Ben Simmons’ uncertainty with 76ers sets the stage for Joel Embiid’s year of career


The Philadelphia 76ers drama continued into the preseason with the future of All-Star playmaker Ben Simmons still pending.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Simmons reported in Philadelphia, but it’s unclear where they’ll go from here as his camp and the organization reportedly “have made progress in recent days in resolution talks. “

With Simmons keen on a trade with a new team, the unfortunate field adjustment alongside Joel Embiid appears to have ‘run its course’ as reported by The Athletic, according to a source, with the days of ‘The Process’ duo in Philly numbered, Embiid looks set to move on.

“The situation is disappointing, bordering on disrespecting all the guys who are fighting for their lives,” he told reporters during training camp for the current saga.

Despite the locker room turmoil, the Philadelphia 76ers – who finished number one last season – still aim to fight for a championship this season, with or without Simmons… so where does that leave Joel Embiid?

The 27-year-old is coming off the best season of his career, averaging a career-high 28.5 points to go with 10.6 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.4 blocks per game on shooting intervals of 0.513 / 0.377 / 0.859, finishing second in the MVP vote to Nikola Jokic.

Well and really in their prime, the organization put their trust in the quadruple All-Star, signing Embiid for a four-year, $ 196 million contract extension this summer, but with the prospect of Simmons potentially not on the line. listing. next season, the 76ers are unmistakably his team.

The Simmons-Embiid partnership was successful in the regular season, only to collapse in the playoffs, with the clash of styles not allowing either player to maximize their skills. In 2021-2022, Embiid will likely have the entire offensive built around him, creating the look on the inside that makes him one of, if not the the most dominant tall men in the league.

Last season he led the NBA in points after post-ups (10.0) and post-up frequency 36.5%, while also league leader in utilization rate 37.5%, which begs the question, how much more can he do?

Despite his already polished playing, the best of Embiid could be yet to come as he continues to expand his game beyond painting. Last season he finished 11th in total goals scored at halfway point (140) – the second among the centers, behind Nikola Vucevic, with an increase of almost 46% compared to the previous season.

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There is no doubt that the talent of Embiid, a silky 7-footer, who can knock down jumpers as easily as he can put you in the paint, find shooters in doubles teams, while still being one of the the league’s best inside defenders, but the question marks around his health remain.

Embiid has suffered injuries throughout his career and missed 21 games last season, suffering from a meniscus tear in his right knee during their first-round streak against the Washington Wizards. He missed one game and then played all seven of their next series against the Atlanta Hawks, but was visibly hampered at times.

The good news is he is back to full health as the season approaches.

“It went well,” Embiid said of his knee on Media Day. “I just trained all summer. Everything went well, no problems. I’m going back to where I was and I’m feeling pretty good.”

The signing of great free agent Andre Drummond will certainly help share the frontcourt workload, but ultimately the team’s success this season will come down to Embiid’s ability to stay on the pitch consistently. and play at an MVP level.

The missing games last season ultimately cost him a real chance at the MVP trophy and according to Annual CEO Survey, there is a lot of confidence this year could be his year.

Seven percent of NBA general managers voted for Embiid, placing him fourth overall, tied with Brooklyn Nets goalie James Harden, behind Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks, Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks and Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets. , which received 37 percent of the vote.

Another MVP-level season is brewing for Embiid and if the 76ers are going to fight in the Eastern Conference, that’s ultimately what they’ll need from their big man.


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