Ever since the Philadelphia 76ers were on the brink of elimination, all the talk has been surrounding Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. Sixers GM Elton Brand did what he could to smash any trade rumors by telling reporters that he has no plans to trade either All-Star this offseason.
Elton Brand: "I'm not looking to trade Ben or Joel. I'm looking to complement them better."— Tim Bontemps (@TimBontemps) August 25, 2020
NOT SO FAST MR. BRAND. I’VE HEARD THIS BEFORE. Okay, so this isn’t to say that the Sixers will definitely not trade Embiid or Simmons. But it also sounds like Philly has a plan in place to build around them. The issue is that Tobias Harris and Al Horford are on bloated, long-term contracts and the team has no cap space and little assets. Their main assets? Well, Embiid and Simmons. So I’ll take these quotes from Brand with a grain of salt, please and thank you.
I went over this a lot in the link above. I also talked about Brett Brown being fired. That’s the main focus for the Sixers right now: Find a replacement for Brown. After that, you can assess whether it makes sense to entertain the idea of dealing one of Embiid or Simmons. Personally, it seems like the only move for the Sixers. Unless the ownership group and Brand are perfectly fine losing in the second round of the playoffs for the next, say, 4-5 seasons. I’m a NJ Devils fan and I know Josh Harris and his ownership group pretty well at this point. They haven’t instilled much wisdom or optimism to me.
If I’m the Sixers, the first move is to try and dump Horford or Harris on anyone. Give up future first-rounders, whatever it takes to shed one of those miserable contracts. If you can’t do that, you have to deal Simmons or Embiid. The great thing is, you can build a pretty good contender behind either one of those cornerstones. All it takes is shooting! Who would have thought?! No way!