Getting to $56.7

With the salary cap expected to be about $63MM, the league minimum will be 90%, or around $56.7MM. With Mullens' contract off the books, the SIXERS are currently about 30.5, including 1.8 for Varnado and Davies combined. Subtracting those two and adding on about 6 total for our 5 rookies, that gets you around $34.7 more or less. So we still need to spend another $22MM somehow.

From the asset collection perspective, the simplest plan is to take on $16.8 for Boozer and $3.3 for Dunleavy from the Bulls, and acquiring a 1st and a 2nd back in the process. Both deals come off the books at the end of the year, you get some serviceable vets to fill in at SG, as well as up front while Embiid sits. The roster is set, and most would think that is not enough to get you to the playoffs, so you get to keep your own 2015 1st round pick as well.

The other oft-discussed salary dump deal with the Rockets for Lin and a pick or two only gets you $8.3 against the cap, meaning you still have to spend another $11.7MM somehow. Three years for $35Mm for Stephenson is an option, one that gets you a major upgrade at SG, along with your backup PG for a year, and a guard rotation of MCW, Stephenson, Lin, Wroten and Jackson. The risk here is that you make the playoffs with this group, if one considers that a "risk".

An alternate to this scenario is to do the Lin deal, then spread the other $11.7 between two lesser impact veterans on one year deals. Jarrett Jack and Spencer Hawes is one such combo, where you are somewhat more competitive, but less likely, though still at some "risk" to exceed expectations and make the playoffs.

The next alternative is to try for an "unbalanced" sign and trade for someone like Keven Love. This probably costs you Thaad Young and a few of our carefully hoarded assets, and still leaves you filling in with some guys like Jack and Hawes because the differential between Love and Young still leaves you well short. You probably make the playoffs in this scenario, but you have Love, assuming you can resign him. You also have a future glut up front, unless one of the assets you move is Embiid.

Of course, you could combine the Love move with the Stephenson signing and be right on target capwise with minor tweaks. You have given up Thad Young and Joel Embiid, but you have also radically accelerated the rebuild, rolling out a lineup of MCW, Stephenson, McDaniels, Love and Noel. Not only do you make the playoffs, you are an immediate threat in the east.

Finally, you could go all in on the free agent route, and try to sign two 2nd tier guys together such as Stephenson and Gasol. You get to keep Young and Embiid, and get to run out MCW, Stephenson, McDaniels, Gasol and Noel, with Thad Young back in the familiar 6th man role. Again you are in the playoffs, and a dangerous team in the east.

Or you can just spend your money on a bunch of mediocrity, 3 or 4 guys, and keep a couple of the rookies down in the D-League for a season.

But one way or another, you have to spend some money.

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