On Tuesday, we began a mock off-season exercise, with three Liberty Ballers contributors taking over as GM of Sixers squads. From the original post:
“The Sixers’ offseason can go in multiple directions. Signing LeBron James is one way, while striking out on LeBron and pursuing the next best free agent (Paul George) is another. And of course, the Sixers could miss out on a worthy max player entirely, and roll their cap space over to next summer. With the multitude of options for the Sixers, three of us here at Liberty Ballers participated in a Sixers’ mock offseason, including the NBA Draft and NBA Free Agency.
First, we split the Sixers into the same team three times: Sixers Red (GM Adam), Sixers White (GM Sean) and Sixers Blue (GM Kev). So each of us starts with the same roster. And on the roster, we all have: Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, Robert Covington, Dario Saric, Markelle Fultz, Justin Anderson, TJ McConnell and Jonah Bolden. For the purpose of this exercise (to give ourselves the maximum amount of cap space possible entering free agency), we’ve shipped out Richaun Holmes, Jerryd Bayless, Furkan Korkmaz and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot.
- Richaun Holmes, Jerryd Bayless and pick 39 to the Brooklyn Nets for Brooklyn’s 2021 2nd round pick (top 55 protected). Brooklyn gets a pick and project for taking on Bayless. Sixers get basically nothing in return but clear cap.
- Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot and Furkan Korkmaz to the Orlando Magic for the Oklahoma City Thunder’s 2020 first round pick (protected 1-20). Orlando gets two wings to experiment with. Sixers get a pick that could fall in the same range they selected Korkmaz and clear a bit more cap.
After those two moves, Sixers Red, White and Blue have all amassed, in total, $36,607,794 in cap space. That already factors in soon-to-be-made draft picks.
Each team has eight of the same players. We’ll be adding six players each, to get to a roster of 14 players. Three players will come from the draft (picks 10, 26 and 38) and three players will join via free agency. We can share only to the players already on the Sixers roster. In other words, we all have Joel Embiid. But we can’t all have Mikal Bridges.
We’ve randomized the draft order, as well as the free agent “draft” order. Whoever is chosen in the draft by Sixers Red, then becomes unavailable to Sixers White and Sixers Blue. Got it? Good.”
For the Free Agent Draft, the three of us used the honor system on contracts: we all had to agree the contract was fair value for the player. Then, Adam did the leg work on making sure the contracts and cap space checked out.
Without further ado, the Free Agent Draft.
Free Agent Draft
Round 1 - Order: Sixers White, Sixers Red, Sixers Blue
With the first selection of the Free Agent Draft, Sixers White selects: LeBron James.
Contract: 1-year $35,350,000 in ‘18-19, with $37,117,500 player option in ‘19-’20
Sean: You may have heard of this guy, so I’ll save you the time of writing about what he is capable of on the court. In return, save me your worries about how James would fit with Ben Simmons and let’s welcome the best player of this generation to Philadelphia. LeBron can spend the summer in his multiple homes on the West Coast and keep chasing titles in the East where he’ll be able to avoid the Warriors until the Finals. The incredible fact that LeBron has reached 8 straight Finals has been rightfully discussed quite a bit. If he makes it 9 straight with the Sixers, nobody will mind the extra bit of drama that follows the King wherever he goes.
With the second selection of the Free Agent Draft, Sixers Red selects: Paul George.
Contract: 4-year $130,290,000
Adam: While LeBron James is the best player alive, Paul George is a much better fit stylistically with the rest of the Sixers’ core. He is an elite shooter, especially on spot-ups, can guard just about anyone out on the perimeter, and doesn’t need the offense to revolve around him. He can be just as lethal of a scoring threat when playing off the ball, and might put up career numbers playing alongside Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. Unlike in George’s last stop, his fellow “big three” teammates in Philly would actually make him better.
With the third selection of the Free Agent Draft, Sixers Blue selects: Trevor Ariza
Contract: 1-year, $14,500,000
Kev: It has been reported that Ariza is seeking a 4-year, $50-$60 million contract, and I’m seeking student debt forgiveness. Turning age 33 in about a week, I don’t think Ariza will be getting that contract. And so we here at the Sixers Blue headquarters believe this is actually a slight overpay that will entice Ariza to take a 1-year deal. Ariza provides us a wing who can play the 3 or 4 while providing stout D. He fits in just fine next to Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons offensively, as a guy who can stretch the floor. Ariza has never been an elite 3PT shooter, but he gets the job done with a supremely average 36.5 3PT% since the 2011-2012 season.
Round 2 - Order: Sixers Red, Sixers Blue, Sixers White
With first selection of round 2 in the Free Agent Draft, Sixers Red selects: JJ Redick.
Contract: 1-year, $6,695,418
Adam: If he’s willing to take a bit of an underpay this year after his massive overpay last year, Redick can return to this team and provide the same elite shot-making that he did last season. His presence alone provides an extreme level of gravity that makes everyone else’s jobs so much easier. He is sometimes a liability on defense, but because of the newfound wing depth this hypothetical roster has, it is not nearly as much of a concern.
