It's been nearly a month since our last mailbag, and a lot has happened during that time period. Bryan Colangelo temporarily avoided trading Nerlens Noel, knocked the 2016 draft out of the park, and is set to splurge in free agency. Exciting times are head. The answers to some of your draft and free agency related questions are below.
@DanielBowling25: How big of an impact will Timothe Luwawu make right away?
I think a lot of that depends on what the Sixers end up accomplishing in free agency. Bryan Colangelo is certainly seeking out help on the perimeter, and with reported links to Allen Crabbe, Jordan Clarkson, and Dion Waiters, finding a quality two guard is definitely high on the team's to do list. Luwawu certainly wouldn't have started regardless of who the Sixers end up signing, but there will be a competition for playing time with Nik Stauskas and Hollis Thompson. I think his game is ready for the NBA level, but it's going to take some time to adjust to the pace and talent level. The Adriatic League is certainly a step up from France's second division, where Luwawu played last year, but the players as a whole aren't that good and there's no real focus on defense. He's also built like a twig, and is going to need some time to build his body up to deal with the wear and tear of the league. For all of those reasons, it's going to be hard for the Sixers to trust him with quality minutes right out the gate. I think he could see 10-15 minutes per game because Philadelphia can use someone as bouncy and energetic as he is off the bench, but I wouldn't be surprised if he spends some extended time in Delaware during his rookie year.
@UncleHosh: What do you think the ideal timeline is for Furkan Korkmaz to come over?
I would put him on the two year Dario Saric plan. Korkmaz's buyout is reportedly $2 million, and Philadelphia can only contribute $650,000 towards it. Seeing how Korkmaz can make only around $1.2 million in his first season, the money doesn't really work out right. It's also been reported that the $2 million can be payed in multiple installments, but it's still a dicey financial situation for someone who shouldn't be rushing to get to the NBA. When Philadelphia drafted Dario Saric two years ago, he desperately needed to work on his shooting if he hoped to hack it at the NBA level. His three-point shooting has drastically increased, and he seems like a viable threat around the perimeter, as well as someone who can contribute as soon as he steps on the court in Philly. Korkmaz could still use a ton of work on his defense and scoring on bigger players, and would benefit from additional time in Europe to work on that before coming stateside. There is a case to be made for bringing players over to the NBA at a younger age in hopes of coaching them up and having them adjust to the game quicker, but there's also the potential for serious damage by throwing them in the fire too soon. He'll just be turning 19 in July; allow him to grow into his game overseas for the next two seasons while working on some of his weaknesses, then bring him over.
@Sweenz7: Thoughts on Matthew Dellavedova as a stopgap point guard?
Not the sexiest free agent out there, but I would definitely be cool with bringing in Dellavedova. During the regular season he averaged 6.5 assists per 36 minutes and shot 41 percent from three on over three attempts per game. He's a super obnoxious defender who probably teeters on the line of being dirty, but people would love having a hardnosed player like that on their team. He also has some experience playing off ball when LeBron James ran the point, and shot 48 percent on catch and shoot situations; the Sixers could certainly play him next to Ben Simmons (Aussie connection!) if they so choose. Dellavedova is a restricted free agent, and although it is harder to lure players away from teams who have the right of refusal, but the 25-year-old was basically unseen during the NBA Finals. He may not exactly be a top priority for Cleveland this offseason, who will be giving James a well deserved raise this summer. I'd be willing to offer 2 years, $25 million and see what happens. He'll be effective in the short term while not really hurting the Sixers pockets all that much.
@Giles1228: Opinion on going after Jerryd Bayless?
I like it for similar reasons that I would be interested in signing Dellavedova, although he would be lower on my list of potential targets. Bayless shot 43.7 percent from three on 4.4 attempts per game, but he's two seasons removed from shooting 30.8 percent beyond the arc. He's not the most consistent perimeter threat, although he has proven to be a solid spot up shooter. Two other downsides to Bayless is that he isn't much of a playmaker -- something the team will still need at the point guard position with Simmons likely starting the season at the four -- and he's not a good defender. There are certainly worse options in free agency, but anything more than $8-10 million a season would be too rich for my blood.
@TomWelke: What are the Sixers looking for in a point guard? When you hear the name Rubio it seems like shooting isn't valued when it should be.
Considering the two supreme talents on this team are Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid, the team is inevitably going to run their offense through the two of them. Simmons probably could run some point forward for the Sixers, but quotes from Brett Brown make it seem as though the team wants to start him off playing off ball. Regardless, whoever the Sixers end up signing or trading for will have to be complimentary options to Simmons and Embiid, and Rubio did make some sense. He's a tremendous ball handler with really good court vision that can create a ton of scoring opportunities for his teammates because he's one of the most prolific passers in the league. If you surround Rubio with quality shooters -- which has to be done because he's never shot the ball well -- then he'd be a great fit in Philadelphia. A 25-year-old savvy, two-way point guard on a team friendly deal through 2018-19 would be a pretty prime target.
Eventually, I think it's going to be in the Sixers best interests to let Simmons handle the ball more often, and because of that they're going to need guards who are comfortable playing both on and off the ball. Guys like Dellavedova, Bayless, Miami's Tyler Johnson, and New York's Langston Galloway make sense because they're combo guards who can shoot pretty well from the outside while Simmons still works on finding his stroke. It'll prevent defenses from collapsing on Simmons, and allow him to attack the basket as well.