The Sixers have tried a lot of different supporting casts around Joel Embiid. The latest included James Harden, acquired in a trade deadline deal for Ben Simmons. New co-star, same result, as the Sixers lost (again) in the conference semifinals, with their point guard (Harden) lacking offensive aggression in the deciding game. Philly was held under a point per possession in three of their four losses to the Miami Heat and, no matter what happens with Harden’s contract situation, a couple of clear needs – depth and shooting – need to be addressed.
A Stat That Matters
37.5% — Joel Embiid registered a usage rate of 37.5%, the fourth-highest mark for any player in the 26 seasons for which we have play-by-play data. It’s topped only by the marks of three guards: Russell Westbrook (40.2% in 2016-17), James Harden (39.6% in 2018-19) and Kobe Bryant (37.8% in 2005-06).
The Way To Go
The Sixers (with Tyrese Maxey and Matisse Thybulle on the roster) know that rotation-caliber talent can be found in the 20s. Philadelphia’s needs start with the wing positions, especially with Danny Green (torn ACL) out for all (or at least most) of next season. And of course, the biggest question for their offseason is what kind of contract Harden is on come October. He has a player option for next season, but he may want more security and the Sixers should be wary of paying him max money for more than two or three years.
G: Charlie Brown Jr. G: Danny Green G: Isaiah Joe G: Tyrese Maxey G: Jaden Springer G/F: Furkan Korkmaz G/F: Matisse Thybulle F: Tobias Harris F: Georges Niang F: Paul Reed C/F: Charles Bassey C/F: Joel Embiid
G: James Harden (player option) G: Myles Powell (two-way) G/F: Shake Milton (team option) F: Paul Millsap (unrestricted) C: DeAndre Jordan (unrestricted) > 2022 Free Agent Tracker
Last Year’s Draft
2021: Jaden Springer (28), Filip Petrusev (50), Charles Bassey (53) — John Schuhmann