The Philadelphia 76ers flamed out in the NBA playoffs once more this year. Much as they did in 2021-22, the team lacked the offensive firepower and consistent star production to take things to the next level.
Only this time there was no Ben Simmons to blame for things going awry.
Philly needs another star. That much is clear. James Harden is too washed at this stage of his career to be a legit No. 2 option to Joel Embiid.
Interestingly enough, there are two players out there who would mesh perfectly with the existing Sixers roster.
During a recent appearance on The Zach Lowe podcast, ESPN NBA insider Bobby Marks highlighted them.
“It’s a loss for Philadelphia,” he said.
“If they think there’s another big whale out there they can try and go get…Whether it be a Bradley Beal or Zach LaVine. But you need Harden to take a significant salary drop… if you think that there’s a Tobias Harris taker out there.”
Beal and LaVine make a lot of sense here. Beal was actually the star that Embiid was hoping to team up with this past season; instead Daryl Morey went out and got his boy Harden.
LaVine, meanwhile, has been very open regarding his feelings about leaving the Chicago Bulls.
Philly needs to figure out a way to get one of these two guys. If the front office accomplishes that, suddenly a bit of pressure is lifted off Embiid’s shoulders.
— Game 7 (@game7__) May 17, 2022
Once that occurs, all you have to worry about is Harden and head coach Doc Rivers hating each other.
Will the 76ers be able to make the moves necessary to compete for a title in 2022-23? Time will tell.