The lockers have been cleaned out and the off-season phone numbers have been exchanged as the 2013-14 Philadelphia 76ers have parted ways for the final time.
It was a season filled with both record-tying futility as well as hope for what's on the horizon. With a healthy Nerlens Noel and two potential lottery picks in hand, Year 2 of the Brett Brown Era should be a far more fruitful and exciting campaign than the one we all just endured.
Before the last player turned out the lights at PCOM today, most of them (as well as head coach Brett Brown), took a few minutes to speak to the assembled media. A few highlights from Getaway Day are below:
Nerlens Noel said he plans to eat as much as he can to gain a few lbs— jon johnson (@jonjohnsonwip) April 17, 2014
Noel: "Right now I'm about 225-226lbs. I'd like to come to camp around 233lbs and maintain 230lbs next season."— Max Rappaport (@MaxRappaport) April 17, 2014
Most of us wish we could relate to Noel's "dilemma"... #SkinnyPeopleProblems. On an unrelated note, we'd like to announce the Zoo With Roy-inspired, Liberty Ballers spinoff blog "I Want To Go To Federal Donuts With Nerlens Noel".
Seriously though, if Noel can stay around 230 pounds next year, that would be lovely. He's never going to be at a weight where he'll out-muscle the bigger 5s in the league, but 230 pounds should allow him to hold his own in the low post. As a frame of reference, New Orleans Pelicans forward/center/beast Anthony Davis is listed at 220 pounds.
For what it's worth, Noel tipped the scales at the NBA Combine last year at 206: The fact that he put on roughly 20 pounds (of what appears to be mostly muscle mass) in a year is remarkable, to say the least.
Mullens on rebuild: "You're talking about 19-year-old kids playing with grown men." Didn't seem overly enthused about his future w #Sixers— Jason Wolf (@JasonChadWolf) April 17, 2014
Mullens said if he's part of rebuilding process, he'd like to be here once program is winning, as well. #Sixers— Jason Wolf (@JasonChadWolf) April 17, 2014
I'm cool with Byron Mullens's lukewarm response about coming back here next year: I'm not overly enthused about his future, either.
That isn't entirely true... he put up half-decent "looter in a riot" numbers in limited action this year. Mullens is by no means a starting-caliber center, but there are worse backups making way more than the $1.06 million he's set to collect next season.
MCW on draft: "I'm a big fan of college basketball, so I know there's a lot of talent."— Max Rappaport (@MaxRappaport) April 17, 2014
This is why current players - and even some former ones (hi, Isiah Thomas) - should never be general managers.
And this would be Exhibit B. But let's provide some context on Thad's tweet, shall we?
#Sixers Thad Young on whether he wants to be here: "It's one of those things we need to talk about."— Christopher A. Vito (@ChrisVito) April 17, 2014
Translation: He doesn't want to be here.
#Sixers Young: 'I'm very confident' team will accommodate him with whatever he asks.— Tom Moore (@tmoore76ers) April 17, 2014
Well, he asked for a trade well before the deadline, and he wasn't exactly accommodated then. That said, a half-season of being a good soldier plus a relatively reasonable deal ($9.4 million next year plus a $9.97 million player option in 2015-16) means that there's a good chance that Young may not be playing his home games at the Wells Fargo Center this fall.
#Sixers Brown on players: 'Summertime is where you make your money.'— Tom Moore (@tmoore76ers) April 17, 2014
Following that statement, Brown told Brandon Davies to head down to Ocean City to see if there were any seasonal gigs available for under-skilled, 6'10" basketball players. I heard Manco and Manco was hiring.
#Sixers owner Josh Harris is scheduled to speak with reporters tomorrow.— Christopher A. Vito (@ChrisVito) April 17, 2014
Sam Hinkie is scheduled to speak with reporters in 2017.
#Sixers Brown: Thad Young could be a 3 or 4 going forward depending on draft/offseason.— Tom Moore (@tmoore76ers) April 17, 2014
Translation: If we draft Jabari Parker, Julius Randle, Doug McDermott or Joel Embiid, he'll probably be a 3 next year. Anyone else, and Thad will probably stick at the 4. Either way... keep working on that jump shot, kid.
#Sixers Brown: 'I'm just doing somersaults looking forward to next season.'— Tom Moore (@tmoore76ers) April 17, 2014
If the Sixers somehow land the No. 5 pick in the NBA Draft Lottery, these will be some of the saddest somersaults that you've ever seen.
#Sixers coach Brett Brown said his players put in 15,000 "development hours." He said he and his assistants charted them for every player— Christopher A. Vito (@ChrisVito) April 17, 2014
Fifteen thousand hours is a pretty large number even after you divide it among the 28 bodies who put on a Sixers' uniform this year. Some highlights from what has to be one of the most exciting spreadsheets in the history of Microsoft Excel:
- Nerlens Noel: 1,094 hours
- Brandon Davies: 217 hours (all of which occurred prior to Davies's finger injury in January; at that point, Brown and his staff officially classified Davies's development as "arrested").
- Adonis Thomas: 1 hour
- Arnett Moultrie: 5 hours (Developed a plan to convince him to put down the "Pineapple Express").
Brett Brown on final message to #Sixers: History is going to remember us thru a stat book. But that's not how I'll remember you guys.— Jason Wolf (@JasonChadWolf) April 17, 2014
It's true: Coach Brown will remember these guys thru profanity. Lots and lots of profanity.