clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Will The Sixers Have Trouble Attracting Free Agents?

New, comments

The simple answer is no.

Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

One of the questions surrounding the Sixers rebuilding plan that has garnered some attention is whether or not the team's constant losing will be detrimental to them signing free agents. The idea has been tossed around without any real substance until an NBA player went on record to share his thoughts.

New Wizards small forward Jared Dudley joined Zach Lowe on his podcast to discuss his issues with what the Sixers are doing, and why he would rather sign with another team (in this hypothetical it was the Kings) over Philadelphia.

He had this to say about the Sixers:

"I see how they sign these second round picks to four year deals to try and lock them up and keep them in there for a long time ... Two, just guys come in and out. They sign 10-days, they sign this. To me, they give the assumption they're not trying to win games. It's a difference when it's maybe one can't be like this consistently, this long."

It's a fair point. There are going to be guys like Dudley who would rather chase a title than give the Sixers the time of day.

The only problem with Dudley's logic is that the Sixers wouldn't be interested in him at this point in their rebuild, and when they get to the point where they're ready to spend, someone like him will be all ears.

In his column yesterday, Tom Ziller had this to say about the attractiveness of playing for Philadelphia:

If Hinkie's blueprint works and some combination of Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor, Dario SaricJoel Embiid (God willing), the Sixers' 2016 pick, the Lakers' 2016 pick and, I don't know, Robert Covington eventually win games, the future Jared Dudleys of the world won't hesitate to join the Sixers. This is an important concept to understand when considering the costs of Hinkie's blueprint.

Sure, free agents won't readily sign with an avowed loser. But the avowed loser doesn't want free agents. When the team does want free agents, it won't be an avowed loser any more. As such, how players not on the Sixers feel about the Sixers right now is wholly irrelevant!

There's been a lot of talk about the Sixers somewhat sketchy business practices (which Dudley partially highlighted), but when Philadelphia is in a position to compete, none of this will matter.

When the news broke that the Sixers had to pay the New Orleans Pelicans $3 million for failing to disclose Jrue Holiday's injuries, I wrote about how this could really hurt their ability to conduct trades with other teams going forward. Four days later, the Sixers acquired Nik Stauskas and a party mix full of other goodies in a very lopsided deal with the Sacramento Kings. Needless to say, I was pretty wrong.

Professional sports are one of very few fields in the workplace where indiscretions can be forgotten, forgiven, or not cared about whatsoever. If one of the Sixers sins was not conducting their affairs truthfully, Sacramento, who I was told didn't even bother to engage any teams other than Philadelphia, apparently could care less.

If agents and players are disgruntled by the way the organization currently spends, I imagine they'll have convenient amnesia when Josh Harris starts writing big checks in the very foreseeable future.

By 2017, the Sixers will have eight top picks in the fold (not including Embiid), a state-of-the-art practice facility, and a nauseating amount of money in cap space to use. A free agent won't turn that down because the team lost a lot three years prior.

Philadelphia's plan has always been about the future, never about the now. And when Sam Hinkie builds it, the free agents will come.