Philadelphia 76ers have a special “Core 4” moving forward

Philadelphia 76ers, Joel Embiid, James Harden, Tyrese Maxey, Tobias Harris (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Philadelphia 76ers, Joel Embiid, James Harden, Tyrese Maxey, Tobias Harris (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

The acquisition of James Harden has had positive and negative revelations for the Philadelphia 76ers. The main positive is that the Sixers’ top-end talent is something special that the club can build around in years to come.

The Philadelphia 76ers have a new “Core 4” to build around.

On The Sixer Sense Podcast, Chris and I have given the moniker “Core 4” to the top-end talent on the roster. This core includes Joel Embiid, Harden, Tyrese Maxey, and Tobias Harris. Each one of these players can be special something in their own right as well.

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Let’s start with the club’s current MVP candidate in Joel Embiid. He’s averaging 30.4 points (league-leading), 11.6 rebounds, 4.2 assists, and 1.5 blocks per game. He’s the engine of the Sixers team and is the franchise cornerstone. It can be argued he’s the most dominant big man since Shaquille O’Neal and he’s a better shooter than the Hall of Famer.

Then there’s former MVP James Harden and honestly, he’s not playing up to his standards. Based on the eye test alone he’s clearly lost a step and it could be because of injury but speculation at this point. However, since joining the 76ers, he’s averaging 21.0 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 10.3 assists, while shooting just 40.0 percent from the field and 33.3 percent from downtown. That being written, if nothing else he’s an elite playmaker who makes his teammates better.

Tyrese Maxey should have Sixers fans excited. He’s showing real potential to be a long-term star in this league. In only his second season, he’s averaging 17.4 points on 48.4 percent shooting from the floor and 43.5 percent shooting on 4.1 3-point attempts. Maxey has the potential to be the second-best player on this team as soon as next year if he continues to develop at the rate he is currently.

Let’s not forget about Tobias Harris who after a rough adjustment after the Harden deal, has now become an elite role player who can still create for himself on occasion. Harris might never reach the All-Star peak that fans might have hoped he would, but being a star in his role is important. This season he’s averaging 17.4 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 3.5 assists, while shooting 36.8 percent from the field.

This is a special “Core 4” and while it’s unclear if this group can carry the Philadelphia 76ers to a title this season, they have the potential to do it in years to come if the front office can surround them with a good enough supporting cast.

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