Could Ben Simmons be out for the season and could the Philadelphia 76ers go back to “tanking” for the 2016-2017 NBA Season? There are NBA rumors that the promising Australian prospect will be out for a long time and there are speculations that the Sixers are better off losing in the upcoming season to get a high draft pick in the 2017 NBA Draft.
This is the same strategy that brought the team many top prospects in the recent years. This season, it was Simmons as the No. 1 pick after picking Jahlil Okafor as No. 3 pick in 2015 and Joel Embiid as No. 3 pick in 2014.
“Tanking” is defined as losing on purpose with teams looking to get a high draft pick in the next rookie draft.
Many have criticized the tanking strategy, which has been alleged around the league as intentional for Philadelphia’s franchise to get the top picks in the rookie drafts. The Sixers are being accused of not playing a fair game and that the franchise is finding a loophole in the rookie draft system for a quick rebuild.
A writer from Philly.com however wants to the Sixers to continue taking advantage of their situation.
“The franchise has too much invested in Simmons to even consider having him play in a season in which they will be lucky to win 25 games. The 6-foot-10, 250-pound point forward is a franchise player with the potential to be a megastar like LeBron James, Steph Curry, and Kevin Durant. So the Sixers, now more than ever, need to do everything possible to make sure that remains attainable,” David Maialettie wrote in a recent article.
The suggestion is not a new one since the Sixers did it with Embiid, who missed his first two years in the league because of an injury. By not forcing Embiid to return early, Philadelphia remained at the bottom of the team standings the last two seasons and that brought them lottery picks Okafor and Simmons.
Philadelphia’s current situation is better compared to recent years although they still have an imbalanced line-up that features lots of big men and not enough wingmen and guards.
The Sixers have been involved in many NBA rumors linking Okafor and Nerlens Noel to various teams including the Boston Celtics and Minnesota Timberwolves.
Even with Simmons out, Philadelphia is still expected to explore the trade market and improve their team.
Simmons has a fracture in his foot and is scheduled to have surgery next week. But rushing him back won’t be good for the Sixers, which are still one of the worst teams in the league even with Simmons playing.
Philadelphia “tanking” again may be best for the long-term outlook of the franchise.
Photo Courtesy: TonyTheTiger/Wikimed