Trust the process. Trust the process. That’s all that we’ve been hearing out of Philadelphia with the 76ers. It’s great that the fans and organization are all showing some brotherly love, but at what point does this so-called “process” need to switch gears from project to reality?
Yes, Joel Embiid looked to be the light at the end of the tunnel. He was killing it his “rookie” year, providing a buzz this franchise hadn’t really seen since Allen Iverson graced their hallways. But that only turned into a 31-game teaser. Have the Sixers made the right picks over the past few years? Yes, to an extent.
If you start with Nerlens Noel, who was the sixth overall pick in 2013, he wasn’t healthy entering the draft. He tore his ACL in college and was not expected to be ready that first year. Then came the pick for Embiid, the third overall pick the following year, and again, the Sixers choose a guy entering the draft injured.
Then you have Jahlil Okafor and Ben Simmons. Both were the right choices, coming in healthy and ready to help move the team in the right direction, but karma reared its ugly head again and plagued these youngsters with injuries. Simmons hasn’t played a single second in the NBA and Okafor hasn’t eclipsed the 53 game mark in a season.
Either the 76ers are completely cursed, or they’ve been making the wrong decisions, taking chances on guys who are injury prone. Hopefully their 2017 pick, Markelle Fultz, will finally be the change in the winds they’re looking for. Fultz was widely considered the most talented pick in this years draft, and if he and Okafor, Embiid, and Simmons can stay healthy, you should finally be able to see some return in this investment.
Rebuilding a team is indeed a “process,” and definitely a challenge, but Philly has been rebuilding for far too long. A strategy of continual tanking and trading away young prospects just doesn’t work. At one point you just have to allow these youngsters to learn on their own. Hopefully this new core of players can make it worth the wait.