The Sixers off-season comes into focus. They are rumored to be in the running for Eric Gordon from Houston and PJ Tucker as a FA. I offer a scenario where they can get both of them plus Amir Coffey, a 6'7", SG SF who shoots the 3 very well. Amir is a RFA. So, they will have to outbid the Clippers for him. The Clippers cap number was a little higher than GSW this year. Offering Coffey the entire $6.1 million tax payer mid-level exception might dissuade them from resigning him and might at least equal other offers. Then, he just has to choose Philly over other destinations. Coffey is hardly a sure thing.
PJ Tucker is the easiest player to get. The Sixers simply have to convince Harden that it is worthwhile for him to underwrite the entirety of PJ's contract. Maybe PJ take $9 or $10 million. Harden signs a one year deal for $36 or $37 million and a two year extension for more.
Getting Eric Gordon is a bit of a pipe dream. He is under contract with Houston and as Philly fans well know, the Houston owner is dead-set against doing any deals with Morey. But, I will play along.
First, I trade Milton and Niang to the Spurs, who want to win immediately for the #38 pick and their 2023 2nd round pick via IND which is shipped to Houston. The #38 pick turns into PG SG SF J Hall.
In addition to the Spurs 2023 2nd round pick, I send the Sixers' 2024 2nd round pick to Houston along with D Green, M Thybulle, J Springer, I Joe, the rights to Petrusev, and F Korkmaz in exchange for E Gordon, K Porter, and K Martin. If Thybulle+Springer is about = to Porter+Martin and Green+Joe+Petrusev+Korkmaz = Gordon, then there are still two future 2nd round picks to help compensate Houston further. Houston's GM could tell the owner, "We are ripping Morey off for two 2nd round picks."
Last, to help fill out the roster I trade the Sixers' 2 2023 2nd round picks (the Sixers' and one via ATL, CHA or BKN) to ORL for the 35th pick via IND. This pick turns into one of three SF PF: J Butler, J Walker, or D Roddy; or SF SG H Lee.
The Sixers' #23 pick brings in SF PF Jovic, PF Liddell, SF PF J Butler, or PG SG SF W Moore.
This scenario leaves the Sixers with the following 12 man roster, if we can get Coffey: C Embiid, Bassey; PF Harris, Tucker, Reed; SF Porter, Martin, Coffey; SG Maxey, Gordon, Brown Jr; PG Harden.
Supposing the three draft picks bring in Hall and/or Moore, backup PG is well covered as Maxey will play the bulk of the PG minutes that Harden doesn't play. Hall adds depth to 1, 2, and 3 as would Moore. Jovic and Butler add depth to 3, 4, and 5. The three picks are split 2 to the front court, one to the back court or vice versa. No true centers added. But, there are still 2 spots left on the 17 man roster. These could go to H Lee or SF J Juzang, and C Ariel Hukporti.
This roster, without PJ Tucker, is about $8.3 million over the cap. Since Coffey is signed using the taxpayer exception, the Sixers would have to be able to fit PJ under the cap prior to adding Coffey's $6 million contract. So, Harden would have to sign for 47.3 million (which is included in the current total) minus $2.3 million and minus PJ's salary, about $36 million. Without Coffey, Harden could sign for at least $42 million, if my math is correct, which it positively can't be. But, this is as close as I can get. By the way, the draft picks can all shoot the three at least adequately already and most play acceptable or better defense.
This scenario could work. But, Morey and Co. will screw it up. And, then I will move on to rooting for another team that has a front office I like, perhaps, in addition to the Sixers, perhaps, instead of the Sixers. It all depends upon how insufferable the management becomes over the next 2 weeks.