1. 2019 Free Agency:
Coming into 2017-18, it was all about nabbing LeBron via Free Agency at the end of the season. Free Agency arrived and passed, and the King ended up taking his talents to LA.
Philadelphia still has max room if they want a star in 2019. They would have to wait to extend TJ with Bird Rights but with players like Jimmy Butler, Kyrie Irving, Klay Thompson and etc. available, it’s a risk you have to take. While there is still a ton of time until this occurs, it’s definitely something to keep in mind.
2. The New Bench:
There aren’t many returning role players coming back to Philadelphia in 2018/2019. Beli went back to the Spurs and Ersan went back to the Bucks on lucrative contracts. TLC was traded to OKC, Justin Anderson to Atlanta, while Richaun Holmes made his way to Phoenix.
The new comers consist of Zhaire Smith (out indefinitely), Wilson Chandler, Mike Muscala, Landry Shamet, and Shake Milton. They’ll join already existing members in McConnell, Korkmaz and others. If this bench clicks it will be something to watch as the season goes on.
3. Full Off-Season for Ben Simmons/Joel Embiid:
At this time last year; Joel Embiid was recovering from a season ending injury and Ben Simmons was only a few months fresh off of a broken foot that kept him out the season before.
Today, Simmons is coming off one of the most dominant rookie years in NBA history and Joel Embiid is an All-NBA player and All-Star starter. With a full off-season of improvement coming from these two it will be a sight to see. What new talents will JoJo develop? Will Ben finally find his shot? These are just a few questions that will be answered when the season opens in late October.
4. New GM (Maybe)?:
After the whole Burner Gate in June of 2017, the 76ers have been without a GM. Brett Brown has acted as the interim GM since the debacle but that doesn’t seem like a long term option.
As of yesterday it seems Philadelphia is down to Gersson Rosas of the Houston Rockets and Justin Zanik of the Utah Jazz. They also have been interviewing internal candidates such as Elton Brand. Expect to see a hire come around training camp next week.
5. New East:
I stated earlier that 2018 was the summer of LeBron and he has left westward for the City of Angels to play with the Lakers. That has left teams like the 76ers, Celtics, Raptors and Pacers fighting for the top seed in the East.
The Celtics are assumed the top candidate to take over the conference but many stipulations still apply like Kawhi returning to full health. The East will be interesting as a team not led by LeBron James will go to the finals for the first time since 2010, which was the Howard led Magic. The conference will be a sight to see in 2018/2019.
6. Markelle Fultz:
Arguably the most important headline for obvious reasons. Fultz had a rocky rookie season but after a full summer with trainer Drew Hanlen, who claims to have fixed Fultz’ shot, fans everywhere hope he’ll become the player the Sixers drafted over a year ago.
Hanlen is known across the NBA world for working with players like Joel Embiid, Jayson Tatum, Mo Bamba and many others. Fultz’s jumper was said to suffer from the yips and was still a solid role player without it when he returned late in the season. He became the youngest player in NBA history to record a triple double. If he returns to full health, Markelle can be the missing piece that Philadelphia needs.
[Featured Image: Abbie Parr/Getty Images]
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