So, last year, I've read an article on ESPN's website about building an Team USA men basketball roster using a template of roles that Bill Simmons came up with in an article of his in 2004. I found this to be an really interesting exercise in determining what roles you need to build a world-class basketball team and figuring out which players that are best fits those roles for that team. (BTW, here's the link to the article I read, but you can only read it if you're an ESPN Insider. Sorry.) In both articles, they listed the following roles that they said you need for your team:
- A Dominant Big Man
- A Quality Point Guard
- A Great Scorer Immediately Designated for Alpha Dog Status
- Two Good Shooters
- Two Good Rebounders
- One Athletic Swingman Who Can Defend the Other Team's Best Shooter
- A Backup Point Guard
- Two Energy Guys
- A 12th Man
Now, while I agree that you do need all of these guys ideally to be a legitimate championship contender, for the purpose of my exercise, I'm not gonna focus on the last 2 roles. This is, because they're not quite as important or crucial as the other roles are, and it's common knowledge that you really only need a 9-man rotation, especially in the playoffs. So, with that, looking at the current Sixers roster, I only see 2 roles filled for sure. Jrue Holiday as the quality point guard & Thaddeus Young as the athletic swingman. Obviously, this is subjective, but I urge anyone to look at the roster of players who are already signed to be on the team, and argued for any other players who fit any of the other roles.
That said, it is virtually impossible to add players who ideally fit all of the other roles this off-season. However, as I will try to determine in a series of posts, there are potential candidates that are either already on the team, can be realistically traded for or signed through free agency, or be realistically picked in the upcoming draft that could be good fits for those roles. In doing this, I would keep in mind the importance of financially responsible and flexible and selecting good value in the draft. Also, I will be relying heavily to the wonderful website basketball-reference.com to help determine who these possible candidates. I'll come back with another post later this week that'll be about filling the first vacant role: dominant big man. Til then, please hit me with any suggestions you might have regarding my little project. They'll be much appreciated.