Joel Embiid has missed the Philadelphia 76ers’ last nine games with a finger injury and is set to return soon. In his absence, Ben Simmons is playing extremely well and Philly has won more games than its lost. This has raised questions about whether the Sixers should move on from either Simmons or Embiid.
Should the Sixers trade Ben Simmons or Joel Embiid?
I don’t think the 76ers should make a trade. The main reason is that it’s hard to see them getting back fair value on either Simmons or Embiid. Both are All-Star caliber players and are likely to be named to All-Defensive teams after the season. Not only are they both great players, they are young. There is plenty of time for them to grow together and this current iteration of Philly is still a title contender. A lot if being made of the 76ers sitting sixth in the East, but the margin between second and sixth isn’t significant. A good week could have Philly back up to second in the conference. We shouldn’t forget that the Sixers pushed the Toronto Raptors to seven games in a playoff series last season. If not for a lucky bounce on a shot by Kawhi Leonard as time expired, Philadelphia could have come out ahead. This would have greatly changed the narrative around this team.
How Can Philly Improve?
Instead of trading Embiid or SImmons, I think the prudent course of action is to build around these two. As currently constructed, this is a good team although it doesn’t maximize the talents of its All-Stars. Admittedly, Simmons and Embiid aren’t the perfect fit together because neither are shooters, so Philly should be doing everything possible to surround them with shooters to help space the floor.