The future of Philadelphia 76ers basketball may feature a few question marks heading into the 2019 NBA offseason. Two of those question marks are apparently not the feelings young stars Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid as it relates to their future with the franchise. While Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris can both become free agents this offseason, Simmons made an eye-opening comment recently.
When speaking about his own future along with Embiid’s, Simmons was brutally honest on the outlook and focus, as Bleacher Report detailed.
“You see a lot of guys from the past request trade sand things like that when you could’ve seen something special happen, and I think [Joel and II] remind ourselves that a lot. We want to stay here and win championships for the city.” Simmons stated.
It’s a strong statement from Simmons, who essentially points to the fact that he and Embiid have the potential to do something special in this league together, which is a widespread belief. There was a previous concern (for little reason) that Simmons could opt to leave town in free agency or potentially try to find a way to get to Los Angeles, but that doesn’t seem to be in his plans.
Dominance, Growth of Ben Simmons & Joel Embiid
After winning the NBA’s Rookie of the Year Award following a season in which he posted marks of 15.8 points, 8.2 assists and 8.1 rebounds per game, Simmons has been even better this year. While the Sixers have more talent than before, he’s increased his numbers to 17.0 points, 7.9 assists and 9.2 rebounds per game. He’s also shooting 56.2 percent from the field, up from 54.5 percent last year.
As for Embiid, he’s played at an MVP-caliber level which has been overlooked at times due to the likes of James Harden and Giannis Antetokounmpo. Embiid is averaging 27.4 points, 13.5 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.9 blocks per game. Through the 55 games he’s played, the 24-year-old has also shot 48.3 percent from the field while logging a career-high 33.6 minutes per game.
Sixers’ Recent Success With Simmons, Embiid
After a brutal five-year stretch in which the Sixers missed the postseason on a consistent basis, the tides turned last year when Simmons and Embiid led the team to a 52-30 regular-season record. Philly lost in the Eastern Conference semifinals, but have continued their strong play this year and once again remain on pace to hit 50 wins for a second straight season.
If the Sixers are able to surpass 50 wins in back-to-back years, it would be the first time they’ve done so since the 1984-85 and 1985-86 seasons. The franchise is trending in the right direction, and the Simmons/Embiid duo is a huge reason for that. Hearing the former state that they want to be in Philly for the long haul is big news and the importance can’t be understated.