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Every Free Agent the Sixers Could Target this Summer

This is the most highly anticipated free agency in Sixers history. Who will they walk away with?

For months, this summer’s offseason has been regarded as the most important in the history of the Philadelphia 76ers. After a surprise 52-win season led by an almost exclusively young core, the Sixers have a chance to cash in on their momentum with a significant amount of cap space that will not be available forever. But, the suspense doesn’t end there. The greatest basketball player of all time, LeBron James, has interest in potentially joining the Sixers. On top of that, the Sixers’ General Manager position is now vacant after Bryan Colangelo’s departure, with a collaborative effort now being made by the front office to run the show, and Head Coach Brett Brown having the final say. This is truly a summer like no other.

If the Sixers renounce all of their free agents (JJ Redick, Amir Johnson, Marco Belinelli, Ersan Ilyasova, Demetrius Jackson) and use one of their young players (Justin Anderson, Richaun Holmes, Furkan Korkmaz, Timothe Luwawu-Cabbarot) as a sweetener for somebody to take on the last year of Jerryd Bayless’ contract, they will reach their maximum realistic amount of cap space, somewhere between and $35.86M and $36.83M, depending on which young player they hypothetically dealt. They would need $35.35M for LeBron James to sign a max contract, while Paul George’s maximum salary is slightly lower, at $30.3M.

Either of those players (George & LeBron) would force the Sixers to fill out the rest of their roster with exceptions and minimum contracts, but that would not be too difficult given the many players already on the roster.

However, if the Sixers don’t land one of these two prized free agents, it becomes time for Brett Brown and company to get a little more creative with how they do things. They will have lots of cap space and little roster spots available, in a market that will be friendly towards teams with as much cap space as the Sixers. Do they bring back Redick and others from last year’s team on more short-term deals and keep their long-term financial flexibility? Do they pursue multiple good-but-not-great players to try to get deeper? The options are endless, and each one has distinct pros and cons. When it comes time to make a decision, the Sixers can’t afford to mess it up.

Because of the lasting effects of the infamous 2016 offseason, an unprecedented amount of teams are left without cap space. This has caused the market to flip into being team-friendly. Many players will be getting contracts well below what their market value probably should be, which plays right into the hands of teams with dollars to spend like the Sixers.

So, here is a comprehensive list of every free agent the Sixers would likely consider targeting once July 1 comes and the new league year begins.

LeBron James

Key Stats: 27.5 PPG, 8.5 RPG, 9.1 APG, 54.2% FG, 36.7% 3PT

Price Estimate: maximum contract ($35,350,000)

(Mostly) everyone understands LeBron’s greatness. It’s been nearly unanimously agreed upon that he is the best player alive for almost a decade, and has a strong case for being the best player in NBA history. He just reached his 8th straight NBA Finals, as his Eastern Conference dominance continued for yet another year. In the Sixers, LeBron is presented a unique option for multiple reasons. If LeBron committed to the idea, he could come in, help the Sixers try to win a championship in the immediate future, while also sticking around for the long-term and grooming Ben Simmons to take over when the time comes. Or LeBron could do what many have reported he covets in playing off of the ball, with the Sixers keeping Ben Simmons as their primary initiator. If he comes to Philly, LeBron gets to stay in the Eastern Conference while also giving himself a chance to compete for championships not just this year, but in many more to come. He can take games off, play a reasonable amount of minutes per game, and relinquish much of the playmaking responsibilities in Philly.

Paul George

Key Stats: 21.9 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 3.3 APG, 40.1% 3PT

Price Estimate: $30,300,000

NBAE/Getty Images

While James is the best player alive, Paul George is pretty damn good too, and he fits in perfectly with the rest of the Sixers’ core. He is a wing who is an elite spot up shooter from deep, can create his own shot when needed, and play great defense on almost any perimeter player in the league, whether they’re a wing or guard. He has never been a very efficient scorer, but that’s because the only true star he’s ever played with actively makes his teammates worse. With players like Embiid and Simmons alongside him, George’s efficiency numbers could go way up. It seems very unlikely that he comes here, as his sights seem to be set on either returning to OKC for another year or going back home and playing for the Lakers.

