The Philadelphia 76ers struck out on landing LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. Joel Embiid didn’t care.
“When my season ended, there was a lot of talk about adding guys. I literally did not really care because I want to get better,” Embiid said during a conference call Wednesday from Johannesburg, South Africa. “I want to be better than those guys that were mentioned, if I’m not already better than them.”
Embiid’s goals have not changed from the end of the season to now. As if he didn’t already have enough confidence, the Sixers’ 52-win season gave him everything else he needed.
The goals for the Sixers’ franchise player are clear, though not easily reached: Become a better player, make it to the NBA Finals, win the MVP, and help spread the game of basketball.
As a part of Basketball without Borders, Embiid is aiming to make the NBA more globally attainable and will play in the NBA Africa Game to help spread the game.
He’s been spending his first healthy offseason working on his game, specifically his long-range shooting and his ball-handling, hoping they will make him a better player.
That’s two goals that are closer to being reached. Next up, become an MVP and compete for a championship.
“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,” Embiid said. “I feel like if I’m an MVP candidate or if I win the MVP, that means we are on another level.”
That next level isn’t that far away, according to Embiid.
“We won 52 games, which nobody thought would happen, we won 16 games in a row, we thought that we had a chance to go to the Finals,” Embiid said of last season. “The approach doesn’t change. Still the same. We’re just going to do our thing.”
Whiteside ready to move on
Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside has already forgotten about last season.
An injury-filled and frustrating year is a thing of the past. Whiteside is ready to move on and work his way back to proving he is capable of being a franchise player.
“I feel great,” Whiteside said Wednesday. “I feel a lot better than I did during the season. I’m completely healed. I feel like my regular self again.”
Whiteside battled a knee injury last year and averaged just 25.3 minutes. He often was on the bench during the fourth quarter and was a non-factor in the Heat’s first-round playoff loss to the Philadelphia 76ers.
Free agent guard David Nwaba has agreed to sign with the Cavaliers, AP reported. Nwaba, who played for the Bulls last season, will join the Cavaliers once contract terms are finalized.
The 25-year-old Nwaba averaged 7.9 points, 4.7 rebounds and 23.5 minutes in 70 games for the Bulls.