The Philadelphia 76ers sent shock waves throughout the basketball world when they decided to acquire superstar James Harden at the trade deadline. In a move that saw the team ship out disgruntled star Ben Simmons, the 76ers looked to be going “all-in” with the acquisition of Harden.
It didn’t take long for Harden to find his groove with his new team. He combined to give the Philadelphia 76ers a dangerous offensive force alongside superstar big man Joel Embiid.
Philadelphia would go on to climb the standings in the Eastern Conference, finishing with an impressive overall record of 51-31. Many were considering the 76ers a wildcard to make a serious run towards the finals. That was until the team went on to lose in the second-round 4-2 to the Miami Heat.
Injuries played a big part in the 76ers’ struggles against the Heat, especially when it came to Joel Embiid. But it’s clear that the organization has struggled to generate any momentum in the playoffs over the years.
Speaking on “The Dan Patrick Show,” analyst Nick Wright suggested that the basketball community might be overrating the 76ers. He said:
“I think this will shock you. The Philadelphia 76ers have made the conference finals once since Dr. J retired… think about that.
“That’s the least in basketball, tied with the Grizzlies who didn’t exist that whole time, Timberwolves who didn’t exist that whole time, Kings and Clippers. … So maybe we’re just overrating them. I don’t know. I couldn’t believe that when I looked that up.”
Philadelphia 76ers look to bounce back in the upcoming season
Although the 76ers are going to have two of the most dangerous offensive players in the league on their roster, the team clearly still needs to make some changes. After acquiring Harden at the trade deadline, the 76ers had plenty of firepower, but were depleted when it came to depth.
It’s going to be a crucial offseason for the organization, especially if they want to take the next step forward towards contending in the Eastern Conference. One of the first orders of business will be the contract situation involving James Harden.
The superstar guard is set to have a player option for north of $47.3 million, although it is expected he will sign an extension with the 76ers.
With rising star Tyrese Maxey also improving rapidly, it could be a big summer for the 76ers to move the needle forward.