39-18 • 1st in EASTERN CONFERENCE
The 76ers never really got a chance to make a run for the Eastern Conference title last season, and this was due to the fact that they lost Ben Simmons even before the playoffs started. Their postseason run ultimately ended in disaster, as they suffered a humiliating first-round sweep at the hands of the Boston Celtics.
Assuming the Sixers remain healthy for the most part of the 2020-21 campaign, they should still be a legitimate threat in the East. The big question, however, is if they have what it takes to go all the way this coming season.
The key factor that we need to consider here is the arrival of Doc Rivers. He's undeniably stepping into a high-pressure situation, with the expectations so high on this underperforming Sixers squad. However, if there's anyone who can turn things around for this team, then it's a guy like Rivers. It would not be surprising if Rivers is able to bring out the best in both Simmons and Joel Embiid. After all, he's done something similar in the past with the title-winning 2008 Boston Celtics.
The Milwaukee Bucks, the Brooklyn Nets, and the Miami Heat are always going to be the favorites, but with a bit of luck, Philadelphia could prove to be the surprise package of the 2020-21 campaign.
After parting ways with the Houston Rockets, it did not take long for Daryl Morey to find his next job. The Sixers have brought him on board as the team's new president of basketball operations, and Morey carries the hopes of this team finally breaking through in 2020-21.
Morey is a tested exec, and he's proven that he has what it takes to build a legitimate title contender. His record speaks for itself. In 13 years with the Rockets, he recorded the second most wins in the entire league behind only the San Antonio Spurs. Morey was also the man behind the deal that brought James Harden to Houston, and we all know how that turned out.
In Philly, Morey inherits a team that's already primed for a title run. With him at the helm, however, we can only expect that he is able to bring in a few more pieces (or maybe just one big one) that should only boost the 76ers' championship odds in 2021.
Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons are without a doubt one of the most potent pairings in the entire NBA. Then again, it feels like they still need a third star to help them take the next step. They've been healthy enough the past couple of years for us to see that while they are two of the best young stars in the league, it just doesn't seem like they can carry the Sixers to a championship. Tobias Harris has looked like a star -- at times -- but again, it doesn't feel like that's enough. This becomes even more true once you factor in all the other superteams in the league right now.
With Doc Rivers as the new head coach and Daryl Morey as the new team president, it could only be a matter of time for the Sixers to bring another superstar into the fold, with James Harden’s name floating around the rumor mill the most often.
To be fair to the Sixers, it's not really as if they got rid of Jimmy Butler. Reports state that they actually tried to sign him to a max extension worth $190 million for five years. Butler reportedly turned down the offer from the Sixers to join the Miami Heat for less money.
There were some nasty rumors that went around claiming that Butler never got along with Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid, and that this was the primary reason why he decided to leave Philly. Butler himself has come out to deny this, expressing how he still talked to both stars after his departure. Butler also said that it just didn't work out for him with the Sixers.
Later on, we all realized how much of a perfect fit Butler was with Miami's culture. It turned out to be a match made in heaven, which, in hindsight, is likely the main reason Butler opted to walk away from Philadelphia.
The Sixers deserve a ton of credit for successfully swooping in on Dwight Howard. The three-time Defensive Player of the Year winner recently won the first championship of his career with the Los Angeles Lakers, and with the Purple & Gold focusing on bringing in Montrezl Harrell, Philly quickly pounced on the opportunity to sign the veteran big man.
Howard is a far cry from the dominant All-Star he once was. Last season, he averaged 7.5 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 1.1 blocks with L.A. in 18.9 minutes off the bench. He's likely going to fill in a similar role in Philly backing up Joel Embiid. Howard won't be a double-double threat on most nights, but the energy he brings to the game -- both on the bench and when he enters the game -- will be a valuable asset for the Sixers.
Howard has been around the block enough to have learned a thing or two about being a premier big man in the league, and Embiid can certainly learn a lot from a tested vet like him.
It's not a secret that one of the biggest shortcomings the Sixers have had over the past couple of seasons lies in their lack of outside shooting. This was clearly one of the first items on the agenda for newly-hired president for basketball operations Daryl Morey, who himself did a commendable job of bringing in two of the best shooters in the league in Seth Curry and Danny Green.
Curry, who Philly traded from the Dallas Mavericks in exchange for Josh Richardson, is coming from a career-best year shooting from distance. The 30-year-old shot a very impressive 45.2 percent from rainbow territory last term, draining 2.3 triples per game. He's a career 44.3-percent shooter from distance, so clearly, he's one of the best in the business.
The same can be said of Danny Green, who just won the third championship of his career with the Los Angeles Lakers last season. The 33-year-old vet had his fair share of ups and downs last year, but there's no denying that he's still one of the deadliest marksmen in the NBA today.
