Joel Embiid seems to be focused on his teammates, at least the ones that are still planning on playing for the Philadelphia 76ers in the 2021-22 NBA Season. According to reporter Kyle Neubeck, Embiid isn’t particularly happy about the recent reports that have suggested the Ben Simmons thinks his game doesn’t fit with the Cameroonian center.
You can’t really fault Embiid, either. He played injured in the playoffs this year, but still gave his all while 28.1 PPG, 10.5 RPG, 3.4 APG, 1.0 SPG and 1.5 BPG. That kind of output on a bum knee was impressive.
If the reports are true, and Simmons thinks he can do better somewhere else without improving his offensive game, then it may be about time to let him prove it. There’s no doubt that the Australian is a defensive ace, but his lack of range and low shooting output allows opposing teams to sag off him and tighten up their defenses in late game situations.
Embiid’s got a pretty good point about surrounding Simmons with players that compliment him. To make up for his shooting deficiencies, the Sixers surrounded him with good shooters like Danny Green, Seth Curry and Tobias Harris. None of that will help if you’re passing up wide open dunks when the opportunity arises.
Simmons has made it crystal clear that he doesn’t want to play for the Sixers again, and at this point, there aren’t a lot of people on his side. Even James Harden, who forced his way to the Brooklyn Nets last season, still suited up and played games for the Rockets. Sure, he wasn’t even in town when training camp started, but he still ended up playing in games.
With such a bad end to his playoffs, and without showing any on-court improvement when the season starts, plus the fact that his contract runs out at the end of the 2022-23 season, the Sixers have little leverage in potential trade destinations. If he was the same caliber of player as Harden, someone would have rolled the dice already.