I hope everyone is getting ready for a fun 4th of July weekend! If you see a 6’1” guy yelling, “Trust the process!” into the night sky and requesting “Mr. Brightside” to the DJ at a bar down the shore, I assure you that it’s not me. Let’s get this mailbag going.
I got approximately 475 questions regarding free agency, so I’m just going to go on a general tangent about the Sixers’ options this summer.
With Gerald Henderson getting waived today, the Sixers have 11 players on their roster currently. Adding in Markelle Fultz and Bryan Colangelo’s assumption that Furkan Korkmaz will be coming over from Turkey this season gives them 13. This leaves the team in a position to add at most two new free agents to the roster (I’m not counting the caliber of players who could be enticed to sign two-way deals with the D-League in this exercise).
Now, the Sixers aren’t going to keep all of those players. I think Jahlil Okafor, Justin Anderson and Nik Stauskas are the three most susceptible to not being on the team this upcoming season. Out of those three, Stauskas is the only player head coach Brett Brown mentioned among his “keepers” during the Sixers’ end of the year interviews. I don’t think they cut Okafor this year (more on that below) and I’m honestly unsure of Anderson, but maybe they want to save face from the ridiculously poor Nerlens Noel trade from February.
The type of players the Sixers should be adding to their roster this year and over the next several are athletic forwards and wings who can both defend multiple positions and knock down three-pointers. That’s a lot easier said to done, but it’s an archetype that’s needed around ball-handlers like Fultz and Ben Simmons in addition to Joel Embiid, Destroyer of Worlds.
Here are some names I’ve seen thrown out as potential targets for the Sixers that I don’t really see happening:
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope: He seems redundant with Fultz now on the squad.
Patty Mills: Ditto.
Jonathan Simmons: I’d expect the Spurs to keep him. He’s restricted.
J.J. Redick: He’s a “name” player and has the Duke connection that Daddy Colangelo can’t get enough of. I get the idea of saying, “I’d be cool with him on a one or two-year deal,” but why would a veteran come to a team like the Sixers unless they’re getting overpaid what the market dictates for them in terms of both years and dollars?
Embiid was the rare rookie he was an immediate star, but that’s atypical. Expecting All-Star-level performances from Simmons and Fultz at this stage would be insane. They’ll both be very good one day, but rookies are usually not productive NBA contributors. I wouldn’t mistake the Sixers be exciting for them contending for an Eastern Conference Finals berth.
Redick, I’d assume, wants a better shot at a title at this stage in his career and would be able to get a near-equal value contract from a team with a better shot of playoff success next season.
Andre Iguodala: Philadelphia fans weren’t too kind to Iguodala during his first stint with the Sixers and I can’t see him being too keen to return to a rebuilding effort here after being a part of one of the most successful runs in NBA history with the Warriors. Do people really want to offer a guy who turns 34 in the middle of this upcoming season a four-year contract? I love ‘Dre, but he’s had nagging injury issues and is best served in his Swiss Army Knife role in Golden State.
Otto Porter: Maxing out Porter in addition to extending Robert Covington’s contract this fall would essentially leave the Sixers capped out for the next couple of seasons. I’d prefer to keep Covington, the better defender of the two for sure, on a cheaper contract than what it will take to pry Porter away from the Wizards.
Joe Ingles: I... would be okay with this? I don’t have a sense of
Engles’ Ingles’ market value. He’s 29 years old and coming off a two-year contract worth just $4.3 million. He’ll make much, much more than that on a per-year basis going forward, but he can handle the ball a bit, has shot 39.9 percent from three over his three-year NBA career and is a good enough defender to handle wings in this league.
If the Jazz are worried about keeping their core together, re-signing one or both of Gordon Hayward or George Hill could impede them from keeping Ingles. I’d like him as a target, but again, he’s likely to have suitors who are closer to contention than the Sixers.
The Sixers also have the option of trading for a player who could join their roster. The Spurs are reportedly open to trading Danny Green, but what could the Sixers have that they want in return? I wouldn’t want to give up a young wing like Korkmaz or Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot who could replicate Green’s career potentially when Green has just one year left on his contract at $10 million.
Ryan Anderson’s name has been out there with the flurry of moves the Rockets have been making this week, but with $60 million being owed to him over the next three years, it’s a situation where he’d be capping out the Sixers during his tenure while providing no defensive or rebounding value whatsoever at this stage of his career. He may be the league’s premier big man shooter, but he got run off the court in the playoffs against San Antonio.
So what do I think the Sixers should do this summer? As Will Hunting once said, “I’m holding out for something better.”
@smoothaseggs17 Will you get a 2020 sixers NBA champs tattoo before this season or wait until next year?
Anyone who ever gets a tattoo like this in any sport is a gigantic fool. If any Sixers fans out there reading this are considering doing this one day in the future, please don’t. It just makes us all look bad by association.
@super_sloth2 When do they cut Okafor?
I’m predicting a Fall 2018 cut for Okafor. If he had any value in a trade, I think he’d have been dealt already and they’ll keep him around this year just to see if maybe something small clicks and they can move him before the deadline.
@mwteller Who are the Sixers playing on Christmas?
There’s definitely some intrigue in watching Markelle Fultz play against Lonzo Ball, right? I wouldn’t bet on it, but it’d be pretty sweet to see the Sixers grab a Christmas Day game this year. It’s my favorite basketball of the season and, in an ideal world, I wish the NBA would actually open the season on Christmas Day while playing a much shorter schedule.
Considering that the Eagles are also hosting the Raiders on Monday Night Football on Christmas Day at 8:30 EST, could the Sixers potentially play in Los Angeles for the 10:30 p.m. EST late night game? They wouldn’t want two Philly teams to overlap on the schedule, but the showcase 5 p.m. game is probably out of reach for these two teams and either a 12 p.m. or 2:30 p.m. EST game in Philadelphia is probably too early in the day for the Los Angeles market. That’s a shame. I’d love to see debauchery down at the sports complex if both the Eagles AND the Sixers were playing on Christmas in South Philly.
Needless to say, I would be in attendance for both games.