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WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 10: Tyrese Maxey #0 of the Philadelphia 76ers dribbles the ball against the Washington Wizards during the second half at Capital One Arena on February 10, 2024 in Washington, DC.

The NBA All-Star break is upon us. Meaning the Sixers get some much-needed rest. The season kind of imploded after such a promising start. Joel Embiid is out for several weeks with a meniscus injury. Tobias Harris, Nico Batum, Robert Covington, and DeAnthony Melton have all missed time. And they are still waiting for Kyle Lowry to be able to officially join the team. The All-Star Break couldn’t come at a better time for them.

Before the Embiid injury, this season looked like it might be their best chance yet. Joel Embiid was playing the best basketball of his career. Tyrese Maxey blossomed into a Star. Nick Nurse had the team functioning like a well-oiled machine, with elite production on both ends of the floor.

But the Embiid injury, along with all the other issues, derailed it completely. They fell from the 3 seed to the 5 seed. They are now 3-9 in their last 12 games. But getting reinforcements at the trade deadline did help. Since Buddy Hield and Cam Payne joined the team, they are 2-2. That is despite them dealing with several other injuries and Nick Nurse having to play with a patchwork lineup.

The All-Star break is also a good time for us to review what we know about this team. Who has stepped up this season? Which players need to do better in the 2nd half? Are we under or overrating anyone on the roster? Can the guys currently on it keep them afloat until Embiid returns? So while the Sixers get their much-needed rest, apart from Tyrese Maxey who is in the All-Star Game, let’s hand out some grades to the Sixers players. From Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey, down to the guys at the end of the Sixers bench.

Here is the grade for every Sixers player heading into the All-Star Break:

  • Tyrese Maxey

    PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - FEBRUARY 03: Tyrese Maxey #0 of the Philadelphia 76ers dunks during the third quarter against the Brooklyn Nets at the Wells Fargo Center on February 03, 2024 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

    Maxey has been as good as we hoped he would be. The narrative over the summer was that the only way the Sixers would compete this year is if he turned into a star. He did just that. Maxey made the All-Star game for the first time in his career. He is 15th in points per game. Even his defense has improved. He hit a tiny rut recently with Embiid out. Teams were able to focus on him, and it clearly took him off his game a bit. But he adjusted quickly enough.

    Maxey might be the best partner in crime Embiid has had yet. Ben Simmons did a lot well, but his fear of shooting or even attacking the time let opposing defenses key on Embiid way too much. James Harden did not lack for aggression, but he ate up too much of the clock dribbling the ball and often played too selfish a brand of basketball. But Maxey is the best of both worlds. He is fearless when it comes to shooting or attacking the rim. But he also won’t force things or dribble away the shot clock.

    It is hard to ask for much more from Tyrese this season. We will see over the next few weeks if he has it it in him to keep the Sixers afloat. But based on how he has played so far this season, I won’t bet against him.

    Grade- A+

  • Joel Embiid

    PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - JANUARY 22: Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers reacts after being showered with water after defeating the San Antonio Spurs at the Wells Fargo Center on January 22, 2024 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Embiid scored a franchise-record 70 points in the game.

    Before injuring his meniscus, Embiid was having a near-perfect season. He was on track to average over a point per minute. Only 1 other player, Wilt, ever accomplished that. He had a 70-point game. He was playing elite defense. Even his assist numbers were way up. Had he stayed healthy, he would easily have taken a 2nd MVP.

    But as we know with the Sixers, good things will never last. And now he is out for an indefinite amount of time. After the surgery, they told us 4 weeks, and he will be reevaluated. There is hope that he can be back before the playoffs. If that is the case, this Sixers team can beat anyone. We saw how well they played when everyone is healthy. Yes, they beat up on a lot of bad teams, but they also beat good teams. They had wins over the Nuggets, Celtics, Thunder, and Timberwolves. And Nick Nurse specifically had plans in mind to make sure Embiid kept getting open looks in the playoffs.

