It didn’t take a basketball genius to figure out the Philadelphia 76ers didn’t have what it takes to win an NBA Championship in 2022. Going into the playoffs, the Sixers ranked fourth. They drew a first-round series against the fifth-seeded Toronto Raptors.
In six games, the Sixers punched their ticket to the second round, a round they’ve previously struggled to get past. Two seasons ago, the first-seeded 76ers dropped their second-round series against the Atlanta Hawks in seven games.
During this past playoff run, the Sixers went in as the underdogs against the top-seeded Miami Heat. By Game 6, the Sixers trailed 3-2. A victory at home would keep the series alive and send Philly and Miami into a final Game 7. Unfortunately for Philly, a loss at home ended their season.
Everybody in the Sixers’ locker room knew that the 2021-2022 roster was good — but not good enough. Therefore, key changes were to be expected in the offseason.
Early offseason rumors hinted that Philly’s front office would be looking to make big moves, aka “star hunting.” But Daryl Morey and the front office took a different approach. Instead of looking to replace key players such as James Harden, Tyrese Maxey, Joel Embiid, and Tobias Harris, the front office looked to complement those guys with trades and through free agency.
On draft night, the Sixers used Danny Green and their first-round selection to land De’Anthony Melton from Memphis. When the free agency market opened up, the Sixers signed P.J. Tucker, Danuel House, and Trevelin Queen.
Some might say the Sixers could still be missing a piece or two as they embark on a possible title run, but The Athletic’s David Aldridge believes the Sixers had the best offseason based on their moves.
“The Sixers did strong work this offseason. Relationships matter and Harden going way below market value to give president of basketball operations Daryl Morey more maneuverability to add to the roster was a testament to the alliance the two have forged over the years. With Harden accepting a financial haircut, Morey added all manner of perimeter toughness and D with Tucker and Melton.
“Doc Rivers will have much better two-way options in 2022-’23 than he had last season. … The Sixers’ title hopes still rest on Harden’s physique and Embiid’s health, though. That doesn’t change. Nor does the fact that Philly really will miss Seth Curry in the years to come. But scared money doesn’t make money.”
As Kevin Durant rumors surface, the Sixers might not have completed their offseason moves. However, for the time being, it seems the roster is set to begin the 2022-2023 …….