3 Sixers who will benefit the most from a potential Joel Embiid return

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Nicolas Batum, Paul Reed
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2. Nicolas Batum

The 35-year-old Batum has missed his fair share of action this season as well. Batum brings a lot to the table for the Sixers. While there’s nothing flashy about his game, he is a veteran presence that the Sixers can rely on as they gear up for the playoffs. In 34 appearances with the Sixers this season, Batum is shooting over 46% from 3-point territory on nearly 3 attempts per game. Batum has played just 3 games in the month of February and has struggled at times. His ability to stretch the floor and knockdown catch-and-shoot threes is invaluable. Opportunities should increase for Batum to be able to do just that should Embiid return to action this season. 

3. Tobias Harris

It seems like everyone always has something to say about Tobias Harris. There are plenty of occasions where Sixers fans appear upset with his performances. Like anybody, at times the criticism is warranted, and other times it is not. The reality is, that Tobias Harris is not a viable #2 option on a contending team in the NBA. With Embiid sidelined, Maxey becomes the primary scoring threat for the Sixers, and Harris falls behind him.

In the time that Embiid has been out, Harris and the Sixers have proven that they cannot contend with the top teams in the Eastern Conference. Harris and the supporting cast simply are not good enough. Harris had an up-and-down month in February. In 9 appearances, Harris averaged 15 points in February. The Sixers went 3-6 in the 9 games that Harris appeared in. He shot just 23.8% from 3-point territory. In 4 of his last 5 games, Harris has shot 33.3% or worse from the field. 

Tobias Harris is able to play his game at a high level when he is the Sixers 3rd (and sometimes 4th) scoring option. Playing alongside Joel Embiid allows Tobias Harris to have more opportunities to score. While you might think the opposite of that, the numbers back it up.

In December, Harris averaged 16 points per game and shot nearly 42% from 3-point territory. In January, Harris averaged 19.1 points per game while shooting 51% from the floor. At this point in his Sixers tenure, Harris is best suited to play off of the attention that Joel Embiid draws and seek to score between 15-18 points per game while shooting with high efficiency.