Grading every Sixers player: Joel Embiid // A
Joel Embiid finished runner-up in the MVP race and led the NBA in scoring. He put up one of the most dominant offensive campaigns in recent memory and supplemented it with elite rim protection on the other end. He’s one of the four or five best players on the planet, and he deserves all the credit in the world for his brilliant season.
It didn’t end on the highest note — Embiid’s body failed him at the worst possible time — but when healthy, Embiid proved that he is one of the very best in the game of basketball. He’s impossible to stop in isolation, he’s better than ever at breaking double teams, and when he kicks it into gear, very few defenders can shape the outcome of a game like Embiid.
There is no real room for complaint or criticism. Embiid is not perfect, but he’s a heck of a lot closer than most NBA players. He kept the team afloat during Simmons’ early-season absence, he made a valiant push for the MVP award, and he put the Sixers in a position to contend. Were it not for injuries, they might have.
Everything the Sixers do moving forward should be with a single goal in mind: maximizing Embiid’s window. You have to move heaven and earth to build a legitimate contender around him. Harden, Maxey, and Harris provide enough top-end talent to compete. Now, Morey and the front office have to flesh out the rest of the roster. .