Kendrick Perkins made a guest appearance on the Heavy podcast, where he shared his thoughts on the upcoming NBA season and some of the championship-caliber squads. One of the teams that didn't get that much attention in the media is the Philadelphia 76ers. That somewhat changed after they got in trade talks with the Houston Rockets, but it seems the conversations are stagnant at the moment. The Sixers are one of the top teams in the eastern conference, yet it seems something needs to change to become legitimate championship contenders.
According to Perkins, Joel Embiid is the crucial player, and he will need to get back to tip-top basketball shape because that will automatically put him in the MVP conversation. Standing at 7'2", Embiid is incredibly versatile and can operate in the low post exceptionally well. On top of that, he has a soft touch, and seeing him make open three-pointers is something he can do against any team in the league. However, Perkins suggests he lose at least 30 pounds, which will make him faster and more explosive while at the same time minimizing risk from injuries.
He is a generational talent. The things he is able to do are ridiculous, and the only thing that is holding Embiid back is his cardio and conditioning. That was the only thing holding him back. If he was to drop 35 pounds, you could book the MVP going to Joel Embiid; you could book that. If he gets in shape, it would be over for the league.
Kendrick Perkins, Via Heavy
Embiid's game has a lot of resemblance to Hakeem Olajuwon and the way he played; however, unlike Embiid, Hakeem was constantly in great shape and looked like he is ready to play. Embiid is much bigger than Hakeem, and if he could lose some of the weight, his impact on the game could be similar to the one Hakeem had with the Rockets on their way to championships.
If he loses 35 pounds, if he quit flirting with that 300-pound range and just drop by 35, we could possibly be witnessing and possibly saying Joel Embiid game mimics Hakeem Olajuwon because Hakeem was in shape. If Joel gets his body in any type of shape or getting close to Hakeem.
Embiid is only 25, and we can expect him to become an even better player, and we've seen how versatile and dominant he can be when healthy. However, it's known he is not so diligent when it comes to his conditioning and eating healthy, which is essential for his weight and ability to perform. Perkins is right, and if he could be better prepared physically, only the sky is the limit for him. If that happens, the Sixers are automatically a legitimate title contender when considering all the pieces they have already.