Philadelphia 76ers: LeBron would love to play with Embiid and Simmons

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

Apparently, LeBron James would love to play with Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. Well, if that’s true, why didn’t he just sign with the Philadelphia 76ers?

The 21-12 Philadelphia 76ers have three more wins than the 19-13 Los Angeles Lakers.

The Philadelphia 76ers also play in the Eastern Conference, where they rank third overall behind only the Toronto Raptors and the Milwaukee Bucks.

The Los Angeles Lakers? Their sitting in fourth place in the incredibly tight Western Conference, and could very easily fall out of the playoffs entirely with a bad weekend or a minor injury.

With odds like that, no wonder The King is having buyers remorse about signing with LA.

Well, not really, but still, when James mentioned a desire to play with Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, and Jimmy Butler while clapping back at reporters asking about his comments on Anthony Davis‘ fit with the Lakers, it certainly turned a head in the City of Brotherly Love.

Crazy right?

While the  Sixers probably wouldn’t have traded for Butler had they landed a ‘star’ over the summer, James still could have formed the best Big 3 in the entire conference alongside Embiid and Simmons, and continued his reign as the ‘King of the East’.

Just imagine the added vitriol and upheaval that would have occurred every time a James-led Sixers squad would have off against Kyrie Irving and the Boston Celtics?

Talk about a real ‘Get Down in the Garden’, am I right?

Presumably tasked with filling a very similar role to that of Butler in Brett Brown‘s current scheme, it would have been incredibly intriguing to see how James would have transitioned into an off-ball presence alongside Philly’s 6-foot-10 point guard.

That was the initial plan when James took his talents to LA, right? Hand ball-handling duties over to the dynamic duo of Lonzo Ball and Rajon Rondo, and save his energy for the postseason? Based on his current 30.6 usage rating, the sixth-highest mark of any player in the league behind only James Harden, Joel Embiid, Kevin Durant, Zach LaVine, and Devin Booker, I’d say that mission failed in spectacular, ‘Showtime’ fashion.

No, much like ‘Cleveland Round 2 LeBron’, James has essentially played point guard for Luke Walton‘s squad once more, filling up the stats sheet alongside a miss-matched bench bonded by a distinct lack of outside shooting.

Now granted, it’s not like Philly’s supporting cast is all that much more intriguing, as the team only has four players scoring in double digits, and a one truly elite outside marksman in J.J. Redick, but the dynamic one-two punch of James and Simmons could have certainly helped to optimize young shooters like Landry Shamet, Shake Milton, and Furkan Korkmaz with their generational passing.

Add in Robert Covington and Dario Saric’s two-way games, as they would still be on the team in all likelihood, and you have a seriously versatile team with optionality to spare.

The Lakers have Villanova favorite Josh Hart, Kyle Kuzma, and a collection of young trade chips who very well could be wearing different uniforms in 2019.

Next. David Nwaba can be Brett Brown’s defensive dynamo. dark

If a trade for AD does materialize, then none of this really matter, as they will undoubtedly run the West in the post-Warriors-era, but as things presently stand, it seems like Philly has a brighter future in an easier conference. Sure, LeBron James could have transformed the Philadelphia 76ers into a creme of the Eastern Conference’s crop, but if the team can figure out their bench, and take another step forward, they may very well do that on their own.