Now that most of the dust has settled (for now) in regard to this year’s free agency period, the market for playable free agents has mostly thinned. The time for finding guys who can play significant minutes has pretty much passed, with the players being acquired at this point likely filling out the bottom of a team’s roster. That’s not to say there’s not any value in taking a flier on someone left out there that can be had on a minimum salary. Experienced vets who have yet to find a home for the final few years of their career as well as young, unrefined projects with upside are still there for the taking.
With the Sixers sitting with two spots left on their roster (note: the Sixers may opt to carry only 14 players rather than the max of 15), here are some options for how they could fill out one or both of those openings at the bottom of the roster.
Kyle Korver, G-F (38 years old)
2018-19 splits: 8.6/1.2/2.3, 41.6 FG%, 39.7 3P%, 58.2 TS%
As soon as word got out that Korver would be bought out by Phoenix on July 8, Sixers fans alike almost immediately pounded the table to bring the 38-year-old sharpshooter back to Philadelphia. And it makes a lot of sense for both sides. With J.J. Redick gone, the Sixers could use as guy like Korver to fly around screens and run DHOs with Joel or Ben. For Korver, a guy whose been traded three times since the beginning of last season, signing with Philadelphia could bring some stability in the twilight years of his career while giving him a chance to compete for a title before retirement. Although durability is typically a concern for someone of Korver’s age, he’s been remarkably dependable, playing in at least 67 games in each of the last three seasons.
He’s reportedly interested in signing with the Sixers, Lakers or Bucks, all three of whom should be in contention for a title next year, so here’s to hoping Elton Brand, a teammate of Korver’s in Atlanta from 2013-2015, can talk the former Sixer into a reunion.
Thabo Sefolosha G-F, (35 years old)
2018-19 splits: 3.8/2.5/0.5, 47.7 FG%, 43.6 3P%, 59.9 TS%
Like Korver, Sefolosha is an experienced vet the Sixers can add that could play some meaningful minutes both in the regular season and possibly in the postseason. He’s a career 35 percent three point shooter, has a high basketball IQ, and his physical profile (6’7”, 220 lbs) allows him to defend at a reasonably high level.
With potential 3-and-D guys in Zhaire Smith and Matisse Thybulle taking this season to cut their teeth off the bench, Sefolosha could come in and help out in bringing the two along while providing Brett Brown a veteran shooter off the bench that can hold his own on defense. If Korver opts for Milwaukee or LA, Sefolosha would be a decent consolation prize.
Jeremy Lin, G (30 years old)
2018-19 splits: 9.6/2.4/3.1, .440 FG%, .294 3P%, .558 TS%
Although the signing of Raul Neto likely makes getting Lin less likely, he could still play a role for the Sixers next season. For a team that’s still pretty short on quality ball-handlers, Lin could log minutes at either the one or in the two spot next to Simmons and give the Sixers someone who can capably handle the ball and create for others. Given Shake Milton’s somewhat shaky Summer League performance, signing Lin would give the Sixers some insurance at point guard should there be any injuries later in the season.
Shaun Livingston, G (33 years old)
2018-19 splits: 4.0/1.8/1.8, 51.9 FG%, 0.0 3P%, 55.5 TS%
Another veteran guard, Livingston became an unrestricted free agent just days ago when the Warriors opted to waive the 33-year-old guard to save close to $5M in cap space. Now, Livingston can latch on with another contender, making the Sixers a possible destination. Livingston doesn’t add much in regard to perimeter shooting, but if he has anything left in the tank on either end of the floor along with the playoff experience he would add to the locker room, you can make the argument for adding him. And if we’re staying with the Elton Brand connections, the two played together from 2004-2007 with the Clippers, so there’s that.
I personally wouldn’t love a Livingston signing, but Brett Brown’s affinity for veterans might be enough for him to become a Sixer.
Shaquille Harrison, G (25 years old)
2018-19 splits: 6.5/3.0/1.9, 43.2 FG%, 27.0 3P%, 49.4 TS%
On the other end of the spectrum, bringing on a guy like Harrison would be more of a developmental undertaking rather than an instant impact move like the others listed above. Despite being 25, Harrison has only been in the NBA for two seasons, spending two years in the G-League before earning a contract from the Suns in 2018. He inherited a steadily increasing role with the Bulls last season, making 11 starts and averaging 26.1 minutes per game in the final two months of play.
His role with the Sixers would be a stark departure from what it was in Chicago, likely having to battle with Neto and Milton for time on the court. But what Harrison brings to the table is his ability and willingness to defend at a high level, finishing with a positive DBPM as well as averaging 1.2 steals in each of his first two NBA seasons. Harrison’s offensive game is still very much a work in progress, but he made strides toward expanding his outside shooting last season and put together a few strong scoring performances down the stretch last season.
Harrison gives off strong T.J. McConnell vibes for his tenacity on defense, but having to take a shot on him growing into an efficient offensive player might look like too big of a risk for a team trying to win now.
Chris Clemons, G (21 years old)
2018-19 splits: N/A
Signing Clemons would certainly be an interesting route, but a potentially fruitful one. To an even greater extent than Harrison, Clemons is unproven at the NBA level, but his performance in this year’s Summer League has teams wondering if Clemons can last with the big boys. In his senior season at Campbell University, Clemons averaged a Division I best 30.1 points per game while becoming just the ninth player in college basketball history to surpass the 3,000 point mark. After going undrafted, Clemons got an invitation to play for the Rockets Summer League team, where he’d average 20.8 points per game on 39.5 percent from the field and 41.1 percent from three.
The catch? He’s only 5’9” and weighs 180 pounds. So while his size will certainly be an issue for teams, it doesn’t appear to have affected his ability to score (yet). Clemons signed an Exhibit 10 contract with Houston on July 3rd, meaning he’s guaranteed an invite to Rockets training camp with the opportunity to either have his deal converted into a two-way contract or be waived. He might be better fit for a two-way to get his feet wet, but if the Sixers want to take a shot on a young, volume scorer, Clemons could be that guy should he become available.