Once upon a time, the 76ers drafted Allen Iverson, and they almost lived happily ever after. However, their trip to the NBA Finals, where they lost to the Los Angeles Lakers, will always be the sad part. After more than ten memorable years with Philadelphia, Iverson left to play for the Denver Nuggets, and the team was never the same again.
The 76ers had multiple chances to develop another franchise point guard, but those players never stayed long enough to have an impact. Instead, due to injuries or management’s decisions, these point guards were sidelined or traded away before they reached their full potential. Let us look back at what some of these players went through during their time in Philadelphia.
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Holiday was literally the closest player to be the next Iverson because he played with Iverson. He was there during Iverson’s second stint with the team, and all the valuable lessons learned were crucial in making Holiday the player he is today. He stayed a few more years after Iverson left and even averaged eight assists per game. A trade would send him to the New Orleans Pelicans after his stay in Philadelphia.
Everyone thought that the future point guard of the 76ers finally arrived after the first NBA game of Carter-Williams. He scored 22 points, dished out 12 assists, had nine steals, grabbed seven rebounds, and made four three-pointers. Carter-Williams won Rookie of the Year, could score 20 points regularly and would hand out assists in bunches. He was the taller version of Iverson. Too bad he was traded to Milwaukee midway through his sophomore year.
Fultz arrived with his college-career highlights in everyone’s minds. Every fan had to see what he was all about after being the number one pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. Remember, Iverson was a number one pick back in 1996, so comparisons were made, and lofty expectations were everywhere. Fans could not wait to see what he had to offer.
Fultz’s first game was a normal one where he made five field goals in nine attempts and had one assist in almost 18 minutes of action. No one knew it back then, but he would only play less than 40 games for the team in his two-year stay. Messed up by a shoulder injury, Fultz had an awful start to his career. A trade to the Orlando Magic would soon follow.
Simmons missed his first year in the league due to an injury, so the excitement of his arrival was delayed. It was worth the wait, though, as he won the Rookie of the Year award just like Iverson. He was a complete all-around player. Triple-doubles were possible every time he played. Another important thing that he brought to the team was wins. That was something Carter-Williams could not do.
Sadly, the first thing that comes to mind about Simmons now is how his four-year stay with the team ended. In the 2021 Playoffs, Simmons did not attempt a fourth-quarter field goal in four consecutive games. The world simply could not believe it, and he was criticized by teammates, opponents, and fans. A disgruntled Simmons would then refuse to play for the organization again.
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