Joel Embiid is about to start his third season with the Philadelphia 76ers. DeAndre Ayton, meanwhile, is the most recent No. 1 overall pick in the draft. And while the Phoenix Suns continue to rebuild, they’ll hope Ayton can help take them to the next level. But the Sixers big man doesn’t think he’s ready for that just yet.
He just paints a little more colorful picture.
“He’s about to get his ass kicked this year,” Embiid said at the 76ers’ practice facility (via ESPN). But don’t worry, Embiid also believes Ayton is going to be good.
“He’s going to be good,” he says. “But when you talk about ‘He looks like Joel Embiid,’ I play on both sides of the court. I think I’m a good offensive player, good defensive player. … I watched him play and he’s got a lot of work to do. But he’s got a lot of potential. He’s going to be really good.”
Meanwhile, the 76ers are coming off a 52-win season. That mark would see them finish out East, and they ultimately went on to lose to the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference semi-final. In his second full season, Embiid put up 22.9 points, 11 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.8 blocks. They’re only going to get better. And Ayton is too. It’s just never supposed to easy, and it’s not going to be.
We look forward to their first matchup against each other on November 19.