The Process is over for the Philadelphia 76ers, but the major problems may just be beginning.
After being swept in the first round of the NBA Playoffs by the Boston Celtics, the Sixers face substantial uncertainty on my levels. Head coach Brett Brown was fired on Monday. There are still questions surrounding Joel Embiid’s conditioning and health. The team is in salary cap peril.
Things look ominously murky for a team that appeared to have such a bright future just two years ago.
Locked On 76ers host and Sixers beat reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer Keith Pompey outlined the issues with the team and how they may essentially be left in the dust by the rest of the East.
“They’ll probably be the seventh-best team in the East [next year]. That’s crazy, but it’s also a reality. I mean, seriously, the 76ers can end up being the seventh-best team in the East next year. Whoever the next coach is, they need to hit a home run.”
The NBA’s Eastern Conference should be much stronger. The upper echelon featuring the Milwaukee Bucks, Toronto Raptors and Boston Celtics won’t change. The Miami Heat should be even better in year two of Jimmy Butler. The Indiana Pacers will be formidable again. The Brooklyn Nets get Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving healthy. Even the Washington Wizards will get a jolt from a returning John Wall.
Basically, when examining the current roster construction of the Sixers, combined with uncertainty at the head coach spot and a front office with a checkered history when it comes to team building, things don’t look great.
Because of that, a major roster shakeup could be coming. Pompey noted it may be time to significantly change the Sixers’ core.
“It may even be time to blow this thing up. I think the window is closed… Right now with the Sixers, I hate to say it, they were the all hype team… Embiid — if the Sixers keep struggling — he’s not going to be happy.”
Changing the core isn’t a new concept for the Sixers. How well Ben Simmons and the aforementioned Embiid play fit together has been a persisting conversation. The former is an elite facilitator and floor general with no outside shot, while the latter is a commanding, plodding force down low who requires ample opportunities in the post.
And with the team’s salary cap situation incredibly tight, trading one of their core duo may make the most sense for the future of the team.