Sixers Notes: Embiid, George, McCain, Depth

A few weeks after working together on ESPN’s NBA Finals coverage, Joel Embiid And Paul George Are Sixes teammates, writes Gina Mizell of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Embiid dropped a not-so-subtle hint during that broadcast, saying Philadelphia needed to upgrade its roster and glancing at George, who was involved in extension negotiations with the clothes pegs at the time this ultimately failed and resulted in his free agency.

Speaking to reporters on Saturday following Team USA’s first practice in preparation for the Summer Olympics, Embiid spoke about what a difference it will make to have another All-Star with him and Tyrese Maxey in Philadelphia.

“My focus is on helping [my teammates] as much as possible,” said Embiid. “Making the game easy for them, so I don’t have to do much, like in the past years. It was exciting [getting George]. That is of course a great job that [the front office] did. But we still have to go out on the field and try to win.”

Embiid has been one of the league’s most dominant players over the past two years, winning the MVP award in 2023 and potentially on his way to a repeat before being sidelined with a torn meniscus in January. But he’s also been a bust in the playoffs and should benefit from not having to carry the team as much during the regular season.

The addition of George, along with Caleb Martin, Eric Gordon And André Drummondthe Sixers appear to be serious title contenders, but Embiid warned that things may not fall into place right away.

“It is clear that everyone always has the mentality [of] to win a championship, and that’s the goal,” he said. “But you also have to understand that it’s going to take a while for everyone to get on the same page. Hopefully it won’t take long and we can just [have it] from the beginning, but that is rare.”

There’s more about the Sixers:

  • First round selection Jared McCain plans to use Maxey as a mentor as he adjusts to the NBA game, according to Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Pompey notes that both players were drafted out of the lottery despite coming off productive seasons at traditional college powers. “Whether it’s the work ethic, or how the transition from college to the NBA went, I’m going to try to learn everything I can from (Maxey),” said McCain. “He’s an All-Star now. Everything I can, I’m going to try to figure it out and learn from him.”
  • While the Sixers have been very active in adding players in free agency, they have also lost several veterans and currently have just nine players on standard contracts, including Ricky Raad‘s non-guaranteed salary for 2024-25. The Philadelphia Inquirer’s David Murphy looks at how the team could fill out the rest of its roster.
  • In case you missed it, the Sixers have officially signed a former Heat winger Caleb Martin to a four-year contract. They have also parted ways with the big man Paul Reedwho had a contract without a guarantee, to create space for the arrival of Martin.

Rory Maher contributed to this post.

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