The mailbag is back this week. If you've missed any previous installments, you can catch up right here.
Hubert via email: 1. Who's going to make the opening roster? Your final 15? 2. Who will be the Sixers starting point guard of the future? Do you think we will find one in the draft or rather through free agency or trade? 3. Dario Saric next year -- starter at the three or a sixth man?
We're a little light on questions this week, so I'm gonna answer everything Hubert's asking.
1. As of right now my final 15 man roster would look like this.
PG: Tony Wroten, Isaiah Canaan, Kendall Marshall
SG: Nik Stauskas, Hollis Thompson, Scottie Wilbekin
SF: Robert Covington, Jerami Grant, JaKarr Sampson
PF: Nerlens Noel, Richaun Holmes, Christian Wood
C: Jahlil Okafor, Furkan Aldemir, Joel Embiid
In this scenario, Gerald Wallace and Carl Landry are graciously let go to explore greener pastures. I like Scottie Wilbekin a lot, but I think the reason he makes this team over Pierre Jackson is because of his positional versatility. He played off ball a decent amount at summer league, and I thought he did a real good job. He's pretty small to be guarding shooting guards, but that's something to explore at a later date. Until Marshall returns to the floor, he's your de facto third point guard.
Tokoto and Arsalan Kazemi will likely go to Delaware as affiliate players. Christian Wood is a project but he's worth keeping around in Philadelphia, and there's an open spot for him.
2. I definitely don't think the point guard of the future is on this roster. They've tried finding a point guard through the draft the past few seasons; if D'Angelo Russell was available I have little doubt they would have taken him. However, they've close to reaching the point where not having a legitimate point guard will be holding them back, and luckily the 2016 draft is expected to have a lot of good guards at the top. Kris Dunn is considered the top guard prospect in this draft, but I need to see a lot more of him before I pass any real judgement. He's got a ton of upside but he turns the ball over a lot, and I'm not sure if I love his fit in Philadelphia.
I'm a really big Demetrius Jackson (Notre Dame) fan. He's a smart shooter and passer, and I like the fact that he could comfortably switch to playing off ball if needed. If we're discussing fit, I think Jackson might be one of the best guys out there. But to get back to the original question, I definitely think that the point guard of the future will come through the NBA draft.
3. I think the plan would be to try and fit him in the starting lineup, but that's really all going to depend on how improved his shooting stroke is. They've got to surround Jahlil Okafor with solid three-point shooters, and I'm not sure Saric is that guy yet. He made just four out of 15 three's in Eurobasket. Saric also has some struggles with floor spacing because he's got a tendency to clog things up because he's trying to do so much.
Assuming Robert Covington doesn't fall off the face of the earth this season, I would expect him to stay as the starting small forward, with Saric off the bench. The second unit could certainly use some offensive infusion, and I think the Croatian sensation would be perfect for it.
@simon_williams: Who has impressed you more given their circumstances in FIBA play, Nik Stauskas or Dario Saric?
They both played well, but I'm going to have to go with Stauskas. He played really poorly in a FIBA Americas warmup series, and didn't let that affect him. He averaged 12.3 points and shot 51.5% from the field and 50% from beyond the arc. It was the kind of performance he needed to give him confidence going into this season. What I found most impressive about his performance was his ability to make his impact felt (and stay hot) in really limited touches. He looked comfortable driving to the lane too, and was rewarded with a good amount of trips to the line. I'm really excited to see what he can do for this team in the preseason as he tries to win the starting shooting guard job.
Evan G. via email: Outside of his extremely thin frame, what are the knocks on Brandon Ingram?
Right now I think most of his cons are related to his frame. He'd get pushed around in the NBA looking the way he does going into Duke. Probably the biggest issue outside of his figure would be establishing a position. He's not considered a great athlete, so some are concerned about his ability to play and defend small forwards.
But honestly, I think those are some pretty minor concerns, which shows you the type of talent Ingram is. He's a much better shooter than most kids in his class, and is going to make an immediate impact. He should be the first wing taken off the board in the 2016 draft.
@DCorrigan50: Kendall Marshall, Pierre Jackson, Wroten: cut one, keep one, trade one?
I think Pierre Jackson gets cut in general, so I'll take him. I have love for Pappy Jack, but I wasn't enthralled by what I saw in Las Vegas. Yes, it was his first NBA action since tearing his achilles, but he looked like a player different than the one we saw at Baylor. Jackson really lacked the explosiveness and high-flying ability that separated him from the pack.
I would trade Tony Wroten over Kendall Marshall pretty easily, and for a couple of reasons. I think you could actually convince a team to take Wroten off your hands for a second rounder, where Marshall has no value at this point. Considering you gave up nothing to get him and brought an unquantifiable amount of fun during a dark time, I would consider getting a mid-second round pick OK in my book.
Kendall Marshall is a solid backup point guard in the NBA, and I think he'll be able to show that this year when he gets on the court. He's easily one of the better passers in the league, and should play off of Jahlil Okafor really well. Despite the fact that he's two years older, I think Marshall has more aspects of his game worth developing than Wroten does. I would need to see some vast improvement in Wroten's perimeter shooting and ball handling this upcoming season to re-consider letting him go. But because I'm being forced to pick one over the other right now, I'd be more inclined to keep Kendall Marshall.
Thanks for reading. As always, you can ask me questions on Twitter @JakePavorsky, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.