The 76ers are building around Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons.

Since Philadelphia has become a winner, the other starters have changed (J.J. Redick, Robert Covington, Dario Saric, Markelle Fultz, Jimmy Butler, Tobias Harris, Al Horford, Josh Richardson). The coach has changed (Brett Brown, ?). The lead executive has changed (Bryan Colangelo, Brett Brown, Elton Brand).

But the 76ers remain committed to Embiid and Simmons as centerpieces.


I’m not looking to trade Ben or Joel. I’m looking to complement them better. They’re 24, 26 years old, respectively. You try to make that fit as long as you can. They want to be here. They want to be with our organization. And I see them here for a long, long time.

Embiid and Simmons are talented, young and under contract multiple more seasons. They’ve already succeeded together. Philadelphia should value both players.

But for the same reasons, other teams also value them.

It’s probably worth exploring a trade. Especially as long as Simmons resists 3-pointers, the two stars step on each other’s toes more often than ideal. It’s completely reasonable to suspect the 76ers could trade one for players who’d better complement the remaining star.

That doesn’t mean Philadelphia must trade one. Perhaps, there’s no good offer available. It’s also reasonable to hope a new coach can find better ways for Embiid and Simmons to mesh. The front office could help by reducing the glut of bigs on the roster.

If Brand already explored the market, found no quality offers then issued this decree, that’s fine. This could protect Simmons’ and Embiid’s feelings.

But if he’s just flatly refusing even to consider trading Embiid or Simmons, Brand is doing the 76ers a disservice.

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