Though the Sixers’ latest playoff exit was nothing short of pure disappointment, there is still good reason to have faith in this team’s future outlook. With a solidified superstar already in place, young talent, and an executive willing to do whatever it takes to win in Daryl Morey, the Sixers are still positioned to succeed for years to come.
On November 18, 2020 the NBA draft was held. Daryl Morey had just recently been hired by the Philadelphia 76ers after resigning from his role with the Houston Rockets. The Sixers were coming off a first round sweep to the Boston Celtics. Al Horford and Josh Richardson were still on the roster and the team looked to be in a horrible state moving forward. Throughout the course of the night, all of those perceptions of the Sixers changed. Daryl Morey made quick work with drafting and trading to restructure the team to better fit Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. After that one night, the whole outlook for the team was flipped upside down.
Fast forward to July 2021, the team is facing different kinds of struggles. The regular season went about as well as we could have hoped for, but the playoffs were a different story. The “process” essentially ended when Sam Hinkie was forced out, but what it did result in was Joel Embiid being in Philadelphia. Acquiring a superstar was always the hardest part of building a contending team and Hinkie was able to make it happen. The questions we have now relate to the core that surrounds our superstar. Looking around the league, superstar duos and trios are everywhere. Nearly every contending team has multiple top 25 players in this league. To this point, an argument could have been made that Ben Simmons fit into that second star player category. After his playoff showing this season, that may not really be the case. Morey knows that Joel Embiid needs a legit partner to put this team over the top. Will a superstar become available this offseason? That’s the biggest question that we will all be waiting on an answer to.
While questions abound and the future truly is uncertain for our Philadelphia 76ers, there should still be a great deal of faith in the direction the team is headed. Fans have been trusting the process for nearly 8 years now and while it does feel like the team should have reached greater achievements by now, there is still time to build a real contender. This offseason might not necessarily be do or die time, but you better believe that Daryl Morey won’t leave a stone unturned when looking for ways to raise this team’s ceiling.
Last offseason goes to show how quickly things can change in the NBA. You never really know what to expect over the summer months in this league. Following a disappointing playoff exit, improvements to the roster are fully expected by fans. There’s a certain level of accountability that the players talked about a lot after last season. That goes for both the players and the executives making the roster decisions.
As fans, it may be getting more difficult to “trust the process”, but better days are ahead for our Philadelphia 76ers. This offseason has the potential to completely switch the outlook for the team. It will certainly be interesting to watch Daryl Morey work through his second offseason as President of Basketball Operations and see how he goes about solving this team’s problems. The Sixers might not be in an ideal spot right now, but there’s still plenty of reasons to trust the process.
Photo: Matt Slocum/Associated Press
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