Another embarrassing postseason flameout has launched the Philadelphia 76ers into a summer of uncertainty. With James Harden entering free agency (along with a slew of important reserves), the roster could look drastically different at the start of next season.
Fans will do some soul-searching all summer in an attempt to assign blame for how Game 7 played out, but the answer is simple: Philadelphia’s superstars did not show up. Joel Embiid, the reigning league MVP, got his lunch money stollen by 36-year-old Al Horford. James Harden, fighting back against his reputation for playoff collapses, put together his worst elimination game performance yet.
Where do the Sixers go from here? Can they run it back and expect different results? Is there a good avenue to meaningful change? And which players are already halfway out the door?
Philadelphia 76ers who definitely won’t be back next season
3. Dewayne Dedmon
The Sixers signed Dewayne Dedmon late in the season with their open roster spot, which was created by the preseason decision to waive both Charles Bassey and Isaiah Joe — both of whom look like rotation-level players, to varying degrees, with their new teams. Joe was getting postseason minutes with the Thunder; safe to say Dedmon was not getting postseason minutes with the Sixers.
Even after that disastrous Game 7, one has to imagine Embiid will be back at center next season. The Sixers should also pour whatever resources they can into re-signing Paul Reed as the long-term backup. P.J. Tucker will stick around as the small-ball alternative. Montrezl Harrell picking up his player option to return feels possible — maybe even likely.
To keep it short, Dedmon has no real purpose with this group beyond leadership. If the Sixers are truly reliant on Dedmon for leadership, then there are deeper issues at play. Philadelphia should probably look to use this roster spot on a perimeter player with some measure of potential or playability.