The Sixers would be wise to value depth over star power this offseason.
The Philadelphia 76ers haven’t made a single change to their front office/coaching department outside of firing Brett Brown, and yet they’re already being attached to blockbuster trades left and right. Jrue Holiday, Lou Williams, Buddy Hield, Terry Rozier, etc. have all been connected to the Sixers as of late.
As fun as it would be for the 76ers to pull off yet another big time roster-altering move, the team would be wise to pump the breaks on some of these ideas.
For starters, the Sixers need not do a single thing until they figure out their front office/coaching situation. With every passing day it seems more and more unlikely that any legitimate personnel changes will occur in the front office (which is not good), but the team needs to at least hire a damn coach before deciding they’re all-in on trading assets away for soon-to-be 34 year old Lou Williams.
One of the biggest issues during the Brett Brown era was the team’s constant revolving door of players They would very rarely take into account Brett’s desire to build continuity and stability in a playbook. The Sixers current roster obviously needs some tinkering done to it, but the team’s next head coach needs to have a say in the direction the roster heads.
To add on to that point, I’m not particularly sold on the idea that the Sixers need a “third star”. They have two legitimate top-20 players on their roster in Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. That should normally be enough to compete in today’s NBA. The Lakers live through LeBron James and Anthony Davis, the Nuggets through Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic, and the Heat through Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo.
Very rarely do you need three legitimate “stars” on a roster. In fact, spending one’s assets on complimentary pieces to surround said stars is normally the better way to construct a roster (think guys like Tyler Herro and Duncan Robinson on the Heat).
The Sixers experienced a large amount of success with guys like Dario Saric and JJ Redick in the past, neither of which are great players by themselves. However, since they complimented Embiid and Simmons’ game almost perfectly, it resulted in a much more fluid offense. An offense that looked far better than the multi-hundred million dollar one that the team fielded here in 2020.
Swapping out Al Horford for someone like Jrue Holiday would undoubtedly make the Sixers a better team next season, but Philly would be wise to take into consideration both depth and overall fit. The front office needs to add as many shooters to this team as humanly possible, and spending all of their limited assets on one giant trade likely wouldn’t have the desired effect they’re going after.
Starting lineup aside, the Sixers bench has been a huge area of concern three years in a row now. If they trade away all of their draft picks for a Buddy Hield or a Terry Rozier, how in the world do they expect to improve on their abysmal bench production?
The Sixers have the cornerstones to their team in Simmons and Embiid already in place. The hope is that a new coach will be able to get the most out of the partnership (we’ll see about that). Tobias Harris is still a very good third option despite his horrific playoff performance, and the team has five draft picks to work with this offseason.
The core to a contender is right there, the Sixers front office just simply needs to avoid an “overcorrection” of sorts. We saw them hit the panic button with Al Horford’s signing last year, and the results speak for themselves.
Mandatory Credit – Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire