By Sean Kennedy (@PhillyFastBreak)
With training camp right around the corner, Sixers head coach Brett Brown held a media luncheon yesterday to answer some of the questions about the roster for the upcoming season. Naturally, the fact that the Sixers aren’t set at starting point guard was addressed.
The Sixers will hold onto three point guards. Wroten, Marshall, Canaan, McConnell, Wilbekin and Jackson in mix for spots.
— Keith Pompey (@PompeyOnSixers) September 23, 2015
So we know the how many, just not the who. Compounding the uncertainty is the fact that two of the more prominent players from that 6-man battle royale are coming off ACL injuries and won’t be back on the court for about another month.
Brett Brown says they are looking towards end of October for Kendall Marshall and Tony Wroten returning. Won’t be ready for camp. — Derek Bodner (@DerekBodnerNBA) September 23, 2015
It can’t be an easy task for the team’s decision makers to cut down the list when a full third of the group isn’t available for the open competition. Kendall Marshall is the guy Sixers fans are likely most excited about running the show this season, as his elite passing ability would seem to be the best fit to work alongside Jahlil Okafor and Nerlens Noel. Speaking of the Sixers’ young big men, Brown had this to say:
— Tom Moore (@tmoore76ers) September 23, 2015
I think the potential problems with Okafor and Noel are being a tad overblown; as Brown points out, they’re each going to get plenty of playing time without the other on the court. He just has to be smart about his rotations. Of course, you are going to want your 2 best players on the court together in crunch time, which is where those fit issues rear their ugly head again.
In other news, former Sixer Jason Richardson announced his retirement from the league last night. J-Rich’s best days as a player obviously came well before his stop in Philadelphia, as the former 5th overall pick will go down as one of the better players to never make the All-Star Game (although his legendary dunks in the All Star Weekend’s dunk contest will never be forgotten). Over a 3 year stretch for Golden State from 2003-06, Richardson averaged 21.2 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 3.3 assists per game, cementing himself as one of the best shooting guards in the league.
Still, many years late, he made an impression in Philly as well, rehabbing diligently to return from a knee injury after over two seasons off the court. When nearly everyone logically thought his career was over, Richardson remained resolute that he would play NBA ball again and was a great example of resolved determination. While nowhere near the player he once was, Richardson still had his moments in a Sixers uniform, highlighted by a turn-back-the-clock 29-point effort in a OT loss to the Thunder last March. By all accounts, he was also a great mentor to his young Sixers teammates who were more than a full decade younger than him. Best of luck in your future endeavors, J-Rich.