2018-19 Season Preview: Philadelphia 76ers

Joel Embiid and the talented Sixers look to build on last year's 52-win season.

Coach: Brett Brown (entering his sixth season, 127-283, .310).

Last Season: 52-30, lost in second round of playoffs to Boston, 4-1.

Key Returnees: Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, J.J. Reddick, Dario Saric, Markelle Fultz, Robert Covington, Amir Johnson, T.J. McConnell, Jerryd Bayless.

Key Additions: Wilson Chandler (Denver), Zhaire Smith (rookie, Texas), Landry Shamet (rookie, Wichita State), Mike Muscala (Atlanta), Emeka Okafor (New Orleans).

Key Losses: Marco Belinelli (San Antonio), Ersan Ilyasova (Milwaukee), Justin Anderson (Atlanta).

Outlook: In what was expected to be a big offseason for the franchise, things didn’t go exactly as planned for the Sixers. Their GM (Bryan Colangelo) resigned after it was revealed his wife was using burner accounts on Twitter to take shots at the franchise and some of its players, they drafted a hometown kid (Mikal Bridges), then sent him packing in a deal with Phoenix that very night and the guy they acquired (along with an unprotected first-round draft pick in 2021), Zhaire Smith, suffered a broken foot. Then acting GM/head coach Brett Brown said the team was “going star hunting” in free agency, then failed to land one, watching LeBron James take his talents to Hollywood and Kawhi Leonard be dealt from San Antonio to Toronto. That said, there is a ton to like in Philly. Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons look to be a dynamic duo for the next half-decade and led the Sixers to 52 regular-season wins, a first-round whipping of the Miami Heat in the playoffs and a berth in the second round of the playoffs. Though they were KO’d by Boston in five games, it was a giant step forward for a franchise that had been wandering in the darkness as Embiid battled injury after injury. J.J. Reddick came back on a one-year deal, coming off the best season of his career, and supporting guys Dario Saric, Robert Covington, Amir Johnson, T.J. McConnell and Jerryd Bayless all return. Former No. 1 overall draft pick Markelle Fultz reportedly overhauled his troublesome jumper and solid wing player Wilson Chandler came aboard in a deal with Denver. Oh, and former NBA big man Elton Brand was hired as GM. So all appears to be sunny in Philadelphia. And it should be interesting to see how the Sixers build on their 52-win, second-round-of-the-playoffs experience from a year ago.