The Sixers on Friday announced that they waived Anthony Tolliver.
The veteran forward was signed midseason in 2020-21 to provide bench depth. The 36-year-old played in just 11 regular-season games and one playoff game with the Sixers. The signing made sense as the team struggled to find reliable minutes from the backup four spot. Alas, Tolliver did little to demonstrate he was an improvement over Mike Scott.
Tolliver was signed to a two-year deal with the second year not being guaranteed. Daryl Morey likely structured the deal this way to give the Sixers flexibility in case they needed to throw a low-money contract in any trade. That didn’t happen, and now the team has moved on before Tolliver’s 2021-22 money was guaranteed.
That leaves the Sixers with an empty roster spot. It seems likely that 2021 second-rounder Charles Bassey will sign his rookie contract and take Tolliver’s spot. The Sixers paid $2 million to the New Orleans Pelicans for the 53rd overall pick ahead of the draft. They chose the Western Kentucky big man who some experts believe has first-round talent. A team source confirmed to Liberty Ballers that the Sixers intend to give Bassey a standard NBA contract.
With the Tolliver situation resolved and Bassey likely to be signed, the next possible roster change — beyond a potential Ben Simmons trade, of course — could come via trade exception. The Sixers received an $8.2 million trade exception in the deal that sent Al Horford to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
A trade exception cannot be used in combination with a player asset. For instance, if the Sixers target a player that fits into that $8.2 million, they would likely be giving their trade partner draft compensation.
On Sept. 7 that exception will expire — meaning the Sixers either use it or lose it. As we draw closer to that date, we’ll take a look at a few players the Sixers could target.