If Not Now, When? We Don't Know!Last year the Philadelphia 76ers traded their best player for the right to draft Nehlens Noel, who was injured and who they knew couldn't play in the 2013-2014 season. He didn't and the Sixers were very bad. That's how they wound up with the third and 10th picks in the 2014 draft.
So last week Philadelphia drafted Joel Embiid, who's injured and might not be able to play, and also wound up with a European player who's still under contract and won't play in the U.S. next season. That's why I didn't look up his name right now. As far as the NBA goes, this guy doesn't exist yet.
Many commentators say that the Sixers had one of the best drafts of any NBA team. The thinking goes that they've insured they'll suck next season, too, and get still another high lottery pick. Then some fine come-and-get-it-day, maybe in 2015 but more likely after the next presidential election, Noel and Embiid will be healthy, the European will be an American, and that 2015 lottery pick will be a star, too. Presto! LeBron James will be sorry he didn't take his talents to Broad Street this summer.
Maybe so. Teams do need to bottom out to get better. Happens all the time in every sport. Perhaps Sixer fans actually are happy their team has a plan for victory, even if involves a couple of hundred defeats along the way.
But I'm sure glad I'm not making a living selling 2014-2015 76ers season tickets on commission.