Joel Embiid
Joel Embiid is not happy with his new role (Matt Slocum/Associated Press)

The 76ers have been rolling since trading for Jimmy Butler. Philly sits at 18-9 on the season and look like realistic contenders to actually win the Eastern Conference. While it’s no secret that Philly is better with Butler, not everyone seems happy since the move. 76ers center, Joel Embiid, claims that he is ‘frustrated’ with his new role.

“I haven’t been myself lately,” Embiid told Philly.com. “I think it’s mainly because of the way I’ve been used, which is I’m being used as a spacer, I guess, a stretch-5, which I’m only shooting [29] percent” from 3-point range.

“But it seems like the past couple games, like with the way I play, our setup, [coach Brett Brown] always has me starting on the perimeter … and it just really frustrates me.”

Uh oh! The 76ers honeymoon period is over already. Here’s the issue. Ben Simmons can’t shoot. Jimmy Butler can but he’s not a knock down three-point specialist by any means. Floor spacing is huge in the NBA and Embiid’s ability to shoot as dominate in the post takes Philly to another level. The problem is, Embiid isn’t playing well as a stretch five.

The numbers don’t lie. Since the Butler trade, Embiid’s numbers have taken a turn for the worse. Prior to the deal, he was averaging 28.2 points per game. Since the deal, his point average has dropped to 23.8. His efficiency has plummeted as well. The field goal percentage is down from 48.4% before to 43.1% after. The three-point percentage has dropped and he is taking fewer trips to the free throw line.

Who is to blame here? Is Brett Brown part of the problem? It was eye-opening to see how poorly he coached in the playoffs. Maybe Kendall Jenner is cursing the team. Embiid’s problems started showing up when she started coming to the games? The chemistry seems to be working for now but Joel Embiid already seems to be suffering. Only time will tell if things get better but I’m not counting on it.