The Ben Simmons-less Sixers got their season started with a bang in a 20-point win down in New Orleans. Joel Embiid played well and was able to rest the majority of the fourth quarter. The team’s Night Shift bench crew balled out. Tyrese Maxey stepped into a legitimate starting role and casually dropped a 20-7-5 stat line.
The Sixers’ rotation still has a hole sucking up $33 million.
I’ve made it abundantly clear that the Sixers need to trade away Simmons. Removing that toxicity from the franchise and moving forward will rejuvenate the Sixers. I need it. We all need it.
With the current situation that has Simmons sitting out, the team is at a deficit not simply because they miss Simmons as a distributor or a defender, but the fact that a huge chunk of their roster was built around him. They have a dude on a max contract not playing, leaving the usual “stars and scrubs” component of a highly-priced roster even more uneven.
They’re missing a point guard. A contrarian would easily say, “Hey, idiot, Simmons is a point guard and they should just play him,” but that’s intellectually dishonest and ignores a completely broken relationship between Simmons and the franchise.
Seth Curry and Maxey both started against the Pelicans, but they’re more so combo guards who were brought to Philly under the pretense that they’d fit well next to Simmons. Doc Rivers was resigned to using Furkan Korkmaz as a lead ball-handler in some bench lineups. That’s not going to cut it in April and May!
The idea that the Sixers are going to get a top-level star in return for Simmons is laughable at this point. Front office executives around the league do have TVs. They saw what transpired in the postseason and they likely don’t want to inherit the insane circus that will now follow Simmons.
Being able to acquire someone like Tyrese Halliburton or swing a move for a Dejounte Murray-Derrick White combo would leave me overjoyed at this stage.
It’s not up to me to find a great target though. That’s on Daryl Morey. The longer the clock ticks, the more it hurts the Sixers both in the present and the future. It puts them a man short in the rotation and leaves the rest of the Embiid era in a murky state.
This ordeal will go on longer than Sixers fans will like, but I’m begging for a more cohesive roster right now.