The Sixers are in the depths of preseason, and the regular season is just around the corner. The team’s roster currently stands at the limit of 20 players for the offseason and preseason period. On October 26th, it will be time to trim this list down to the final 15 players. 15 is the maximum number of players a team can have, although when teams have been hit hard by injuries, they may be granted the opportunity to carry an extra player.
Next week I’ll explain my thinking as to the battle for the final Sixers roster spots. For now, I’m serving up some quick thoughts on the players who are almost certainly going to make the squad:
Jahlill Okafor – Much of this upcoming Sixers season will be dedicated to evaluating, integrating, and developing the third overall pick and potential franchise centerpiece.
Nerlens Noel – A statistical stud in the second half of last season, he is one of the most valuable young defenders in the league and will continue to work on expanding his game this season.
Joel Embiid – This will be the second straight season of rest, recovery, and rehabilitation for the highly touted big man, who will hopefully hit the court in the fall of 2016 and prove he was worth waiting for.
Richaun Holmes – The Sixers used the 37th pick on the shot-blocking big man who will help unlock some interesting lineups with his shooting from the 4 and 5 spots.
Jerami Grant – The long, high-flying sophomore showed flashes last season and should continue to come into his own at both the 3 and the 4 spots this time around.
Robert Covington – After being signed a couple of weeks into the season, he showed his mettle as an NBA shooter, and he should continue to improve as a playmaker and a defender.
Hollis Thompson – A 40% shooter thus far in his NBA career, he can solidify his place on the team past this year if he can improve his efficiency from inside the arc and take on a leadership role as (strangely) one of the more experienced players on this team.
Nik Stauskas – He will have to compete hard defensively to earn his playing time this year, but Philadelphia should provide a more comfortable environment for development than his previous organization did.
Tony Wroten – The low-efficiency lefty will – upon recovering from his ACL injury – have ample playing time to work out the kinks in his game and prove he deserves to stick with the Sixers beyond this year.
Furkan Aldemir – The Turkish rebounder extraordinaire has almost 3 million dollars in guaranteed money for this season, and he will have to demonstrate a significantly improved offensive skill set to stay on board.
Carl Landry – The veteran power forward who was salary-dumped on the Sixers would have been cut by now if the Philly front office did not want him around; his biggest impact this year will probably be as a locker room leader.
Jakarr Sampson – The tenacious and versatile Sixer still has work to do on his game, but he will have more chances to tap into his high potential during this season.
Isaiah Canaan – The sub par defender and standout shooter is worth keeping around for spacing purposes; he is the probable opening-day starter at point guard.