What's Next for Joel Embiid and the Sixers
*Photo via Getty Images
According to an ESPN report, the Philadelphia 76ers center, Joel Embiid, will need another surgery for his injured foot and will likely miss the 2015-2016 season. Embiid already missed last season due to a similar injury and, after being drafted in the 2014 NBA draft, has yet to play in an NBA game. If he does not play this season, he will miss the first 164 games of his career. That stat begs the question, would the Sixers be better off without him?
The last player drafted this high in a draft that was this injury prone was none other than Greg Oden. Greg Oden was a center who was drafted number one overall by the Portland Trailblazers in 2007. Oden, like Embiid, missed his entire first season due to injury and was never able to recover. He played in the next season, but got injured in the first game.
Oden played in the 09-10 season and then did not play in a game until the 13-14 season with the Miami Heat. In the eight years since being drafted, Greg Oden has played in a total of 105 games. That's about a season and a half. The Philadelphia 76ers should not want to see that happen with their team as the Portland Trailblazers were crushed by his nagging injuries.
The smart thing to do would be to find a suitor willing to take Joel Embiid. It would be best to trade him now before his stock plummets. After all the Sixers have some front court depth with Nerlens Noel and this year's third overall pick, Jahlil Okafor. Letting Embiid go would not affect their front court play. Embiid is still a great prospect with tremendous potential, but he's just not worth it right now. His injury seems to be persistent because no matter what progress he makes, he always suffers a setback. That's too much anxiety for the Philadelphia 76ers. His injuries are becoming a distraction for the team and the 76ers needs to start focusing on winning.
The Sixers have been tanking for what seems to be ages. They need to focus on winning soon as fans are starting to become restless as many are confused as to what direction Sixers general manager Sam Hinkie is leading this team. They seem to be lost in this tanking nature and only seem to be concerned about accumulating draft picks. In a tough sports town like Philadelphia, Hinkie would be wise to trade Embiid, get some good players to surround Okafor and Noel, and try to get this team back into the playoffs.
The Sixers are starting to be synonymous with the word "tanking" and need to focus more on being more competitive in the games and with Embiid gone, they can focus on the team instead of focusing on when he's coming back from injury.
Embiid is a player who can become an All-Star player for years or a player who may never play a full season in his career, if I'm the 76ers that's not a chance I can afford to take.