The Sixers have had an awful last four years, tanking to get top draft picks. They have landed three of the most hyped centers from the draft, and a player compared to LeBron James. There is now a logjam at center and Ben Simmons, who was supposed to lead the team to more than another ten-win season, just broke his foot. So what’s next for the Sixers?
Simmons broke the fifth metatarsal in his right foot in the final scrimmage of the Sixers training camp. He is set to have surgery on it next week and is expected to be out three months, which puts him at playing in his first game around the start of the new year. The fracture is called the Jones fracture, which is the same injury that Kevin Durant had last year and ended up having surgery on three times because the injury was not healed all the way when he started playing again.
If the Sixers are really concerned about Simmons, and they should be because he is the best player coming out of college since possibly Anthony Davis, they need to make sure Simmons takes a long time to let it heal. There is no need to get him back quickly in a season where they are almost no possibility of them coming close to the playoffs. Ben will get his time to shine, and though it may not be until 2017, his skills will help the Sixers in the future.
The Logjam at Center
Aside from this year’s draft, the Sixers have picked a center with each of their previous three highest picks in the draft. Luckily for them, Okafor and Noel were the only ones that played last year, so there were no problems. With Embiid joining the paint force this year, what will the Sixers do to get them all adequate time on the court? All three of these centers have great skills and would get minutes on every team in the league.
The only problem with them is that none of them can stretch the floor, and with the newly evolved way of the stretch four, none of them can play power forward. One of these centers is going to need to get moved.
Who Should Be Moved?
Okafor is the person to be moved in my view. He played well offensively last year, but was horrid on defense. He also had several off-court problems that Noel and Embiid haven’t had in the last two years. Okafor is also more of a low post option, while Noel and Embiid are more mobile players that might gel better-running a pick and rolls with Ben Simmons in the future.
What Do the Sixers Need?
Looking at the team last year, it is pretty obvious the had no great shooters. Hollis Thompson led the team in three-point percentage at 38%. They signed Jerryd Bayless in free agency, who shot almost 44% from long range last year, but is only a 36% career three-point shooter. The team obviously need a good shooter and moving Okafor can most likely get them one. Dario Saric is coming over to the NBA for his first year in the league and could be the stretch four the Sixers could really use, but they still don’t have another guard that can shoot because Nik Stauskas showed it wasn’t going to be his last year.
The Sixers could look at trading the Thunder for Anthony Morrow, who shot about 39% from three last year but is a career 42% from long range. They could probably get some draft picks from the deal as well to play with in the trading block if they want.
Another place to look for a shoot is in Portland with Allen Crabbe, who shot 39% from three last year. Trading Okafor to them could also net some draft picks to play with in other moves. Both of these players are shooting guards that could bring the Sixers some much-needed shooting and make them a better team for the future.