The Philadelphia 76ers have their future in Joel Embiid. But they decided to test his limitations in his first regular season action and what they saw my have them wishing they went in another direction. Embiid played only played 22 minutes but he managed 20 points, seven rebounds and two blocks in that short time. He was in foul trouble and that was to be expected as his mindset was to try to block anything that came into the lane.
What makes his debut so special was that he didn’t have his entire cast with him to see what he and the team could accomplish. As good as he played, imagine what he would’ve done with Nerlens Noel and Ben Simmons on the court. I’m not going to say the 76ers would’ve pulled off the upset, but if Embiid played more than 22 minutes, who knows?
But, this is where the situation for the 76ers get a bit sticky. The entire offseason has been filled with rumors that either one of the three post players will be traded and by the looks of things, we can take Embiid out of those talks. Jahlil Okafor played only 16 minutes, so we have yet to see how they all work together. But it’s clear it’s only room for two of the post players. But which two?
I still believe that a frontcourt of Embiid, Okafor and Simmons should be the 76ers future and Noel cold be traded to bring in either an SG or PG. But with Noel and Simmons both out with injuries the team will need to rely on Okafor and Embiid heavy. If Embiid is able to get a minutes increase going forward and the perimeter guys can shoot better that 7-24 from beyond the arc the 76ers could turn a few heads this year. Let’s not forget this was not the Sacramento Kings they just went toe-to-toe with. This was a playoff team, led by Russell Westbrook.
The future is bright in the City of Brotherly Love but how bright depends on the moves and decisions they make going forward.