Quick history lesson; Prior to the 2016 NBA Season, the Philadelphia 76ers were made up of three centers: Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor, and Joel Embiid. Embiid had spent the first two years of his career on the bench with various injuries so this would be his rookie year. Things weren’t as perfect for Simmons, who would be spending his rookie season grounded by a foot injury. While his rookie year was cut short by yet another injury, Joel Embiid came away with consideration for rookie of the year and the best record in Philly since 2012.
The next season, Ben Simmons won the rookie of the year award and along with Joel Embiid, the 76ers were on their way to the playoffs for the first time since 2011. After finishing off the Heat in five games and being finished off by the Celtics in five, the 76ers entered the 2018-2019 NBA Season. Starting the season off with a bang, the Sixers traded two key role players and draft picks in return for a disgruntled Jimmy Butler.
Now, we are in current time. Less than a month after the acquisition of Jimmy Butler, reports came out that Joel Embiid was unhappy in his new role. Due to the lack of shooting from Jimmy Butler and Ben Simmons, Embiid was forced out of the paint where he felt comfortable. Embiid went on a tear following those reports, so the rumors died down, but the rumors are back and hotter than ever.
It seems ever since Jimmy Butler arrived in Philadelphia there were rumors he wanted out. After already forcing himself away from two other perennial playoff team, there’s no reason why there wouldn’t be a third. There have been countless rumors of teams offering on Butler amid all of the drama in Philly.
Yesterday, ESPN’s Zach Lowe reported that Ben Simmons may have been placed on the trade market. He stated that “the young cornerstones do not complement each other, at least not as much as you’d like,” and that “if you dreamt up a Simmons-for-multiple-shooters deal, you might land upon a pairing like Gary Harris and Jamal Murray.”
By no means would this be a worst case scenario for the Sixers. Murray and Harris would theoretically fit perfect alongside the massive Joel Embiid. The concern stands with the lack of loyalty revealed by the entire Sixers’ organization. In 2012, the 76ers traded Andre Iguodala for Andrew Bynum in an effort to jump from a playoff team to contenders. In 2014, they traded rookie of the year, Michael Carter-Williams after only one season. They jumped on the opportunity to trade for Butler despite giving up two very key role players. A big trade can always turn around the fortunes of your team (like the Raptors last year), but making so many moves with no hesitation could be scary for their future.