JJ Redick

Key Stats: 17.1 PPG, 46.0% FG, 42.0% 3PT

Price Estimate: TBD

We all know JJ Redick’s game by now. He can be a liability on defense when matched up against bigger wings like the ones Boston has, but is such a great and versatile shooter on offense that it offsets his struggles on the other end. He provides an extreme level of gravity that nobody outside of a Golden State Warrior can. If the Sixers land one of the two aforementioned max players, it remains to be seen if Redick takes a pay cut in an attempt to win a championship in Philadelphia. After all, he was the recipient of a hefty overpay from the Sixers last offseason, and it seems he wants to be as close as possible to his family in Brooklyn.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

Key Stats: 13.4 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 38.3% 3PT

Price Estimate: $13M-$17M per year

Caldwell-Pope is a typical 3&D player — he's a good jump-shooter with the ability to play above-average defense on guards. However, like many others who will be on this list, he will be seeking a long-term deal, and it is unclear if the Sixers will be willing to give a long-term contract to someone who isn’t a star.

Avery Bradley

Key Stats: 14.3 PPG, 36.9% 3PT

Price Estimate: $7M-$10M per year

The Sixers have long been rumored to have interest in Bradley. Despite a down-year riddled by injuries, he has a proven track record of solid defense against both guard positions, and consistent jump-shooting. However, he’s there are off-court concerns with him after a report came out about a sexual assault allegation.

Trevor Ariza

Key Stats: 11.7 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 1.5 SPG, 36.8% 3PT

Price Estimate: $10M-$14M per year

Ariza seems to be interested in getting more than this estimated price range, but he is in for a rude awakening. While teams like the Sixers should covet his high-caliber defensive versatility on the wing as well as his ability to knock down open threes, he brings little else to the table.

Tyreke Evans

Key Stats: 19.4 PPG, 5.1 APG, 5.2 RPG, 45.2% FG, 39.9% 3PT

Price Estimate: $10M-$15M per year

Evans is coming off of a career year for a lowly Memphis team that was shopping him at the deadline, with teams like the Sixers and Celtics rumored to be interested. The Grizzlies decided to hold onto him, despite the fact that he could very well depart this summer. He’s not a very good defender, but would at least be a body on the wing. On offense, he would provide secondary ball-handling and shot creation. He’d probably be of better use in Philly if Markelle Fultz weren’t in town.

Will Barton (restricted)

Key Stats: 15.7 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 4.1 APG, 45.2% FG, 37.2% 3PT

Price Estimate: $10M-$13M per year

Barton provides a similar skillset to that of Tyreke Evans. He’s not a stopper defensively on the wing, but can play both with and without the ball as both a secondary creator and a go-to scorer for brief spurts of the game.

Zach Lavine (restricted)

Key Stats: 16.7 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 3.0 APG, career 37.3% 3PT

Price Estimate: $15M-$18M per year

Before his ACL tear in 2016-17 playing for Minnesota, Lavine was becoming a very good combo-guard offensively. However, he had bad numbers once he returned after getting traded to the Bulls. On defense, he has been a massive negative statistically in every year of his career.

Marcus Smart (restricted)

Key Stats: 10.2 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 4.8 APG, 30.1% 3PT

Price Estimate: $10M-$15M per year

Smart seems like a bad fit with the Sixers because of his well-known shooting struggles. But once you get past that, there’s an argument to be made that he is exactly what this team needs. He can handle the ball occasionally and run the offense for brief spurts, and is an absolute dog defensively, being able to guard basically anyone within five inches of his height. If there is little interest in him and his price begins to drop, the Sixers should consider pouncing.

Seth Curry

Key Stats: 10.2 PPG, 43.2% 3PT

Price Estimate: $5M-$7M per year

As an off-ball guard with a little bit of handle, Curry will be getting paid for his three-point shooting. He missed all of last year with an injury, though, so he could be a bit of a risk for that reason. At the very least, he’ll knock down open shots.

Wayne Ellington

Key Stats: 11.2 PPG, 39.2% 3PT

Price Estimate: $7M-$8M per year

Ellington, a Philly native, is someone the Sixers should target regardless of whether or not LeBron James or Paul George is in the mix. In Miami last season, he came in and ran around screens to no end, hitting over 39 percent of his three-pointers, shooting 7.5 threes per game. He can fill in Marco Belinelli’s role; in fact, he and Belinelli share a lot of qualities. They both can shoot off the catch in a hurry, doing it both when they’re open and also against contests, when they’re standing still and when they’re on the move. Ellington is not a good defender at all, but he isn’t as much of a liability as Belinelli.

