Joel Embiid is officially under fire.
The fan base has reacted with justified frustration after a gutless effort from the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 7 and in the final minutes of Game 6 against the Boston Celtics.
Any high-profile athlete will have detractors within a passionate sports city like Philadelphia, but the criticism and doubt of Embiid is no longer an extreme or impulsive take.
Devon Givens has pushed back on the critics of the 7-footer from Cameroon in recent seasons. However, he acknowledged the possibility on The John Kincade Show that this era of Sixers basketball may have run its course.
“This was the first time that I came away saying, ‘You know what, you might be right’ that he (Embiid) may never win. He may not have it.”
Frustration from a heartbreaking series loss will always push people to call for change, but fans of the 76ers also need to recognize that the organization doesn’t have many good options right now.
Other Options for 76ers
A call for change must include a plan to move forward.
Devon posed two key questions involved in a potential trade involving Joel Embiid.
“Where are you sending him, and what are you getting back?”
The Miami Heat and the New York Knicks would certainly have interest, but it’s not realistic to expect equal value in return from either team. Damian Lillard would make more sense to pair with Embiid, not replace him.
“How comfortable are you with the person making the decision to make that move?”
The era of Sam Hinkie is over. Bryan Colangelo flamed out in the worst way, and now it’s up to Daryl Morey to clean up the mess in front of him.
“There’s few people in this league that you’re building a team around. Joel Embiid is one of them, so in order to have a fair trade value realistically, you have to bring somebody in that you’re building around.” -Bob Cooney
Letting Go of Charles Barkley and Joel Embiid
How often does potential Hall of Fame talent come along?
The 76ers dealt Charles Barkley to the Phoenix Suns in June 1992 for Jeff Hornacek, Andrew Lang, and Tim Perry.
“The Round Mound of Rebound” had appeared in six consecutive All-Star Games. The Sixers had made the playoffs in six of his eight NBA seasons and won five series.
However, there was a problem that modern Sixers fans might be familiar with. They never made it past the second round.
Philadelphia missed the postseason in 1991-92, and they made an attempt to mix up their roster. The trade quickly looked like a brutal loss when Barkley won the MVP in his first season in Phoenix.
The Sixers, meanwhile, missed the playoffs in six consecutive seasons after trading Barkley.
Morey faces a tough decision. A trade involving Embiid could involve “one of the greatest trade returns in NBA history,” according to Rich Hofmann.
However, even with the proper execution of a blockbuster deal, is it realistic to think the 76ers will improve as an organization without one of the top players in the NBA?
The ultimate irony is that the Sixers went through arguably the most drawn out “Process” in professional sports history only to find themselves spinning their tires 10 years later with no clear mobility for the future.
As Pat Egan put it, Philadelphia fans feel like they’re on the island in Lost.
How are they getting out of this one?
As much as we love to have Devon Givens in the studio every morning, John Kincade remains in our thoughts and prayers. We know a speedy recovery is in order.