Joel Embiid not putting pressure on 76ers to make Ben Simmons trade: ‘There’s no urgency to change anything’

While Philadelphia 76ers fans are eager for the club to trade Ben Simmons, the organization is clearly in no hurry, and it appears the team isn’t the best player on the team either. Speaking after Philadelphia’s 111-99 win over the Boston Celtics on Friday night, All-Star center Joel Embiid made it clear that he is happy with the Sixers as they are currently built – even without Simmons’ services.

“When I look at where we are when we got most of the team in the lineup, especially me in the lineup, we’re 21 and 9,” Embiid said via ESPN. “It’s not bad. It’s up there with the best records in the NBA. So, all it tells me is that we just have to stay healthy, keep doing what we’ve been doing.

“I feel very good, and I don’t think we played our best basketball yet. We still have a long way to go. We’re missing players here and there that can really help us. There’s not really an urgent need to change anything. We need him. We will keep moving forward and I am happy.”

Embiid is clearly not putting any public pressure on the organization to make a move involving Simmons before the February 10 NBA trade deadline, and hasn’t done so behind closed doors either, according to a league source. But, does he really think The Sixers are good enough to compete for the NBA title without Simmons or the additional talent gained through trading him? Here’s what he said about it:

“I think so.. I think we all have to, we all have to be at our best. And when we’re at our best, I think we can beat anyone. We’ve seen that a few times this year. So, I think we need to, I need to.” To keep doing what I’ve been doing and then obviously we need consistency from everyone… We need consistency, everyone coming every night with the goal of doing their job and breaking in offensively and defensively and just playing together and we’ll be fine.”

Embiid’s great play this season is a big part of the reason the Sixers were able to stay respectable in Simmons’ absence. The big man was named the NBA Eastern Conference Player of the Month for December, and he recently tied the Philadelphia franchise’s record in 30-plus consecutive performances with eight. He’s right in the midst of MVP conversation for the second season in a row, and as long as he’s off the ground, the Sixers stand a chance of winning any given game.

Playing second guard of the year, Therese Maxi has also been a bright spot for the Sixers this season. Maxi stepped into a vacancy in the starting lineup left by Simmons, and took the opportunity. In the season, Maxi averages 16.8 points, 4.4 assists, and 3.4 rebounds per game for the Sixers. He quickly became a fan favorite in Philadelphia in the process.

It remains to be seen if the Embiid and Maxey duo will be enough to propel the Sixers into a deep playoff, or whether the Sixers will get some extra help by flipping the Simmons before the deadline. In the meantime, the organization does not appear to be facing any additional pressure from the cornerstone of the franchise.

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