2019-20 NBA Season (74th Season)
Over/Under: 55 Wins
2019-20 NBA Championship Odds: 8/1
In the 2018-19 NBA season, the Philadelphia 76ers finished 51-31 (.622), ranking second in the Atlantic Division and third in the Eastern Conference. In the First Round of the playoffs, Philadelphia defeated the Brooklyn Nets 3-2 in this series. Then, the team advanced to the Conference Semifinals, where they lost in Game 7 against the Toronto Raptors. Contrary to the few previous playoff results, the 76ers' last two seasons were exceptional. In the 2017-18 season, the 76ers were 52-30 (.634), beating the Miami Heat 4-1 in the First Round, but later losing to the Boston Celtics 4-1 in the Conference Semifinals. Ben Simmons won Rookie of the Year this same year. Founded in 1946, the 76ers have won three championships (1955, 1967, and 1983), nine conference titles, and five division titles. Prior to the 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons, Philadelphia had not finished a season with at least 50 wins since the 2000-01 season. This was the year Allen Iverson won MVP, Dikembe Mutombo won Defensive Player of the Year, Aaron McKie won the Sixth Man of the Year Award, and Head Coach Larry Brown won Coach of the Year.
Fast forward to the present, while current Head Coach Brett Brown has four losing seasons with the team, including that awful 10-72 (.122) 2015-16 performance, the previous two rosters proved to the basketball world that they were above average playoff contenders. All the years of losing and staying below .500 seems to finally be paying off. From 2013-14 through 2018-19, Coach Brown's overall record with the team is 178-314 (.362). For any coach to turn a 10-win or 28-win team into a contender with over 50 wins is nothing short of impressive. As for the 2019 NBA Draft, this was a bit messy for the Sixers. In the first round, at pick No. 24, the team selected 6'5'' point guard Ty Jerome from Virginia. With the 33rd and 34th picks in the draft, Philadelphia selected 6' point guard Carsen Edwards from Purdue and 6'10'' center/power forward Bruno Fernando from Maryland. Then, at picks No. 42 and No. 54, the team acquired 6'5'' small forward Admiral Schofield from Tennessee and 6'5'' shooting guard Marial Shayok from Iowa State. However, Jerome and Edwards were traded to the Boston Celtics for 6'5'' shooting guard Matisse Thybulle from Washington.
Fernando was also traded to the Atlanta Hawks, and Schofield was sent to the Washington Wizards for cash considerations. On June 21, shooting guard Jonathan Simmons was traded to the Wizards as well. On June 26, Joseph Blair was hired by the Sixers to work as an assistant coach for the organization. This is Coach Blair's first NBA team in his coaching career. He previously worked as the Arizona Wildcats' assistant coach (2013-15), Rio Grande Vipers' assistant coach (2013-18), and was promoted to head coach at Rio Grande Vipers (2018-19). For one notable player departure, on June 30, J.J. Redick signed a 2-year, $26.5 million contract with the New Orleans Pelicans. Next, on July 1, in a four-team sign-and-trade deal, the Miami Heat acquired Jimmy Butler from the 76ers, Meyers Leonard from the Portland Trail Blazers, and cash considerations from the Los Angeles Clippers. Portland received Hassan Whiteside via the Heat and draft rights to Mathias Lessart.
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