There has been a lot of back and forth regarding the Philadelphia 76ers. The team has had plenty of ups and downs and has struggled with consistency all year long.
Some people point to Brett Brown as the guy to blame for their struggles, while others claim that Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid simply aren’t a good fit together regardless of how good they are on their own.
So, discussing the Sixers’ chances and future on ESPN’s First Take, Jay Williams went as far as to claim that he would rather build the team around Ben Simmons instead of Joel Embiid, given his injury proneness and how the league is moving on from the traditional big man:
“I’ve said it multiple times. Considering Joel Embiid’s history of injuries and knowing the way the league is moving as far as traditional bigs, I would have a tendency – if they can’t get it done with Brett Brown – and they do have to make a decision to split them up, I would build a team around Ben Simmons rather than Joel Embiid,” Williams said.
Needless to say, this take fueled a bit of a controversy. There’s no doubt about Ben Simmons’ talent and skills and the potential to become the best two-way player in the world.
However, his lack of range as a scorer and clear reluctance to develop a somewhat reliable jump shot has raised a lot of questions regarding his ability to actually live up to that potential.
Embiid, on the other hand, has it all to become a perennial MVP and DPOY candidate, and even though the league doesn’t favor big men the way it used to do, we still talk about players like Anthony Davis – who also struggled with injuries earlier on his career – as the best in the world and franchise players. There’s no reason to think that can’t be the case with Embiid going forward.
“If they do have to make a decision to split them up, I would build a team around Ben Simmons rather than Joel Embiid.”
Stephen A.’s reaction was priceless 😂 pic.twitter.com/cKSXz0KOUy
— First Take (@FirstTake) July 13, 2020