per game. Allen, like Young, cannot space the floor. He shot just 36 percent from outside of the paint last season.
Spencer Hawes -- Hawes is a lock as the starting center for Philadelphia, at least while first-round draft pick Nerlens Noel recovers from a torn ACL. Hawes, unlike Allen and Young, can help space the floor for the SIxers' offense. He shot 40 percent from 16-23 feet and converted on a career-high 36 percent of his three-point attempts last season. It's also worth noting that Hawes has an expiring $6.5 million contract that could be a useful trade chip once Noel gets healthy.
Nerlens Noel -- Noel is the Sixers' mulligan for landing a franchise center after a failed season with Andrew Bynum. Noel is still recovering from tearing his ACL while playing for Kentucky, but hopes to return to the court by Christmas. Expectations will be high for Noel, who was widely projected as the first overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft before concerns about his knee and game caused him to slide to No. 6.
Tony Wroten -- An under-the-radar acquisition by Hinkie this summer from Memphis, Wroten, a 2012 first-round draft selection, is just 20 and could earn minutes at point guard and shooting guard, depending on how he performs. Wroten was a standout college player at Washington, where he averaged 16 points per game through his freshman season.
Darius Morris -- Acquired and signed to a partially-guaranteed deal with the team late in free agency, Morris could play minutes behind Carter-Williams and gives Hinkie another young player to test out while he rebuilds the roster from the ground up.
Jason Richardson -- A wild card on the roster. The veteran guard played in just 33 games last season before undergoing knee surgery. The injury is expected to keep Richardson out until at least January, but there's a chance he won't step on the court at all in 2013-14.
Arnett Moultrie -- Another young player that the team can put on the floor, especially with their lack of power forward depth. Moultrie is a second-year player who averaged 16.4 points and 10.5 rebounds per game in his junior year in college. Moultrie played 11.5 minutes per game last season.
Deep on the bench
James Anderson -- A former first-round pick of the Spurs that fell out of favor and landed with the Rockets last season. The 76ers could use him as an extra wing player as Richardson recovers.
Royce White -- The 76ers took White off the Houston Rockets' hands this summer, but it's unclear what kind of role, if any, he can find with the Sixers after a dramatic first year in the league.
Kwame Brown -- Another big man with an expiring contract on the roster, due to make $3 million in his final year with the franchise. Brown played just 22 games for the team and averaged 12.8 minutes per game last season. Brown averaged career lows in points and rebounds per game through the 2012-2013 season, but could be a stop-gap for frontcourt depth while the team waits for Noel to recover.
Tim Olbrecht -- A journeyman of European leagues, Olbrecht was claimed off waivers this summer after spending some time with the Rockets last season.
Brett Brown -- Brown left the smooth-sailing San Antonio Spurs organization to become head coach of the 76ers. He knows the upcoming season will be a painful one, but will look to build a foundation with the Sixers' young talent and new front office personnel. Brown is best known as a player development coach and will have his hands full with this new batch of Sixers. Things may not go smoothly in his first year, but with a stacked upcoming draft and batch of incoming rookies, he should have plenty incentive to be excited for the future.