By all accounts, the 76ers have the second-best roster in the NBA. With Jimmy Butler, Tobias Harris, and JJ Redick, the team has multiple options for scoring. But make no mistake, Philly basketball revolves around the combo tandem of Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid.
As they near the end of their first-round series against the Nets, both players have had a dominant series.
But if they fail to get much further in the postseason for the second straight year, we might see some major changes for the franchise. Grant Hughes of Bleacher Report believes that the Sixers will consider a huge roster shakeup next summer, involving the acquisition of New Orleans star, Anthony Davis.
“Davis and the Pels are done; this season’s trade request burned that bridge. But with David Griffin now running basketball operations, it’s fair to assume New Orleans will become a better place to play. Griffin has had immense success in the league, most notably in the form of three straight Finals runs with the Cleveland Cavaliers, and he’s widely respected. If Simmons isn’t a long-term fit with Embiid in Philadelphia—let’s face it, their compatibility will always be shaky, given Simmons’ lack of a jumper—a fresh start with a revamped New Orleans organization could be appealing. Jrue Holiday is still there, the city is a delight and Simmons spent his brief collegiate career at LSU.”
Philadelphia was not technically on the preferred trade destination list Davis made when he requested a trade in February, but it's not hard to envision him staying there long-term. The city is amongst the highest basketball markets in the league, he would be surrounded by an already stacked roster, including Embiid, and he would be in the East, giving him an even easier path to a Championship.
The question is whether or not Philadelphia would really consider trading Simmons. The guy is good and is an absolute game changer on offense, but his game is flawed. He cannot shoot the ball to save his life, an attribute that makes him a questionable fit alongside Joel Embiid. It is hard to say whether or not Philly would deal him, but they would likely consider it if it becomes apparent this Sixer team is not built for the Finals.