Newest Sixer Believes Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid Concerns are 'Nonsense'
"The Philadelphia 76ers have to choose between Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid because they can't play together!" That's been the story of the 2019-2020 NBA season. While, at times, Embiid and Simmons can be a questionable fit together on the floor, it's necessary to point out that those two have fit well enough to produce three-straight playoff-clinching seasons, with appearances in the second round over the last two years. So from the outside looking in, the newest member of the Sixers believes the idea that Simmons and Embiid don't fit well together is slightly absurd.
"That duo is tough," says newest Sixers signing, Ryan Broekhoff. "To win all of the games they've been winning -- if they can't play together, I think that's just been overhyped. I definitely believe they can play together, and they complement each other. Surrounding them with shooting will even out what their tendencies may be lacking. I think [those beliefs they can't play together] are nonsense."
Surrounding Embiid and Simmons with shooting is precisely what Elton Brand and the Sixers front office was thinking when they inked Broekhoff to a one-year deal. He might not have been high-volume scorer with the Dallas Mavericks over the last two seasons, but Broekhoff has drained 40-percent of his career three-pointers. Knowing Embiid and Simmons could thrive with more consistent shooters on the floor with them, Broekhoff believes his fit could be just right for the Sixers.
"I think the fitting should be pretty seamless," the second-year wing mentioned on Wednesday. "You've got Ben [Simmons], you've got [Joel] Embiid -- they demand attention in and out of the post area. So the best way to mitigate them is to surround them with shooting options and with people who can spread the floor. I can be one of those players to keep my man occupied and let the big guys do what they do close to the rim. The more chances we can get them one on one, the better the team will be."
Sixers head coach Brett Brown admitted Broekhoff has a steep uphill battle to win playing time with the Sixers -- but that didn't cloud the Australian veteran's judgment. On Wednesday, Broekhoff mentioned the idea of joining Brown and the Sixers was "too hard to pass up," even though he had multiple teams inquiring for his services. Now, Broekhoff is hopeful to help fix the Sixers' shooting woes from deep this summer.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter: @JGrasso_