With the second selection of round 2 in the Free Agent Draft, Sixers Blue selects: Tyreke Evans.
Contract: 1-year $16,000,000
Kev: Sixers Blue gets the man they wanted at the previous season’s trade deadline. Evans is coming off a very productive year for a very bad team, which is usually a reason to raise eyebrows. But Evans has shown flashes his entire career. He’s a solid defender, and someone who can create his own shot on offense. And his distance shooting has come a long way: over the last 3 seasons, he’s shot 38.7% from 3PT land. Evans is almost underrated at this point, but that has more to do with his injury history. With the Sixers though, he’ll have a reduced workload on a team that will actually have wing depth after the additions of Zhaire Smith, Dzanan Musa and Trevor Ariza, and a full season of Markelle Fultz.
With the third selection of round 2 in the Free Agent Draft, Sixers White selects: Ersan Ilyasova.
Contract: 1-year, $4,411,000 (room exception)
Sean: During exit interviews, Ilyasova said he has enjoyed his time in Philadelphia and would like to re-sign with the Sixers. Maybe he would be willing to do so for the room exception, somewhat less than the $1 year, $6 million deal he signed with the Hawks last summer. We’ve seen firsthand how his spacing helps open up the floor for Joel Embiid in the post and Ben Simmons barreling down the lane. The LeBron plus four shooters strategy has already proven to be a title-winning strategy. Additionally, the Ilyasova/Saric frontcourt combination proved effective last season; both players provide just enough post defense and rebounding to make up for the lack of rim protection. Ilyasova’s capability to log some minutes at center would be critical for a roster thin at the position with only an injury-prone Embiid and unproven Jonah Bolden.
Round 3 - Order: Sixers Blue, Sixers White, Sixers Red
With the first selection of round 3 in the Free Agent Draft, Sixers Blue selects: Ed Davis.
Contract: 1-year, $7,326,730
Kev: Ed Davis slides in perfectly to Amir Johnson’s role from the ‘17-’18 season. Davis gives Sixers Blue depth behind JoJo, with Davis being an exceptional rebounder, and at least average on both offense and defense. Can’t ask for much more out of a 2nd unit center.
With the second selection of round 3 in the Free Agent Draft, Sixers White selects: LeBron’s personal caddy. (Sean originally selected Luc Richard Mbah A Moute, but afterward, we realized the numbers just wouldn’t allow it.)
Contract: one-year, $1,499,699
Sean: With the final $1,499,699 in cap space, bring in whomever the Klutch Sports client is LeBron wants to do a solid. There’s a cost of doing business with the King, and it’s more than his own max deal. If he wants to take up a roster spot for somebody to wear a suit and build him up during timeouts, go right ahead. James is doing the work of two men anyway.
With the third selection of round 3 in the Free Agent Draft, Sixers Red selects: Amir Johnson.
Contract: 1-year, $7,326,730
Adam: Amir Johnson is never going to make the highlight reel with his play. And many Sixers fans are not fans of his, and wish Richaun Holmes were the backup center last season. But Amir Johnson does all of the little things- he is tough as nails, works harder than anybody else on the floor, and will do whatever it takes to grab the loose ball, regain possession, pull the board, get the stop, or whatever is needed of him on a given play.
Undrafted Free Agency - Sixers Blue
Due to using pick #38 on Isaac Bonga, a draft-and-stash, Sixers Blue has a final roster spot to fill.
For the final roster spot, Sixers Blue selects: Seth Curry
Contract: 1-year, $4,411,000 (room exception)
Kev: Sixers Blue takes a flyer on Steph Curry’s lil’ bro, who before last season’s stress fracture, looked like he had carved himself out a role in the NBA. This signing is made solely to add some outside shooting in the back end of the bench. Worst case scenario: he’s burried in the rotation. Best case scenario: Sixers Blue has a player that can be 7th or 8th in the rotation, especially in a scenario where the oft-injured Tyreke Evans needs time off.
Sixers Red Depth Chart
|Ben Simmons||JJ Redick||Paul George||Robert Covington||Joel Embiid|
|TJ McConnell||Markelle Fultz||Mikal Bridges||Dario Saric||Amir Johnson|
|Markelle Fultz||Shake Milton||Jacob Evans||Jonah Bolden||Jonah Bolden|
Sixers White Depth Chart
|Ben Simmons||Robert Covington||LeBron James||Dario Saric||Joel Embiid|
|TJ McConnell||Markelle Fultz||Miles Bridges||Ersan Ilyasova||Jonah Bolden|
|Khyri Thomas||Josh Okogie||($1.5 mil player)|
Sixers Blue Depth Chart
|Ben Simmons||Tyreke Evans||Robert Covington||Dario Saric||Joel Embiid|
|TJ McConnell||Markelle Fultz||Trevor Ariza||Jonah Bolden||Ed Davis|
|Seth Curry||Zhaire Smith||Justin Anderson|
|Isaac Bonga (DnS)|
Which off-season do you support most?
This poll is closed