The Sixers are one of the most intriguing teams to watch in the entire NBA heading into the 2017-18 season, according to ESPN’s Zach Lowe.

Lowe released his annual League Pass rankings this week, and the Sixers came in in the top five. Fifth overall, to be exact, behind only title contenders in the Rockets, Celtics, Thunder, and Warriors.

Here’s what Lowe had to say about the 17-18 7-6:

"If Joel Embiid were slated to play more, the Sixers could make a run to the No. 2 spot. But I would be surprised if he logs 60 games even if he's healthy, which means we should prepare for an almost-best-case-scenario of 50. That leaves 30-plus for the rest of the Philly roster, still glowing with starry potential.

But the lure of the unknown -- Ben SimmonsMarkelle Fultz -- can only take you so far. Most rookies are bad. We have to see a little something before slotting Philly any higher.

The Sixers have the best top-to-bottom collection of iconography in the league. They know it, too. They don't overthink with design overhauls or crazy colors. They search out small tweaks that build on historic themes, and they almost always nail them: stars mounted on a blue stripe down the side of one jersey; cursive writing across another; the persistence of that Wilt-era "PHILA" wordmark; and their new Liberty Bell-themed alternate court (complete with crack). Everything is simple, and gorgeous.

Don't sleep on the Dario Saric, a young and vaguely villainous Boris Diaw:

Philly is eager to investigate how it fares when Saric and Simmons -- both power forward-ish players with shaky jumpers -- play alongside Embiid.


With 23 nationally televised games between ESPN, TNT, and NBATV this season, Lowe clearly isn't the only one excited to see the Sixers.


Follow Michael Kaskey-Blomain on Twitter @therealmikekb.

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