The Philadelphia 76ers are facing an uncertain future. Joel Embiid was having a historic season before suffering a meniscus injury that will require surgery. He hopes to return for the playoffs, but there is no guarantee. The Sixers have a ton of expiring contracts and want to build a title contender around Embiid and Tyrese Maxey. How can they improve those odds before the Feb. 8 trade deadline?
Does Philly prioritize cap space in the summer or adding talent right now? Multiple players could be sent out, but that only makes sense if the 76ers can find a difference-maker for now and the future. Daryl Morey has multiple plans and the preferred path depends on Embiid’s health.
There is little time to wait. The trade deadline is on Thursday, and the Sixers need to act now. They should look to accomplish these things before it is too late.
5. Get Joel Embiid insurance
Embiid’s status is uncertain for the remainder of the season. The 29-year-old is unquestionably one of the best players in the world, but he missed his first two seasons in the league and has averaged just 53.5 games per year over the eight he has played in. The Sixers need to keep him healthy and getting someone to play minutes at the five would be a significant help.
Paul Reed has been up-and-down filling in for Embiid. He had a 30-point game against the Nuggets, but scored just two against the Nets on Feb. 3. The 24-year-old is best suited for a backup role at this point. Can the Sixers get someone a bit more consistent to fill in when Embiid misses time or needs a rest?
They should be searching for a veteran who produces in any role asked of him. Philadelphia is not replacing Joel Embiid or getting anywhere near his production from just one player. They want a quality backup who rebounds and cleans up inside.
That is far from the only thing the Philadelphia 76ers should be looking to acquire, but the most important thing may be figuring out what top-end talent is willing to join them.