Are we about done with this version of the Philadelphia 76ers? They have been the semi-team of the future for what seems like forever now. The constant questions about whether Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons can ultimately work together while they’ve been working fairly well together are tiring. The constant debate over which one should be the face of the franchise. Which should the team trade. Enough already. Just trade them both and start over.
In general the Sixers should either reanimate prime Allen Iverson or go away. Move to Seattle. Just please get rid of Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons because the perceived relevance of this franchise with either of those guys involved is incredible boring. Good regular season teams addicted to early postseason exits are the worst. Nothing more than fodder to pad resumes of championship teams.
For half a decade they sucked. Most of that time was completely on purpose so that they could get high lottery picks. They got a bunch and about half worked out. (And let’s just not talk about the Jayson Tatum thing.) They drafted multiple guys they thought would be franchise guys. Two of them – Michael Carter-Williams and Ben Simmons – even won Rookie of the Year. They, of course, immediately shipped MCW out of town for fear that he would make them simply bad instead of horrible.
Simmons has become an All-Star after missing his first season with an injury. He played 81 and 79 games in his first two actual seasons and then missed all of this year’s sweep to the Celtics. Would the Sixers have won with him? Probably not. Statistically, Simmons is the exact same player as he was as a rookie. He’s still a good defender and great passer who cannot and will not shoot.
Combine that with Embiid who plays about 75% of each season and is a skilled big man in a league that doesn’t really have any use for anymore. He seems to exist only so that people can complain that he’s out of shape.
We appear to have seen the ceiling for the 76ers. They win about 60 percent of their games and if they’re lucky they get to squeak past a worse team in the Eastern Conference’s first round. Then they meet a better team and it’s over. Time to look forward to the future again. Next season. We just need one little change. Jimmy Butler maybe. Or Al Horford. How about a new coach?
Yes. Thrilling. Ty Lue. A smaller version of Luke Walton. A former Los Angeles Laker who lucked into coaching a championship-caliber team by accident. He will be the one to unlock the hidden potential in Philly.
It’s just going to be the same thing. The 76ers currently have like $130 million on the books between Embiid, Simmons, Tobias Harris and Al Horford for the ’22-’23 season. Good luck with three more seasons of this.
Just blow it up right now. Restart The Process. Or better yet, send the team to Seattle so the city of Philadelphia doesn’t have to go through this anymore. This is a city that has a proud history of losing. Dangling superficial basketball success in front of them and telling them they could win an NBA Title someday is just cruel.