    Hopefully, we get a chance to see those plans. Because Embiid was playing the best basketball of his career under Nick Nurse.

    Grade- A+

  • Tobias Harris

    PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - JANUARY 16: Tobias Harris #12 of the Philadelphia 76ers reacts after scoring during the third quarter against the Denver Nuggets at the Wells Fargo Center on January 16, 2024 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (

    Ask a Sixers fan about Tobias Harris, and you will probably get an earful. The Sixers gave Harris a max contract, and he has in no way lived up to it. And because he doesn’t play up to what he gets paid, fans have a lot of ire for him. To the point that there are fans who want him traded just to dump the contract.

    But leave the contract out of it for a moment. He is paid what he is paid and there is nothing the Sixers can do about it now. The current front office didn’t even give him that contract. Getting mad about it still is pointless. Just judge him for who he is as a player. And as a third option, and arguably the 4th option once Embiid is back now that they have Buddy Hield, he is fine. He shoots over 50% from the field, about 35% from 3, and scores 17.7 per game. Not to mention the fact he developed into a good defender.  Go back and watch the playoff series against the Celtics, and see what Harris does to him on defense.

    Harris has value. Is he overpaid? Yes. But he is still a good player. Not a great one, but a good one. And the Sixers are better off with him than without him.

    Grade- B

  • Buddy Hield

    WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 10: Buddy Hield #17 of the Philadelphia 76ers celebrates against the Washington Wizards during the second half at Capital One Arena on February 10, 2024 in Washington, DC.

    It is hard to judge him off only 4 games. But man, the early returns from Buddy Hield with the Sixers are fantastic. He has scored at least 20 in every game so far. He is shooting 45% from 3. But that is to be expected. Since entering the league he has been one of the better 3-point shooters around. What is surprising is his playmaking. 30 assists in 4 games. Kate Scott joined The Best Show Ever and talked about how the gravity of Hield helps out Tyrese Maxey. Suddenly defenses have another guy they have to worry about.

    For now, he is playing the role of their 2nd best scorer. If Embiid gets back, he will be the ideal 3rd option behind Embiid and Maxey. We may have underrated how good of a move it was at the trade deadline.

    Grade- A

  • Nicolas Batum

    PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - DECEMBER 15: Nicolas Batum #40 of the Philadelphia 76ers reacts during the second quarter against the Detroit Pistons at the Wells Fargo Center on December 15, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

    When Batum has played, he has been great for them. the stats don’t tell the full story for everything Batum does for them. He brings everything PJ Tucker did but actually can give you something on offense occasionally. The problem is he just hasn’t been healthy enough. He has been out as long as Embiid has. And at 35 years old, it will likely stay a reoccurring issue. If he is healthy in the playoffs, he is the ideal player to be the 5th starter alongside Embiid, Maxey, Harris, and Hield. They just have to hope he is actually healthy come playoff time.

    Grade- B

  • De'Anthony Melton

    HOUSTON, TEXAS - DECEMBER 29: De'Anthony Melton #8 of the Philadelphia 76ers looks on against the Houston Rockets during the second half at Toyota Center on December 29, 2023 in Houston, Texas.

    Another guy who is hard to judge because he just hasn’t played enough games. Melton has been out Since January 12th. He did just return to practice. So the hope is he will be back after the All-Star Break. But they have missed him, especially in the games without Embiid.

    Melton may have lost his starting role with Buddy Hield joining the team. But whether he is off the bench or starting at SG, he does bring a lot to the team. He plays great defense and can hit a 3. That said, his shooting left a lot to be desired in the playoffs last year. And his 3-point shooting was down a bit this season before he got hurt. But you have to be pretty happy if he is your first guy off the bench in the playoffs.

    Grade- B

  • Kelly Oubre

    CLEVELAND, OHIO - FEBRUARY 12: Kelly Oubre Jr. #9 of the Philadelphia 76ers shoots over Caris LeVert #3 of the Cleveland Cavaliers during the third quarter at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse on February 12, 2024 in Cleveland, Ohio. The 76ers defeated the Cavaliers 123-121.

