Philadelphia

76ers

Survey data collected from team site writers and editors.

6.5

Out of 10

I trust in management and the coaching staff

10.0

Out of 10

I enjoy rooting for these players and this franchise

10.0

Out of 10

I am optimistic about the direction of the team

A Q&A with Sean O’Connor of SB Nation’s 76ers site Liberty Ballers.

What needs to happen for this to be an enjoyable season for 76ers fans?

The core young products of the Process stay healthy and play up to expectations. Joel Embiid is an elite NBA talent already, but he needs to make use of it for more than 31 games. Ben Simmons has prodigious talent that hasn't been used in a regular-season game due to a broken foot, and Markelle Fultz has a treasure trove of skills that got swept out of summer league due to a high ankle sprain.

If they stay healthy and meet expectations, the Sixers are in prime position to be a perennial contender. But given the Sixers' track record of bumpy road-traveling, getting through the season with even two of the three healthy and performing would make for an enjoyable year.

Philadelphia 76ers
Position Starters Bench
Guards Ben Simmons Markelle Fultz T.J. McConnell Jerryd Bayless
Wings J.J. Redick Robert Covington Justin Anderson Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot Furkan Korkmaz Nik Stauskas
Bigs Joel Embiid Dario Saric Amir Johnson Richaun Holmes Jahlil Okafor

What makes 76ers fans most excited about this year? What makes 76ers fans most nervous?

Seeing Simmons in action, fully recovered from a foot injury, makes us positively giddy. He's adamant about playing the point and running the team as he sees fit, and we’re excited to see how the league needs to adjust to it.

As always, Joel Embiid's health makes us most nervous. As much as we love the potential of Simmons and Fultz, Embiid is the center of the Sixers universe.

What storyline might a national audience be missing about the 76ers?

The Sixers need to offer Robert Covington an extension on his current contract, as he's a local favorite and a key defender and shooter for the team. They can pay him more money this season to potentially save cap space this summer, when they'll need to pay Embiid and recruit other free agents. Keep in mind that L.A. might not be the only place a certain King considers in free agency in the future, especially given his tight relationship with Simmons.

Getting Covington committed for a fair number for both sides should set up the team to be a major free agency hub, with some vets on the roster and key pieces locked in like Covington, a sparkly new practice facility, and an exciting young roster.

Why should neutrals pay attention to the 76ers this year?

Have you seen Embiid play? Let us tell you, you won't see anything like a 7'2" mega-athlete with guard skills and great defensive instincts whose competitiveness doesn't allow him to take a possession off on any other team.

Combine him with Simmons, a 6'10" point guard who might be capable of passes flashier than any non-Milos Teodosic guard in the league. Who wouldn't want to watch that?

What's your prediction for the season?

41-41, No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference. If everything goes well, though, the league isn't ready.