The dust has settled after the Philadelphia 76ers' 2022-23 season. A new record in wins since the franchise's last Finals appearance didn't lift the lid on the conference finals. There were a lot of great moments for the Sixers throughout the season but they will all be remembered in tandem with an ending no one was happy with.
To put a cap on the season, let's give out grades to each player, former head coach Doc Rivers and lead executive Daryl Morey. Grades in this exercise are given not just on how good a player was but on whether they lived up to their expectations. With that guideline to asses grades, here are the final grades of the 2022-23 Sixers season.
Joel Embiid: B+
Embiid's regular season was nothing short of legendary. Contrary to what some people are saying a month after the fact, Embiid absolutely deserved the MVP. Historic, dominant campaigns like this do not come around often and his 2022-23 regular season should be not only remembered but appreciated.
But the playoffs…man, oh man. Yes, he was injured. But no, it doesn't excuse his meltdowns in the biggest moments. That Game 7 performance against the Boston Celtics may be a permanent stain on his career if he doesn't find more success under Nick Nurse.
Despite the hideous ending, Embiid's season still had much more good than bad. It may take a while for some Sixers fans to truly enjoy looking back on it but there are tons and tons of moments to marvel at, even if the biggest ones were not.
James Harden: B-
Coming into the season with concerns that he was a shell of himself, Harden was arguably the biggest snub from the All-Star game and would have been All-NBA if he didn't miss so much time. He led the league in assists per game, scored with great efficiency and anchored the non-Embiid minutes. His first full regular season with the Sixers was great.
Appreciation for all the good things Harden did was given cautiously with the hopes that he would finally not embarrass himself in a postseason. He then preceded to do just that (aside from saving the Sixers in two second-round games) and now seems to be on his way to the Houston Rockets, though Philly would still be better off keeping him.
Tyrese Maxey: B+
Maxey didn't take an All-Star leap due in part to a foot injury that sidelined him for over a month. He had a lot of games where it felt like he was invisible, indicating that he needs to work on maintaining aggression and impacting the game outside of scoring. Even still, he remained an elite off-ball weapon for Embiid and Harden while showcasing some defensive potential he can tap into next year.
Next season, the expectations will be even higher for Maxey. Nurse has a plan to make him more of a creator and a more impactful defender.
Tobias Harris: C+
The start of the season could not have been better for Harris, as he adjusted his game very, very well to what the Sixers needed. He couldn't keep it up, though, and felt out of place for most of the back half of the season. His impact in the first round of the playoffs was really good but not so much in the next.
The Sixers now have to find a trade for Harris to shake up the roster around Embiid. He's a good player but is not one that fits well alongside Embiid. Philly can't waste any more time having his contract on its books.
P.J. Tucker: C
Tucker's leadership aided the Sixers at numerous points of the season, as did his physical defense. He shot the ball well from the corner but only attempted four threes above the break for the entire season. That immense stage fright limited the offense at times and his defense didn't always make up for it.
Tucker did what he had to in the playoffs. He got in Embiid's face to motivate him and shot the open shots he needed to in Game 7, posting one of his best shooting performances of the season. But based on his 2022-23 season performance, a bench role suits him better than a starting one.
De'Anthony Melton: B-
Mr. Do Something recorded the second-most steals in the league in his first season with the Sixers. Still, Philly was 4.6 points worse per 100 possessions when he was on the floor, the 11th highest on the team among qualified players. His three-point shooting, particularly above the break, was pretty good but his finishing at the rim was woefully bad. Evidently, it's something he has to work on in order to have a larger impact.
Georges Niang: B+
There's a reason Niang has a signature Kate Scott call. His shooting was huge all season long for the Sixers and his 52 percent clip from the corner was one of the best in the league. Even though he's still limited in many areas of the game, he did enough in the other areas of the game to remain a regular in the rotation.
Paul Reed: A
Reed did everything the Sixers needed him to do. He became the backup center they have long needed by kicking butt on the boards, providing versatility on defense and taking developmental steps on both ends of the floor along the way. All of this while slinging luxury sweatshirts.
Jalen McDaniels: C+
After being the Sixers' primary mid-season acquisition, McDaniels didn't do much. His shooting never really came around, which led to him falling out of the playoff rotation in the second round. Although he had some nice moments as a cutter and defender, he became a non-factor when the lights really shined.
Doc Rivers: B-
Rivers did some of the things that Sixers fans have often wanted him to do — namely staggering his stars' minutes and making Reed the backup center — and had no problems winning games when either of his stars sat. Embiid and Harden found great chemistry in their first season together under his watch.
But it wasn't enough to avoid another blown playoff lead. While the Sixers looked like a contender in the regular season and could basically smell the conference finals, they once again came up short. Execution may not have saved them from Embiid and Harden stinking up the joint in Game 7 but at so many steps before that, getting more schematic assistance out of Rivers would have helped massively. Relative to his standards, he had a decent season.
Daryl Morey: C+
Morey began the season by letting go of Isaiah Joe, who became one of the most efficient shooters in the league with the Oklahoma City Thunder, in favor of roster flexibility. He signed Montrezl Harrell, who was so ineffective that the Sixers used that little bit of flexibility to add Dewayne Dedmon, who played 81 total minutes (playoffs and regular season) after being signed in February.
The McDaniels trade didn't have the on-court impact he hoped it would but he does serve as a guy with the potential to grow into a more meaningful contributor. Melton, Tucker and even House had their moments but in the end, the supporting cast around Embiid, Harden and Maxey wasn't good enough and Morey didn't make enough moves to elevate the team high enough.
Things are looking slightly up for the Sixers after the hire of Nurse, who has what it takes to help Embiid and a retooled roster finally break through.