Front Office’s Experiment Flops in Postseason
The Sixers had a lot of decisions to make this past offseason. After falling just short to the future NBA champion Toronto Raptors came an offseason with multiple possibilities. With the money for close to two max-contracts and a wide-open roster, it was time for the Sixers to construct their roster that will compete in Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid’s primes.
Despite a lot of chatter of “running it back” with the core group of Simmons, Embiid, Butler, Harris, and Redick the front office decided to go another direction. After letting Redick walk and moving Butler in a sign-and-trade came a move that would puzzle the NBA world.
Elton Brand would go and sign veteran big man Al Horford to a four year, 109 million dollar deal. This move was questioned from the start and it is very clear that this experiment did not pan out in the way that was envisioned.
After this move phrases like “bully ball” and “built for the playoffs” were tossed around for months. The Sixers now find themselves on the verge of a first-round sweep and their investment in Horford continues to look worse and worse. In his first postseason run with the Sixers Horford is averaging just under six points a game and has yet to hit a shot from deep.
In a modern NBA game where pace and space run the league, Elton Brand and company tried to go against the grain and build a defensive juggernaut of size and length. This experiment from the front office has been a failure, and now the Sixers find themselves in a deep hole to dig themselves out of.
Brand built a “Giannis-stopping” lineup that will not even get the chance to face off against him in the postseason. The poor roster construction around Embiid and Simmons will lead to the Sixers being the biggest let down of the NBA this season.
The lack of perimeter shooting around the Sixers has been their biggest weakness since the start of the season. Letting Redick go and not addressing replacing him or his skillset has hurt the Sixers in a big way all year, and even more in the playoffs.
Redick’s absence has been missed greatly as the Sixers are shooting just 26.4% from deep in their series against the Celtics. Furkan Korkmaz and Tobias Harris led the Sixers in three-pointers made this season and neither of them has knocked one down from deep in the series.
The Sixers carrying four centers on their roster is a clear example of why they are in the position they are in. One thing Embiid and Simmons have always needed around them is knockdown shooting on the outside, and the front office went the complete opposite direction.
Instead of going after free-agent guards like Seth Curry or Quinn Cook who could come in and knock down threes for the Sixers, the money went towards Mike Scott and Kyle O’Quinn to sit at the end of the bench for a large majority of the year. The front office’s gameplan of roster construction was not built to win a championship in today’s NBA.
After this botched attempt at constructing a roster, there should be a complete turnover for the Sixers. Changes need to be made from the top down if this team is going to turn things around.
It is going to be hard, but a new management team could turn things around. If the Sixers can get out from under Horford’s contract and flip him for shooting and shot creation there can still be hope.
Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons are only going to have one prime, and the current front office doesn’t look like it will be able to maximize it. If things continue the way they are going we are not far off from Embiid and Simmons requesting trades out of Philadelphia. Hopefully, the people at the top understand this and intervene before the Sixers find themselves in NBA purgatory again.
Kevin McCormick is the 76ers insider for 97.3 ESPN and 76ers editor for Sportstalkphilly.com. Follow him on Twitter @KevinMcC973.