Eytan Shander: Name One Star Sixers should not bring back for the playoffs

Joel Embiid shouldn’t return for the playoffs, according to Eytan Shander of the Sixers
Joel Embiid is fully healthy, which presents the Sixers with considerably better possibilities for the upcoming season. This is not the time to rush him back.
Now is the time to dismantle the 76ers.

Really dismantle them.

The Sixers have more issues than answers following another dismal away game and another underwhelming effort from Tyrese Maxey. This season was a waste, and it all came down to Joel Embiid returning to the court right away and leading this club to the NBA Finals.

The Sixers struggling to qualify for the playoffs and then winning them all off is the most plausible scenario. Like you, I’m done speculating about this season. All in all, I can only conclude that it was a mistake to bring Embiid back for any portion of the regular or postseason.

In order to protect Embiid from future injury and to avoid the humiliation of another early playoff loss, the Sixers might be better off putting the injury-prone MVP on the bench.

Embiid’s return is doomed for a few main reasons, chief among them being his health and the Sixers’ prospects. Simply put, the danger is too great for an impending offseason full with opportunities. Simply said, the team isn’t prepared to play.


Yes, Embiid can rely on Maxey to some extent, but only somewhat. Buddy Hield is now bench material, Tobias Harris is too frequently a ghost, and the other players are either undeveloped young players or placeholders. It’s not the NCAA bracket here. These Sixers are hardly the only Cinderella team dancing deep into the NBA postseason.

It is simply unfair to expect a player to carry this team on his back after he has just returned from an injury. In all honesty, you would rather to see a team win the postseason with him on it rather than without, but this year, Embiid will likely face more criticism and fallout from another early exit.

The men that Embiid has to get along with after this spring won’t even be around the next year. The fact that Embiid will be playing for a completely different team in 2019–20 is the second most significant reason the Sixers must bench him.

Next season, the Sixers will have a ton of cap room, and we anticipate Daryl Morey to start making the most of it. Embiid and Maxey should be the only two players back next season. Sorry, Ball Paul, but everything else is disposable. Harris and really everyone else on this squad have no justification at all for coming back.

This summer, the Sixers are free to sign anyone they like. Here, that is crucial. Any player who wants to win now may argue that moving to Philadelphia was worthwhile. Money is obviously at stake, but desperation is arguably more significant. Embiid and the Sixers are now determined to turn this into a winning season. If the marriage between Embiid and Sixers doesn’t work out this time, he may decide to go to a different location.

With two key players in place, the Sixers’ ability to genuinely assemble a team from the ground up will suffice to keep Embiid motivated, their faith in the new players they bring to Philadelphia, and their hunger for victory high. Although this squad isn’t currently playoff-caliber, it most definitely will be after it continues to spend.

The Sixers take the next step in their dedication to winning when they bench Embiid for the remainder of the regular season and the postseason. There is currently nothing but a team fighting just to survive, much less win.

The Sixers need a hook since not many teams can match their financial resources. To pull a big name is plenty motivation, especially with Embiid nearing the end of his Philadelphia tenure. For it, he must be completely healthy.

At this moment, the team’s only true choice is to bench Embiid until 2024–2025. There’s no need to run the danger of more harm by hurrying back to play with a group of men who won’t be around come next season. You obviously have a lot on your plate because all you want is to see Embiid everywhere at all times. However, going into the postseason, this team isn’t designed to win much.

By the beginning of the next season, it will undoubtedly change—at the very least, something to look forward to.

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