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Sixers Key Offseason Dates

Let’s see what you can do, Elton

Chicago Bulls v Philadelphia 76ers Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Since he became the general manager of the Sixers, Elton Brand has made so many high-profile moves that it’s easy to forget he hasn’t actually been in charge of an offseason. Last week during exit interviews, Brand said he was “highly optimistic” and looking forward to the challenge. The next couple months will undoubtedly be critical ones for the future of the Philadelphia 76ers franchise. Hopefully, Elton Brand is the right man for the job.

Here is a quick rundown of key upcoming offseason dates for the Sixers:

May 14 - NBA Draft Lottery: The lottery already took place, obviously. The Sixers did not see their one percent pipe dream of having the Sacramento pick move up to first overall come to fruition, prompting the Kings to gloat that one of the worst trades in NBA history did not backfire even further on them. I wonder what it’s like to root for a franchise where the popular head coach who had the team moving in the right direction was fired for no real rhyme or reason. Couldn’t be me.

June 20 - NBA Draft: In one month, we’ll get the first look at an Elton Brand draft class. The Sixers have the following picks: 24, 33, 34, 42, 54. It’s imperative that Elton utilize those selections to round out the bench in some fashion; the team must absolutely find low-cost rotational contributors for what everyone anticipates will be a capped-out roster.

June 29 - Last day to exercise player options:

Jimmy Butler - player option for $19.8M - Butler is certain to decline his player option and seek a long-term deal in the open market. The Sixers will be able to offer him a five-year contract for around $190M, while other teams can provide a four-year contract for around $140M. After seeing Butler ratchet up his game this past postseason, most Sixers fans are hoping the team shells out the max money to bring Jimmy back.

NBA: Playoffs-Philadelphia 76ers at Toronto Raptors Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

James Ennis - player option for $1.8M - While not as certain as Butler, most expect Ennis to decline his option after proving to be a valuable rotation member for the Sixers following his trade from Houston. The Sixers could choose to bring Ennis back; he was productive and has been open about enjoying his time in Philadephia. However, another team could always outbid the Sixers. Plus, for a guy who has never been in the same place for more than two straight years, Ennis may find comfort somewhere that offers the stability of a longer-term deal.

NBA: Playoffs-Toronto Raptors at Philadelphia 76ers Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

June 30 - NBA Free Agency opens: The league moved up free agency from midnight on July 1 to 6:00pm EST on June 30, something I’m sure all the fans out there who have to be at work Monday morning on July 1 will appreciate. In addition to Butler and Ennis (if they decline their options), the following Sixers players will all become unrestricted free agents:

Tobias Harris
JJ Redick
Boban Marjanovic
Mike Scott
Furkan Korkmaz
T.J. McConnell
Amir Johnson
Greg Monroe

The Sixers can offer Harris the same 5-year, approximately $190M deal that they can place in front of Butler. What happens with those two players will be biggest dominoes to fall this offseason, followed by whether the team opts to bring back Redick, and at what price. After those past members of the starting lineup are addressed, Ennis and Mike Scott will be targets if the team goes full #RunItBack, as they proved to be guys you can bring off the bench in critical postseason action.

NBA: Playoffs-Toronto Raptors at Philadelphia 76ers Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

July 1 - Jonathon Simmons non-guaranteed date: The other Simmons is under contract for $5.7 million next season, however only $1M of that money is guaranteed. The Sixers can waive Simmons by July 1 and open up that additional $4.7M in cap space. Simmons did not carve out a spot for himself in the rotation since arriving from Orlando, so the question is not whether the Sixers will waive him, but whether they’ll choose to bite the bullet on that $1M in dead cap space all in one year, or use the stretch provision to have over $300K on the books across three seasons.

NBA: Portland Trail Blazers at Philadelphia 76ers Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

July 5 through July 15 - NBA Summer League: Zhaire Smith expects to play in summer league again this year. That fact alone is enough for me to check flight prices to Las Vegas.

NBA: Summer League-Boston Celtics at Philadelphia 76ers Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

August 31 - September 15 - FIBA World Cup: It’s possible many Sixers fans may toss pride of country aside and root for the Boomers later this year, as Ben Simmons is planning to play for Team Australia.

Of course, there will be other things going on for the Sixers aside from those major events. They will conduct player workouts leading up to the draft, there may be a possible contract extension in the works for Ben Simmons, and we will await the inevitable strange injury or ailment we’ve never seen before to afflict some member of the roster (Breaking News: Jonah Bolden contracts a rare case of Kangaroo Flu while training in Melbourne).

The Sixers are many things, but it’s been some time since boring was one of them. Expect plenty of fireworks in the months to come.

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