Marco Belinelli

Key Stats: 12.1 PPG, 37.7% 3PT

Price Estimate: $5M-$8M

We know what Belinelli is: an elite shot-maker who can take and make a bucket from anywhere on the court at any time. However, there are many, many downsides that showed their head in the second round of the playoffs. He’s a total liability on defense because of both his small frame and bad awareness, and provides no other offensive value aside from the occasional off-ball cut to the basket.

Joe Harris

Key Stats: 10.8 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 41.9% 3PT

Price Estimate: $6M-$8M

Harris was a revelation in Brooklyn. For the Sixers, he can be a much better, more consistent version of what Belinelli was. And as an added bonus, his defensive numbers have improved every year since he entered the league, so it’s not unfeasible that he becomes a decent defender with the right development from a Sixers coaching staff that has developed quite a few solid defenders.

James Ennis III

Key Stats: 7.1 PPG, career 35.9% 3PT

Price Estimate: $3M-$5M

Ennis represents a lower-tier option as a wing who can play some defense, and is a capable jump-shooter. If the Sixers end up with little to no cap space after their major moves, Ennis should be considered.

Doug McDermott

Key Stats: 7.8 PPG, 42.6% 3PT

Price Estimate: $3M-$5M per year

Another cheap option, McDermott doesn’t provide much other than his borderline elite shooting ability, and a surprisingly good ability to cut off of the ball.

Mario Hezonja

Key Stats: 9.6 PPG, 3.7 RPG

Price Estimate: $5M-$7M per year

A former high-lottery pick, Hezonja could add a new level of versatility to the Sixers, capable of playing three positions. However, he has never actually played well for a significant period of time. This would be a bit of a risk.

Jeff Green

Key Stats: 10.8 PPG, 31.2% 3PT

Price Estimate: $5M-$7M


Rodney Hood (restricted)

Key Stats: 14.8 PPG, 38.1% 3PT

Price Estimate: $6M-$8M per year

Hood has all of the tools to be exactly what the Sixers want. He’s long, athletic, a good shooter, and can create his own shot at a reasonable rate. Yet he has never been a good defender, and doesn’t contribute to winning. Hood would be a gamble, but maybe one worth taking.

Gerald Green

Key Stats: 12.1 PPG, 36.9% 3PT

Price Estimate: $4M-$5M

Green was brought off of his couch early on in the season by the Houston Rockets after going unsigned, and then became an integral member of their rotation, mostly because of his shooting. He shot over seven three-pointers per game despite playing just over 22 minutes per game.

Patrick McCaw (restricted)

Key Stats: 4.0 PPG

Price Estimate: $5M-$6M per year

After having many promising moments in his rookie year, McCaw struggled in year two, and then had a scary injury caused by a dirty play from Vince Carter. However, if the Sixers are sold on him as a long-term option to provide them wing depth, they likely won’t be the only team with interest.

Glenn Robinson III (restricted)

Key Stats: 4.1 PPG, 41.2% 3PT

Price Estimate: $5M-$6M per year

Robinson hasn’t shown sustainable success in the NBA — his career high in points per game being just 6.1 — but has the tools to do so: he is an elite athlete, a great shooter, and has a solid 6’10 wingspan. Robinson III could just not have what it takes in the league. But, this could also be a case of a young player with lots of talent who needs the right coaching staff to tap into his potential. Who says that can’t be the Sixers?

Nick Young

Key Stats: 7.3 PPG, 37.7% 3PT

Price Estimate: $2M-$3M

If all other options are unavailable for wings, the Sixers could look to bring back Nick Young on a contract close to the minimum for his shooting. Unfortunately, he doesn’t provide anything else on the court.

Luc Richard Mbah a Moute

Key Stats: 7.5 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 36.4% 3PT

Price Estimate: $6M-$8M

Mbah a Moute, another former Sixer, and the mentor of Joel Embiid, would provide elite defensive versatility, as well as good catch-and-shoot ability. He is consistently one of the most under appreciated role players in all of the sport, and should get a pretty decent pay raise this summer.

Michael Beasley

Key Stats: 13.2 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 50.7% FG, 39.7% 3PT

Price Estimate: $4M-$6M

Beasley was surprisingly good for the Knicks last season, and could provide value for the Sixers as an energizer who can space the floor and occasionally create his own shot. Beasley shouldn't be relied on for any defensive contributions though, which should limit his role.

