4 76ers Playing Their Last Season in Philadelphia This Year

With the way things have been shaping up, these four 76ers likely won't be in a Philadelphia jersey beyond the 2023-24 NBA season.
James Harden is one of four 76ers who is likely playing his final season in Philadelphia this year.
James Harden is one of four 76ers who is likely playing his final season in Philadelphia this year. / Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
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4. Joel Embiid

Is it absolutely insane to imagine Joel Embiid in any non-76ers jersey? Yes, but this is also the NBA, where stranger things have happened.

Embiid — who signed a four-year, $196 million supermax deal in September 2022 — has been the 76ers heart and soul since the minute he stepped foot on an NBA court. He's fully embraced Philadelphia to its core, making it abundantly clear how much he loves the City of Brotherly Love.

At the same time, does Embiid's love for the city outweigh his desire for an NBA title? The 29-year-old has accomplished a lot of his career — 2022-23 league MVP, six-time all-star, two-time scoring champ, five-time All-NBA, etc. — but winning a ring has eluded him.

Embiid also somewhat hinted at winning a title elsewhere back in July. While he didn't outright say, "I plan on playing for another time," he told media personality Maverick Carter that he wants to win a title in Philadelphia "or anywhere else." Hardly comforting for any Sixers fans.

While some hopeful fanatics chalked it up to former third-overall pick misspeaking, could you blame him if he's frustrated enough to leave? The 76ers have yet to make it beyond the second round of the playoffs throughout Embiid's tenure and the clocking is ticking with his not getting any younger.

Championship glory will only be harder to come by once Harden is traded, especially if Philly's return is lacking. If it doesn't look like the team is capable of challenging for a title, I wouldn't be shocked if Embiid demanded a trade.

Again, it's a small percentage that this season will be Embiid's last in Philadelphia. He's shown an extreme level of commitment to the city and the 76ers, meaning the situation would need to become grimmer for things to change.

At the same time, never say never in the unscripted soap opera known as the National Basketball Association...

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