The Philadelphia 76ers have high hopes for the upcoming season as years of trusting the process may finally bear fruit.
The Sixers have assembled a talented roster that can realistically challenge for a playoff position next year.
After drafting Markelle Fultz with the number one pick in June, he will join an exciting young core featuring Ben Simmons - 2016's top pick - Joel Embiid and Dario Saric.
The additions of J.J. Redick and Amir Johnson in free agency will also add some much needed veteran leadership to the team.
Philly's hopes, however, will depend largely on health and how many games Simmons and Embiid can play.
76ers fans finally saw what the latter was all about last season as he showed his quality on the court and was close to being named an All-Star.
However, the seven-foot center managed just 31 games as a knee injury ended his campaign.
'The Process' missed the first two years of his NBA career dealing with multiple injuries and now that he's entering his fourth season, he will be eligible for a rookie extension.
Despite getting very little game time out of him, it is believed that the Sixers are ready to reward him with a new deal to keep him at the Wells Fargo Center for the foreseeable future.
According to Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders: "League sources said recently they there was a growing sense that the 76ers would indeed extend Embiid, and that a deal structured something like Antetokounmpo’s four-year $100 million pact would make sense given the injury history.
"The problem with getting a deal done at less than max is that many in Embiid’s world believe he could get a max offer in restricted free agency next year, especially if he plays at the level he did for 31 games last season."
If the 23-year-old turns the offer down, he can become a restricted free agent next summer and if he gets a max contract offer from another franchise, the 76ers will have to decide if they want to match any offer sheet.
The Cameroonian averaged 20.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks per game on a minutes restriction and in just 31 outings.
There's no telling what a healthy Embiid can produce throughout an 82-game calendar playing high minutes.
After drafting him third overall in 2014 and working to get him fit, the Sixers will find it difficult to lose the big man and see him flourish elsewhere.
There are many teams who will be willing to offer Embiid the money he wants due to his talent, but the impact he's had on Philly has been huge despite his lack of games and they will find it hard to part with a potential superstar.