The ball didn’t bounce their way in that series, but the future was bright.
Joel Embiid was a dominant interior force.
Ben Simmons was one of the most versatile defenders in the league.
And Jimmy Butler gave them the star wing to tie it all together.
Butler would not return the following season but would be involved in a sign-and-trade to bring back Josh Richardson.
— drew (@Dcorrigan50) July 2, 2019
The 76ers would go on to get swept in the first round of the playoffs.
The following season was the collapse against the Atlanta Hawks and this past season was a weak bow out to the Miami Heat.
But 76ers President of Basketball Operations Daryl Morey has assembled a strong roster for the upcoming season.
One that has fans believing the 76ers are legitimate title contenders – for good reason.
A Look At The Competition
Morey has assembled a strong roster that should be able to compete in a strong and deep Eastern Conference.
Those three teams make up the truly elite teams in the Eastern Conference.
Taking a step down from those three are teams like the Brooklyn Nets, Cleveland Cavaliers, Toronto Raptors, Atlanta Hawks, and Chicago Bulls.
Brooklyn is the most likely team to elevate themselves into the Eastern Conference elite, but they have questions that need to be answered.
Which newly-formed East backcourt is better?
RT ➡️ Dejounte Murray-Trae Young
LIKE ➡️ Donovan Mitchell-Darius Garland pic.twitter.com/l8dFKr5gPI
— NBA Memes (@NBAMemes) September 6, 2022
And improved health from the Raptors and Bulls should make them solid playoff contenders once again.
No longer is the Eastern Conference a top-heavy conference.
With the inevitability of LeBron James gone, General Managers are willing to roll the dice in beefing up their rosters.
If the 76ers are to make it to the NBA Finals, it will be well-earned.
76ers Roster Is Deep and Talented
Philadelphia has always had star talent in recent years.
Embiid announced himself as a star almost five years ago and Simmons, for all his shortcomings, was a multi-time All-Star.
And now after the Simmons trade this past season, Embiid is flanked by James Harden.
While Harden is no longer the gravity-bending force he was in his prime, he is still a borderline elite player at the guard position.
Lineups featuring Embiid, Harden, Harris, and Maxey for the 76ers last season graded in the 99th percentile per Cleaning the Glass with a +17.9 differential.
Adding a hard-nosed two-way player like Tucker could only make that group more lethal.
Another Sixers profile ahead of next season!
This time, I wrote about Danuel House Jr., how much he can help Philly's wing play, and what to expect from him next season: https://t.co/92tCo4fdHD
— Tom West (@TomWestNBA) September 21, 2022
Niang, Thybulle, and Milton were the first three off the bench last season.
While they are decent players, Niang and Thybulle are one-dimensional and Milton has not been consistent enough.
Moving them down three spots in the rotation will put them in roles better suited to their talents.
The 76ers finally have a truly deep roster filled with star talent and two-way rotational players.
Fans waiting for a Finals appearance may not have to wait much longer.