What's maybe good, but definitely a little bit concerning: Folks, Ben Simmons no longer hates basketball. Here's what he told the Associated Press last week:
“I feel like this summer I fell in love with the game again. I kind of got back to who I was and having fun with the game. I felt like the past season I lost that enjoyment side of it but I feel like this summer has been huge for me.”
A positive spin would be that he's pleased with how well-circulated his pickup Twitters vids were this summer, in which he took and made a couple of 3s, the former of which he does rarely in NBA games and the latter of which he does never in NBA games.
The negative spin would be that, yes, we now have confirmation that Simmons was a miserable human during last year's playoffs, in which he was more screen setter than transcendent triple-double machine.
What's funny: Weight-loss companies must hate him. Joel Embiid said on Media Day that he used one simple trick to lose 20 pounds this summer. His secret? Nothing!
“I haven’t done anything differently,” he told reporters at Media Day.
What's different: Jimmy Butler is gone and in Miami, because, you know, he just wants to win.
What seems unsustainable: Here are the top-four salaries the 76ers will be paying out next season:
1. Tobias Harris, $33 million 2. Joel Embiid, $29 million 3. Ben Simmons, $29 million 4. Al Horford, $27 million
Those four contracts alone put the 76ers in the luxury tax based on the projected salary cap of $116 million for 2020-21. A Simmons trade is more likely than you might think.
What's scary: A defensive lineup in the playoffs that includes Horford, Simmons, Embiid and Josh Richardson, who the 76ers got in the Jimmy Butler sign-and-trade, has the ability to rip through the Eastern Conference. This team's lifespan may be short, but its ceiling this season is high.
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