How the best solution to the 76ers dilemma could fall into their laps

The Philadelphia 76ers have to address this particular issue. Fortunately, the best solution to their dilemma could fall right into their laps.
76ers, Joel Embiid
76ers, Joel Embiid / Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia 76ers mightily struggled this season dealing with Joel Embiid’s lengthy absence due to his left knee injury. The team’s sheer lack of functional depth behind the 2023 Most Valuable Player was undoubtedly the main impetus for their free fall in the standings and inability to hold down the fort in his stead.

Paul Reed could very well be let go by the front office with the 76ers failing to reach the second-round, a very unique condition that would have guaranteed his contract for the next two seasons. Meanwhile, Mo Bamba just couldn’t piece together a consistent stretch, and with him entering free agency, Philly has to double down on their insurance plan for Embiid.

Zach Edey could just be the best-case scenario for the 76ers in the 2024 NBA Draft

The 2024 NBA Draft’s lack of high-end talent has been interjected repeatedly, but the 76ers have reason to look at it as an opportunity to seize. After all, they possess the 16th overall pick, just two spots after the lottery. By all odds, the team should have no shortage of intriguing options for their taking.

One prospect who could actually fall right into their laps is Purdue standout Zach Edey, whose placement in various mock drafts has vacillated to a great degree. Some has him firmly entrenched in the lottery range, but others also tout him as someone who can fall out of the first-round entirely.

Regardless of those prognoses, Edey is more than just a fascinating hypothetical for the 76ers. His mobility concerns are valid amid the league’s more unforgiving state to players of his archetype, but the young center does have the physical tools to become a very productive NBA plyers under the right guidance and situation.

Standing at 7’4”, Edey is easily the most physically imposing prospect in his draft class, but he isn’t just all about the towering figure. As expected, he’s a dominant presence on the glass thanks to his size and physicality, and his eye-popping scoring outputs in college shows a viable framework for him to become a reliable offensive threat. His performance in the combine as a surprisingly efficient standstill three-point shooter could also hint at a buildable perimeter game.

Philadelphia won’t be relying on the draft as a messianic tool this year thanks to their grandiose plans in the market, so they can afford making a big swing pick at No. 16. Should Zach Edey remain on the board when they make their pick, the team should seriously consider taking him as a high-risk, high-reward prospect who can thrive as Embiid’s backup.

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