The 2021-22 Philadelphia 76ers in Review

June 15th, 2022

By Alan Lu

The Philadelphia 76ers had a roller coaster ride this year, although it still ended in disappointment. They had a disappointing second round loss to the Atlanta Hawks last year, and suddenly star point forward Ben Simmons decided to hold out, as he felt that he could no longer in good conscious play for the 76ers.  That upset the Philly fanbase greatly, but the 76ers continued onwards with their season.

Joel Embiid turned in an MVP-level season, and they also traded Simmons for superstar guard James Harden in a midseason trade deadline deal with the Brooklyn Nets, while also parting away with Seth Curry and Andre Drummond in the process.  The 76ers made plenty of noise in the regular season, as they won 51 games, but they once again had a disappointing second round exit, this time they lost to the 1st seeded Miami Heat in 6 games this year.

Key Players:

Joel Embiid had a very good season with the 76ers this year, but they did lose in the second round of the playoffs once again.
(Photo:
Frank Franklin II/Associated Press, via Sixers Wire – USA Today)

Joel Embiid
2021-22 (PHI): 30.6 PPG, 11.7 RPG, 4.2 APG, 1.5 BPG, 1.1 SPG, 50 FG%, 37 3PT%, 81 FT%, 62 TS%, 31.2 PER, 12.0 WS

He had a very good season this year, and he did a terrific job of shooting and scoring the basketball.  Embiid had a tremendous impact on his team, and he played very well on both sides of the ball this season.

2022 Season Grade: A
Projected 2023 Rating: 4.5 stars
Projected 2023 Role: Starting center on the Philadelphia 76ers

James Harden had a solid season with the 76ers this year, despite coming up short in the 2022 playoffs.
(Photo:
Wendell Cruz/USA Today Sports, via Fansided’s Sir Charles in Charge)

James Harden
2021-22 (BRK/PHI): 22.0 PPG, 10.3 APG, 7.7 RPG, 1.3 SPG, 41 FG%, 33 3PT%, 88 FT%, 58 TS%, 20.9 PER, 7.6 WS

He is a skilled, superstar guard that had a very good season this year.  He especially played well for the 76ers after the trade, as he looked revitalized as a scorer and playmaker on offense.  On the other hand, his shooting has tapered off, and there were games in the playoffs were he seemed to have virtually disappeared this year.

2022 Season Grade: B+
Projected 2023 Rating: 3.5 stars
Projected 2023 Role: Starting shooting guard on the Philadelphia 76ers

Tyrese Maxey turned in a very good season this year, and he especially thrived in the regular season.
(Photo:
Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images, via Fansided’s The Sixer Sense)

Tyrese Maxey
2021-22 (PHI): 17.5 PPG, 4.3 APG, 3.2 RPG, 49 FG%, 43 3PT%, 87 FT%, 59 TS%, 16.2 PER, 7.3 WS

He is a very athletic combo guard that had a very good season with the 76ers.  He really excelled as a shooter and scorer, and he showcased much-improved playmaking skills, with the only downside being that he sometimes struggled to shoot and took too many shots at times in the playoffs.

2022 Season Grade: A-
Projected 2023 Rating: 3 stars (3.5 stars potential)
Projected 2023 Role: Starting point guard on the Philadelphia 76ers

Tobias Harris
2021-22 (PHI): 17.2 PPG, 6.8 RPG, 3.5 APG, 48 FG%, 37 3PT%, 84 FT%, 57 TS%, 15.9 PER, 5.6 WS

He is a skilled, combo forward that can do a lot of different things on the court.  His numbers were generally down compared to last year, and he didn’t defend nearly as well this season.

2022 Season Grade: C
Projected 2023 Rating: 2.5 stars
Projected 2023 Role: Starter on the Philadelphia 76ers

Other Notable Players:

Matisse Thybulle

He played very good defense this year and improved his ability to finish plays around the basket, and Thybulle has shown that he can play shutdown defense.  On the other hand, Thybulle didn’t shoot much overall, and he struggled to make threes this year.

2022 Season Grade:  C
Projected 2023 Rating: 2 stars (2.5 stars potential)
Projected 2023 Role: Rotation player on the Philadelphia 76ers

Paul Reed

He is an athletic, energetic big man that received inconsistent playing time, but he steadily played well towards the end of the season, which enabled him to be a rotation player in the playoffs.  He provided hustle and motor, and he’s shown that he could potentially be a shutdown defender in this league.

2022 Season Grade: B+
Projected 2023 Rating: 2 stars (2.5 stars potential)
Projected 2023 Role: Rotation player on the Philadelphia 76ers

Charles Bassey

He played very well in limited minutes for the 76ers, and he excelled as a rim protector for them this year during his rookie season.

2022 Season Grade: B
Projected 2023 Rating: 2 stars (2.5 stars potential)
Projected 2023 Role: Fringe rotation player on the Philadelphia 76ers

Danny Green

He is a veteran swingman that is a 3 and D role player in the NBA.  His numbers were generally down in the regular season, but he played well in the playoffs against the Miami Heat before going down to a season ending knee injury late in the year.

