The Philadelphia 76ers have struggled to find their footing following their 8-2 start. The Sixers were ravaged by COVID-related absences and lost some key players to injuries.
Since getting everyone back on the court, the Sixers are just 4-3, including Thursday’s ugly 118-96 loss to the Utah Jazz.
It doesn’t get any easier for Philly, with Steph Curry and the NBA-leading Golden State Warriors up next on the schedule. The Sixers will take on the Warriors in primetime on Saturday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.
Former NBA player and current ESPN analyst — Jalen Rose — joined me on the latest episode of Sixers Daily to preview the matchup, plus talk all things related to Philly a little more than a quarter into the season. Jalen is part of the NBA Countdown crew for ESPN/ABC and will preview the game alongside Stephen A. Smith, Michael Wilbon and Mike Greenberg.
The Ben Simmons saga has continued nearly two months into the season, but it looks like we could get a resolution soon. Woj is reporting that the Simmons trade talk is gaining traction around with the league.
I asked Jalen how the Sixers have approached the Simmons drama and how he thinks Daryl Morey could have handled the situation differently, especially regarding the Simmons-Joel Embiid pairing.
“If I think they don’t fit long term, you’ve got to move sooner rather than later. And then when you lose to the Hawks, and Ben struggles, now he becomes the asset that you go from getting an All-Star from last year’s game, or maybe this year’s game, to now maybe taking cents on the dollar, depending on what kind of deal you end up with.
So for Daryl, I think he had a chance to move but the problem is when Ben plays poorly, and then doesn’t show up at camp, and I’ve said this the entire time, he has to play back up his value.
This is sports. The last time he was out there, he struggled. So now I can’t move you unless you come back in training camp in shape. Unlike a James Harden situation, right? Come back in shape. Get off to a great season, get off to a great start. Instead of the team right now being 14-12, being 20-6, then things look a lot different.
So now each side isn’t going to really get what they want. Unless the Philadelphia 76ers are willing to take lesser of a deal and the way it seems like Daryl [Morey] has dug in and acknowledged since Ben has multiple years left on this contract, that they’d be willing to wait that out and have the patience to wait that out. It depends on what are your expectations of Philly, were you happy when they were 8-2? And did you think that team was going to actually win this season? Or are you now understanding that this is the reality? They’re going to be a good team, not a great team without Ben Simmons. That situation has basically sabotaged their season.”
- Some of the other topics I touched on with Jalen include:
- What can the Sixers do to turn things around with the roster as constructed?
- How Doc Rivers can make some changes to his rotation.
- How he thinks the Simmons situation will end.
- The likelihood of Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers will be traded to the Sixers.
I do a rapid-fire Q and A with Jalen about his career and more to wrap things up.
You can watch the episode here:
Or listen to the audio portion below:
You can also catch the audio portion through one of the following links:
A reminder to catch Jalen and the rest of the crew on NBA Countdown at 8 p.m. ET to preview the showdown between the Sixers and Warriors.