Joel Embiid remains optimistic that the Philadelphia 76ers can bounce back after a disappointing 2016-17 NBA season. Embiid believes surrounding him with shooters can help him average triple-double next year.
“We need shooters, and I think we already got a few on the team. You go Nik [Stauskas], Rob [Covington], and T.J. [McConnell]. I think T.J. is going to be a great shooter next year, he already told me he’s going to get me at least three assists next year, so hopefully, I’ll average a triple-double next year. We already got some shooters, and with Ben, Markelle, I think can shoot the ball too, I watched a little bit of him when he was at Washington, making a lot of tough shots, and I think that’s what he can add to the team,” Embiid told ESPN (h/t SB Nation’s Liberty Ballers).
Joel Embiid has been impressive in his rookie season, averaging 20.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks. He also shot 46.6 percent from the field and 36.7 percent from beyond the arc. However, he only played 31 games after suffering an injury that required a season-ending surgery.
Joel Embiid reacts on Sixers-Celtics trade
Recently, the Sixers engaged in a trade deal with the Boston Celtics. In the reported trade, the Sixers sent the No. 3 pick in 2017 NBA draft and a future first-round pick to Boston for the No. 1 pick. The Sixers are reportedly eyeing to draft Markelle Fultz to boost their backcourt.
The move made most Sixers fan believe that they should really trust the process. As an addition to their promising frontcourt, Fultz could be the missing piece that can help the Sixers return to title contention. Joel Embiid expressed his excitement as he’ll be playing alongside two No. 1 picks next season.
“I thought the trade was great, there’s a couple guys who have the talent to be great players in this draft and in the league. I thought it was excellent. And then another No. 1 pick, having two No. 1 picks that are going to play together for the first time next year, it’s going to be exciting. I don’t know if that’s ever happened. I love the move, and hopefully now is our time, we need to play together,” Embiid said.
Joel Embiid believes Sixers can enter the playoffs next season
With the nearing arrival of Markelle Fultz, the Sixers become a legitimate playoff contender in the Eastern Conference. Despite having a young roster, Embiid believes they can finally end their playoff drought, especially if he stays healthy throughout the season. If everything goes as planned for the Sixers, they may end up becoming a huge headache for the Boston Celtics on their road back to the NBA Finals.