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Ranking the Eastern Conference and where the Sixers stand

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A discussion of the East’s different tiers.

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2021 NBA Playoffs - Milwaukee Bucks v Brooklyn Nets Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

Many teams in the NBA’s Eastern Conference have improved this offseason. For instance, the Brooklyn Nets added role players like Patty Mills, Jevon Carter and Paul Millsap, giving them even better depth and lineup flexibility around their already formidable trio of stars. The Miami Heat landed Kyle Lowry, giving them a fantastic two-way top three of Lowry, Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo. They also acquired more frontcourt depth and versatility with PJ Tucker. Then younger teams like the Atlanta Hawks, who already had a terrific run last season under new head coach Nate McMillan, have a ton of talented pieces and many young players who can continue to grow. From Trae Young to others like Onyeka Okongwu or wings such as De’Andre Hunter and Cam Reddish (who will both benefit from being healthy after missing time last season), they could benefit from valuable internal development at multiple positions.

To discuss how we rank every team through the East in different tiers and where the Philadelphia 76ers stand right now, I joined Liberty Ballers’ own Jackson Frank on his podcast, The House That Hinkie Built. You can find the episode here with links for everywhere you listen to podcasts.

So, the East has already gotten tougher. As for the Sixers, well... we’re still waiting to see what their future holds. We’re waiting for a Ben Simmons trade to take place, and until then, it’s incredibly hard to project what this team will look like next season and what their chances to contend will be. Depending on whether the Sixers get a pick-heavy return for Simmons, land a few players and picks rather than one standout star, or hang on until nearer the trade deadline in the hope they can acquire Damian Lillard, there are a lot of possible outcomes.

Even with that uncertainty, Jackson and I touched on the Sixers’ offseason moves and tried to determine where they could sit in the East.

Give the podcast a listen and make sure you subscribe, too. And as always, debate away (or just vent if you’re impatiently waiting for a Simmons trade) in the comments.