Brown is sizing up the limited talent on the Sixers

Sixers managing owner Joshua Harris and David Blitzer show off their New Jersey Devils sweaters to announce they had bought the franchise.
Sixers managing owner Joshua Harris and David Blitzer show off their New Jersey Devils sweaters to announce they had bought the franchise. (ANDY MARLIN / Getty Images)
Posted: August 17, 2013

The 76ers will be far from the best team in the NBA this season. And in a way, that's the plan.

What new coach Brett Brown has is a roster with a raw rookie in Michael Carter-Williams playing point guard and a lot of uncertainty at the other positions. There's a thought that the team could trade Thaddeus Young, Evan Turner, or Spencer Hawes, the three players with the most trade value, for the right price.

But the three veterans were among the players who Brown raved about during Wednesday's introductory news conference.

"I've always been a fan of Thaddeus," Brown said. "I see in Evan just that potential. You see the versatility in Spencer. You pay attention to Michael Carter-Williams and what he did in college. . . . I think about with a healthy fit, Lavoy [Allen], what he can bring to the table.

"The pieces are there were we can build around them."

But if general manager Sam Hinkie follows the model he used as an executive with the Houston Rockets, this team could have almost a completely different roster a year from now.

Last season's Rockets squad had only two holdovers from the 2011-12 team.

For now, however, Young, Turner, and Hawes are still a part of the equation.

Brown helped hone the skills of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobili at San Antonio, where he served as an assistant coach since 2006-07. He doesn't know enough about this roster to say who his stars will be.

"I think it is going to take some time for me to look at them and coach them," he said of making a determination. "I've been lucky to be around the Duncans, the Parkers, and the Ginobilis and all-stars.

"I think I understand the DNA that those players have that makes them great players."

If Brown had his wish, rookie Nerlens Noel would play from the start of the season. The 6-foot-11 center suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee last season at Kentucky and will not be ready to play until December at the earliest.

"Of course I'd love to have him," Brown said. "I mean, his future is what he wants it to be."

The coach added that Noel's health will be held at a premium. Brown calls the athletic big man a "deer" with a penchant for running the floor. He also appreciates that Noel is a solid passer for someone his size.

Clearly, the Sixers view Noel as someone to build around.

Deal with the Devils

One day after Hinkie said the Sixers would remain in Philadelphia, the team's majority owner, Josh Harris, repeated that pledge.

"The Sixers are staying in Philly," Harris told the Associated Press on Thursday after he and another member of the team's ownership group, David Blitzer, bought the NHL's New Jersey Devils and the lease to the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.

They purchased the team from Jeff Vanderbeek for $320 million.

The Sixers have a lease at the Wells Fargo Center with Comcast Spectacor, which also owns the Flyers. There had been speculation that Harris might seek to move the Sixers.


Contact Keith Pompey at kpompey@phillynews.com Follow on Twitter @PompeyOnSixers.

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