The Philadelphia 76ers have two of the biggest rising stars in the league with Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid. First-round pick Markelle Fultz and a deep group of role players makes this one of the better teams in the league. Questions still remain surrounding this team. Are they good enough to beat the best and be one of the true powerhouse teams in the league? What are the Philadelphia 76ers championship hopes for the 2018-19 season? Let’s break it down below:
Are the Philadelphia 76ers Contenders?
Why they are
The 76ers are a team full of young players that are only going to get better. This is a team that made the playoffs last year and took out the Miami Heat pretty easily in 5 games. It’s good for a team as young as this one to have experience winning and losing in the playoffs. With a lineup featuring Fultz, Simmons and Embiid, the 76ers have a team that is a serious threat to win night in and night out.
They have a good mix of young talent and veteran leadership with players like J.J. Redick and Amir Johnson to help the younger players over the course of the season. And if Simmons can develop a jump shot, there is no telling how good he can be. Overall, they have a balanced and deep roster that could give them a decent chance to contend for the NBA title next season.
Why they aren’t
While the 76ers do have some talented up and coming stars, other teams have players who have already established themselves. They may have a deep and talented roster, but is it enough to win against a team like the Boston Celtics or the Golden State Warriors? The Celtics have a mix of future stars and current stars, which could spell disaster for Philly if the two meet in the playoffs. The 76ers have a lot of talent, but sadly for them there are other teams that appear to just have more than them at this point.
The team also has a lack of shooters. While Simmons may be great at every other aspect of the game, he has yet to establish a jump shot. They drafted Fultz to help with their shooting woes, but he struggled mightily at times last season and failed to provide the much-needed burst. Currently, Philadelphia does have a team that is poised to do do well, but there are other teams that are just poised to do better.
How close are they?
Philadelphia is a lot closer to being a true contender than people may think. They appear to be one really good player away from challenging teams like the Celtics and Warriors for the best team in the league. Right now their play in the interior is some of the best in the league. Even if Simmons and Fultz improve their shooting, they are still not quite there.
For them to go on a title run, they will need one more All-Star caliber player to join their team. Barring a trade it doesn’t seem they will be able to add one this season, but they will have plenty of spending money for the next offseason and lots of great players to sign.
So, are they contenders?
Almost, but not quite. The 76ers are in a good place right now and will soon be contenders. They will likely take most of next season to continue developing their young core, then attempt to sign another star in 2019 Free Agency. Once they add another star to their roster, they will truly be in contention to win the NBA Championship.
Boston Celtics’ Jaylen Brown (left) and Philadelphia 76ers’ Ben Simmons in action during the NBA London Game 2018 at the O2 Arena, London. (Photo by Simon Cooper/PA Images via Getty Images)