Joel Embiid didn't think the 76ers needed to sign a big-name free agent

Philadelphia 76ers v Boston Celtics - Game One

Last season, the Philadelphia 76ers finally proved to their fans that “the process” was worth the wait.

Watching a healthy Joel Embiid and healthy Ben Simmons excel together on the floor all season long, the Sixers won 52 games and also won a playoff series.

This offseason, high-profile free agents like LeBron James and Paul George were linked to Philadelphia, who seemingly would have been an attractive destination based on their roster makeup. But, as you know, both signed elsewhere.

There were also rumblings about Kawhi Leonard heading to the 76ers before he eventually was dealt to the Toronto Raptors.

Philadelphia didn’t end up landing any big names. But, they did add Wilson Chandler in a trade with the Denver Nuggets as well as big man Mike Muscala. The team also drafted Zaire Smith and Landry Shamet and should be able to benefit from a fully-healthy and revitalized Markelle Fultz.

Other than that, the roster looks very similar to last year’s.

But, Embiid doesn’t think there’s anything wrong with that. In fact, he is in favor of it.

Trusting the process some more

"Last year, we won 52 games. This next year is going to be even much better with the addition of Wilson Chandler. I expect Markelle [Fultz] to be back to himself,” he said on a conference call on Thursday, per Ian Begley of ESPN.

Boston Celtics v Philadelphia 76ers - Game Four

The outspoken big man also doesn’t care that his team wasn’t able to add an All-Star level player this summer.

"I don't think it matters, big free agent or not. My goal going into the offseason was to get better," Embiid said. "I want to win the MVP. I feel like at the end of the day it might be an individual award, but when I play better, the team also does. I feel like if I'm an MVP candidate or if I win the MVP, that means we are on another level.”

"When my season ended, there was a lot of talk about adding (top free agents)," Embiid added. "I literally did not really care because I want to get better. I want to be better than those guys that were mentioned, if I'm not already better than them. … That was my message, just going into the offseason, finally the first one healthy and able to do whatever I want. That was my goal regardless.”

Boston Celtics v Philadelphia 76ers - Game Four

Therefore, he views his own progression as an upgrade over any potential free agent signing.

"I've already gotten so much better. It's just about working on everything, perfecting everything," he said. "Like when it comes to my three-point shot or the ball handling, which was a problem. I feel like I can do it, but I just need to be consistent.”

History has proven that star power matters in the NBA. Since the Boston Celtics have a lot more of it (on paper) heading into the upcoming season, they’ll be considered the team to beat in the East. Embiid hopes to prove everyone wrong.

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