How long before Daryl Morey realizes: Sixers gotta do something ?
After Tuesday Night's loss at Madison Square Garden, the 76ers are now 2-2 this season without Ben Simmons on the floor and was arguably their worst performance in losing to the New York Knicks. The combination of shooting poorly from Three Point Range combined with a rough night for Joel Embiid left the Sixers exposed to being outscored 67-46 combined in the 2nd and 3rd Quarters.
ESPN NBA Analyst Tim Legler was on ESPN's Get Up with Mike Greenberg on Wednesday morning and did not hold back in his analysis of the Sixers situation:
I sense a frustration in Joel Embiid right now because the playmaking just isn't good enough and look, I don't think you win a Championship with Ben Simmons as your starting Point Guard but clearly the playmaking is a lot better (with him on the floor). (The 76ers) were 12th in the league in Pace on Offense last year, they are dead-last right now and that's going to frustrate Joel Embiid because look at the guys handling the ball. I think (Tyrese) Maxey is a really good player....His primary role (right now) should be a Combo-Guard off the bench to provide you energy every night. Shake Milton is out right now....He's a scorer first. So now, beyond those two guys, who is handling the ball for this team? - The playmaking isn't there and when that happens, Embiid goes to Iso, holds the ball too long and turns it over. He had bad body language last night, he did not look happy. I wonder how long before Daryl Morey realizes 'We gotta do something here'.
When I heard Legler this morning, I knew immediately he was speaking common sense. This is not "rocket science": no matter what Doc Rivers or Daryl Morey say to the media, the roster as currently constructed is not sustainable for long term success. Joel Embiid is currently 27 years old and despite playing at an MVP level last season, he still needs more help. Sure, it was fun to see the 76ers hit all those three points in their win over the Thunder on Sunday, but to me the losses to the Nets on Friday Night and the Knicks on Tuesday Night as the reason why the Ben Simmons situation needs resolution sooner than later.
The biggest problem for Philadelphia is trying to get proper compensation for Simmons in a trade. No one wants to see a deal like the weak return for what the Sixers got in return for the Charles Barkley Trade (Jeff Hornacek, Andrew Lang and Tim Perry) or the Allen Iverson Trade that got them Andre Miller, Joe Smith, and two First Round Picks that turned out to be busts. Those were Hall of Fame Players who both got traded away for players who would be bench players on today's Sixers squad. Plus many Sixers fans still have nightmares about the convoluted Andre Iguodala trade that brought the Andrew Bynum fiasco to Philadelphia.
I understand that Daryl Morey and his team are in an unenviable situation: right now, Ben Simmons value is at the lowest on the trade market and it is in the best interest of Simmons and the 76ers for him to get back on the court to showcase for other teams he is still that guy who was selected to three All-Star teams. But until that happens or another team gets really desperate to make a move, like Tim Legler said, we may continue to see more frustration from Joel Embiid when the Sixers have trouble finishing games (like in the Nets loss) or the team around him goes cold shooting the ball (like in the Knicks loss). How many more games like those losses do Sixers fans need to witness before Daryl Morey can rectify this situation? How much more of Joel Embiid's prime years will be flushed down the toilet due to circumstances out of his control?