The 76ers are in the third year of the Joel Embiid-Ben Simmons experiment, and it’s time for them to wake up.
They trusted the process. It’s gotten them far, but not to the promised land.
The Sixers have stockpiled talent, but it doesn’t fit together.
The roster around these two stars has been in constant flux.
The 76ers keep searching for the right pieces to put around them, but the problem’s not the surrounding pieces – it’s them.
They both need space to operate, and they both work inside of the paint, which cuts away each player’s space.
Since Joel Embiid went down with a hand injury almost two weeks ago, the Sixers have gone 5-2. Ben Simmons looks like a new player, averaging 21 points, nine boards, and eight assists in that time.
The 76ers could continue to tweak their roster, but they should start thinking about a massive change. Parting with Embiid would hurt, but they should sell high now and surround Simmons with a team that makes more sense.
Would either team agree to this trade? Who knows. But they should. Tatum is a star in the making, but Embiid has MVP potential.
The Celtics have referred to Tatum and Hayward as “untouchable,” but this is a case where Danny Ainge should let the 76ers get their hands all over his prized possessions.
The Celtics are loaded at the wing and barren at center. With this trade, they would still have the rapidly improving Jaylen Brown and the tenacious Marcus Smart on the wing. Josh Richardson could slot in perfectly at shooting guard, and Embiid would anchor the middle. Throw in All-Star point guard Kemba Walker, and this team has “championship contender” written all over it.
Philly, meanwhile, would surround Simmons with shooting, defense, and secondary-playmaking. They would still be bigger than most teams, with Al Horford manning the middle and the next-shortest starter being six feet, eight inches tall. This switchable lineup full of capable shooters would have Philly competing for years to come.
Sacramento is stuck in the mud. They maxed out as a fringe playoff team last year and look slightly worse this year. Paired with De’Aaron Fox, Joel Embiid instantly raises their ceiling and gives them a shot in the West.
No player coming back to Philly is close to Embiid’s talent in this deal, but it’s about fit. Simmons would get one of the league’s best sharpshooters in Buddy Hield. Bogdanovic and Bjelica give them the bench strength they so glaringly lack. And former no. 2 overall pick Marvin Bagley III could blossom or be traded for more pieces that fit.
Good luck against a starting lineup of Al Horford, Ben Simmons, Tobias Harris, Josh Richardson, and Buddy Hield. Throw in a revamped bench that’s better than some starting lineups, and you have a true contender.
Chicago finally gets a superstar.
Charlotte gets their big of the future.
And Philly gets more shooting, depth, and playmaking. The Sixers would take a slight hit on defense, but their offense would hum and space would be plentiful.
Last modified: January 23, 2020 11:29 AM UTC