Five Important Sixers Questions Leading into 2019-20
Here are five important questions that need answers leading into the Sixers 2019-20 season. Topics include five different questions and answers with the roster now pretty much in place.
Who will take the last shot?
The Sixers sent Jimmy Butler to Miami and replaced him with Josh Richardson. While Richardson is a very good player, he isn't known for taking the final shot with the clock winding down in a pressure situation.
The team brought back Tobias Harris at a price that would suggest he might grow into that role, but he really hasn't proven he can be the man just yet late in games.
Could it be Joel Embiid, or maybe even Ben Simmons? It's definitely a question that needs to be answered.
With J.J. Redick gone, who will shoot the 3-pointer productively?
This will be interesting to see, there are a few options here. Harris shot the three-ball much better in LA than he did in Philly last season. He shot 43% in LA, but just 32% in Philadelphia, that number went to 34% in the playoffs, still not good enough.
Another option is Richardson, who brings a career 36% three-point shot to Philadelphia and should have plenty of looks with teams focused on Joel Embiid.
A few other options are Zhaire Smith, rookie Matisse Thybulle and Furkan Korkmaz, who just returned on a two-year deal. Smith and Thybulle shot the ball well during summer league, while Korkmaz has always shown the ability to shot the ball, but needs to add more strength.
Al Horford is another guy who can hit the three-point shot, so while they don't have that one stand-out shooter, they do have multiple guys who can be effective from behind-the-arc.
A wild card? Ben Simmons....
Is Joel Embiid really able to win MVP next year?
The numbers are eye-popping, over 27 point and 13 rebounds per game last season, add in almost four assists and almost two blocks. If he improves those numbers just a little bit, he will definitely be in the conversation. Embiid needs to get himself in better shape, for a long playoff run, but with another offseason to gain experience, the sky is the limit for him.
One area that could prevent him from winning the award is load management, there is a good chance the team has him rest more this season with Horford in the mix.
What is Ben Simmons going to be able to add this season?
There has been some videos going around of Ben Simmons working on his jump shot, or at least implementing it into his arsenal. We have seen some footage of Simmons using a three-point shot, a mid-range shot and a fade-away shot during some runs out in LA against some current NBA'ers including Devin Booker.
Simmons declined an invitation to play for his country this summer during the FIBA World Cup championship to focus on the Sixers season, adding some semblance of a jump-shot will certainly help, but simply being more aggressive, getting the the line would also help him improve his production.
Will there be a big mid-season trade?
Last season, the team puled off two major moves, bringing in Jimmy Butler and then Tobias Harris and Mike Scott. Bu this season they might need to land a role player, someone to protect them rim behind Embiid or shoot the three-point shot off-the-bench. If some of the questions above aren't answered than maybe they will need to add something at the mid-season.
But I wouldn't count on anything major at the deadline this season if all goes according to plan.