As a franchise, the Philadelphia 76ers have been on a major upswing of late. They seem poised to break away from their losing ways and become one of the Eastern Conference’s elite teams in the coming years. However that future is going to cost them some cash, as it appears they’re going to be forced into trading star point guard Ben Simmons for an All-Star caliber player before October 31st or risk being slapped with punishment.,
The “ben simmons trade” is a story that has been developing for some time, but the Philadelphia 76ers could pay a franchise-altering price if they don’t get their point guard.
The Philadelphia 76ers are one of many NBA teams who have struggled to get off to a good start. Philadelphia is 2–2 without Ben Simmons, and their defeat to the New York Knicks on Oct. 26 was crucial. The Knicks defeated the Sixers for the first time since April 12, 2017, ending a 15-game losing run against the Sixers. In the defeat, superstar center Joel Embiid struggled, scoring 14 points and grabbing six rebounds in 30 minutes.
Despite hitting 6-of-15 from 3-point range, Embiid is shooting just 44.4 percent this season. His 19.3 points per game and 7.3 rebounds per game are on track to be career lows. More concerning is Embiid’s comment, which suggests he is pushing himself to perform more than he should. Simmons’ absence continues to have repercussions across the company.
Joel Embiid and his long list of injuries
During the Philadelphia 76ers’ opening-night victory against the New Orleans Pelicans, Joel Embiid (21) bumped knees with Jonas Valaninas (17), but he feels obligated to play through it since Ben Simmons isn’t available. | Getty Images/Jonathan Bachman
At least technically, Joel Embiid is in his sixth NBA season. He was out for the first two seasons due to a fractured foot. Since his delayed debut in 2016, he has missed approximately one out of every three regular-season games for the Philadelphia 76ers. Since 2016–17, Embiid has appeared in 264 games while missing 131.
When you include in his two injury-plagued seasons, you have a guy who has missed more games (295) than he has played. The most constant concern of late has been Embiid’s knees. He missed a game in Philadelphia’s first-round playoff victory over the Washington Wizards last year, sat out a game against the Brooklyn Nets in the 2019 NBA Playoffs, and was absent for the first two games in the 2018 NBA Playoffs when the Sixers defeated the Miami Heat.
Embiid has never had a season with less than 18 games missed. At this point, he’s Bill Walton with somewhat superior feet. Despite this, he’s a fantastic player. Despite his injuries, he has been named to three NBA All-Star teams and three NBA All-Defensive teams. Despite missing 21 games last season, Embiid finished second in the NBA MVP vote behind Denver Nuggets big man Nikola Joki.
He’s listed as out for the Sixers’ game against the Detroit Pistons on Oct. 28 at Wells Fargo Center due to a sore knee. Because Ben Simmons isn’t around, Embiid is under additional pressure to stay accessible. This might have long-term ramifications for a team that feels its championship window is now open.
The burden is on Joel Embiid to pick up the slack for Ben Simmons.
Joel Embiid is playing despite his painful knee for one reason, according to Shelburne, Ramona of ESPN’s NBA Today. This is due to the absence of Ben Simmons.
On opening night, Embiid collided with New Orleans Pelicans center Jones Valaninas. Shelburne said that it was far worse than it seemed at the time:
“After this game in New Orleans, he informed me he couldn’t walk for two days.”
On the other hand, in a defeat to the Nets on the second day, he played 30 minutes and scored 19 points on 6-of-15 shooting. Embiid had 22 points, nine rebounds, six assists, and three blocks in 33 minutes against the Oklahoma City Thunder on the road. Then there were his difficulties in New York.
In Philadelphia, Embiid is the franchise. Simmons is on a max deal with the 76ers, but it doesn’t mean he’s the one who makes things happen for the team. Embiid is the player in question. His shooting, rebounding, and defending abilities are exceptional.
If Embiid goes down, Andre Drummond won’t be able to make up for all the 76ers would lose. Drummond has won four NBA rebounding titles and was named to the All-NBA team five years ago. He can’t, however, shoot consistently away from the basket. If Simmons wreaks havoc on Philadelphia’s floor space, Drummond suffocates it. Drummond has made 94.5 percent of his career tries from inside 10 feet. He’d be a superstar if it were 1985 all over again.
Tyrese Maxey is stepping in for Ben Simmons, but he is unable to perform at the same level.
The Philadelphia 76ers are starting games with four wings and Joel Embiid without Ben Simmons. Tobias Harris is the team’s power forward, although he’s more of a 3 than a power forward. Seth Curry and Danny Green are two of the best shooters in the NBA. Tyrese Maxey, a rookie, will take Simmons’ place in the starting lineup.
Maxey is averaging 14.0 points per game but just 3.0 assists every night. He’s also shooting 41.5 percent overall and 3-of-15 from outside the arc. He did, however, hit free throws, putting him light years ahead of Big Ben. But it’s on the opposite end of the spectrum that they miss Simmons.
Despite their loss to the Knicks, Philadelphia has the third-best offensive rating in the NBA at 114.0. The stats benefit from playing Oklahoma City in a four-game sample size.
However, the 76ers are allowing 110.1 points per 100 possessions, which is in the NBA’s bottom ten. Philadelphia earned the league’s second-best defensive rating last season. In the vote for Defensive Player of the Year, Simmons came in second. This isn’t just a coincidence.
The longer Ben Simmons is absent, the greater the burden on Joel Embiid. That increased pressure may encourage him to take more chances than he should, particularly early in the season. The Philadelphia 76ers risk causing long-term injury to their franchise player, given Embiid’s history of fragility. It might potentially slam their title window shut prematurely.
Basketball Reference and Stathead provided the statistics.
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The “ben simmons’ salary” is a story that has been following the Philadelphia 76ers for a while. The Sixers could pay a franchise-altering price for the standoff between Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid.
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