Why Joel Embiid Believes Sixers Will Challenge Cavs In NBA Playoffs Next Season

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The Cleveland Cavaliers have a pretty tight grip on the Eastern Conference as long as they have LeBron James, but sooner or later, another team is bound to catch up.

And not only does Joel Embiid believe that team will be the Philadelphia 76ers, but he also says it’ll happen next season.

The Sixers scored the No. 3 pick in Tuesday’s draft lottery, giving them another chance to add to their talented young roster that includes the likes of Embiid, Ben Simmons and Jahlil Okafor. Philly has had a tough time staying healthy, but it has the pieces to be competitive in the near future.

“We’re gearing up at the right time,” Embiid said after the draft lottery, per the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Mike Sielski. “When we start getting good, that’s when Cleveland and (LeBron) will start going down.”

But while that’s not the most ludicrous thing Embiid could have come up with, the 23-year-old’s next statement might give you a laugh.

“When I say we are going to be ready to win when the Cavs are going down, that doesn’t mean, like, five years,” Embiid said. “Next year I think we are going to be ready to win.”

The Sixers finished 28-54 this season, good for fourth-worst in the league. They won just 10 games during the 2015-16 season and have finished last or second-to-last in the East every year since 2013.

Thumbnail photo via Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports Images

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