Early NBA All-Star predictions: How many Sixers are in contention?

Joel Embiid, Sixers All-Star (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Joel Embiid, Sixers All-Star (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /

The Philadelphia 76ers’ season has thus far been ruled by injuries and inconsistency. Joel Embiid, James Harden, and Tyrese Maxey — all of whom profiled as feasible All-Star candidates before the season — have all missed extended time. Meanwhile, the Sixers are barely above .500 on the season (14-12).

It’s hard not to be disappointed in the overall product so far. That said, there is also ample reason for long-term confidence. That’s primarily due to the individual performances from Philly’s stars — even if chemistry and availability haven’t quite been where they need to be, the core trio of Embiid, Harden, and Maxey has been extremely productive.

That brings us to the All-Star Game. Philadelphia entered the season with three viable candidates and appears to still have three viable candidates. But, because of injuries and wavering team success, it’s hard to say with any real confidence how many All-Stars the team will have (or deserve).

The 2023 NBA All-Star game could feature multiple Sixers… or just one.

Let’s state the obvious: barring further extreme injury problems, Joel Embiid will make his sixth consecutive All-Star game. He will probably start. On the season, Embiid is averaging a career-high 33.4 points per game on career-best efficiency. He somehow looks even better than last season on offense. Defense has been another matter, but Embiid is mostly incredible on that side of the ball too.

It gets dicier for Harden and Maxey — partly because they’ve missed more games, partly because of the backcourt depth in the East, and partly because they’ve been mostly one-way players.

So, let’s dive into the potential rosters for both conference and determine whether or not the Sixers can reasonably expect more than one All-Star in the new year.