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76ers preview: Embiid, Simmons, Fultz make it hard to temper Philly expectations

76ers preview: Embiid, Simmons, Fultz make it hard to temper Philly expectations
Published On: Wed, Oct 11
Apr 8, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Injured Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) practices prior to a game against the New York Knicks at Wells Fargo Center. The New York Knicks won 109-102. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

On Monday, the Philadelphia 76ers signed Joel Embiid to a five-year, $148 million contract extension that reportedly could pay him as much as $178 million if he hits certain incentives. Reminder: Embiid missed his first two NBA seasons due to knee, back and foot injuries and has only played in 31 career games. Another reminder: He was nasty good in those 31 games last year.

With this deal, Embiid becomes the perfect front man for a team many people are already anointing a certain playoff team and future title contender despite there being very little evidence to support such hype. Another reminder: Ben Simmons has never played a single regular-season NBA minute. Neither has Markelle Fultz.

And yet, they represent the last two No. 1 overall picks. Simmons could be one of the best passers in the league right away, Fultz could be an elite scorer fairly quickly, and the Sixers had the best defensive rating in the league last year when Embiid was on the floor. Add to that the fact that they play in the East, where south of 40 wins might well get you in the playoffs, and you can understand the optimism surrounding this team both short and long term.

You have to be careful, though. Frustration is born from expectation, and listen, a team this inexperienced -- even if it did sign a couple nice vets in J.J. Redick and Amir Johnson -- is going to be frustrating enough on its own. We don't know if Embiid can stay healthy. We don't know if Simmons can shoot with any sort of effectiveness. And we have absolutely no idea what Fultz is doing with his free-throw form:

Read the complete news article here...


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