The Sixers square off against the Atlanta Hawks tonight in a pivotal Eastern Conference showdown. I'm only assigned Hawks games, thanks to the strange "No Hawk Left Behind" clause in my blogging contract. So I'm tempted to just copy and paste my preview from their last tilt and spend the next forty-five minutes listening to this Radiohead cover on You Tube.
But in the words of my favorite movie, The Fugitive, "We ain't got cable TV in this place. Might as well talk about something." So let's dare to dream that little championship dream. Let's imagine a few years down the road, when I'm dressing my kid in a Weatherspoon onesie, Baby Bauser is hitting clean-up for his teeball team, and the entire LB Community is emailing Dr. Sohil their medical ailments.
So Sohil ... there's this rash ...
I'm very bullish on the Sixers future, and assuming that everything holds true to form (Wednesday's result notwithstanding), they'll secure two top-12 picks in this year's draft. And with this young talent acquired, the Sixers will sneak into the playoffs next season. That's more of an indictment on the rest of the East than anything else, but I digress.
But let's dream beyond the #8 seed. We're better than that. Let's set our sights higher. We have enough Eastern Conference Playoffs #8 Seed commemorative hats to cover a million heads. Let's talk championships.
When the Sixers win the championship in 2017, what player on this current roster will be on that team?
2014 NBA Draft
2014 NBA Draft
Carter-Williams is a slam dunk. MCW looks like the best player from his draft class, and, besides, he can't go anywhere now that my MCW mural back tattoo has just begun to heal. Hell, I'm considering hyphenating my name (Rue-ter) just because. When you have a rookie playing, you're looking for glimpses. Something, anything to let you know you have something here. Carter-Williams has shown that in spades.
I haven't seen Nerlens Noel play in over a year, yet I want him on my team for the next decade. I have fantasies of Noel blocking a shot weak-side, igniting a fast break with Carter-Williams and Wiggins. All three players are riding unicorns in this fantasy. Brett Brown is half human, half Minotaur.
I have no idea whether Noel is a four or a five in this league, but I'm willing to wait and find out. Strength and an offensive game are legitimate concerns right now, but I'm camping out on Broad Street for the parade in 2017, not next month. Noel is going to get bigger. Noel is going to develop. At the very least, we have Theo Ratliff. Noel's a great fit in Brown's system. He can protect the rim and jump-start the transition. And don't even get me started on that gorgeous flat top. It reminds of the backyard scene of Honey I Shrunk the Kids.
I'm high on Hollis Thompson. He's a contributor for a contending team. Others are a bit higher on him.
Hollis Thompson is the best basketball player of all time and that's final.— Michael Levin (@Michael_Levin) January 28, 2014
Sixers lose. MCW and Hollis Thompson are first-ballot Hall of Famers.— Michael Levin (@Michael_Levin) January 20, 2014
Thompson, an undrafted rookie, is another one of Hinkie's bargain bin finds - right next to Tony Wroten, right under American Pie: The Naked Mile. And everything we've seen from Hollis this year indicates that he's going to stick. Judging by the comments a few days ago, people obviously have an opinion on Thompson. Which is great. Successful teams have those rotational guys - players with versatility - and Thompson fits that mold. See ya at the parade, Hollis.
Perhaps my biggest leap of faith. Wroten could certainly land a multi-year deal from somewhere else after his rookie contract expires, but I can't predict the future. I can only predict championships in the future. Wroten can play. He's quick. He pushes the tempo. A bit reckless. It's like our back-up point guard is James Dean.
We're just a few short years away from Wroten knocking down a huge triple in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals against Washington.
So what say you?
Vote below, and have a great weekend.
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