Sports. Honestly. Since 2011

Analyzing the 2023 Philadelphia 76ers Soap Opera

May 14, 2023; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) sits on the bench during the final moments of their loss to the Boston Celtics in game seven of the 2023 NBA playoffs at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

To nobody’s surprise, another Philadelphia 76ers offseason has been full of drama and speculation; it is almost reminiscent of a bad soap opera. Each week, somebody from the organization has something new to say. Many fans have found it difficult to even keep up with all of the news reports that come out daily. However, the words of the franchise’s stars indicate that the dominoes of a long ride ahead have only begun to fall.

Analyzing the 2023 Philadelphia 76ers Soap Opera

Joel Embiid’s Comments

Just as free agency news began to simmer down, Joel Embiid dropped a bombshell that got the NBA world talking. In an interview with media personality Maverick Carter, Embiid made it clear that all he wants is a championship – even if it is not in Philadelphia.

“I just want to win a championship. Whatever it takes. I don’t know where that’s gonna be, whether it’s in Philly or anywhere else, I just want to have a chance to accomplish that. I wanna see what it feels like to win that first one and then think about the next one. It’s not easy, but it takes more than one, two, three guys. You gotta have good people around you.”

The first red flag with his dialogue is that he says he is fine with winning a championship somewhere other than Philly. In a city that values loyalty over anything, those comments did not sit well with many fans. Many people interpreted it as Embiid throwing in his loyalty towel.

The other red flag is that Embiid seems to lack accountability. The teams around him have, for the most part, been well constructed. Almost each of the past six seasons, Embiid has had at least two co-stars, a well-rounded starting lineup, and a reliable bench. Yes, most of those teams had flaws and coaching issues. With that considered, Embiid is somewhat responsible for the team’s shortcomings in the playoffs. Overall, these felt like unnecessary comments that did nothing but turn some fans against Embiid and create negative press.

Daryl Morey’s Plan

At this point, nobody knows Daryl Morey’s plan to get the Sixers over the hump. This is ironic because he has been the most vocal voice out of Philadelphia thus far this offseason.

Morey began free agency by adding Patrick Beverley and Mo Bamba. Then, he re-signed Montrezl Harrell and Paul Reed. Ultimately, the Sixers are now left with four centers on the roster, and Morey has yet to indicate their roles.

While fans continue to anxiously wait for Morey to make a big move, it becomes more and more likely each day that he is fine with rolling out an almost identical team to last year’s. James Harden and Tobias Harris are still on the roster with expiring contracts. Will the 76ers just run it back and recoup cap space next offseason? Maybe. Will Morey trade Harris or Harden before the season? That is also a maybe. Nobody except Morey truly knows what his plan is or if he even has one.

James Harden Trade Rumors

When Harden opted into the final year of his contract with the 76ers, it became clear that he would be looking for a trade. While many fans may want Harden gone, it seems as if people within the organization would welcome him back next season.

In an interview with 97.5 the Fanatic, Morey said, “If James were to turn his mind around, we would all be thrilled. But, at this moment, he does prefer to be traded, and we are attempting to honor that.”

Reed also spoke out about Harden’s situation in an interview with Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer. “James Harden, that’s like my big brother, one of the coolest vets I know,” said Reed. “I hope he comes back. But I understand business is business.

While Reed and Morey may want Harden back, it is still in question whether the rest of the team would. After Harden was not seen at Embiid’s wedding last week, fans began speculating that their relationship has been fractured.

Despite the hypothesis, the root of Harden wanting a trade is likely due to not receiving a contract extension from Philadelphia. Until any moves occur, though, the 76ers soap opera will continue.


More Posts