Watch CBS News

Boyd: Sixers Have A Great Opportunity With Young Core

By Ray Boyd

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- There isn't a lot about the Sixers to really hang your hat on at this point, especially from an X's and O's standpoint. One of the main excuses for this is there youth.

The Sixers do not shine in a lot of statistical categories, but one that is working for the franchise is their place as the NBA's youngest team. While that fact may hinder them in terms of wins and losses, it should prove to be a valuable commodity as time goes on.

ESPN released a "25 under 25," list this week featuring the 25 top NBA players under 25 years of age.

On the list was Sixers center Joel Embiid who is currently just 20 years old.

Even though Sixers fans aren't getting a glimpse of the big man on the floor, they must not forget why he was regarded as highly as he was. Embiid legitimately has the skill set necessary to be a franchise building block type of center.

That type of presence is rare, especially in today's NBA which has shifted to more hybrid big men that prefer to shoot jumpers as opposed to putting in the work to hone in their skills around the basket. The advantage gained by having a player on the floor who excels at scoring in the highest percentage area of the court is invaluable.

It may be a tough process having to wait for Embiid, but it should provide some comfort to know that he is still regarded as a highly valued commodity.

Embiid appeared on the list at 14, just ahead of former Sixer Jrue Holiday, 24, and right after Bradley Beal.

The Sixers big man also managed to edge out the two players drafted ahead of him, Andrew Wiggins (18) and Jabari Parker (t.25).

The players that appeared on the list were a lot of guys who may have been one of few guys on their team that were below 25 years of age. That is not the case for the Sixers.

Several of the building blocks of this team are below 25 years: Michael Carter-Williams 23, Robert Covington 23, K.J. McDaniels 21, Nerlens Noel 20, Tony Wroten 21.

The above list doesn't even include pieces like Dario Saric, 20, and Jordan McRae, 23.

Having a core with a current age range of 20-23 is a hindrance at the moment. However, fast forward a few seasons and imagine that core when they are all 24-27.

That is the greatest thing that the youth movement gives the Sixers. There is an opportunity to build an unprecedented core in terms of players reaching their ideal prime all around the same time.

The Sixers are smart to be embracing the youth.

Check Out These Sports Stories:


View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.