September 17, 2021
It has been a (relatively) quiet week on the Ben Simmons trade front, and at this stage of the offseason, that means it's quiet in Sixers land. That's quite alright, frankly, as it gives everyone a chance to take a breath and collect themselves before drama inevitably ensues in a couple of weeks.
But that does change the focus of our usual mailbag compared to the average week. With training camp and media day approaching, let's touch on a few Sixers questions and some deep offseason content while we wait.
Since Marc Gasol is back in Spain with this family, what big men do you think have the best chance of frustrating Embiid defensively?— Marc Christopher (@MarcC856) September 16, 2021
The guys who have flummoxed Embiid over the years have usually had a similar profile: big-bodied guys who don't allow Embiid to win with strength and who can potentially drag him out to the three-point line on the other end, wearing him down physically over the course of the game. He has not succeeded as much as perhaps as he should against Enes Kanter, for example, because he tries to bang with him in the post rather than exploiting Kanter's lack of foot speed in pick-and-rolls (not that Philly has had many ballhandlers to help him do so, obviously).
We were robbed of the opportunity to see Embiid vs. Nikola Jokic last season, but those games have been relatively even statistically despite Embiid being way ahead in the Ws department. Embiid handled Rudy Gobert in a big way last season, though I wouldn't expect him to cook the French center quite that dramatically every time out. There are certainly guys who are going to make him work. Heck, Clint Capela gave him serious problems at times in that Hawks series.
And in terms of the pain-in-the-ass factor, are we sure we can count out Al Horford yet? He's going to have a little extra juice going up against Embiid, and getting to see them go at it at least four times in the regular season ups the ante a bit.
Here's what I would say: I don't think Embiid is a one-on-one assignment at this point, with teams committing extra resources to stop him basically every time out. What I'd like to see from Embiid this season is a more diverse approach when up against a big who has flaws he traditionally hasn't exploited. He can play at an MVP level even without doing that, but it would take his game to another new level.
What’s going on with Bassey? Is he going to sign a contract?— Phil Braxmeier (@pbraxmeier) September 17, 2021
This is a fairly typical stance on players selected deep in the second round. Paul Reed, who was on a two-way deal for a lot of last year, signed an NBA contract after being named the MVP of the G-League bubble and impressing the Sixers with his work ethic, and he still got a three-year minimum deal with the final two years non-guaranteed.
The Athletic's Derek Bodner recently reported that Bassey had a multi-year guarantee offer on the table had he been drafted, which has contributed to the hold-up on getting a deal done. As of now, the most likely outcome looks like Bassey signing the one year non-guaranteed tender so he can get to free agency next summer. But it's not set in stone as of this writing, and maybe one side ends up blinking before camp opens up.
Congrats on engagement. Look at college, G-league and NBA numbers and tell me why Bball Paul can’t work his way into Pascal Siakam?— Turd Ferguson RIP (@smylesr) September 16, 2021
For Reed, some of the concerns come down to figuring out what he does/what role he plays. The Sixers have played him some at both the four and five, and there are drawbacks in both spots. As a five, he's still pretty slight (even in a smaller current league) and is a bit too "off script" as a defender to be trusted as the defensive anchor yet. At the four, Reed's shooting becomes more of a focus because of how he'll be used within the offense. It's especially hard to develop him there when Embiid is your best player and warrants playing a shooter next to him at the four at all times. If Reed shows up to camp and is a reliable shooter, giddy up, but he's still a project there rather than a finished product.
If the buy-in is there, Reed can play a role for sure. He has proven adaptable when the coaching staff has asked different things of him and has earned strong reviews for time spent in the gym along with Tyrese Maxey. The more he focuses on what the staff wants from him — screens, rim-running, intelligent defense, glass attacking, and the occasional outside shot when he's wide open — the better chance he has to stick.
