The Philadelphia 76ers are a mess. After getting swept in the first round of the 2020 NBA Playoffs, there is going to be a lot of finger pointing going on. The problem is, this organization hasn’t properly recognized the problem. Fire Brett Brown all you want but his departure doesn’t change the ugly truth. Nobody is winning with this current roster construction. Elton Brand is the problem in Philadelphia.
Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid are the franchise. I think we can all agree on that. Philadelphia only goes as far as these two take them. As a gm, your job is to compliment those two players as best as humanly possible. We know that Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid aren’t a perfect fit together but I believe there are ways to properly build a roster to maximize them. Especially when they are both on the floor together.
All I know is the longer Elton Brand puts his stamp on this team, the less functional Embiid and Simmons are together.
Blame Brett Brown all you want but he’s been the coach each of the last 3 years. Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid have gone from one of the best duos in the league to average joes. What’s changed? It’s not that hard to understand. Elton Brand has ruined this roster.
Philadelphia won 52 games in 2017-2018. It was a team that had shooting and capable role players. JJ Redick, Dario Saric, Marco Belinelli, Ersan Ilyasova, and TJ McConnell gave the 76ers gritty shooters to space the floor. What did Elton Brand do? Got rid of ALL of them.
It was also a team that had Robert Covington. A perfect role player for this team. Yes, he got Jimmy Butler out of the trade but Butler left in free agency. Place the blame to whoever you want but you basically got 30 games of Butler for Robert Covington and Dario Saric. That’s also an L.
Since Brand has taken over, the 76ers have gotten worse. There is no other way to slice it. Two of his transactions are indefensible. The trade for Tobias Harris is about as bone headed as it gets. Philadelphia gave up two first round picks and Landry Shamet (another sharpshooter) for an expiring Harris. Months later, they gave Harris $180 million basically just giving up all those assets just so they could overpay for his bird rights.
You want to talk about stupid? That’s Elton Brand right there. Somehow, the Al Horford contract is worse. Brand gave Horford $109 million to a player that had absolutely nothing left. He was terrible that final year in Boston and couldn’t jump anymore.
Horford wasn’t just terrible this year, the roster construction made zero sense. Horford made Philadelphia slow, unathletic, and lacked shooting. Philadelphia was brutal to the point where they couldn’t put Horford in the lineup. Mostly because the lineup made no sense.
Horford is a 5 that was playing the 4. Tobias Harris is a 4 that was playing the 3. Ben Simmons’ role changes every 5 minutes. Mostly due to the fact that he can’t shoot and is unwilling to try. The shooting on the roster is gone outside of Josh Richardson. The bench is a pile of garbage.
Listen, you can blame Brett Brown all you want. The truth of the matter is this team has gotten worse since Brand put his stamp on things. Brand built the single goofiest roster in the league. Slow, unathletic, and too big. At this point, I put nothing past him. Can you imagine if the guy is dumb enough to hire the guy Allen Iverson stepped over as the next head coach?