The Philadelphia 76ers have had a successful offseason.
After failing to advance past the second round for a fifth consecutive season, Daryl Morey made some major moves.
Danny Green and their first-round pick this year were sent to the Memphis Grizzlies for combo-guard De’Anthony Melton on draft night.
PJ Tucker and Danuel House Jr were signed to bolster their wing rotation, a weak spot from last season.
ESPN story on center Montrezl Harrell agreeing to a two-year, $5.2M deal with the Philadelphia 76ers: https://t.co/qkfAmXcIbV
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) September 6, 2022
All core rotation pieces from last season return minus Green, who would not have played this season after suffering a torn ACL in the playoffs.
Those core pieces are now joined by quality rotational pieces in Melton, Tucker, House Jr, and Harrell.
On paper, this team has a chance to compete with the 2018-19 Sixers for being the best Process-era team.
However, another early playoff exit may lead to drastic changes in Philly.
76ers Have Talented Roster
Two-time MVP-runner-up Embiid has a co-star running mate in James Harden.
In Harden, Embiid now plays with a point guard who amplifies his strengths and makes the game easier for him.
Those two stars are flanked by rising star Tyrese Maxey and versatile veteran Harris.
Across 464 minutes together last season, those four posted a phenomenal +17.6 net rating.
The starting and closing lineup was never the issue last season.
Philadelphia’s downfall last season was the bench.
One-dimensional players, rookies, and veterans past their prime were receiving heavy minutes come playoff time.
While they were useable in the regular season, their weaknesses became exposed come playoff time.
This year should be different.
Starters: James Harden, Tyrese Maxey, Tobias Harris, P.J. Tucker, Joel Embiid
Bench: Montrezl Harrell, De'Anthony Melton, Shake Milton, Georges Niang, Matisse Thybulle, Furkan Korkmaz, Danuel House Jr.
Looks like it is "championship or bust" or the 76ers this upcoming year!
— Brett Siegel (@BrettSiegelNBA) September 6, 2022
Tucker and House Jr are versatile two-way wings that cannot be played off the floor come playoffs.
Melton provides them with a secondary ball handler with some perimeter shooting ability and point-of-attack defense.
Harrell, who may run into issues in the playoffs due to his poor defense, should be a great pick-and-roll partner with Harden off the bench.
All told, Morey did a great job surrounding Embiid and Harden with talent that fits.
Rivers has a deep roster on paper that should be ready come playoff time.
Running Out of Chances
With the successful offseason comes heightened expectations for the upcoming season.
The pressure will be on Rivers to make the pieces work together when the games matter.
Philadelphia has made the playoffs five straight seasons.
However, they have been eliminated in the second round four times with a first-round elimination sandwiched in between.
Rivers will be entering his third season with the team, Embiid is squarely in his prime, and Harden has a full offseason to heal up.
The 76ers made it clear back in 2018-19 that they were competing for titles now.
A team with a player of Embiid’s caliber does not aim for second-round playoff exits.
After the offseason Morey had, Rivers will need to take this team to the Eastern Conference Finals at the very least.
They will need to prove they can compete with the league’s best.
Otherwise, the 76ers may look vastly different in 2023-24.