Do you think sixers will get in a desperate mode to trade Ben such as a 1 for 1 or 1 for 2.— PsychoSteeler (@steeler_psycho) September 16, 2021
Now that being said, I don't necessarily think any one-for-one swap is a desperate move. For example, if the Kings suddenly put DeAaron Fox on the table and are willing to make a one-for-one deal, I wouldn't characterize thinking about that deal as desperate so much as it might just be a realistic best offer. Fox is really good and ascending, albeit not the dream fit or readymade All-NBA guy fans were/are hoping for. Sure, there are plenty of straight-up swaps that would be desperate, but you could probably talk yourself into a handful of sub-Lillard players at this point.
I don't suspect Morey and Co. will go this route — I still think their eyes are on a big fish — but I have learned to never say never (the hard way at times).
What was your favorite meal on your trip?— Erik Snyder (@realeriksnyder) September 16, 2021
With that in mind, some places worth seeking out, IMO:
But honestly, the beauty of Spain is that we were able to eat and drink well pretty much everywhere. The cities and towns are designed in a way for you to bounce from one spot to the next, having a glass of wine or beer and a small plate or two before moving on to the next spot down the block.
On the sightseeing front, the two coolest things we did (IMO) were going to Segrada Familia in Barcelona and Alhambra in Granada. And if it floats your boat, a wine tour in Basque country really hit the spot.
What Q4 shows or movies are you looking forward to the most? I’m very excited for Midnight Mass and Dune— Jason Dale (@MyNamesJDale) September 16, 2021
The other big one for me is the live-action Cowboy Bebop series Netflix is dropping in mid-November. I would say there's a high chance of it being absolutely awful compared to the series it is based on, but seeing an alternate spin on one of my favorite pieces of entertainment ever is at least a little exciting in the lead-in.
Outside of that, sort of a wait-and-see for me at this point. Gaming wise, I'm interested to check out the new Halo when that finally drops and I'm excited for a new Metroid release in October. I have never read the Isaac Asimov series it is based on but I am intrigued by the new Foundation series that is dropping on Apple TV+ next week.
When is "the process" over -- or is it already over? Not debating whether it was a success or not, but is it officially over if Simmons is traded? Or is it alive as long as Embiid is on the team?— Drew (@DrewSportsNews) September 16, 2021
If you're asking me, "The Process" was over when the league stepped in and Bryan Colangelo took over the team. The fruits, side effects, and most importantly people of "The Process" certainly lasted much longer, especially in Embiid's case, but to me there was a clear exit point.
Why does movement in DS2 suck so badly— Bobby Hallinan (@bhallinan43) September 16, 2021
I don't think I ever ran into this specific issue with Dark Souls 2, but it's also the only Soulsborne game I didn't feel that compelled to beat. Might revisit at some point, but seems unlikely.
how are we feeling about the eagles kyle— pat (@patchslowpoke) September 16, 2021
Scale of 1-10 what do you rate deathloop? Trying to decide if I should buy it.— Reese Love (@ReeseLoveb) September 16, 2021
My one big gripe is that enemy AI is absolutely braindead a lot of the time, and as someone who likes a fair degree of challenge in his games, that was a bummer for me. I also own it on PC and am one of many people dealing with crashing issues at the moment, in spite of running it with an RTX 3080. Hoping that's a temporary issue, but it's not what you want to deal with as you get to know a game.
There were a lot of other Deathloop questions, so that's a subject we'll definitely revisit soon.
Peck nest migrate: Deathloop, Returnal, Hades— The Rooney Maras Volta (@killakow) September 16, 2021
Peck: Hades. Choosing between Hades and Returnal was basically impossible for me because Hades is about as expertly crafted as it gets. The care put into everything from the art to the voice acting to the weapon system is pristine. I think it's probably a deeper and more accessible game than Returnal with more paths to winning on any given run. And yet...
Nest: Returnal. I think the moment-to-moment gameplay in Returnal is as good as it gets and it brought a genre I love to a bigger scale in a style that I really admire. I love how it incorporates risk/reward. I love the feeling of cutting off a zipline midair to turn a fire a rocket at an enemy, a level of verticality that isn't present or possible in a lot of rogue-lite games. I loved the mystery horror of the story. It is not perfect and had issues near launch but absolutely excels at what it's good at and is just the right amount of difficult for me.
Migrate: Deathloop. Let's touch base on this after I finish the game. It's mostly a victim of falling short of two games I adore at the moment.
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