The Philadelphia 76ers are one of the worst franchises in sports history. They have repeatedly shown no willingness to try to win or be competitive. This mentality was spearheaded by former general manager Sam Hinkie. Hinkie had a grand plan that was different from conventional wisdom. And he was willing to do whatever it took to achieve his plan (trading for Nerlens Noel and not disclosing Jrue Holiday’s injuries to the New Orleans Pelicans). But Hinkie is now gone. The next major piece that needs to go is Joel Embiid.
Embiid was thought to be the next Hakeem Olajuwon when he entered the NBA a couple of seasons ago. After he couldn’t escape the grasp of his injuries, it was clear that he might never be 100 percent. And yet, there have been several occasions when players have said how well Embiid looks when he touches the floor in practice. Embiid has seven shown a few moves in pregame warmups that would make someone think he can play.
The uncertainty surrounding Embiid’s future is the biggest reason why the 76ers need to trade Embiid. The 76ers don’t need to build their franchise around uncertainties. That is what Hinkie tried to do and he failed. Many teams tank for half a season when they know they can get a franchise player. Hinkie tanked for nearly three seasons and couldn’t even get a franchise player or a player who could develop into a borderline All-Star.
Embiid isn’t a bad person. But his presence means the 76ers can’t move forward. Embiid is a symbol of Hinkie’s scheming and he needs to go so that fans can see that the organization is moving forward. The 76ers should try to save whatever fanbase they have left.
The 76ers have a 10-69 record right now and they are 32 games behind the Indiana Pacers for the final playoff spot. The 76ers’ season has been just good enough such that they don’t break their own record of futility (the 1973 76ers had the worst record for an 82 game season and the second-worst record of all time in terms of win-loss percentage). Rebuilding whatever is left of the 76ers will take time, but getting rid of Embiid in some capacity will surely expedite the process. And this is a process that fans can truly get behind.