Jerami Grant

Key Stats: 8.4 PPG, 3.9 RPG

Price Estimate: $7M-$9M

Bringing back Jerami is a long shot; in fact, concerns about his fit with Ben Simmons contributed to him getting traded to Oklahoma City a few years back. But if he can even become a slightly below-average shooter, and the Sixers stagger his minutes with those of Simmons, he can be a high-impact player for this team because of his off-the-charts athleticism and defensive versatility.

Ersan Ilyasova

Key Stats: 10.9 PPG, 5.9 RPG, 36.0% 3PT

Price Estimate: $4M-$6M

Ilyasova’s price may depend on who the Sixers have, as he could very well be willing to take a minimum salary if necessary in a world where the Sixers have James or George. He provides floor spacing and solid team defense.

Anthony Tolliver

Key Stats:8.9 PPG, 43.1% 3PT

Price Estimate: $4M-$6M per year

Tolliver is an elite shooter for someone at his position, knocking down two three-pointers per game playing power forward. He can be a replacement for Ilyasova if he departs, although Tolliver doesn’t bring much more than the floor spacing and gravity that his shooting ability provides.

Nemanja Bjelica (restricted)

Key Stats: 6.8 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 41.5% 3PT

Price Estimate: $6M-$7M per year

Bjelica is a typical stretch four who is coming off a career-best year in which he found the trust of Tom Thibodeau, something that many of Thibs’ former bench players would tell you is difficult to do. However, at the price point that he is expected to sign at, he is probably a bit too expensive for the Sixers given their gaping holes on other parts of their roster.

Mike Scott

Key Stats: 8.8 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 40.5% 3PT

Price Estimate: $3M-$4M

Scott is another prototypical stretch four, who in a limited role provided floor spacing for the Wizards that could be of use in Philly as well. While he isn’t a terrible defender, he isn’t a particularly good one either.

Montrezl Harrell (restricted)

Key Stats: 11.0 PPG, 63.5% FG

Price Estimate: $6M-$8M per year

Now moving to the backup big-man possibilities, Harrell represents an unconventional pick, as he is undersized for a center. If the Sixers believe in his ability to battle against players bigger than him, he is an intriguing option.

Amir Johnson

Key Stats: 4.6 PPG, 4.5 RPG

Price Estimate: $5M-$6M

Amir isn’t the flashy pick, or even the fun pick, to be Joel Embiid’s backup next year. But guess what? He’s the right pick. Amir was great in his role as Embiid’s backup, consistently providing rebounding, rim protection and hustle. He doesn’t show up in the highlight reel very often, but he's a damn good player.

Alex Len

Key Stats: 8.5 PPG, 6.5 RPG

Price Estimate: $5M-$8M per year

After a disappointing stint in Phoenix following being made a top-five pick, Len is set to become an unrestricted free agent, and could be somebody the Sixers grab as the new backup. He’s developing as a rim protector and is already a very good rebounder.

Ed Davis

Key Stats: 5.3 PPG, 7.4 RPG

Price Estimate: $6M-$8M per year

Ed Davis is by no means a household name, but he is coming off a monster year off the bench for Portland. He averaged over 14 rebounds per 36 minutes, and the Blazers were at their best with him on the floor, especially on the defensive end, where despite not being a shot-blocker, he had an excellent season.

Kyle O’Quinn

Key Stats: 7.1 PPG, 6.1 RPG, 2.1 APG

Price Estimate: $5M-$7M per year

O’Quinn and the Golden State Warriors have been rumored to have mutual interest for quite some time, so this might not be a possibility for the Sixers. But if it is, they should strongly consider it. He just had the best year of his career on both ends according to many metrics, and can be exactly what this team needs. He is a good rebounder, solid defender, and sneakily good passer.

Lucas Nogueira

Key Stats: 2.5 PPG, 61.3% FG

Price Estimate: $2M-$3M per year

Nogueira should by no means be the plan as a backup, rather somebody who the Sixers can give a limited role to and develop behind the scenes. His defensive metrics are already good, and on offense, his athleticism and 7’6 wingspan (!) give him the potential to be a good rim-running lob threat.

The needs for the Sixers are clear- shooting and defense on the wings, shot creation, backup rim protection, and potentially a stretch four for the second unit. All of these names fill in at least one of these holes. Which names do you prefer?

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