So, summer is officially over. You know what that means, right? Basketball is around the corner, and though the team on court this year should be miserably bad, we're excited to see it! Training camp begins this Saturday, and the Liberty Ballers crew will be here to provide the most comprehensive and crazy training camp coverage around.
To begin, here's a summary of what the roster looks like at this time. The Sixers can have up to 20 players in camp, but only 15 can make the roster at the start of the season. Not all of the potential slots have been filled as of yet. We believe the team will have 20 players come Saturday, but for now here's what the roster looks like. (i) indicates the player is currently injured.
Projected Starter: Michael Carter-Williams
Projected Reserve on Guaranteed Contracts: Tony Wroten
Projected Reserve on Partially Guaranteed or Nonguaranteed Contracts: Darius Morris, Khalif Wyatt
The team could look to add another point guard - if they do, I anticipate it being a smaller guy, as everyone above officially measures as 6'4" or taller. MCW will almost certainly be the starter, though a disappointing camp could change that. Morris and Wyatt (Khalif could also fall into the next group), while both on partially guaranteed deals, stand good chances of making the team.
Wings (Shooting Guards and Small Forwards)
Projected Starters: Evan Turner, ?????
Projected Reserves on Guaranteed Contracts: Jason Richardson (i)
Projected Reserves on Nonguaranteed Contracts: James Anderson, Rodney Williams, Vander Blue
Turner will almost assuredly begin the year starting at one of the two wing positions. The other is completely up for grabs. Richardson would probably be penciled in if he weren't injured and projected to miss the remainder of the season. Aside from him, one NBA vet and two rookies all with only small or no guarantees make up the rest of the wing core and will compete for the second job. However, it may turn out that none of the above will get that starting spot - two other potential outcomes seem just as likely to occur.
The first is that the Sixers start the dangerously fun but frighteningly terrible group of MCW, Turner, and Wroten together. All could make the case that they should be the primary point guard in the group, and none project to play well off the ball. The second is more logical - starting three bigs (capitalizing on the depth and need for playing time for the trees) and shifting Thaddeus Young to a nominal wing position.
Aside from this, I expect the team to add even more nonguaranteed wings - Hinkie and Brett Brown want to foster a culture of competition, and with unproven rookies and veterans fighting for spots the cream should rise to the top.
Bigs (Power Forwards and Centers)
Projected Starters: Thaddeus Young, Spencer Hawes
Projected Reserves on Guaranteed Contracts: Nerlens Noel (i), Arnett Moultrie, Lavoy Allen, Kwame Brown
Someone who may or may not be welcome: Royce White
Projected Reserves on Partially Guaranteed or Nonguaranteed Contracts: Tim Ohlbrecht
International Man of Mystery: Arsalan Kazemi
The Sixers have a lot of tall people on the roster, and it's likely that more will be added. Hawes and Young look to have starting jobs sealed, while the rest of the guys in camp will either be fighting for backup minutes or for time besides the other two. Noel would have something to say about the competition if he were healthy. And Kwame Brown is probably still around just to be included as salary in a trade or to eat copious amounts of candy.
The Sixers have been mum about any activity involving Royce White this summer - while they acquired him in a salary dump with the Rockets, the team seemed to focus more on international prospect Furkan Aldemir and not White when announcing the deal. They've also declined comment on any story related to White. Along with the trade, White has had an offseason filled with good and bad - opening a facility for mental health in Houston showed what Royce has done for mental health awareness, but in the meantime an ex-girlfriend accused him of abuse. Combining these with the team's silence, we have really no idea whether he will be in camp or, if he's there, if he's given a chance to perform.
Meanwhile, Arsalan Kazemi reportedly signed with a professional team in Iran. The team has not yet confirmed or denied the report, and currently he remains on the official team roster. However, the likelihood of him showing up to camp seems remote.
Otherwise, again look for the team to add a big or two to round out the training camp roster
We'll keep you updated on any signings or camp-related reports as the week progresses.