Philly’s Starting Five Locked and Loaded


It’s official. The next era of The Process has begun. According to The Athletic, Ben Simmons has agreed to a five-year, $170 million contract extension. When the offseason began, the Sixers were unsure what their starting lineup would look like at the beginning of the regular season. With Ben Simmons officially under an extended deal, it’s time to look to the future. The entire starting five is under contract for at least two years. Having some certainty in the lineup gives the team something that they haven’t had in recent years; time to build chemistry and new chances to build depth at the trade deadline. Factor in Brett Brown’s defensive mindset, and suddenly everything makes sense for this team (on paper).

Starting Five Chemistry wins Championships

It’s no secret that chemistry is crucial to winning championships. Golden State assembled their core with free agent signings in the offseason. Toronto’s trade for Kawhi happened during the offseason. The 2016 Cavaliers had their starting lineup together for most of the season. When Elton Brand composed last year’s starting five, a major problem was that the team only played 10 games together before the playoffs. This lack of cohesiveness showed during the playoffs, as the offense sputtered at crucial times during the second round. Toronto disrupted the offense and stopped them when needed.

Now, the story has changed. Even when giving Joel Embiid his usual amount of load management, the 76ers are ready to play an entire season with a core group. Allowing the team to play together from the start gives more opportunity for consistent rotations and identification of players’ strengths and weaknesses.

Trade Deadline Flexibility

Having the starting five squared away also helps the team prepare for the trade deadline frenzy. Brand can now focus on trading minor pieces to bolster the bench. Last year, the Sixers’ trade pieces focused on assembling a starting five for a playoff run. This caused the bench to be extremely shallow. Key bench pieces from last year’s team returned and the Sixers have assets to move at the deadline to add help. As long as the starting five remain healthy, all focus shifts toward finding key role players to relieve the starters.

Brett Brown’s Kind of Team

Brett Brown spent his time as an assistant coach under Gregg Popovich. That being said, it’s no surprise that Brown inherited Popovich’s defensive-dominant tendencies. With this new lineup, Brown can put his defensive schemes into motion. The length of the new starting unit has the ability to suffocate opposing offenses. Josh Richardson is the shortest member of the starting five, coming in at 6’6″. Having this length is key to Brett Brown’s scheme, as it allows him to sub in scorers (when needed) while keeping size on the floor.

RELATED: 3 Reasons Brown’s Tenure Is on the Line

With free agency finally over, a new chapter of The Process has begun. Last year’s rentals were fun and exciting to watch, but it’s time to look at the new, concrete future for the Philadelphia 76ers. With an entire season to build trust, a clear trade deadline goal of building the bench, and a team that is built around Brett Brown’s ideal gameplan, the Sixers are ready to take the leap and take the Eastern Conference by storm.

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About Dave Pedron

As a Pennsylvania native, Penn State grad, and diehard Sixers fan, I'm very excited to cover the team and usher in the next chapter of the Process.

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