The Sixers were one of the most notable teams of the 2010’s despite not winning any titles. The team lost 28 consecutive games in a row between the end of the 2014-15 season and the start of the 2015-2016 season. This broke their own previous record from two years prior when they lost 26 consecutive games. This was after Sam Hinkie sold off most of the team’s talent at the trade deadline of that season for draft picks.
Led by Andre Igoudala and Elton Brand, the Sixers managed to sneak into the playoffs in 2010 and 2011. They advanced the second time after the Bulls lost Derrick Rose in the 1st Round but lost in 7 games to the Boston Celtics. The following season, the team struggled due to injuries and the horrific trade for Andrew Bynum (which we won’t even get into).
Following the 2012-13 season, the team moved on from Doug Collins and hired Sam Hinkie and Brett Brown. The team would average 18 wins a game over the next 4 years as they stockpiled young talent and numerous draft picks. As we end the decade, the tank rebuild has certainly worked out for the Sixers. They have amassed back to back 50+ win seasons and this looks like the year they might be able to go all the way and make the Finals (at least on paper). If they fail to do that, it will certainly be another disappointing season.
If you have managed to follow this team steadily this decade hats off to you, it hasn’t been easy. Overall, the all-decade team has plenty of depth all around and it’s interesting to see a mix up of before and after the process. If you want to see the full original thread from Twitter, you can click here. Anyways, let’s get into it.
PG- Ben Simmons
Simmons was the team’s top draft choice of the decade. After a rough 2015-16 season in which the squad managed to only win 10 games, the Sixers – with a 25% chance – managed to win the lottery and have the opportunity to take the 6’10” point guard out of LSU. After sitting out his first season, Simmons dominated his rookie year in 2018, winning the Rookie of the Year award. At only 23 years old, Ben is not even close to his max potential so it’ll be exciting to see how he progresses in the 2020’s.
SG- Jrue Holiday
Holiday had more of a point guard role with the Sixers but since being traded to the Pelicans he’s formed into more of a shooting guard. He was the team’s first-round pick in 2009 out of UCLA and was one of four Sixers players to make the All-Star squads this decade. He was the first key piece to be moved by Sam Hinkie when he was traded to New Orleans for Nerlens Noel, who was the 6th overall pick at the time as well as the Pelicans 2015 1st Round Pick.
SF- Andre Iguodala
Igoudala was easily my favorite player growing up besides LeBron James. Because I was born in the late 90s, I never was able to experience Allen Iverson in his prime with the Sixers. Igoudala was the Sixers 1st Round Pick in 2014 and was easily the team’s top player until he was traded to the Denver Nuggets in a 4 team trade that landed the Sixers Andrew Bynum. Getting out of Philadelphia may have been for the best, as Iggy went on to win 3 titles with Golden State as well as Finals MVP in 2015.
PF- Elton Brand
Brand signed a 5 year deal with the Sixers in the summer of 2008. 10 years later after retiring, coming out a year later to return to the Sixers, and retiring once again, he’d be named the General Manager of the Philadelphia 76ers. Brand was a Philadelphia type player who was physical in the post, a strong team leader, and an all-around solid player for the Sixers. In 4 seasons with the Sixers, Brand averaged around 14 points and 8 rebounds a game.
C- Joel Embiid
Embiid was selected by the Sixers with the 3rd overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. Fans had to wait over 2 full seasons before Embiid’s debut but it is clear it was worth the wait. In 3.5 seasons, The Process has averaged 24 points, 11 rebounds, as well as 2 blocks a game to silence the haters. At just 25 years old, we are just beginning to see the potential Embiid has.
6th Man- Lou Williams
The 6’1” guard was selected in the 2nd Round by the Sixers in the 2005 NBA Draft. Williams has always been a key contributor off the bench. He was a runner up for 6th Man of the Year in 2012. After that season, he would leave the Sixers. Despite playing for 5 different teams in the past seven years, Lou has won three 6th Man of the Year awards and continued to contribute.
Bench PG(s)- TJ McConnell
The point guard out of Arizona signed with the Sixers in September of 2015 as an undrafted rookie free agent after a stellar summer league performance. McConnell’s hard work ethic and motivation eventually promoted him to the starting point guard position. He was most well known for his postgame interview antics with Dario Saric and Joel Embiid and improbable stretches of success in big moments.
Bench SG(s)- JJ Redick
Redick signed with the Sixers in July 2017 and spent two seasons with the team before moving on last summer. In both seasons with the team, he led the team in free throws and three pointers made. He even set the team single-season record with 240 made last season.
Bench SF(s)- Jimmy Butler, Robert Covington, and Evan Turner
There is an argument to be made whether Butler or Igoudala should be starting but the basis of the team structure was to be made up based on the player’s career in Philadelphia. While Butler was a strong contributor for the Sixers, he was not even on the team for a full season. Igoudala was the team’s top player for several years and led them to multiple playoff berths.
Covington was one of a few process era Sixers to make the cut. He was signed by Sam Hinkie early on in 2014 and like McConnell, put in tons of effort and eventually was pushed into the starting lineup. Covington has formed into a strong 3&D player which is a style that is becoming so coveted in the modern NBA. RoCo will be someone to watch at February’s trade deadline if Minnesota tries to reset and unload some long term contracts.
Turner is the final SF to come off the bench. Despite being the 2nd overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, the star at Ohio State was never able to reach his full potential. Still, Turner has remained a solid contributor off the bench for Portland over the last few seasons. The pick was still disappointing, to say the least, as the team selected Turner over the likes of Gordon Hayward and Demarcus Cousins.
Bench PF(s)- Tobias Harris and Thaddeus Young
Either of these guys could be starting over Elton on the all-decade team but it came down to the amount of time with the team and overall talent. Tobias Harris is currently in his prime and compared to Elton Brand during his tenure with the team, there’s a clear argument for why Tobias should be the starter. But to be honest, Tobias hasn’t even been a Sixer for a full year and the signing of Elton Brand at the time had a much bigger impact on the franchise compared to when they re-signed Harris. The team was a mess for a few years after trading Iverson and when they brought in Brand in the summer of 2008, it almost rejuvenated the team and gave it a new sense of hope.
That said, after originally making the thread on Twitter, I was surprised to see the number of people who advocated for Thad to start. Young was the 12th Pick in the 2007 NBA Draft out of Georgia Tech. Thad was a solid starter for the Sixers but really only made major contributions in years when the team was struggling to win.
Bench C(s)- Al Horford and Nerlens Noel
Even though he has struggled over the past few games, Horford has been a solid signing for the Sixers who has provided depth behind Joel Embiid. Depth behind Embiid was something the team struggled with the most over the past two seasons especially when Embiid had to take games off. Horford is someone else who could be argued for that starting 4 spot but you have to look at his amount of time spent on the team compared to Brand’s.
Nerlens Noel was the 6th pick in the 2013 Draft and was traded to the Sixers on draft night. Noel was considered for the top overall pick but due to tearing his ACL and expecting to miss his entire first year in the league, many teams chose to look elsewhere. Noel had a solid two seasons as the Sixers starting center but once Joel Embiid debuted, he lost minutes and was at the bottom of the depth chart behind Embiid and Jahlil Okafor.