This is the 46th edition of the weekly 76ers mailbag. Each week, inquirer.com followers may submit questions to be answered.
Missed out on the party this week? No worries. Submit questions for next time by following me on Twitter, @PompeyOnSixers, and tweeting your inquiry with the hashtag #PompeysMailbagFlow.
Question: Name one potential player available at the trade deadline that puts the 76ers’ championship in their laps? — @laxthefacts
Answer: This is easy. That person would be Toronto Raptors standout point guard Kyle Lowry, a North Philly native. As I wrote on Thursday, the Sixers need a guy like him. Not only is he a perennial All-Star, Lowry knows how to run a team. He’s a winner, a leader, and possesses a toughness that would benefit the Sixers. He has also shown that he can coexist in the backcourt with another ball-handler when he plays with Toronto with Fred VanVleet.
Adding him to the mix with Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, and Tobias Harris would put the Sixers in a great position to advance to the NBA Finals.
As of this date, the two sides haven’t had any discussions. The NBA trade deadline isn’t until March 25. Teams usually don’t make moves until the 11th hour. However, Toronto would be willing to trade Lowry to a preferred destination if it continues to struggle and can get value in return.
Q: Do you think Ben has given up on the three? Or at least collectively he and Sam Cassel have decided to move past it? He hasn’t taken an attempt in the last 12 games? — @kikoamo
A: Thanks for the question. I wouldn’t say that he has given up on three-pointers because he and the Sixers know he’ll need it in the postseason. I think that he’s just going back to what made him an All-Star. He’s getting out in transition, attacking the rim and playing with a rhythm. They’re also putting him in certain positions where shooting a three-pointer hasn’t been needed.
But as I noted before, Simmons and the Sixers realize he’ll have to shoot three-pointers when teams sag off him in the postseason.
Q: Is Joel Embiid’s leap due to coaching, natural progression, or supporting players around him? — @Jam_Brandon
A: Great question. The answer is all of the above. Coaching, natural progression and the supporting cast have elevated Embiid to an MVP candidate.
Doc Rivers has the Sixers playing through Embiid. The new coach also makes sure the center gets the ball in spots where he’s flexible and can dominate. Embiid also came into the season in solid shape and motivated. Snubbed from making an All-League team, Embiid is determined to show people that he’s the best center in the league. Plus, the addition of Danny Green and Seth Curry in the offseason has helped to create spacing around him.
That has led to his averaging 29.56 points per game, fourth-best in the NBA.