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Far-Fetched Friday: The Philadelphia 76ers’ Title Window is Closed
By: Ryan Stein
Teams with talent the level of Joel Embiid tend to retain at least some relevance in the basketball landscape. However, these Philadelphia 76ers are not a typical team. Controversy and turmoil surround the team, and there's no obvious end in sight. The team's second star, Ben Simmons is counting down the days until he can be free from the franchise, and has yet to play a game this season. A couple players have surprised for the team, but there has been much more disappointment overall. That being said, the Philadelphia 76ers, who have been a top 3 seed in the East for 3 of the past 4 seasons, have already passed their title window, and are actually closer to a complete tear down of the roster and staff.
Welcome back to Far-Fetched Friday, where every Friday we give you a bold prediction that we believe will come to fruition. This time, we take a trip to the Netherlands.
Joel Embiid is the midst of one of the worst seasons in his career so far. He's shooting a career low in field goal percentage, and a major reason for that is his increased volume of midrange jump shots. About 2/3 of his shots this season have come from midrange and further, which is a major departure from his bread and butter, which is shooting from the post. As a result, not only is his shooting percentage the worst it's ever been, but his actual scoring average is the lowest it's been since his rookie season.
Tobias Harris is another player that is expected to carry a major load for the team, especially with Ben Simmons not playing. While his per-game averages are nice, his overall decision-making and contribution to winning leave a lot to be desired. With 3 years and around $113 million left on his contract, there's no way for the 76ers to even offload his deal without giving up further value. That value could even possibly have to come in the form of one of the few bright spots of the team in starting guard Tyrese Maxey. He's had a great season thus far, but his surprising contributions have not been enough to make up for the disappointment that has plagued the team as a whole. Outside of these players and sharpshooter Seth Curry, nobody else on the roster can really be relied upon to contribute with any semblance of consistency.
The longer the 76ers wait to trade Ben Simmons, the less leverage they have in any potential future deal. If Philly continues to struggle, they may feel pressured to commit to a suboptimal Simmons deal to get immediate help for the squad. Overall, Philadelphia is in a bad spot, and are a far cry from their championship aspirations they've had in recent years. Barring a shocking turn of events, don't expect the 76ers to be anything more than fodder for the real contenders in the playoffs.
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