The 76ers are not looking to trade Ben Simmons or Joel Embiid following their elimination from the NBA playoffs, general manager Elton Brand said Tuesday.
Head coach Brett Brown was fired after the 76ers were swept 4-0 by the Boston Celtics in the first round of the postseason, and the team is reportedly looking at further changes to the front office. However, Brand has no plan to move on from either of the All-Star duo of Simmons and Embiid.
“I’m not looking to trade Ben or Joel, I’m looking to complement them better,” Brand said. “They are 24 and 26 years old respectively, you try to make that fit as long as you can. They want to be here, they want to be with our organization, and I see them here for a long, long time.”
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This fits in with a recent ESPN report from Adrian Wojnarowski.
From Adrian Wojnarowski:
Among the Sixers’ senior leadership, there’s still a strong desire to keep the franchise’s two young All-Stars — Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons — together, sources said. The Sixers are determined to let a new coaching staff search for ways to maximize Embiid and Simmons playing together before even entering into a discussion on trade scenarios.
This hasn’t stopped some from speculating about a deal going down, though. HoopsHype interviewed five executives, three coaches, three scouts, and two general managers, and asked them whether they’d trade Simmons, Embiid or both.
Here were the results:
Simmons sat out the playoffs after suffering a subluxation in the left knee at the NBA bubble in Orlando, and Embiid was unable to inspire a deep run that could have seen his teammate return to the court. Both players are under contract for at least the next three seasons, and Brand plans to discuss with them how they feel the team should look going forward.
Brand acknowledged that “The Process” could now be deemed a failure.
“It didn’t produce the results we expected. It’s a results-based business and we’re trying to right those wrongs and make sure we do better,” he said. “Currently, yes, we failed. But are we going to do everything to position ourselves to win? Yes.”
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A key factor in the Sixers’ path forward will be the appointment of a new head coach, so Brand will not make a hasty decision.
“We’re not going to be in a rush because this is a pivotal point for our organization. We’re at a crossroads right now, so this hire is extremely important. There’s not going to be a rush,” he said. “All options are open. No one is in the lead, but I look forward to these interviews because there are going to be some talented people out there.”
A lack of perimeter shooting has been a persistent issue for the 76ers, while Al Horford failed to gel with Embiid after arriving on a four-year, $109million contract.
Asked if Horford can fit into the line-up, Brand said: “That’s for the next coach to make that decision and determination on how the line-ups work. Al Horford can fit on an NBA-calibre championship team. Whatever that role is, we’re going to have to figure it out. But he can fit.”
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