The Sixers definitely upgraded their acumen from distance entering the new season, and while this makes them a much more dangerous squad, this cannot be the single solution to solving the championship puzzle. It's a step in the right direction, but his team will need to be better in virtually every other category if they hope to be a legitimate threat to the title.
This is a bit of a tough one. Depending on where you're sitting, you could easily make a compelling case for either Ben Simmons or Joel Embiid.
At this point in their careers, however, we're going to have to take Embiid with a slight edge over Simmons.
Last season, Embiid averaged 23.0 points (on 47.7 percent shooting), 11.6 rebounds, 3.0 assists, and 1.3 blocks, while also connecting on 1.1 triples per game -- and it wasn't even a good year for him. The 26-year-old is without a doubt one of the top big men in the game today, if not the rest.
Simmons is a tremendous player, and he could easily emerge as the Sixers' cornerstone superstar -- overtaking Embiid -- in the near future, but right now, Embiid is still the man for Philly.
Forbes estimates the total valuation of the Philadelphia 76ers franchise at $2.075 billion as of February 2021.
As of the 2019-20 season, the Sixers are estimated to have earned a total revenue of $259 million and an operating income of $51 million.
The emergence of The Process in Philly boosted this team's popularity. During the 2018-19 season, the 76ers led the entire league in attendance. The wait list on season tickets exceeded 10,000-mark, which unfortunately, will take a significant hit due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The 76ers play in the Wells Fargo Center. This 20,000-capacity multi-purpose stadium also serves as the home of Philadelphia Flyers of the NHL and the Philadelphia Wings of the National Lacrosse League.
Originally named as Spectrum II, this stadium officially opened its doors in 1996. At that time, total construction costs were estimated at $210 million.
This stadium has also previously been named as the CoreStates Center, First Union Center, and the Wachovia Center.
The 76ers are owned and managed by Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment.
Founded by Joshua Harris and David Blizter, the company purchased the franchise back in 2011 for just $287 million. The company is based in Camden, New Jersey, and are also the owners of the New Jersey Devils of the NHL.
Doc Rivers is the Philadelphia 76ers’ head coach, entering his first season with the franchise after a long stint in the same position with the Los Angeles Clippers. During his seven seasons with the Clips, Rivers compiled a 355-208 record. He has also served as the head coach for the Orlando Magic and Boston Celtics, winning his lone championship in 2008 with the C’s.
The arrival of new head coach Doc Rivers to Philadelphia also translated to a new-look coaching staff under Rivers.
Former Memphis Grizzlies and Sacramento Kings head coach Dave Joerger joined Rivers as one of his assistants. Likewise, Sam Cassell and Dan Burke were also listed as assistants.
Other members of Rivers' coaching staff include Popeye Jones, Eric Hughes, Brian Adams, and Pete Dominguez. Finally, Todor Pandov has been named as an assistant coach/performance director.
The Sixers have won three titles in the history of this franchise, and the latest one came during the 1982-83 season. The man at the helm for Philly at that time was Billy Cunningham, who is undeniably one of the greatest Sixers head coaches of all time.
During the 1983 Finals, Cunningham coached a Moses Malone-led Sixers to a famous sweep of the Los Angeles Lakers to clinch the title. Cunningham also amassed 454 wins in his career -- the most in Sixers history.
The 76ers, then the Syracuse Nationals, bagged their first ever title in 1955 under head coach Al Cervi. He too is an all-time great, logging the second-most wins in franchise history with 294.
Finally, we have Alex Hannum, who coached the team during the 1960s. He led the Sixers to a chip as well, while also recording 257 career wins.
This wasn't an easy pick, but we'd have to go for the great Julius Erving as the Sixers GOAT. Consistency was key for Dr. J, who made 11 All-Star appearances during his 11-year stint in Philly. With Erving at the helm, the 76ers went all the way to the Finals four times in the span of seven years. He was front and center in the Sixers' third (and most recent) championship in 1983.
Wilt Chamberlain comes in as an extremely close second. The only reason Dr. J edged him out is because of the fact that Chamberlain spent just four years with the Sixers.
Rounding out our Top 3 is none other than Allen Iverson. The 6-foot combo guard was anything but your typical superstar. He was hounded with controversy throughout his time with the Sixers, but still, he is still undeniably an all-time great. In his best year as a pro, Iverson won the MVP award, as he led the Sixers to a memorable trip to the NBA Finals during the 2000-01 season.
The last two spots were also a toss up between a number of legends, but in the end, we're going with the great Moses Malone and Hal Greer.
There are more than a few players that have garnered legendary status with the Sixers during their time with the team.
From the early years we have the likes of Dolph Schayes, Billy Cunningham, Hal Greer, and Wilt Chamberlain, while the '70s and '80s were represented by guys such as Julius Erving, Mo Cheeks, Moses Malone, Bobby Jones, and Charles Barkley.
Last, but certainly not least, we have the one and only Allen Iverson, who terrorized the league as a Sixer in the late '90s to early 2000s.