The Sixers offseason could be considered stagnant and monotonous, a transaction-less three months from the depths of hell. Every day that goes by without a move being made is one more day Brandon Davies is likely to make this team. We give Davies a lot of crap, maybe undeserved, but if he's on this team come the fall it will be an unforgivable offense.
They've watched salary dumps for the likes of Jeremy Lin and Jarrett Jack pass them by, all attached with ever-so-valuable first round picks, prizes the Sixers have sought out in basically any trade they've tried to make over the past two seasons. There are certainly suitable reasons that Philadelphia has yet to partake in any of those deals, but the window of opportunity to get themselves involved in a big summer deal is closing really quickly.
A Kevin Love blockbuster is seemingly the final potential trade for Sam Hinkie to get involved this summer, and luckily for our sanity, he seems poised to do just that. From Timberwolves reporter Charley Walters:
Cleveland remains the strong bet for Love to join LeBron James. But the Wolves continue to listen to offers from Chicago and Golden State, with Philadelphia expected to be part of a three-team deal.
So what could Philadelphia get out of all this?
Sweet, Sweet Draft Picks
If a team is negotiating a deal with the Sixers, they know what they're in for. They want your draft picks, they'll take your draft picks, your draft picks are gone. Your team just traded a 2016 first-rounder for the rights to a Yugoslavian center who apparently retired four seasons ago. Know this when you're dealing with Sam Hinkie: your future draft classes don't look as good after you're done with him.
If they plan to get in on the Kevin Love action the Sixers are gonna have to probably take on a little added salary. It's not only nothing they can't handle, but for helping to facilitate Love to Cleveland they have a wide selection of firsts to chose from. The Cavaliers own both Miami and Memphis' top selections in 2015, both of which are appealing. Miami's pick, protected 1-10, probably falls somewhere in the early 20's this season, but the Grizzlies selection is the real belle of the ball.
Protected 1-5 and 15-30 in both 2015 and 2016, Memphis retains the pick in 2017 only if it falls in the top 5. That has a genuine chance to be a low lottery pick, though harder to acquire. Minnesota has all their future first round picks in order and is probably gonna sit in the lottery for at least next season. There is no real rush for the pick to be in 2015, as the talent may not be as strong nor as deep as in the previous year's class. But getting a first-round pick regardless of where it comes from should have fans doing cartwheels, as the Sixers continue to make it clear they plan on stacking future assets.
ESPN's Brian Windhorst linked Bennett to Philadelphia for the first time Monday, and T'Wolves reporter Darren Wolfson threw more gas on the fire that evening. After seeing his performance at Vegas Summer League, I can't really complain. He looked healthy and in shape for probably the first time in a long time, and his play showed that.
Bennett ran the floor like a gazelle despite being built like a bull. It was hard not to be impressed. He was knocking down pull-up jump shots. He was slashing to the rim and throwing down hard. Point Bennett became a real thing at one point. Against the Sixers he brought the ball up, shook Nerlens Noel out of his shoes at the perimeter and almost brought the arena down with an earth shattering dunk had he not been fouled. This is the Anthony Bennett the Cleveland Cavaliers drafted first overall, and the Sixers need to get their hands on him if they can. Get the best players you can, worry about fit when you have to cross that bridge.
Other Salary Relief
Frankly, even the worst deals Cleveland and Minnesota have to offer are not as miserable as made out to be. Kevin Martin's remaining three years at $7 million a season is viewed as sort of an albatross, but I can think of worse guys to place next to Michael Carter-Williams. He has a smooth outside stroke, who can attack the rim and get to the line at a decently high rate. Hard to ask for much more, especially when two years down the road you can sell him off as a shooting specialist to a contender seeking an infusion off the bench and collecting a second rounder.
Trading Dion Waiters could clear enough room for Cleveland, albeit unlikely. And despite the character issues, I'd take my chances on the hometown kid for two seasons. He's dropped a ton of weight, and maybe a change of surrounding, including a coach who will sit his ass damn quick for hoisting up awful shots, can do the trick. The Cavaliers also have point guard John Lucas III and power forward Erik Murphy, two guys on non-guaranteed deals who could be shipped to Philly if it helps Cleveland shed enough dough for Love.
What Will The Sixers Give Up?
The low cost of Thaddeus Young. Philadelphia has been attempting to facilitate his requests to be traded to a franchise a little more focused on winning, but have yet to find a deal worth their while. The real struggle has been the return; Philadelphia wants first round picks (surprise!), nobody has wanted to pay a premium for a decent player on a non-team friendly contract. But if Philadelphia can get a first rounder and a young player in Anthony Bennett in exchange for Young because they helped free up cap for Cleveland, they've hit the jackpot.
Philadelphia genuinely seems down to be a key component of this power shifting three-team deal, and the return could make this slow offseason well worth it.