As the Philadelphia 76ers prepare for next season, their roster looks stacked. Not only do they have Joel Embiid and James Harden, but Tyrese Maxey is now a star. Add in the quality additions of PJ Tucker and Montrezl Harrell in the offseason and the Sixers should be ready to go.
It won’t be easy for the Sixers to contend for a title in a stacked Eastern Conference, but they have as good a chance as anyone. However, with Embiid attempting to reach the Western Conference Finals for the first time in his career, he may have other aspirations in mind.
The EuroBasket has just ended and the Spanish national team have been crowned champions. However, Embiid has officially obtained French citizenship and could very soon play for the French national team, which finished second at the EuroBasket. The team’s manager Boris Diaw said it would be great to have him on board.
“He doesn’t have a FIBA license yet. But it would be nice if he could have that license and play for the French team,” Diaw said. “We know he’s become French so why not, we try to have as many good players as possible and then create a team that holds its ground and plays well together.”
In turn, Embiid has recently been somewhat disregarded in CBS Sports’ NBA player rankings.
CBS Sports recently released its ranking of the NBA’s top 100 players ahead of next season. Despite coming second in the MVP voting, Embiid placed sixth on their list.
However, they only had good things to say about Embiid.
“Embiid was arguably the most dominant player in the league again last season as he became the first center to lead the league since Shaquille O’Neal was top scorer in his prime and there’s no reason not to do the same from the great man of the Sixers to be expected during the upcoming campaign,” wrote Michael Kaskey-Blomain.
Embiid played 68 games for the Sixers last season. He averaged 30.6 points, 11.7 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 1.1 steals and 1.5 blocks on 49.9% shots from the field and 37.1% shots from behind the three-point line.
Kaskey-Blomain also noted that having Harden by his side for a full season could open things up even more for Star Center.
The Sixers added Harden at the close of trade last year, so they didn’t have much time to merge. Kaskey-Blomain stated that a fully healthy season would do wonders for Embiid.
“Having a legitimate offensive threat like James Harden by your side could help open things up a bit for Embiid, who can do literally anything on offense. Embiid is also an elite center defender. Embiid was runner-up in MVP for the second year running last season and as long as he stays healthy he should be back in the thick of this conversation,” he wrote.
Embiid should be able to put together another MVP level campaign next year, but he could also dream of competing internationally.