After the mighty Golden State Warriors weakened, the Philadelphia 76ers became more aggressive in upgrading their roster in the 2019 NBA offseason. Unfortunately, despite the addition of Al Horford and Josh Richardson last summer, the Sixers still struggled in the 2019-20 NBA season and have failed to live up to expectations as a legitimate title contender in the Eastern Conference. As of now, rumors have already started to swirl around franchise cornerstones Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons about their future with the Sixers.
With their inability to contend for the NBA championship title, some people think that the Sixers might finally consider breaking up the young superstar duo of Embiid and Simmons. However, Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report wrote that he believes it’s still too early for the Sixers to give up on Embiid and Simmons. Buckley sees the Sixers making a huge roster overhaul in the 2020 NBA offseason, but he still expects them to build around Embiid and Simmons.
“Brown’s seat has burned for over a year. Brand’s huge-money investments in Tobias Harris and Al Horford look somewhere between not great and catastrophic. Simmons and Embiid have never fared worse in concert with one another. Two years back, they steamrolled teams by 15.5 points per possessions in their shared floor time. Now, they’re barely breaking even (plus-0.9). A shake-up feels imminent. Even if it’s not as dramatic as splitting up Simmons and Embiid, it might be overhauling the roster around them. Horford’s contract already looks like a colossal overpay, Harris makes superstar money without superstar production, and the supporting cast perpetually lacks perimeter shooting.”
The Sixers may not be performing well as a team, but both Embiid and Simmons established an impressive performance in the 2019-20 NBA season. Before the league suspension due to the coronavirus pandemic, Embiid was averaging 23.4 points, 11.8 points, 3.1 assists, and 1.3 blocks while shooting 47.4 percent from the field and 34.8 percent from beyond the arc. Simmons was posting 16.7 points, 7.8 rebounds, 8.2 assists, and 2.1 steals while shooting 58.5 percent from the field.
Instead of thinking about trading Embiid and Simmons, the Sixers should focus on finding players that complement their game. As of now, one of the major issues on the Sixers’ roster is the need for another shot creator and shot maker. In the past months, the Sixers have already been linked to some players who could help them address that problem. These include CJ McCollum of the Portland Trail Blazers, Bradley Beal of the Washington Wizards, Buddy Hield of the Sacramento Kings, and Chris Paul of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Once one of those players becomes available on the trade market at a reasonable price, the Sixers are expected to immediately make a move. Aside from adding talents who could help them achieve their main goal next season, the Sixers should also find ways to get rid of players who clearly don’t fit alongside Embiid and Simmons. However, dumping those players, specifically Horford, would cost the Sixers a young player or a future draft pick.