David Robinson, Hakeem Olajuwon, Toni Kukoc, Magic Johnson. A starting lineup with those four players would be the most dominating team to ever play the game. No, this is not a fantasy Hall of Fame pickup game lineup, this is the potential starting lineup of the Philadelphia 76ers. Before the riots start let me explain, this is not an immediate prediction for the team this season, however it is the potential that each player can reach.
The New Admiral
A super athletic seven foot tall big man who has already mastered the defensive side of the ball, blocks shots for fun, and has extreme potential to learn the offensive side of the game. This description matches both David Robinson and Nerlens Noel coming out of college. The only difference is that Robinson played all four years at Navy while Noel left after his freshman year at Kentucky. He is only 20 years old and has incredible room for growth as he learns the pro game.
The next two comparisons are the most obvious ones for me. Joel Embiid is the best big man prospect since Tim Duncan and the comparisons between those two are obvious. However the player Embiid most reminds me of is Hakeem Olajuwon. Both African-born men with incredible potential and personalities to match.
If he manages to stay healthy he can be the most impressive and dominant center in a very long time. He already is incredible defensively, and he has all the tools to develop an incredible arsenal of offensive moves. All he needs to do now is develop these tools and he can be incredible.
Although opinions are split on the drafting of Dario Saric, that mainly revolves around when he will be available to play in the NBA, not with his skill. He has an amazing all around game and plenty of size to go around. Although I have heard comparisons to Dirk Nowitzki, I see more of Toni Kukoc in his game.
He has more of the all around skill as opposed to being a pure scorer. I can easily see him averaging 15 points, 5 assists, and 8 rebounds per game, but he will never be a 25 points per game guy. This type of player can be extremely valuable to a contender and that is exactly what he will be.
The last comparison is also the one that is the largest stretch. Many would call me crazy for comparing Michael Carter-Williams to Magic Johnson but hear me out. They both have incredible size for the point guard position, both are immensely talented passers, are great rebounders for their position, and both flourish in an up tempo, fast break system.
We saw this last season with the Sixers and we saw it with Magic and the 'Show Time' Lakers of the 80's. These are not exact predictions of what each player will become, however this is the potential that each one of them possesses. All we as fans can do is sit back, enjoy the ride and watch this team grow together. It should be fun to say the least.