    When Oubre is on, he is great. It is those times he isn’t on that he starts to hurt you. Because he does not stop shooting either way. He may give you 20. He may give you 5. Some nights he can help you win, other nights he is actively hurting you with poor shots.

    For a vet minimum player, you will take it. Especially with him not needing to start anymore once everyone is healthy. He will come off the bench in the playoffs. On nights when he is hot, let him keep going. On nights when he goes cold, you don’t need to use him as much. But we have seen why no one else was signing him this off-season. And his fast start to the season may have given us unreasonable expectations for the rest of the year.

    Grade- C

  • Paul Reed

    PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - JANUARY 6: Paul Reed #44 of the Philadelphia 76ers attempts a shot as Lauri Markkanen #23 of the Utah Jazz defends during the second half of an NBA game at the Wells Fargo Center on January 6, 2024 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Jazz defeated the 76ers 120-109.

    When he is asked to be a backup, Reed can get the job done. He brings energy and hustle off of the bench which can be a very nice change of pace. As a starter, he sometimes leaves a lot to be desired. And unfortunately, he is being asked to play a lot of minutes. Sometimes it works. And since the trade deadline he has been somewhat productive. But there have also been games where he makes no impact. And some teams can pick on his small size for the center position.

    But hopefully, come playoff time Embiid will be healthy. And if he is, Reed isn’t a bad option to have off the bench.

    Grade- C

  • Mo Bamba

    PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - JANUARY 12: Mo Bamba #7 of the Philadelphia 76ers blocks the shot of Colby Jones #20 of the Sacramento Kings in the first half at the Wells Fargo Center on January 12, 2024 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

    When Embiid was healthy, Mo Bamba barely saw the floor. Now he has a golden opportunity to show he deserves playing time. He has yet to take advantage of it. On too many nights he makes zero impact, or worse yet, hurts the team. He is big and athletic enough to occasionally do something good. but you just cat rely on him on a night-to-night basis.

    Grade- D

  • Cam Payne

    WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 10: Cameron Payne #22 of the Philadelphia 76ers dribbles the ball against the Washington Wizards during the second half at Capital One Arena on February 10, 2024 in Washington, DC.

    Is Payne a great player who will make a big difference come playoff time? maybe not. But he can score. And for as long as Embiid is out, they need scorers. Trading Pat Bev sucked, but he had nearly no impact on the offensive side of the ball. And without Embiid, the Sixers offense was sputtering. Payne gives them another option to get some points off of the bench.

    Is he inconsistent? Yes. But think of him as the new Georges Niang. Niang helped them win a lot of regular season games. He was kind of useless in the playoffs. But before they get to the playoffs, they need to make sure they have a good seed there. And Payne can help the Sixers do that. He might not even get minutes in the playoffs. But they needed another guy like him to survive without Embiid.

    Grade- C

  • Robert Covington

    PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - DECEMBER 18: Robert Covington #33 of the Philadelphia 76ers reacts against the Chicago Bulls at the Wells Fargo Center on December 18, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

    RoCo’s return to Philly has been spoiled by him being injured for most of this season. But he is still pretty much the same guy. He will play some good defense, get some steals, and occasionally score some points. Having a guy like that will help once he is healthy.

    Grade- C

  • Ricky Council IV

    WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 10: Ricky Council IV #16 of the Philadelphia 76ers celebrates against the Washington Wizards during the second half at Capital One Arena on February 10, 2024 in Washington, DC.

    Council is exactly the type of player Sixers fans love. Dog mentality. Since joining the Sixers he has far outperformed expectations. Can it last? I have no clue. But as long as he is giving them good minutes, we will take it. Maybe he can carve out a role for himself if he keeps it up. But it is maybe too soon to think they have struck gold.

    Grade- Incomplete

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