Let's improve perspective, Dear Daryl:
Let's Analyze Denver's team...one I was envious of because of their cap situation (no overpay of Tobias, no Ben contract preventing us from building our team up). Denver is similar to Philly with Jokic and Murray.
Jokic - 47 million.
Murray - 33 million.
Porter Jr - 33 million.
Aaron Gordon - 22 million
KCP - 15 million
Totals 150 million for their starters
Embiid - 47 million
Maxey - 41 million next year
that gives us 70 million to play with, given all of our expirings.
I view Batum as a starting caliber player. I know he's closed to retiring, but what he gives us at one of the wing spots is very valuable, especially when you consider he only costs 10 million compared to Tobi's 40 million! So I would try to sign Batum for 1 or 2 years at 10 to 15 million per season. Great passer, and plays fast in half court, and very experienced.
That leaves us with about 55 million to spend on two starters, a SG and a Wing.
Denver has a strong athlete at PF and a 6'10'' sniper as their other two role players. I will say Batum and KCP are similar in what they provide...So we also need two unique skillsets.
Tobias is not a great rebounder or defender. He isn't locking down Tatum or Brown, but gives you good effort. He is a good isolation scorer, which is important for two reasons. 1). Despite being an isolation scorer he doesn't really score with our bench units, or isn't featured or capable of helping them by himself. 2). An isolation scorer and average at everything else (shooting, rebounding), who is most comfortable scoring after some dribbles...however he has nicely "quickened" himself up in the way he operates. However, adding both up, he isn't very useful with the starting unit, and he isn't very useful with the bench unit.
Having said all that, it depends on how the season goes. As we know, with Tobias being an expiring, either we capitalize by trading him now and trying to get some value for him, or we keep him for the run this year, and also potentially keep him on a "friendlier" deal...I think Tobias would take 30 million a year...however I think he's closer to 25. If we were to resign him (playoffs went well), I'd give him 4 years 100 to 120 million. If he doesn't take that contract and wants more, cya....but the problem is we have to sign a better fit than him as a free agent and that may be difficult.
IF TOBIAS DOESN"T SIGN, there are two seemingly-attainable names on my radar at useful Wing in Free Agency.
Yes, Miles Bridges - He is an elite athlete that can also shoot the 3. He would make Tatum and Brown work on the opposite end. Also, I know y'all don't want to root for him. But, if he helps us beat Boston, you should. Let's overlook his past and hope he doesn't make the same mistakes and get him out of Charlotte. Very few wings this athletic...think an Aaron Gordon type but at the wing.
If not Miles Bridges, then Jerami Grant. Some may argue Tobias is better...I would say Grant is a better defender and good enough at offense, and he's athletic. I see Grant as a championship level role player. Also, he's gettable via trade and has a contract that fits right in to our pay scale, at slightly less than 30 million (Tobias true worth). Grant is better suited next to Embiid since he doesn't need to dribble the ball and isn't an isolation scorer but more of an athlete.
Now, if you want to go big fish hunting for the wing spot. These are hypothetical scenarios. We have 5 picks on draft day to trade. If we let Tobias walk, and don't use any other first round picks we should have 5 to trade on draft day.
KD - Let's say things fail in Phoenix. Durant isn't happy with Beal and Booker. First round easy sweeep or out in the play-in game. Who knows....I just view him as a perfect fit with Philly, and he should too. He woudln't be the alpha on this team, but he's getting older. He gets to help guide Embiid and Maxey to chips. I think it'd help establish him as one of the greats if he can get 2 more chips...why not in Philly.
Lauri Markkanen - just looks like a perfect fit, is like a KD-lite. Is he available for 5 picks from Utah? Hopefully would cost less. But maybe both he and Jordan Clarkson to bolster our bench could be gotten for that much. With his timeline he seems like a perfect fit and that trio could do damage. Not only that, he makes 18 million only next season! (But is an unrestricted free agent after 2025). I do not think utah will trade Markkanen for 3 picks, but they'd be crazy not to do it for 5 (with Clarkson). So this is probably more likely in the offseason.
Mikal Bridges - His contract is only 21 million this year, and then 23 and 25 million the following years. Would be really hard to get him because he's a great guy and Brooklyn would want to build around him...but, 5 picks is 5 picks so there is a shot. Another ideal fit.
KD would be the whale. He makes around 50 million upcoming. If you get him you literally can't add on anything but minimum contracts. Same goes for LEBRON JAMES. I'd probably opt for one of the other names mentioned.
The other guys all would make around 20 million, meaning you still have 30 million to fill out your roster. I'll assume the worst case, where we resign Tobias for 30 million a year, meaning we have about 20 million to spend on a shooting guard.
AT SHOOTING GUARD;
I see two names that are serviceable starters. Bogdan Bogdanovic makes around 16 or 17 million, and he gives you enough. Remember we already have Maxey and Embiid and expect them to be our leaders for a chip just like Murray and Jokic were. If Maxey and Embiid can't get it done as the two main guys, we are in trouble. The other three guys are there for support. Bogdanovic can pass and shoot decently, his defense leaves something to be desired but its fine.
Another name, brought up in trade talks, is Malcolm Brogdon. He makes 22.5 million each year. He's good enough just like Bogdanovic is good enough. I don't know, unless we go young and promising and available, who else we can expect around 20 or 30 million. Brogdon hits the 3 and can run some point.
Some whales to consider here (meaning we get a weaker or still-to-prove cheap contract at Wing), are Donovan Mitchell and Zach Lavine. Would you have Maxey-Embiid-Lavine-Batum and a minimum playerr at wing? Or Maxey-Embiid-Mitchell-Batum and a minimum player at wing? Do Lavine or Mitchell offset the wing?
Anyways, let's say they're available. A trade with Portland (doesn't Morey have ties to Portland's GM?) for Brogdon and Grant today for Tobias and extra cap filler, could work. The advantage of this deal is that it could be done today....woudln't have to worry about offseason since they're both tied up, and you know what you have for next year.
Maxey - Brogdon - Batum - Grant - Embiid.
Some other trades would be for Miles Bridges and Bogdanovic.
Maxey - Bogdan - Miles Bridges - Batum - Embiid going into next year. This team could be traded WITH TOBIAS on the team this year. Which may be our best bet to win it all this year.
Another possibility could be:
Maxey - Mitchell - Oubre - Batum - Embiid
Maxey - Lavine - Oubre - Batum - Embiid
I don't like either of these teams compared to a team with Harris and an upgrade over Melton.
or if we went whale-fishing:
Maxey - Oubre - Lebron - Batum - Embiid
Maxey - Oubre - KD - Batum - Embiid
Just using Oubre as a minimum contract in our starting lineup.
Or everyone's ideal:
Maxey - Bogdan/Melton/Brogdon - Mikal Bridges - Batum - Embiid
Maxey - Bogdan/Brogdon/Melton - Markkanen - Batum - Embiid
All of these possibilities are there, hypothetically. WHICH DO YOU PREFER???