This will be an important offseason for the Sixers after another huge disappointment. After a couple of lineup changes and additions, Philadelphia can’t still crack the code on how to get past the second round. This Sixers offseason could be definitive for this era of the franchise.
Sixers offseason preview 2021
While Daryl Morey elevated the Sixers to become the top team in the East due to his acquisitions, he’ll be busy again in the upcoming offseason to upgrade their championship roster. Losing against the 5th-seed Hawks raises questions to their current coaching staff and roster.
Here are the four things that must be addressed in the Sixers offseason…
Time to move on from Ben Simmons?
Simmons is one of the best defenders in the league. However, his offensive limitations have been magnified in the playoffs. He’s currently under fire on social media, and even his coach and teammate took a jab at him. It won’t be surprising that he played his final game as a Sixer due to his disappearance in the playoffs.
His offensive game is lackluster for a 6’10 point guard. As you can see, Simmons’ limitations hurt the Sixers’ offense. The defense clogs the paint and dares him to shoot. This makes the inside tighter and tougher for Joel Embiid to operate. Even if he chooses to drive the ball, the defense would just foul him and send him to the free throw line. In this year’s playoffs, he shot an abysmal 34% in the charity stripe.
This also plays a big part mentally. Simmons’ lack of jump shot and free throw shooting took a toll on his mind. He has been afraid to play aggressively because teams would just foul him. In the regular season, he just attempted 13 shots beyond 16ft. It’s understandable if he’s a center, but he’s an all-star point guard.
Even if Simmons adds shooting to his game, it would take years before he develops a reliable and consistent jumper. This raises a big question to Philadelphia: Should they trade him?
Trading Simmons could prove beneficial to the Sixers. However, his value nosedived with his poor performance in the playoffs. Are there even teams interested in him? If yes, what’s his current value?
Some notable trade options are CJ McCollum and Malcolm Brogdon. Kyle Lowry is also a possibility via sign and trade. But one thing is for sure, these teams are going to ask for more—possibly a couple of first-round picks. Trading Simmons is tricky but should be definitely explored in the Sixers offseason. The Simmons-Embiid duo might finally be over.
Re-sign Green and Howard
Danny Green has been valuable to the Sixers given his playoff and championship experience. His three-point shooting and defense are much needed, especially in the postseason.
Even though he has been injured in the final four games due to a calf strain, his impact is well documented in the regular season and the first round of the playoffs. Signing him will give them another shot at the championship. It may be somewhat pricey, but it’s worth it given his impact on the court.
Meanwhile, Dwight Howard has provided rim protection off the bench, especially when Embiid was out. The 35-year old still has a lot left in his tank. Re-signing both of these veterans will give Sixers playoff and championship experience.
Discuss Embiid’s supermax extension
Joel Embiid had an MVP-caliber season averaging 28.5 points, 10.6 rebounds, and 2.8 assists. He is clearly the face of the Sixers for many years to come.
Extending his contract should be a no-brainer since he finished second on the MVP ladder and was included in the All-NBA Second Team.
As a result of his MVP campaign, he is eligible for the supermax and can add four more years in his contract worth over $190 million. His current contract still has two years and $65 million left. Signing him to an extension locks him as the centerpiece of the Sixers franchise.
Address Embiid’s meniscus issue
Embiid was diagnosed with a lateral meniscus tear in early June.
He played through it in the playoffs to help the Sixers beat the Hawks. While surgery isn’t required at first because of what’s at stake, Philadelphia may opt to do so in the offseason.
Repairing his meniscus via surgery means he might miss the first few weeks of the 2021-2022 season. The recovery period for meniscus surgeries typically takes 3-6 months depending on the rehab process.
Still, the lengthy offseason will give time for Embiid to rest and rehab his knee. Whether or not he undergoes a meniscus surgery should be looked into the Sixers offseason.