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Joel Embiid on goals for next season: ‘I want to win the MVP’

Joel Embiid may feel some semblance of disappointment over the Philadelphia 76ers to land a marquee player this offseason. That does not mean Embiid has modified any goals for next season, both for himself and the entire team.

“I don’t think it matters, big free agent or not. My goal going into the offseason was to get better. I want to win the MVP,” Embiid said Wednesday in a conference call, via Yahoo. “I feel like at the end of the day it might be an individual award, but when I play better, the team also does. I feel like if I’m an MVP candidate or if I win the MVP, that means we are on another level.”

The 76ers reportedly had their sights set on a blockbuster trade for Kawhi Leonard, not to mention potentially convincing an evidently intrigued LeBron James to join the young and talented roster headlined by Embiid and Ben Simmons. Things did not go as the Sixers hoped. Still, Embiid insists that does not change the way the team will approach the 2018-19 NBA campaign.

“I thought we had a chance,” Embiid said of possibly landing Leonard or James. “I’m a player. I always felt like it’s not my job to be in the middle of all that. I don’t like to be involved in front-office stuff. I always felt like [LeBron] didn’t need my help if he was going to do it. It is whatever. We have a great group of guys.”

In the end, Embiid claims not to care about the Sixers’ inability to land a big-name player.

“I want to be better than those guys that were mentioned, if I’m not already better than them,” Embiid said. “That was my message, just going into the offseason, finally the first one healthy and able to do whatever I want. That was my goal regardless.”

Embiid, among the NBA’s most charismatic players, sounds eager to continue leading the hardwood renaissance presently taking place in basketball-crazy Philadelphia. It does not matter to him if outsiders were not inclined to join his crusade.