The Philadelphia 76ers have a long history of controversial personnel moves and busted aspirations. But, when it comes to players the franchise gave up on too soon, you don’t have to reach that far into the past to find a multitude of examples.
We are, of course, talking about the team that infamously underwent the most ambitious rebuilding experiment in modern sports history. Then, once Sam Hinkie was ousted as team president, the Sixers replaced him with the most notoriously online GM we’ve ever seen. Were it not for the persevering stardom of Joel Embiid, the results might have been catastrophic.
Then Brett Brown endured a brief stint as head coach/GM, a dual role that almost never works. Next in line was Elton Brand, who brought in Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris, only to fumble the bag in remarkable fashion. Then Elton Brand was displaced — not fired, just pushed to the side — by the signing of Daryl Morey, a broadly acclaimed basketball thinker who still runs the team today.
Which players did the Philadelphia 76ers give up on too soon?
So, naturally, with such widespread front office turnover — and we’re just talking about the last decade — there has been no shortage of promising young players who found success elsewhere. In fact, no team in the NBA better embodies the trend of “giving up on a player too soon” than your Philadelphia 76ers.
And thus, we wade into the waters of regret and dive deep into the current of calamity to analyze the Sixers’ impressive track record of personnel failure.