What would a Sixers team built around Joel Embiid look like?

NBA: APR 09 76ers at Pelicans
NEW ORLEANS, LA – APR 09: New Orleans Pelicans center Willy Hernangomez (9) fouls Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) during a NBA game between the New Orleans Pelicans and the Philadelphia 76ers at Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, LA on Apr 09, 2021. (Photo by Stephen Lew/Icon Sportswire)

With the Ben Simmons trade saga grabbing every headline, new reports surfaced giving insight on another reason why Simmons is requesting a trade. New reports suggest that Simmons would like to be traded to a team where the roster can be built around him. Sources are suggesting that the pairing of Embiid and Simmons has not allowed Simmons to be at his best and he should instead be used like Giannis Antetokounmpo in Milwaukee.

When Joel Embiid was asked about the report by Sam Amick of the Athletic after day 3 of training camp, he had a lot to say. Embiid explained that previous iterations of the roster were built around Simmons and he even shot threes to space the floor for Simmons. 

After reading this report, we at PSN thought about what would actually be the best realistic team the 76ers could put around Joel Embiid. What type of players would fit with Joel Embiid and maximize his talent while he is in his prime?

It is obvious that a superstar point guard would work great with Embiid. He’s never truly played with a point guard that has as much gravity on the court as he does. On the wishlist would be Damian Lillard, but with training camp in full swing, it doesn’t look like Lillard will be requesting a trade in the near future. Take a look at some moves the organization could make to put the best pieces around Embiid:

Trading Ben Simmons 

There have been many reports that have said the Sixers are holding out on a Simmons trade to try to get Damian Lillard or Bradley Beal. Both players had the opportunity this offseason to request trades while rumors were floating around about their future. Both players decided to stay with their current franchises for the time being. With both of the players potentially out of the picture for now, the Sixers have to look for a deal that gives them pieces that fit better around Embiid. 

A potential deal with the Indiana Pacers could provide what they need. The Sixers could move Ben Simmons to the Pacers for a package including Malcolm Brogdon, TJ Warren, and two first round draft picks.

Brogdon would be a great point guard to place around Embiid. He is a good defender and can also hold his own on offense. Last season he averaged 21.2 ppg, 5.9 apg, and 5.3 rpg. Brogdan also shot 39 percent from three, proving he can space the floor. Brogdan has had some injury issues in the past but with the Sixers, he could potentially post all-star numbers.

TJ Warren could also be a good fit for the Sixers. He is still recovering from a foot injury that kept him out the majority of last season. Looking at his previous season and his performance in the bubble, he could fit this team very well offensively. He can get a shot on his own and shot 40 percent from three in the 2019-20 season. He would have to increase his volume but would definitely stretch the floor for the team. His defense is rather average but Embiid could erase any mistakes made on the perimeter. The two future first round picks complete the deal allowing for the Sixers to add draft compensation to their war chest if and when a true star becomes available.

Trading for CJ McCollum

Many trade scenarios have had Simmons being traded for Portland Trailblazers’ guard CJ McCollum. In this scenario, The Sixers trade Tobias Harris for McCollum. Tobias Harris was great for the Sixers last season and should have been named an All-Star. Harris likes to work out of the post often and that takes away post touches from Joel Embiid. Trading for a guard like McCollum allows the Sixers to add another guard that is a three-level scorer and can get a shot on his own in the late stages of a game. 

Tobias Harris is well liked in Philadelphia and has earned all the love he receives from the fans. In this scenario, his skill set overlaps with Warren’s and you can get a piece that fits better around Embiid. Each team would more than likely argue who would need to add future draft compensation but it would essentially be a one for one swap.

Roster Outlook

After those trades the starting lineup would consist of:

Malcolm Brogdon

CJ McCollum

Danny Green

TJ Warren

Joel Embiid

The Sixers would also have a deep bench and second unit consisting of:

Tyrese Maxey

Seth Curry

Shake Milton

Matisse Thybulle

Furkan Korkmaz

Georges Niang

Andre Drummond

Although the Sixers wouldn’t have another superstar paired with Joel, the fit of this team would be much better around the big guy. In the Eastern Conference, CJ McCollum could become an all-star and Brogdon is a fringe all-star player similar to Tobias Harris. The Milwaukee Bucks won it all last year with one superstar and fringe all-stars that fit around his skillset. These moves also allow the Sixers to have a war chest of promising young players and draft compensation to be ready for whenever the next superstar asks out of his situation. 

Photo by Stephen Lew/Icon Sportswire