Joel Embiid has finally provided a full definition for the “process” the Philadelphia 76ers have endured the past few seasons. Here’s a hint: It still isn’t over.
“Sometimes people don’t understand the definition of ‘the process,’” Embiid said, according to CSN Philly’s Jessica Camerato. “The process is not just about getting over what we’ve been going through for the past three or four years. I feel like the process is going to keep on going. It’s a process to get over that hump. Then it’s a process to make the playoffs. Then it’s another process to get to the Conference Finals and then another process to get to the Finals and win an NBA championship. It applies to everything in life. We’re always going to be trusting the process.”
The process has certainly paid its dividends in Philadelphia so far.
After missing his first two years recovering from a foot injury, Embiid broke onto the scene in his official rookie year. He stole the show, averaging 20 points, eight rebounds, and 2.5 blocks on a minutes restriction before a minor meniscus tear ended his season 31 games in. The Sixers also enjoyed a standout rookie season from Dario Saric, who came over from Croatia to average 13 points and six rebounds per game — numbers that went up after Embiid got hurt and starting forward Ersan Ilyasova was traded.
In all, Philadelphia nearly tripled its win total from the 2015-16 season, and that’s without Ben Simmons (foot) and several established veterans (Jerryd Bayless, Gerald Henderson) touching the floor due to injury.
Now the process has paid off even further. The Sixers will have two top-five picks, thanks to a foolish trade by the Sacramento Kings involving Nik Stauskas, and could have $23 million in cap space to sign free agents.
Whether Philadelphia opts to use its picks, package them to move up, or package them for an All-Star-caliber player, the Sixers are in the driver’s seat of their own future.
How’s that for a process?