2022 Season Grade: C+
Projected 2023 Rating: 2 stars
Projected 2023 Role: Rotation player on an NBA team

Georges Niang

He had a solid season, as he excelled as a shooter and facilitator for his team this year.

2022 Season Grade: B-
Projected 2023 Rating: 2 stars
Projected 2023 Role: Rotation player on the Philadelphia 76ers

Shake Milton

He struggled to consistently knock down shots well this season, although some of that can be contributed to the lack of motion or flow in the 76ers’ offense this year.

2022 Season Grade: C-
Projected 2023 Rating: 2 stars
Projected 2023 Role: Rotation player on the Philadelphia 76ers

Furkan Korkmaz

He really struggled to consistently knock down shots well this season, although some of that can be contributed to the lack of motion or flow in the 76ers’ offense this year.

2022 Season Grade: D-
Projected 2023 Rating: 2 stars
Projected 2023 Role: Rotation player on the Philadelphia 76ers

DeAndre Jordan

He is a veteran center that plays a rim protector role in the NBA, although he’s slowed down and hasn’t defended nearly as well as he used to this year.

2022 Season Grade: C-
Projected 2023 Rating: 2 stars
Projected 2023 Role: Rotation player on the Philadelphia 76ers

Other Players on the Roster:

Isaiah Joe

He is an agile, skilled combo guard that he didn’t shoot or score quite as well as he did last year, and he struggled to be consistently productive for the 76ers this year.

2022 Season Grade: D-
Projected 2023 Rating: 1.5 stars (2 stars potential)
Projected 2023 Role: Fringe rotation player on the Philadelphia 76ers

Jaden Springer

He barely played in the NBA for the 76ers this year, and while he didn’t shoot well in the G-League, he showed promise as a scorer and facilitator for his team.

2022 Season Grade: D
Projected 2023 Rating: 1 star (2.5 stars potential)
Projected 2023 Role: Fringe rotation player on the Philadelphia 76ers

Paul Millsap

He is a veteran combo forward that didn’t shoot or score the ball very well as he had in years past, and he quickly found himself out of teams’ rotations in both Brooklyn and Philadelphia this past season.

2022 Season Grade: D-
Projected 2023 Rating: 1.5 stars
Projected 2023 Role: Fringe rotation player on an NBA team

Charlie Brown

He didn’t play much or shoot the ball very well at all in the NBA this year, but he played considerably better in the G-League.

2022 Season Grade: D+
Projected 2023 Rating: 1.5 stars
Projected 2023 Role: Fringe rotation player on an NBA team

Myles Powell

He didn’t shoot the ball very well, but he played fairly well in the G-League that enabled him to earn a call-up to the NBA.

2022 Season Grade: D+
Projected 2023 Rating: 1 star (1.5 stars potential)
Projected 2023 Role: Fringe rotation player on an NBA team

Head Coach:

The Philadelphia 76ers won 51 games in the regular season, but despite having two of the biggest superstars of the game right now in Joel Embiid and James Harden, the 76ers were eliminated in the second round of the NBA playoffs once again.
(Photo:
Michael Reaves/Getty Images, via The Spun)

Doc Rivers
2021-22 (PHI): 51-31, 6-6 in the 2022 NBA Playoffs

He led his team to 51 wins in the regular season, and the 76ers won plenty of games this year.  However, his team disappointed again in the playoffs, and they were eliminated in the second round for the second consecutive year in a row.

2022 Season Grade: C
Projected 2023 Rating: 2 stars
Projected 2023 Role: Head Coach of the Philadelphia 76ers

The Philadelphia 76ers’ Projected 2022-23 Rotation:
C Joel Embiid
F Tobias Harris
F Matisse Thybulle
G James Harden
G Tyrese Maxey
_____________________
F Georges Niang
G Shake Milton
F Furkan Korkmaz
C DeAndre Jordan
F Paul Reed

The Philadelphia 76ers’ Picks in the 2022 NBA Draft:
#23

The Philadelphia 76ers’ Projected 2023 Win-Loss Record:
53-29, 3rd in the Eastern Conference

Their Projected Offseason Plan:

The 76ers are projected to be capped out, and they are expected to retain James Harden, either by if he picks up his player option, or if they re-sign him in free agency.  As they gave up a lot to get Harden, keeping him will be their number one priority.  They’ll have to maneuver creatively through trades and the draft.  They need more scorers and playmakers, and they certainly could look to find players that would fit with Embiid and Harden in the meantime.

Overall, the Philadelphia 76ers had a solid regular season, and they started surging towards the end of the season when they acquired James Harden in a midseason trade with Brooklyn. However, they struggled a bit against Toronto in the first round, as they lost a couple of games to them before winning in six games. The 76ers then struggled even more against Miami, and they ended up losing in 6 games to the first seeded Miami Heat in their second round series. The 76ers will need to add more depth around Embiid and Harden, and they will need to find more ways to add more shooting around and improve their defense in order to make a deeper playoff run for next season.

I went to No Trade Clause and Basketball-Reference for research purposes.  Thanks for reading.

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