7 Players the Philadelphia 76ers held onto for way too long

Ben Simmons, J.J. Redick, Sixers podcast (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Ben Simmons, J.J. Redick, Sixers podcast (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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Philadelphia 76ers
Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images /

2. Jahlil Okafor

Ah, Jahlil Okafor. The holder of the illustrious “Only 3rd Overall Pick to Not Be Good in the Last Decade” trophy. In 76ers lore, Okafor has a horrendous reputation, seeing as a meniscus injury derailed his career before it could really get going. Whatever Twin Towers plan the 76ers had with him and Embiid went horribly, and his career statistics read like the graph of sometimes heart rate slowly flatlining.

That’s because Okafor averaged a very solid 17 points his rookie year, coming in fifth in Rookie of the Year voting. But then the Shakespearean tragedy began, and nothing was ever the same.

Injuries racked up, trades were explored, and Okafor suddenly had one foot forcibly pushed out the door in his third season with the team. But by then, his value had cratered, and no valuable trade was possible. He was eventually shipped off for Trevor Booker, who—get this—turned out not to be a franchise-changing guy.

Okafor exemplifies another trend of this era of 76ers team management and something we will return to in full force on this list: waiting too long to bail on someone. Sure, Okafor had a solid rookie year, but he did so on the worst team in the league, a red flag that has the good-stats-bad-team detectives currently investigating Houston’s Jalen Green.

And he did so in too small a sample size, only playing 53 games that year. By the time the team had resigned to trade him, there was nothing left to receive. Maybe the offers were never good enough to warrant giving him up for 50 cents on the dollar, and it is easy to laud an organization for not rushing to give up an asset.

But the cultural detriment of a lame duck is real, so you just wait for the last guy on the list.