Let’s slow down on this 76ers train for a second.
After another “great offseason” that saw Philly trade up for the number one pick in the draft, the excitement train started to rive up it’s engines. With drafting Washington’s Markelle Fultz, the Sixers addressed a problem that has plagued them for years, scoring! Fultz was a dynamic player in college and should be a high volume scorer in the NBA. He, along with newly acquired J.J. Redick, should be solid offensive options next to rising star Joel Embiid.
While Embiid has only played 31 games in his short 3 year career (missed nearly a year and a half due to injuries,) he has shown flashes of how great he could be. Being a 7’0 player who can turn over both shoulder and shoot the deep ball makes him the prototypical big for today’s NBA. If Embiid can stay healthy, he is a cornerstone player who Philly can build around (as seen when they gave him a 5 year, 148 million dollar Supermax extension) for the present and the future.
The biggest question mark for this team has to be Ben Simmons. While he missed his entire rookie season with a foot injury, Simmons has “Magic Johnson” level potential. Being 6’10, Simmons has certain skills that shouldn’t be seen of a player his height. His court vision coupled with his passing ability makes him a lethal piece to this puzzle. He, along with Fultz and Embiid could take over the league in the near future.
Or it could all go up in flames!
One thing both Embiid and Simmons has in common are injuries. As previously stated, both missed their entire rookie seasons due to foot injuries. The problem with the injuries these two had is they could come back at anytime, which could shorten their careers. Looking at players like Yao Ming and Bill Walton, foot injures can derail great players, which Philly can not afford.
Another problem Philly could (and probably will) run into is youth. While Fultz, Simmons, Embiid, and even Dario Saric are potential franchise altering players, Embiid is the oldest out of the at 23 years old (Fultz is 19 and Simmons is 21 years old.) Going up against more experienced teams and players will be a challenge for them as a whole.
Philly have a lot of solid pieces. But they come with more questions than answers at this point.
Regular Season Prediction: 35-47