5 former 76ers who would’ve turned Philly into true title contenders this season

These former 76ers would make the franchise a title contender in 2024.

Philadelphia 76ers, Jimmy Butler, Joel Embiid
Philadelphia 76ers, Jimmy Butler, Joel Embiid / Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
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1. Jimmy Butler

The 76ers acquired one of the best two-way players in the NBA in 2018 when Butler wanted out of Minnesota. There was the infamous practice, which all but ended his tenure with the Timberwolves. Minnesota left him go for three role players and a second-round draft pick, and it instantly made the Sixers a feared team in the Eastern Conference. Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons were already stars, and their title odds improved significantly with Jimmy Buckets.

Philadelphia finished third in the Eastern Conference and was an iconic buzzer-beater away from knocking out the eventual champion Raptors in Game 7 of their second-round series. There are zero guarantees that the Sixers go on to win the title, but Toronto handled the Bucks and Golden State had multiple significant injuries in the NBA Finals.

The 76ers decided to keep Simmons over Butler in the 2019 offseason. Jimmy Buckets was signed-and-traded to Miami where he has led the Heat to the NBA Finals twice in four years. Butler is one of the best marquee game performers in the world, and fans know how the Simmons saga ended in the City of Brotherly Love.

The Philadelphia 76ers would be title contenders if they kept Jimmy Butler or a handful of other talents, but it did not happen. Daryl Morey and the front office must improve their roster this summer or risk losing Joel Embiid. Stay tuned to see how it all shakes out.