We’re back for round two of our season preview! Plenty of teams are going to be worth talking about before the season starts, and our next entry is no exception. We started with Beantown and are heading next to the city of brotherly love.
Philly had one of the busiest off seasons of any team. The 76ers decided to bring in long-time Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey and he wasted no time reshaping the roster. The team was able to move off of the Al Horford contract and get wings Danny Green and Terrance Ferguson in the process. Philadelphia also acquired sharpshooter Seth Curry in a deal with the Mavericks that sent Josh Richardson to Dallas. Another deal many talked about was the signing of Dwight Howard. That deal wasn’t as much about the player as it was about Howard choosing Philly. Dwight tweeted just hours before this deal was finalized that he would be heading back to the Lakers (oops).
There were a lot of pieces moving around for the 76ers, which was to be expected. Morey’s track record in Houston didn’t indicate he was someone who would set by and let things play out. One of the main reasons Daryl was brought in was because of how much Philadelphia’s roster needed reworked. Horford’s contract was a problem before the ink dried on his signature and the team wasn’t properly built around two inside-dominant presences in Simmons and Embiid. Some may argue there is less pure talent on this roster than before. What cannot be disputed is that the pieces on this team look like they will fit together better this time around. Green and Curry are veteran shooters who should give the stars plenty of room to operate while Dwight could offer some valuable minutes if Embiid ends up injured. I like these moves because of how they cater to the major strengths of the 76ers best players.
Two moves that shouldn’t go unnoticed is the change in head coach and the addition of rookie Tyrese Maxey. Doc Rivers ended his relationship with the Clippers after what can only be looked at as a disappointing postseason. Philadelphia was quick to scoop him up and I think fans should be excited about the move. Rivers has been at the helm of some very impressive teams over the course of his coaching career and has had plenty of success. He has caught some flack this off-season because of how things turned out in L.A., but that doesn’t worry me if I’m the 76ers. Maxey fell to the team at 21 in the 2020 NBA Draft and I think this could be quite the steal. Kentucky guys have faired very well in the league for the most part and Maxey could join that group of bluegrass darlings. Tyrese knows how to score, loves the game, and can play in a system where he isn’t the number one option. Once he gets adjusted to the NBA, there is a chance he could be the perfect backcourt partner for Simmons.
Philly was one of the top teams in the eastern conference last season and I don’t think that’ll change this year. Things will look different for them on the court, but they should expect the same kind of success. I’m interested to see how the roster shakeup effects Simmons and Embiid. This may invigorate then and help lead them to the mountaintop. The NBA is full of surprises, but I don’t think anyone could call the 76ers being crowned champs all that wild.