Christmas gifts for every Sixers player: 2022 edition

Sixers Christmas (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
Sixers Christmas (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /

Merry Christmas and happy holidays to all who celebrate here at The Sixer Sense! We’re delighted and honored to cover the team we all love, and we can’t wait to provide you — the reader — with another year of comprehensive coverage in 2023.

Thank you for sticking with us; reading our work, listening to the podcast, following us on Twitter. Whether you’re a regular customer or a first-time reader, it’s difficult to overstate the gratitude we all feel. ‘Tis the season of thanks, and we truly want to thank you.

That being said, we now turn our attention toward the team: the Philadelphia 76ers, who are riding a seven-game win streak entering their Christmas Day soiree with the New York Knicks. Let’s give thanks to every player on the roster and hand out some gifts.

Christmas gifts for every Sixers player

Joel EmbiidThe MVP trophy 

He’s facing stiff competition, but it’s hard to stomach the idea of Joel Embiid — once again in the midst of a historic offensive season — not winning the league’s top individual award. He has earned the right to be called MVP. If he continues his current trajectory, he still has a real chance of getting there.

James Harden Time off

For reasons I cannot personally discern, James Harden is leading the NBA in minutes per game (37.8) at 33 years old, coming off years of hamstring issues and a recent bout with foot problems. The Sixers have also been without Tyrese Maxey for an extended period of time (no doubt contributing to Harden’s extensive workload), but the impressive play of Shake Milton and De’Anthony Melton should afford Harden some more time off — even if it’s just a few more minutes per night, sprinkled in here and there.

Tyrese MaxeyClean bill of health 

It has been too long since the Sixers’ most joyous star was on the court. The Sixers need him back — and we, as a society, need him back before the cacophony of people questioning his role on the team gets any louder.

Tobias HarrisMoney without baggage

Tobias Harris makes a lot of money. Tied to that money, unfortunately, is a series of high expectations. He will never live up to the max contract Philly handed him a few years back, but Harris is playing great basketball. He has sacrificed a lot to make the fit work and he deserves a ton of credit.

P.J. TuckerA confidence boost 

P.J. Tucker can still lock in at the point of attack defensively. But he’s just completely uninvolved in the offense these days. The Sixers can survive without him, but it wouldn’t hurt for Tucker to become more prolific with his spot-up jumpers.

De’Anthony MeltonAwards recognition

It’s time for the wider basketball world to appreciate De’Anthony Melton. He may end up starting too many games to win Sixth Man of the Year, but he should be heavily involved in the awards discourse all season — primarily in the realm of All-Defensive teams, where his case is strong.

Shake MiltonA raise 

Shake Milton has made less than $2 million per season for four seasons now. He’s in line for a hefty raise next summer. Maybe not in Philadelphia, but he has no doubt earned it.

Georges NiangA minivan

For symbolic purposes.

Danuel House Jr.Stability

Danuel House’s minutes have fluctuated all season as the Sixers try to strike the right balance between rotations (and also in part due to the constant stream of major injuries leaving various holes in the roster). He has been wildly inconsistent to match his workload, but the talent and two-way ability is there. For Christmas, he gets a more stable role and the chance to build rhythm.

Matisse ThybulleA trade

One might interpret this as snark or even hate, but that’s simply not the case. Matisse Thybulle has game-changing potential on the defensive end — as evidenced by two All-Defensive teams on his résumé. Unfortunately, the Sixers’ offseason moves have rendered him somewhat redundant. A trade, preferably to a rebuilding team with strong offensive engines, would benefit him immensely.

Paul ReedThe backup center job 

He should have a stranglehold on the backup center job already, but Doc Rivers remains hesitant to fully commit. Not now: I’m asking Santa to sprinkle some magic dust on the Sixers and cement Reed’s spot in the rotation, full time.

Montrezl HarrellMore respect from the fanbase

Montrezl Harrell is stuck between a rock and a hard place: Philly fans clearly prefer Paul Reed, but Doc clearly trusts Harrell when the pressure gets turned up. As a result, there has been no shortage of vitriol aimed on Harrell for reasons he can’t really control. He’s an established vet with a long track record of NBA success. For Christmas, let’s give him more respect — even if the backup center job should be awarded elsewhere.

Furkan KorkmazA sit-down with M. Night Shyamalan

Y’all remember that nifty preseason hype video Korkmaz put out a couple years ago? Well, let’s hook him up with Philly’s finest blockbuster director and get another one in the oven.

Jaden SpringerA shot 

For reasons that are fairly easy to discern, Jaden Springer has spent his entire career either glued to the bench in Philly or playing for the Delaware Blue Coats of the NBA G-League. He hasn’t really gotten much of a chance in the NBA. Zero non-garbage time minutes, in fact. He’s still extremely young and visibly unpolished, but hey — let’s give the kid a shot, it’s Christmas.

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