Sixer fans, raise your hand if you are tired of “Trust the Process.”
Most 76ers fans just want to taste the NBA Finals, something they have not seen since 2001 with Allen Iverson. The team is now in the hands of a top coach in the league with Doc Rivers.
On Sept. 28, the Los Angeles Clippers decided to part ways with Rivers after seven seasons. Philadelphia ownership immediately got him to interview, and five days later, filled the vacancy left by Brett Brown.
What does Rivers bring to the table? A winning mentality, but with some knots.
He has missed the playoffs five out of his 21 seasons, which has been his strong point as a coach. Where Rivers fails to impress is the playoffs. The teams he coached to the playoffs have lost in the first round eight times, or half of the time.
The 2007-08 championship winning coach has been piecing an interesting staff together as well. Dave Joerger, former coach of the Kings, will become an assistant coach. Maybe he could convince De’Aaron Fox to come over in a trade.
Dan Burke will also become an assistant coach coming from the Pacers, where he coached for 19 seasons. It will be interesting to see how he and Joel Embiid work with each other after Burke said he “hated” him.
Sam Cassell will come over after being under Rivers in Los Angeles.
It was clear from the moment the 76ers were eliminated from the bubble that Brown was not returning. While the team did go from historically bad to consistent playoffs, it is just not enough with what they have had since the start of “the process.”
It has not just been coaching that is the problems, but also drafting. They have had 10 first round draft picks since 2013, including four in the top three. Out of those 10, there are three still on the team.
Let’s look at the current roster that Rivers inherits. There will be 11 players under contract for the upcoming season. Just a quick look at the salaries, and it is clear that cap is a problem.
First move on most minds is to move Al Horford. The experiment did not work in the slightest with Horford and Embiid on at the same time, not to mention if they are able to send away his $27 million contract elsewhere.
Tobias Harris will probably stay even though he has a bad contract. He and Rivers worked well together in his two seasons in Los Angeles.
Harris was a borderline all-star his last season with Rivers and the Clippers. He put up 19.6 points and around 37 percent from deep.
The next move is to establish if Ben Simmons is playing the point or forward. Rivers should consider him playing the one as many around the league agree his playing style fits the position more.
Now comes the hard part of trying to pick up reliable shooting. Embiid cannot play 40 minutes and score 30 points per game and win every day. They should bring in players like Jordan Clarkson or Marco Belinelli for shooting.
One player of interest could be an aging Derrick Rose on a rebuilding Pistons team. The former MVP averaged 18 points last season and shot a respectable 30 percent from the arc. This would be a great jolt of shooting to come off the bench when Simmons needs to take a breather.
To replace Horford, Rivers might want to look to a player he coached last season. The Sixth Man of the Year Montrezl Harrell. Rivers loves his sixth man and has been coach to five of the last seven players to receive the award. That mentality will not go away with a new team.
With a Harrell to replace the lack-luster production of Horford, this team might be able to make some progress. After a first-round sweep in the 2020 NBA bubble, Philadelphia needs to shake up this roster.
Hopefully, the Sixers have reached the end of “the process.” While “the process” might have garnered the team draft picks that lead to Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, it would be a huge waste to have two generational talents on the same team and have nothing to show for it.
Fans would hate to waste the careers of Embiid and Simmons. It is time the 37-year championship drought ends for Philadelphia’s sake.