The Philadelphia 76ers may have entered the 2019-20 NBA season as a heavy favorite to bring home the Larry O’Brien Trophy, but they haven’t lived up to expectations of a legitimate title contender in the Eastern Conference. After they got swept by the Boston Celtics in the first round of the 2020 Playoffs, it’s hardly surprising that rumors surrounding the future of Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons in Philadelphia started to heat up.
Though they are currently two of the fastest rising superstars in the league, Embiid and Simmons don’t seem to be destined to play together on one team as they have struggled to efficiently coexist on the court. However, despite being an imperfect duo, the Sixers haven’t shown any strong indication that they are breaking the Embiid-Simmons tandem this fall. In a recent interview with Tim Bontemps of ESPN, Sixers General Manager Elton Brand revealed their plan in the 2020 offseason.
Unlike what most people are expecting, Brand said that they have no intention of trading Embiid or Simmons this fall. Instead of easily giving up on their young superstar duo, Brand revealed that they are eyeing to build a more competitive roster around Embiid and Simmons in the 2020 offseason.
“I’m not looking to trade Ben or Joel,” Brand said. “I’m looking to complement them better. They are 24 and 26 years old, respectively. You try to make that fit as long as you can. They want to be here, they want to be with our organization, and I see them here for a long, long time.”
After suffering a huge disappointment this year, the Sixers likely know what parts of the roster they need to improve. As of now, they are obviously in dire need of elite shooters that could create more space for Embiid and Simmons to operate their offense.
Aside from surrounding their franchise cornerstones with players that could maximize their effectiveness on the court, the Sixers should also find the perfect head coach to replace Brett Brown. Unlike when he first started as the team’s general manager, Brand revealed that he will be the one to personally recommend Brown’s successor to Sixers owners Joe Harris and David Blitzer.
“To be clear and frank, we feel the collaboration days didn’t work too well,” Brand said. “So I will be leading the search. I will be making the recommendation to Josh and David, of course, but we’re getting better. And I’ve grown as a leader and I’ve grown as a general manager.”
When Brown got fired, several people immediately emerged as potential candidates for the Sixers’ head coach job. The possibilities include Tyronn Lue, Jay Wright, Mark Jackson, Ime Udoka, and Jason Kidd.