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Sixers Mailbag Season 2 Vol. 4 - Who Gets A Max Deal?

We talk about the Saric dilemma, the Sixers guard situation, and a lot of Jahlil Okafor.

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Liberty Ballers mailbag is back on this lovely Tuesday, one day after Philadelphia hung tough with the Cleveland Cavaliers. As always, you can check out previous editions of the mailbag here. Let's get started.

@KirkSeriousFace: Which 76er did you go to Halloween dressed as?

I did not dress as a Sixer this year, but rather Arnold from the popular Nickeloden show. However, in a Twitter exchange with semi-retired Liberty Ballers writer Dave (also known as WIBR), I did say this:


I feel solely responsible for his return to the organization, even though it may be with the Sixers D-League team. Rodney Carney is back where he belongs (sort of). Let's cherish it.

@Piratebro: What's the deal with Peyton Siva? Not on the Sevens training camp roster, but wondered if he'd have a shot at the 16th spot.

Peyton Siva is currently playing in Italy. The Sevens acquired Siva's returning player rights, which only means that if he opts to return to the D-League, the only team he can play for would be Delaware. This situation is similar to Khalif Wyatt's earlier this year, where Delaware acquired his rights, but Wyatt stayed with his club team in Israel. He's a decent passer, but I look at Siva as a guy who belongs in Europe. Philadelphia can find better options if they want to address the guard situation.

@a2khawaii: Are the Sixers looking to add a guard with the roster exception or to just bring back Aldemir?

It seems as though the ship has sailed on Aldemir. Reports are that he's setting his sights on returning to his home country to play for the same Euroleague Scottie Wilbekin recently signed with. Philadelphia certainly needs the guard help much more than the front court depth. I think Richaun Holmes can handle his own, and Jerami Grant can technically defend power forwards, although he's been far from stellar.

T.J. McConnell has been really solid through three games, but Isaiah Canaan has been an absolute mess. He's shooting poorly, not passing well, and turning the ball over a lot. That's a recipe for disaster. I've tooted Bryce Cotton's horn a lot lately. Phil Pressey is a guy with a little NBA experience, although I don't love him. Gary Talton put up some pretty big numbers in the D-League last year, and Philadelphia almost signed him to a ten-day contract last season. He was also just acquired by the Sevens, so that's a guy the Sixers organization clearly wants to keep a close eyes on. The options aren't great, but they can't be much worse than Canaan has been. The position certainly needs to be addressed.

@ayoitsjordan: How is Saric/Aldemir's agent feeling about Furkan getting cut? Will it impact Saric coming over?

I'm sure he doesn't feel great about it, but he should be happy Philadelphia gave Aldemir a shot in the first place. They rescued him from a pretty bad situation at Galatasaray, and paid him somewhat handsomely -- by Sixers standards -- for half a season of work. Now it seems as though he's going back to his home country of Turkey where he'll make a ton of money playing for a quality Euroleague team. There shouldn't really be any hard feelings.

In regards to how this may affect this Saric situation, I'm not sure if I see him being able to get in the way here. Dario has made it crystal clear he wants to be here next season. If his agent has a problem with it, well, I'm sure Saric could find someone else to get the deal done. But with that said, I imagine there won't be any issues.

Michael Potopa via email: During his one year with Duke, there were concerns and sports talk about Jahlil Okafor not being in proper shape.  In both summer league and the start of training camp, (before the leg injury), he seemed to be in poor shape.  He had 6 months to get in shape after March.  How concerned are you he does not have the mentality to be the best he can be?

On a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being extraordinarily concerned), I'd put myself at a 3. The only real way to get into NBA shape is by playing NBA games. The pace of play is much different than what he's used to, especially with the Sixers preaching an up-tempo style. I thought he looked pretty gassed in the season opener against Boston, but has looked better over the past two games.

We're also talking about the same guy who started showing up at PCOM to workout at 6:30 a.m. just a couple days after getting drafted. I don't think work ethic is an issue with him. He knows the steps he needs to take to be great, and I think he's well on his way to getting there. The Sixers will give him all the resources he needs to trim down and get into better shape, and I fully believe Okafor will take advantage of them. This should be a real non-factor in a couple of years.

Brian Kutza: Of the players currently on the Sixers roster, how many of them do you think have the possibility of getting a max offer sheet in restricted free agency? In other words, do you think Noel, Embiid, or Okafor will be signed to a max contract by the Sixers when their rookie deals end?

If Joel Embiid can ever get healthy and stay that way, he's got max-contract potential written all over him. He just oozes with franchise altering talent unlike any of the other big men on the Sixers roster. However, I have no confidence in his ability to stay on that court enough to earn that deal.

Out of all three guys, I think Jahlil Okafor would be a safer bet to earn a maximum contract over Nerlens Noel. Impactful offensive players like Okafor are always more likely candidates for a max deal than guys like Noel, who make their presence felt on the defensive end. Tristan Thompson showed this year that teams are becoming more open to throwing big money at defensive minded players, but he was still short of a max deal. Noel is a great player in his own right, but on a team that's pretty offensively challenged in its current construction, I'd have a hard time giving that kind of money to Noel over Okafor.

Really, Philadelphia does have enough money to give both of them maximum contracts, but if I had to pick one over the other, I would take Okafor.

Thanks for reading. As always, you can send me your questions on Twitter @JakePavorsky, or email me at

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