Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons have been one of the most hotly debated duos in the NBA since they came into the league. Both Embiid and Simmons are budding superstars who have the potential to lead a team to an NBA title in the near future. The only question is — can they do it together?
Many argue their unique skillsets don’t mesh together on the court. There have also been reports flying around about how the two don’t get along behind closed doors. And, not to state the obvious, but the 76ers have underachieved with two of the brightest stars in the league on their roster. With Simmons likely out for the season and Embiid injured as well, is this the last we’ll see of the polarizing tandem on the same court?
Ben Simmons is likely out for the season after undergoing knee surgery
When Ben Simmons left the 76ers’ game against the Washington Wizards last week, Philly fans were relieved to hear the MRI on his knee came back clean. That was delightful news for the franchise, but it wasn’t the full story.
It was later reported that Simmons had a subluxation of the left patella, and he was leaving the bubble to remove a loose body in his left knee. His timetable is not specific, but Simmons would only be able to return to the 76ers if they make a deep playoff run.
Without their star point guard, that seems highly unlikely for the unproven Sixers.
Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons haven’t been past the second round of the NBA playoffs
As dominant and fun as Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons can be on the court at times, it hasn’t translated to success in the playoffs. In three full seasons together, Embiid and Simmons haven’t even led the Sixers past the second round yet.
Last season was their best chance to make a title run, but Kawhi Leonard and his magnetic jumper soiled their chances in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
With LeBron James out of the East and the conference largely up for grabs lately, the Sixers have no excuses not to make a deeper run. Embiid and Simmons are still incredibly young, but Philadelphia fans famously have little patience.
Could the 76ers trade Ben Simmons after the season?
The 2020 season isn’t even over yet, but NBA teams are already gearing up for a run at Ben Simmons. Teams are sensing unrest in the front office and across the fan base, and this offseason might be the time to strike.
The Cleveland Cavaliers are one of the teams reportedly going after the All-Star point guard. Cleveland is preparing to offer Darius Garland and their 2020 lottery pick in return for Simmons.
If the Sixers get booted from the 2020 playoffs early, management will be forced to reevaluate the core of the roster. Embiid and Simmons have been great together on the court for the most part, but they can’t stay healthy and they’ve folded in the playoffs too many times.
We’ve probably seen the last of Embiid and Simmons together in 2020, but we might’ve also seen the last of the duo for good.