As the NBA offseason approaches, ESPN has been releasing its annual ranking of the top 100 players in the NBA. Three members of the Philadelphia 76ers had been named ahead of the announcement of the top 10, including Tobias Harris (83), James Harden (43), and Tyrese Maxey (42), with reigning MVP Joel Embiid being the assumed remaining Sixer.
With the top 10 now released, the answer to where ESPN ranks Embiid heading into the 2023-24 NBA season is now made known. After ranking as the fourth-best player this time last season, Embiid rose one spot in ESPN’s ranking, being named the third-best player heading into the new season.
It’s not the leap one would expect from the league MVP, but to be considered a top-three player in the NBA is certainly no slight and arguably justified considering Embiid’s frustrating finish to the season. As to what led to Embiid’s rise, the folks at ESPN said,
“Embiid has become the league’s dominant scoring force. He shot a career-best 54.8% from the field while finishing with a career-high average of 33.1 points per game, as he paired a nearly automatic midrange jumper with wearing out a path to the free throw line. Between his size, speed and skill, it’s not a matter of stopping Embiid — it’s simply making life difficult and hoping he has an off night.”
There’s still plenty for Embiid to work on as the journey to greatness never ends, but at the same time, he certainly has plenty to be proud of when looking at his accomplishments last season.
Next up comes the true challenge, that being carrying his regular success into the postseason.