Nets' Kevin Durant Defends Sixers' Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid
While many are pounding the table for the Sixers to split up the star duo of Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid -- there's a good portion of analysts, fans, and even players who are saying the Sixers should hold onto the two young All-Stars and build a proper roster around them. Add Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant as a believer in the latter.
In Durant's eyes, it's not even just about the awkward fit of Al Horford, Tobias Harris, and Josh Richardson around Embiid and Simmons. Rather, it's more about the number of changes those two have had to deal with over the years as the front office repeatedly brought in players and shipped others off in such little time.
"It's hard to become a great team when you're getting new teammates every year," Durant said in regards to Simmons, Embiid, and the Sixers on JJ Redick's 'The Old Man and the Three' podcast. "It's tough. Especially with young players like them, they're expected. . . in Philly they've got so many expectations on them, it's tough."
Nowadays, every team needs a couple of stars on it to win. But to achieve the ultimate goal of winning a championship, the supporting cast surrounding the stars is just as important when it comes to roster construction. Unfortunately for Philly, they prioritized talent over fit in 2019-2020, and it resulted in a first-round sweep in the playoffs.
Heading into the 2020-2021 NBA season, the Sixers know they need to make some significant changes by surrounding Embiid and Simmons with some shooters. And while yet, another notable roster change could be a frustrating situation for Simmons and Embiid, at least the front office is going to prioritize who the young stars want to bring in as opposed to focusing on bringing in the most talent available.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter: @JGrasso_