NBA Insider Sheds Light on Joel Embiid’s Relationship with 76ers’ Front Office

Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers

Getty Owner Joshua Harris of the Philadelphia 76ers celebrates with Joel Embiid #21.

Given his enormous presence on the floor, it’s only natural for Philadelphia 76ers superstar Joel Embiid to have a say on what goes on behind the scenes. That’s not only true for Philadelphia but any franchise; in order to keep a team’s superstar — its most valuable asset — happy, those players are usually consulted on any significant decision.

And according to Jake Fischer of Yahoo! Sports, the Sixers are very cognizant of Embiid’s preferences when building out a team.

“They’re not taking orders from Embiid but they definitely consult him on virtually everything. So yeah, I think there’s nothing to worry about for Sixers fans in terms of him being the centerpiece and the pillar of this franchise definitely for this season,” Fischer explained on Friday’s episode of The Crossover NBA Show with Chris Mannix and Howard Bech.

One need not look too far to see Embiid’s fingerprints on this current Sixers team.

Embiid Wanted an ‘Enforcer’ Signed to 76ers This Summer

At the end of last season, Embiid lamented the lack of an “enforcer” on Philadelphia’s bench.

“I can recall [having] Mike Scott, but he didn’t play a lot of minutes,” Embiid said back in May. “When you have size and toughness, you look at someone like P.J. Tucker. A great player, but it’s not about him knocking down shots. It’s about what he does, whether it’s on the defensive end or rebounding the ball.”

Something interesting happened right after Embiid mentioned PJ Tucker’s name. Two months after Embiid lauded what Tucker brings to a team, the Sixers went out and signed Tucker in free agency.

It’s a clear example of Embiid setting the tone for Philadelphia’s free agency and the front office taking it into account during its team building and planning.

Embiid Had Interest in Bradley Beal

But, as Fischer noted, the Sixers aren’t beholden to Embiid’s every demand. For instance, Embiid had a real interest bringing in Bradley Beal last season, as revealed by NBA insider Bill Simmons.

“Part of the reason the trade stuff took so long was because there was the Sixers side that wanted Harden—obviously Daryl [Morey], because Harden is his guy,” Simmons said on his podcast, The Bill Simmons Podcast. “But Embiid really wanted Beal because he felt like he was a better fit and was pushing, pushing, pushing.”

Ultimately, Embiid gave his blessing on adding Harden when the opportunity arose. And it was likely the right move.

Beal signed a new contract with the Washington Wizards this summer, despite constant chatter that he could be on the move. Philadelphia, meanwhile, was able to swap Ben Simmons with Harden and then re-sign the former MVP to a one-year discount.

In Harden, the Sixers got a potent pick-and-roll partner for Joel Embiid. But the team also landed an elite passer, much needed in a lineup that doesn’t feature a pure point guard.

Beal, on the other hand, brings another skillset altogether. He more resembles a souped-up version of the JJ Redick and Seth Curry’s that Embiid’s thrived with while in Philadelphia. Over his first six seasons, Beal shot 39 percent from deep. Since then, his accuracy from deep has decreased, but his scoring has gone in the opposite direction: in those first six seasons, Beal was scoring around 17 points per game. In the five seasons since, he’s scoring 27.5 points per night.

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