Exciting summer gives Sixers high hopes this year

When the Sixers open training camp this morning at Saint Joseph’s, Carmelo Anthony won’t be walking through that door. And unless Anthony has a change of heart and decides he’s willing to sign a long-term deal somewhere other than New York, Chicago or Orlando, he’s never going to be walking through that door.

Still, the Sixers can take some solace in the fact that Andre Iguodala’s stock is on the rise after he was a key cog in Team USA’s gold medal run this summer at the FIBA?World Championships in Turkey. The Nuggets reportedly covet Iguodala as the centerpiece of a deal involving their superstar.

“The NBA is a business and those things are going to come up no matter who the player is,” Iguodala said about the rumors. “So you just have to feel honored that someone else respects your game and your work ethic.”

New coach Doug Collins wants Iguodala to play a similar role for the Sixers as he did for Team USA — less jump shots with more defense, rebounding and leadership.

“I said the other day, we could be a team that our leading scorer is averaging 15 or 16 a game and we could have seven guys averaging double figures,” Collins said. “That’s the kind of team we could be.”

The Sixers won just 27 games a year ago, but GM Ed Stefanski is optimistic because he calls Collins the “face of the franchise.”

The Sixers may or may not have a franchise coach, but they remain on the hunt for a franchise player.

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