3 moves the 76ers must make with Joel Embiid out indefinitely

The Philadelphia 76ers are in trouble. Here's what Daryl Morey can do to mitigate the impact of Joel Embiid's absence.

Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers
Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers / Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
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1. Sixers can add another top scorer with DeMar DeRozan trade


The Sixers needed another ball-handler and shot creator before the Embiid injury. Now, that need is amplified tenfold. Tyrese Maxey has improved drastically as an on-ball generator, but he alone cannot keep Philadelphia's offense afloat. The Sixers' backup point guard right now is Patrick Beverley. Tobias Harris and Kelly Oubre are great complementary scorers, but neither should be relied upon for extensive self-creation.

Enter the Chicago Bulls. It's past time for the Bulls to hit the reset button. This trade works out as a happy exchange of expiring contracts. Chicago gets a future first-round pick to swap DeMar DeRozan for Tobias Harris, ending the Bulls' years-long stint of being utterly directionless. Harris would be cheaper to keep around if the Bulls decide to go that route. If not, he represents $39.3 million off the books while the Bulls miraculously squeeze a valuable future asset out of the failed DeRozan experiment.

DeRozan is a tremendous fit next to Maxey. He's another halfcourt engine for the Sixers. In addition to his trademark mid-range forays, DeRozan can pressure the rim as a driver and work pick-and-rolls with the potency of a guard. He has grown tremendously as a playmaker since arriving in Chicago. Maxey's most efficient basketball came last season, when he got to feast on rotating defenses attacking off the catch. DeRozan isn't James Harden, but he would relieve pressure on Maxey and give the Sixers a more balanced halfcourt offense.

The fit between DeRozan and Embiid isn't great, but this is a move primarily focused on the interim stretch without Embiid. If the Sixers get to the playoffs and Embiid returns, there's enough collective offensive talent to figure it out. DeRozan isn't the best spacer, but Embiid spent the first several years of his career next to Ben Simmons. There are workarounds. DeRozan is helpfully averaging the second-highest 3-point volume of his career (2.6 attempts per game).

Philadelphia also reunites with a familiar face in Andre Drummond, who can take over as backup center behind Clint Capela while Embiid rehabs (or as starting center if the Sixers can't pull off all these trades simultaneously, which is probably the case).

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