If Saric -- or another primary ball handler -- is handling the rock, Simmons doesn't offer much offensively, but Ingram does have an effect, regardless.
That's why I lean towards him as the choice. Saric isn't nearly as quick or explosive as Simmons, but he can do a lot of the same things as a big guard and still play well off-ball. Ingram brings a new element with his potential to be an efficient scorer in the half court. I realize I'm not taking a hard stance here, because I think they can make Simmons work.
It just won't happen as easily as it could with Ingram because of the roster personnel and issues some teams have in today's NBA building around non-shooting cornerstones.O'Donnell: What would a quality supporting cast around Simmons realistically look like?
Are there any potential trade targets or free agent signings you think would work well in Philly?Also: am I crazy for thinking Nerlens Noel is a better fit next to him than Jahlil Okafor?O'Connor: It makes sense to chase wings that can stroke threes, like restricted free agents Evan Fournier and Allen Crabbe. I'm not sure they'd be willing to sign an offer sheet in Philly though if other teams closer to contention come calling with similar offers. The Sixers can find shooters at the back of the first round anyway, where they have picks 24 and 26 -- or they could always attempt to consolidate those picks.
They should have their sights set on players like Furkan Korkmaz, Patrick McCaw, Denzel Valentine, and Tyler Ulis.
All those guys can splash threes, but they can also handle the rock, which fits their preferred style.O'Donnell: Embiid is really the key to all this, isn't he? It feels unfair to place great expectations on him after he missed two full seasons. The goals for him have to start small, like just getting on the NBA Live Coins
It's important to remember that this is a player who didn't even have much experience playing the game when he was taken No. 3 overall in the 2014 draft.
The talent Embiid displayed in his one season at Kansas was undeniable, though. If he shows he can still be the same athlete,
the Simmons-Embiid pairing is going to be one hell of a foundation.O'Connor: It's only unfair to place those expectations on Embiid because he has been out of basketball for two years. But prior to his injury I felt he was a Karl-Anthony Towns level prospect.
That hasn't changed, but "availability" is the best skill in all of sports -- and right now he hasn't proven he can be available.So, in that sense, Embiid is the key.And that's why the Sixers should value him more than both Noel and Okafor. The only real obstacle for the Sixers is to find a home for Okafor. Chad Ford recently reported they can't even find a top-five pick for him, and personally I'd be willing to settle for anything in the No. 6 to 8 range.