For the better part of the past three seasons, the Philadelphia 76ers have gone to the scrap heap to try and find help at the shooting guard position. Names like Elliott Williams, Chris Johnson, and Alexey Shved have all come and gone without an iota of success. Even the players on the roster last season reeked of being super cheap options the Sixers were hoping to squeeze the last drop of production out of. Hollis Thompson -- the lone survivor of the two guard turnstile days of not too long ago -- struggled to become anything more than a standstill shooter after a promising 2014-15 campaign. Restricted free agent Isaiah Canaan's poor shot selection and defensive struggles make him tough to want to bring back, even though his qualifying offer is worth just $1.25 million. Redemption project of the year Nik Stauskas carried over a bad rookie season into a disappointing sophomore performance. He's worth keeping around because he's only 22 years old and is making just under $3 million in 2016-17, but relying on him to be a serious contributor right now would be ill-advised.
You can't polish a turd, and the Sixers have been doing their damnedest to make these guys look real shiny. Time for an upgrade. Here's five players that make sense.
1. Evan Fournier - RFA
Fournier had his coming out party this season with the Orlando Magic in 2016, and he's likely to parlay that into a really nice payday this summer. The 23-year-old averaged 17.0 points per game, and shot 40.0 percent on 390 attempts from three-point range. Not only is he a threat from deep, but Fournier's a quality ball handler that can scorer around the rim as well. He's got good size so he can play a little bit of small forward if need be, but that will lead to him getting somewhat exposed on defense. Fournier would fit really well in Philadelphia, and can be an efficient scorer without commanding a ton of touches. He might be worth a long-term investment, although plucking the restricted free agent from Orlando may mean a bit of an overpay.
2. Courtney Lee - UFA
Bryan Colangelo has talked about signing potential free agents to "placeholder deals", or contracts that would help the team now without jeopardizing longterm flexibility. The 30-year-old Lee would probably fit that bill. He's been a consistent offensive contributor since he stepped in the league in 2008, and will be able to stretch the floor on a Sixers team that could use some solid perimeter shooting. He's never proven to be the kind of guy who can carry the bulk of your offense, but he doesn't need to be in Philadelphia. A two-year deal could make sense for both parties.
3. E'Twaun Moore - UFA
Moore would very quietly be a solid signing if they can pull him away from the Chicago Bulls, who own his bird rights. The 27-year-old can play both guard positions if need be, and was praised in Chicago for helping to carry the offense at points during their rough season. He's capable of scoring anywhere on the floor, shooting 43.7 percent from the field on pull-up jumpers and 43.4 percent in catch-and-shoot situations fifth pro season. Moore's also a capable defender, putting pressure on the ball every time he's on the floor. He could immediately start for the Sixers in 2016-17 and slide into a comfortable sixth man role as the team continues to progress over the next couple years. If Moore ends up leaving Chicago, he could be the steal of free agency.
4. Dion Waiters - UFA
I'm not entirely enthused about the prospect of Waiters donning a Sixers jersey, but his playoff run with the Oklahoma City Thunder did at points have me questioning how bad it would really be if Philadelphia were to sign him. In 18 games he averaged 8.4 points and shot 37.5 percent from beyond the arc, all while playing super motivated lockdown defense. If he can be that committed on the defensive end at all times, Waiters is a legitimately valuable player. I'm just not entirely sure he can be. Despite his restricted free agent status, it probably wouldn't take a ton to pry him away from the Thunder, as they'll be concerned about re-signing Kevin Durant this summer, plus have enough money to give Serge Ibaka and Russell Wesbtrook new deals next summer.
5. Seth Curry - UFA
Curry signed down is player option of just over $1 million in hopes of landing a solid free agent deal after an impressive run with the Sacramento Kings. He shot 45.5 percent from the field and 45.0 percent from beyond the arc in 44 games. Curry never showed great court vision at Duke despite some high assist totals in spurts with the Kings, but I think he's best fit for a role similar to what Canaan did for Philadelphia last year. He can handle the ball in some instances but is best suited running of screens and trying to knock catch-and-shoot threes. Whoever signs him will be paying a lot for a small amount of proven production, but fits the definition of a placeholder who can help get you some wins now as the Sixers transition into a legitimate team.