Simply put, the end of this season sucked. There is no way around this. BUT Philadelphia 76ers The team we’re used to seeing double-digit wins on most nights failed to win a seven-game streak. Atlanta Hawks… I don’t want to give credit to Atlanta because they more than deserve to win this series, but everyone knows that the Six should definitely be the best team. Over the course of seven games, they lost to their rivals and paid the price for sleepwalking, which they believed was an easy win in the series. It was sneaky, but one thing he made clear was that the Sixes shouldn’t hesitate to trade a real superstar with Joel Embiid, even if that means laying the foundation for the team’s future.
At the start of the season, there was much debate about whether the Sixers should try to lure James Harden out of Houston in order to get a package built around Ben Simmons and some of the team’s younger players. As we all know, Harden was traded for Brooklyn Nets and the Sixes retained their assets, somehow leading everyone to believe that leaving Simmons and the young RPG players was a better option than acquiring one of the best defenders in NBA history.
If Harden had been traded to Philadelphia, I have no doubt that the team would have gone to their first NBA Finals since 2001. Instead, more grief was given to all fans. This cannot happen again.
Now that Ben Simmons’ trade value is seemingly at an all-time low, the Sixes will have to piece together packages that will almost certainly have to include young players like Tyrese Maxi, Matisse Tibul and possibly Shayk Milton along with the spades. Given the recent news that Damian Lillard may want to leave Portland, the Sixes cannot make the same mistake twice. They need to push their chips towards the middle of the table and be ready to part ways with the young guys that the fans love.
Once again, Damian Lillard proved to be one of the brightest, most gripping stars in the entire league in a squad he had to drag with him while Ben Simmons stumbled, raising more questions about his suitability on the squad than ever before. Lillard is a year younger than James Harden and has two years more control over his contract than the Nets star. If Lillard even thinks his time as a trail blazer is over, the Sixers front office has to pester Portland every day about the point guard.
For now, after years of the same result, the only mission should be to win the title of champion Joel Embiid, no matter what the team around him looks like. There is no more time to wait for players who have gone through the Sixers system and have shown “the potential to be a star in a few years.” This core does not have a few extra years, it should gain time.
If Sixes squander Joel Embiid’s prime, the most likely outcome will be exactly what started the Process: mediocrity. It can end in one of two ways: The Sixes will do whatever it takes to get Embiid a second bona fide star that can help him lift Larry O’Brien’s trophy, or return to the Eastern Conference pack being good enough to do so. playoffs, but not good enough to be a real contender.
I know which way I want the team to go, and getting there means laying the foundation for the future in order to win now.