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Sixers coach Brett Brown says true rebuilding will take ‘three to five years’

Mar 16, 2014, 8:00 AM EST

Brett Brown AP

The Sixers are currently riding a 20-game losing streak, but for better or for worse, no one inside the Philadelphia organization is deluding themselves as to what’s going on there this season.

Call it tanking, or as the NBA’s new commissioner Adam Silver prefers, rebuilding. But either way, there’s going to be a whole lot of losing as the Sixers position themselves to get better through the draft, rather than by putting the best possible roster together in order to compete in the immediate future.

That’s certainly one way to go about things, and as long as the organizational leadership is on board, the employees will do whatever is instructed to carry out that mission. Brett Brown is in his first year as Sixers head coach, and he believes that a true rebuild of the team will take between three and five years.

From Dei Lynam of CSN Philly:

“To truly rebuild and grow something is going to take three to five years. That is just the way it goes. It is too talented a league and too well-coached. The experiences we are going through now will be distant memories when these guys start getting older. They will find positives in this season and Michael Carter-Williams will be better for it.”

Brown was speaking big picture, of course, and was referring specifically to the 20-win season that Kevin Durant suffered through as a rookie with the Seattle Supersonics. Durant also went through a similar losing campaign during a 23-win season in Oklahoma City the following year before the team had enough talent to turn things around.

There are franchise-changing players to be had in this year’s draft, and the Sixers will be in the mix to land one of them for sure. But part of this strikes me as posturing for job security. While the personnel decisions are obviously out of Brown’s hands, attempting to set expectations so low that we shouldn’t judge the Sixers until five years from now seems at least a little bit disingenuous.

  1. saint1997 - Mar 16, 2014 at 8:21 AM

    Am I the only one sick of the whole tanking discussion? Some teams are just going to be bad! There are enough good teams in the league that it doesn’t matter if some teams are bad – I actually really enjoy as a fan that process of a young team acquiring talent. It’s not an issue and I’m frankly sick of every second person spouting their opinion about a non-issue. Would you rather every team in the league be just mediocre. Some teams suck – deal with it

    • pbtunpaidwriter - Mar 16, 2014 at 2:46 PM

      This tanking talk is so ridiculous. Teams have been doing it forever. Does it need to be addressed? Yes, but the Sixers aren’t doing anything new or wrong.

      How did the Spurs get Duncan in ’97? By benching a healthy David Robinson which wasn’t necessarily wrong but questionable. Nobody says the Spurs 4 championships (almost 5) are tainted. They wouldn’t have even won 1 without TD, without a doubt.

      The NBA incentivizes tanking. The league has to fix the way the draft works if they want tanking to stop. Plain and simple.

  2. tfoz5150 - Mar 16, 2014 at 8:55 AM

    Agreed. It’s not like they’re the only team doing it. Heck they don’t even have the league’s worst record. That distinction belongs to the Milwaukee Bucks. This is nothing new, teams in all sports have been doing this for years and years.

    • fanofthegame79 - Mar 16, 2014 at 10:41 AM

      That’s what I don’t get – the 76ers are getting all the articles about them tanking when they might not end up with the worst record in the league. What’s that have to say about the Bucks? Unless the 76ers get more articles because they have a bigger fan-base/market/reader-base as compared to the Bucks…

      • aboogy123456 - Mar 16, 2014 at 11:40 AM

        I think the Evan Turner trade is what showed people that the Sixers would rather lose games than win games this season. They traded Evan Turner and saved only 500k, and they could have also tried to keep granger but instead bought him out. I don’t disagree with the move, but it seemed clear that it was to help them become a worse team this year.

      • tfoz5150 - Mar 16, 2014 at 12:54 PM

        I get that, but they weren’t bringing back Turner or Hawes. granger didn’t want to be here. I’m not going lie and say they aren’t tanking, but damn it sure seems like they’re the only ones getting chastised for it. look at the Pistons last night…a 25 pt. lead!!!

      • fanofthegame79 - Mar 17, 2014 at 11:21 AM

        That’s my point, too, tfoz.

  3. 13arod - Mar 16, 2014 at 9:09 AM

    anybody else think the 76ers are tanking??

  4. bauman007 - Mar 16, 2014 at 10:07 AM

    Agreed with the above. If a team is rebuilding why not position themselves to get top picks? As a sixers fan we knew what was going on this year. The team was stuck in 7-8 seed purgatory and it was time to blow it up and start over. At least the Sixers have a plan and direction. More than what I can say for some of the teams that didn’t expect to be lottery teams this year.

  5. aboogy123456 - Mar 16, 2014 at 10:55 AM

    I think 3-5 years is conservative and the sixers are in a great position to get good fast. They have found a good point guard in MCW, they have a potential franchise player with a top pick in this draft, and if the hornets don’t get a top 5 pick then the sixers also have another lottery pick in this great draft. They also have no cap issues and Noel will be back next year. If they can do well in the draft they will not only rebuild, but can be on top of the league in a couple years.

  6. blakegblogs - Mar 16, 2014 at 10:56 AM

    We’ll not all teams are just BAD, the bucks were in the PLAYOFFS LAST YEAR!!! Bucks had monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings, so not all teams are bad. Some teams just lose their good players

  7. blakegblogs - Mar 16, 2014 at 10:56 AM

    We’ll not all teams are just BAD, the bucks were in the PLAYOFFS LAST YEAR!!! Bucks had monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings, so not all teams are bad. Some teams just lose their good players

    • tfoz5150 - Mar 16, 2014 at 2:02 PM

      Sixers were a Game 7 victory away from the ECF against the Heat 2 years ago. So what’s your point? Everybody’s tanking this year because the draft is loaded. Don’t give the Sixers a hard time because they’re good at it.

  8. 1historian - Mar 16, 2014 at 3:48 PM

    This all depends on the team having a winning history & TRADITION, which the Sixers DON’T – last title 31 years ago. The Bucks DON’T – last (only) title I think in the 70s. The Celtics DO. The Sixers are where they are because they have sucked for years, ditto the Bucks. The Celtics won #17 in 2008. Last summer they traded Pierce and Garnett to Brooklyn, lost Doc Rivers to the Clippers – for 4 1st round picks out of the next 5 drafts. If they had not made those deals they would be stuck in middle-middle land for the next few years. Instead Ainge made the moves necessary – I lost count of how many draft choices he has stockpiled over the next 5 years.

    Free agents – walk a prospect into the Garden with the lights off, then turn them on and look at all those banners and ask – are you good enough to help put a few more of them up there?

    I would bet that the Celtics will be back in the hunt in less than 2 years – playoffs end of 2016 season.

    • tfoz5150 - Mar 16, 2014 at 9:24 PM

      If I’m not mistaken we took the Celtic’s to a game 7 a couple of years ago in the semi-finals. It very easily could’ve been the Sixers being served up to the Heat on the way to their championship. The only reason the Sixers are where they are is bc of the Bynum disaster. We went for broke. Traded half our damn team and the bum never suited up. So Hinkie came in and wanted to start all over. Shipped out Jrue, Turner and Hawes. Young will be next.

      The future is bright, however. We have two lottery picks from this year, two more in the upcoming draft, plenty of cap space. Dare I say the Sixers will be back owning the Celtics two years from now!

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