Joel Embiid was overjoyed when the Philadelphia 76ers finally traded Ben Simmons away to the Brooklyn Nets and brought former MVP James Harden to the team.
Embiid has never played with an offensive wizard like James Harden before and was naturally expecting Harden to be the one to shoulder the offensive load alongside him.
However, the 2022 Playoffs proved that Harden can't do that anymore.
Even when Embiid was off the court, Harden kept playing passively while Tyrese Maxey had games where he had heavy contributions offensively.
Embiid had a harsh declaration on his teammate, openly saying that Harden's prime was behind him and he was now a playmaker.
"I'm sure since we got him, everybody expected the Houston James Harden, but that's not who he is anymore."
This has to be a rude reality check for Embiid as was extremely optimistic about the offensive talent that both he and Harden combine to possess.
Thankfully, Tyrese Maxey is developing into more of a scorer with every game and could be ready to take a leap next season.
With Harden excelling as a playmaker, he could create a lot of opportunities to allow Maxey and Embiid to be more impactful as scorers.
It would be crucial for what Philly is trying to achieve and for Harden's quest to win a championship before he retires.