The 2021-22 NBA season will attempt to be as close to a normal NBA season as possible after two years playing through a pandemic. The COVID situation in the United States has not improved as much as expected, but the league expects to get a full 82 games in while pushing for its players, coaches and staff to get vaccinated.
DKNation will be going through all 30 teams ahead of the season, looking at how the roster shapes up for the 2021-22 campaign. Here we take a look at the Philadelphia 76ers, who expect to compete for a championship while also seeking a better roster fit by moving former No. 1 overall pick Ben Simmons.
Philadelphia 76ers 2021-22 Outlook
Key additions: Andre Drummond, Jaden Springer
It’ll be fun to see how the Joel Embiid’s dynamic with Drummond plays out as teammates, given their history. Springer provides a solid bench piece at guard, but he could also be involved in a Simmons trade if the team wants a young prospect for taking on a big contract. These are going to be good rotation players on a contender, but the situation with Simmons needs to be resolved soon.
Key departures: George Hill, Dwight Howard
Hill is a veteran, but clearly lost a step in the playoffs last year. Howard goes back to the Lakers, where he won a title in 2020. The Sixers made up for these losses with the additions mentioned above, but lose valuable experience with these departures.
The 76ers are expected to be title contenders, whether Simmons is on the team or not. Embiid, Simmons and Tobias Harris create a formidable trio, while a host of young players should take another step forward after getting good playoff experience last season. If Simmons take a step forward himself and shows an improved offensive game, Philadelphia has the players to compete with anybody.
Fantasy basketball player to watch: Tyrese Maxey
Maxey got good run in the postseason with Simmons struggling. The Kentucky product was primarily a bench piece last season, but could emerge into the role of a sixth man and second-unit leader this year. He averaged 8.0 points and 2.0 assists last season in 15.3 minutes per game, showing he can produce. If the Simmons situation remains unresolved heading into the year, Maxey could be a great value pickup in fantasy drafts. He could become the starter if the Sixers trade Simmons, but he’s guaranteed to have a larger role in Year 2 regardless of who else is on the roster.