NBA Future Rankings - ESPN
Sixers' Salary Cap Page - Sham Sports
The last time ESPN ran their Future Rankings the Sixers ranked 25 out of 30 teams in projected on-court success during the 2011-12, 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons. Today ESPN released their latest edition of the Future Rankings and the Sixers moved up a spot to 24th.
They rank 20th in players (Current players and their potential for the future, factoring in expected departures), 20th in management (Quality and stability of front office, ownership, coaching), 22nd in money (Projected salary-cap situation; ability and willingness to exceed cap and pay luxury tax), 22nd in market (Appeal to future acquisitions based on team quality, franchise reputation, city's desirability as a destination, market size, taxes, business and entertainment opportunities, arena quality, fans), and 10th in draft (Future draft picks; draft positioning).
Here's what they had to say about the Sixers:
... there are problems galore. Evan Turner, the No. 2 pick in the 2010 draft, is off to a rough start. Turner has struggled to fit in with the team without the ball in his hands, and given the Sixers' woes in the frontcourt, it's hard to understand why they passed on a player such as Derrick Favors for him.
That dilemma is endemic of the challenges Philly faces. As fans are well aware, the direction of the team is a still a mystery. While the Sixers have an interesting young core, the team is also bogged down with veterans with bad contracts like Elton Brand and Andres Nocioni. The team also has a major defensive hole to fill in the middle after trading Samuel Dalembert while being overloaded with wings.
Making matters worse, the Sixers have no real money to spend until the summer of 2013 and will likely be just good enough to pick in the late lottery each year, effectively killing their chances to get significantly better in the short term.
It's a depressing reality, but things can change quickly. In the first installment of the Future Rankings the Knicks ranked below the Sixers at 21st. 16 months later the Knicks are 7th. A string of smart moves can have the Sixers trending up, fast.