On the back of Giannis Antetokounmpo’s legacy defining Finals performance (averaging 35.2 points, 13.2 rebounds, 5.0 assists, with 50 points in a closeout Game 6) the Milwaukee Bucks are NBA Champions. Meanwhile, scattered in various locations across the country/globe, the Sixers have been sitting at home for over a month now.
We shouldn’t have any doubts about The Process or what lead us to the Sixers current state—their most successful stretch of basketball in decades—but this Bucks’ title underscores the fact that there are multiple ways to build a champion.
With the NBA season now officially in the books, the question begs to ask, where do the Sixers go from here? Vegas currently has their Championship odds set at +1600 for next season, right behind Utah and Golden State for 8th in the NBA—not exactly sure-fire “contender” status.
The obvious answer for the Sixers is to add a second superstar to pair with Joel Embiid—the Robin to his Batman, or however you prefer to frame it—with the clear target in mind being Damian Lillard, whose availability is an open secret at this point.
The cost for Lillard is predictably high given that he’s an All-NBA talent with three years left on his contract (plus a player option), but Daryl Morey should be willing to pay through the nose to make “Dame to Jo” a reality. Whether that be a small package surrounding Ben Simmons, or flipping Tobi for assets and selling the farm (Maxey, Thybulle, picks, etc…), the Sixers shouldn’t hesitate to make the aggressive move that both Milwaukee (Holiday) and Phoenix (Paul) made last offseason to get where they are now.
While the Bucks proved that there are multiple ways to build a Finals Champion (and proved that there’s a strategy beyond a “Process” or building a “Super Team”) the biggest takeaway the Sixers ought to have from this past season is regardless of how a team gets to the doorstep of contending, they need to be opportunistic enough to make the move(s) required to actually knock that door down—that’s where the Sixers are this offseason.