If you are a fan, general manager, coach or player in the NBA’s Eastern Conference, you really have to wonder if there is any other organization you’d rather be involved with than the Philadelphia 76ers.
Sure, Cleveland still has the world’s best player in LeBron James, and any team that he is on is immediately a championship contender. The question there, though, is what team will he be on in the near future. Reports have swirled that he soon might take his talents elsewhere so he could be more competitive against the Golden State Warriors, who are potentially in the infancy of a dynasty-worthy run.
Boston might rival the excitement that is being felt in the Philadelphia area with a bevy of draft picks at the Celtics’ disposal in the coming years. They took Duke’s Jayson Tatum at No. 3 and made a huge splash in free-agency this summer with the signing of Gordon Haywayd. That all comes on the heels of their reaching the conference finals against the Cavaliers this season. President Danny Ainge has the luxury of both looking to build for the present with a good eye and having plenty of assets for the future.
The Sixers continued their rebuild by taking combo guard Markelle Fultz out of the University of Washington with the top pick in last month’s NBA draft. Team president Bryan Colangelo and coach Brett Brown landed a player who seems to be a perfect fit with what has already been assembled in big man Joel Embiid, 6-foot-10 guard Ben Simmons, and feisty forward Dario Saric. While experience is now the primary goal for those players, many in the organization are reaching for their sunglasses because the future is that bright.
Trust the process.