The Philadelphia 76ers will enter the 2019-20 season with their fourth new starting lineup in one calendar year. That's the bad news.
The good new is, the case for this new one being the best is not a difficult case to make. Let's take a look.
Richardson has improved offensively in each of his four NBA seasons. Last season in Miami, J-Rich averaged 16.6 points, 3.6 rebounds, 4.1 assists, 1.1 steals, and 0.5 blocks on 41.2 FG% / 35.7 3FG% / 86.1 FT%. Richardson attempted 6.3 three's per game on a not-very-good Heat team with bad spacing. Richardson shot a respectable 38.1-percent on 4.7 catch-and-shoot three's per game.
Defensively, is where Richardson's impact is felt the most. He's an in-your-face on-ball, versatile, long and athletic hound. In four seasons, Richardson has 9.3 defensive win shares and defensive box-plus minus of 0.7. Richardson has averaged over 1.0 steal per game in each of the last three seasons and was 16th in the NBA last season with 4.0 three's contested per game.
Richardson is going to wreak havoc on D, run the floor, fill the lanes, and make catch-and-shoot open three's for the Sixers, benefitting from playing with a guy like Ben Simmons.
Contractually, Richardson will make $10.1 million in 2019-20 and $10.8 million in 2020-21, before a player-option of $11.6 million kicks in for 2021-22. This is a very affordable contract for Philadelphia and a tradeable contract as well, if necessary at some point down the line.
Horford has averaged double-figures in all 12 of his NBA seasons. In each of his last three seasons, Horford has shot over 35-percent from three on at least 3.0 per game.
Again, like Richardson, Horford will make the biggest impact on the defensive end. For his career, Horford has a defensive box-plus minus of 2.3 and a 37.5 defensive win share number over 12 seasons. Maybe most importantly, Horford gives the Sixers another body to throw at Giannis Antetokounmpo in a potential playoff series.
Horford will start at the four and play some backup center minutes for the Sixers.
Harris will need to progress as an elite shooting wing and step up to become the team's perimeter go to guy. Five years, $180 million is a lot of money, but he's just 26-years-old and hopefully he can grow into that contract.
Embiid will need to improve his conditioning and really lock in next season and beyond to solidify himself as an perennial MVP candidate, because to be honest, he's not there yet. Decision making (i.e, shot selection and against double-teams) need to be sharper for Embiid.
The most exciting thing for the Sixers, is this core three—all 26 and younger—will be together for at least the next four seasons. Embiid, as currently constructed, will become an unrestricted free-agent after the 2022-23 season.
Philadelphia may still be looking to add another shooter. Names like Danny Green and Seth Curry have been mentioned and either would fit nicely. It seems like general manager Elton Brand did a solid job in his first free-agency.