From the time that Joel Embiid first took the floor for the Sixers back in 2016, which not-so-coincidentally overlapped with when the Sixers began pursuing wins on the basketball court, I have had three main gripes with how the team has been constructed around him.
The first was when the brain trust at the time decided that one ball handler was all the team needed, which was especially troubling since said ball handler was a 6-foot-10 point guard with no real interest in, or confidence to, shoot the basketball. To Daryl Morey's credit, he's largely rectified that perplexing zig.
The second real, annoying flaw has been the inability to get even one or two consistent, two-way wings to surround Embiid with. They've had a few forwards who, if you squint hard enough, can sort of convince you that they might be able to either shoot or play defense, but there has been a real dearth of wings who you had confidence would be playable, on both ends of the floor, in May and June.
I don't dwell on this one quite as much as the other problems, though. That oversight isn't because it's unimportant, mind you, as Boston shows us first-hand how crucial it is once every two or three years or so. Instead, it's because these players are so in-demand that it's understandably tough to acquire them.
(This is part of what makes the Jimmy Butler trade so frustrating: he was right here. But while now might be an understandable time to focus on the Butler decision, given the Sixers just played him twice in a row, you've all been through enough. We don't need to rehash that any more than we already have).
The final team building deficiency has been the lack of a switchable, chaos-inducing big man. This is the one that has really frustrated me over the years, in part because it should be the easiest to solve. Instead, the Sixers under Daryl Morey and Doc Rivers have trended towards more traditional big men like DeAndre Jordan, Andre Drummond and, most recently, Dewayne Dedmon, the type who prefer to play in a deep drop coverage and sell out to gather the rebound (on the misses they don't often force).
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