The day started off normal enough with the team adding desperately-needed shooting with the acquisition of Buddy Hield from the Indiana Pacers. Then it got weird when the team dealt Patrick Beverley and Jaden Springer to two Eastern Conference rivals.
But now that the dust has settled, the buyout market should heat up. It seems almost inevitable that the Sixers will add Philly native and Villanova product Kyle Lowry once he secures a buyout from the Charlotte Hornets. Our Bryan Toporek wrote about that possibility as soon as Lowry was traded by the Miami Heat in the Terry Rozier deal.
With that in mind, let’s look at five other players that could make sense.
After a strong preseason, the veteran wing made the Sixers’ opening night roster. When the team traded James Harden and P.J. Tucker to the Los Angeles Clippers and took back four players, a roster spot needed to be opened up. Green, on a non-guaranteed contract, was the logical player to move on from.
Green didn’t look out of place, even getting meaningful minutes on opening night against the Milwaukee Bucks. After being let go by the Sixers, it always seemed like there was a strong possibility he could return once the Sixers made trades and opened up roster spots.
Green is now 36 years old and obviously not the player he once was, but he showed in the preseason he can still hit an open jumper and knows where he’s supposed to be on the floor. He could also make up for some of the leadership you’re missing after trading Pat Bev. As we noted ahead of the season, you’re not asking Green to be a starter. You’re asking him to be at the end of the bench and be used when Nick Nurse finds the right spots (or a situation like now when the team desperately needs NBA-level players).
Another old friend and another player that could be bought by the Hornets, Curry was traded to Charlotte in the deal that sent P.J. Washington to the Dallas Mavericks. Whether the former Sixer will ask for a buyout or suit up with a team for which his dad Dell once starred remains to be seen.
Frankly, Curry was not having a great season in Dallas. He was hitting just 36.3% from deep, a number that would be by far his career low. In fairness, the Mavericks have kind of been a mess with injuries this season so it might’ve been difficult for the veteran guard to find his footing. Maybe the Sixers scoop him up and there’s some positive regression to the mean. Like Green, you’re not counting on him to fill the role he once did.
This team could still use more shooting, and that’s what Curry does.
Whenever Paul Reed or Mo Bamba struggle, Nurse generally says postgame that the issue is those two players playing outside themselves a bit. When both players simplify their games — rebound and rim protect — they’re fine. It’s when they try to do too much where they get in trouble.
Well, no concerns there with a guy like Biyombo. The 31-year-old is what he is. He’s going to play hard every night and hit the glass and block shots. He was fine as a backup last year with the Phoenix Suns and started 27 games for the injury-ravaged Memphis Grizzlies. The Grizzlies waived him simply because they needed the roster spot, not a lack of production.
For his career, Biyombo has averaged 10.9 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per 36 minutes. He’d likely be third on the center depth chart until Embiid returns, but on nights where Reed and Bamba struggle to keep things simple, you can at least count on Biyombo to do what he’s supposed to do.
Lopez falls into a similar boat to Biyombo. He’s not as good of a rebound or shot blocker, but his size (7-foot-1, 281 pounds) would give the Sixers a different look than Reed or Bamba. He’s also more skilled than Biyombo with way more touch around the rim — and he’s a significantly better free throw shooter.
There’s nothing exciting about Lopez, but as a third center (fourth once Embiid returns) you could do worse. He’s also a whole lot of fun.
It almost feels like Gallinari owes Sixers fans one after that 2021 series with the Hawks.
In all seriousness, Gallinari is a bit of an outside-the-box add in that he doesn’t have much experience as a five, but he’d be intriguing for the Sixers in that regard. Neither Reed or Bamba has proven to be a consistent pick-and-pop threat. Gallinari has been an excellent shooter throughout his NBA career (38.2%). He’s also a decent passer and good decision-maker, something that should help Tyrese Maxey with the constant blitzes he’s seeing with Embiid out of the lineup.
Another reason he could make more sense than Biyombo or Lopez is that it’s not crazy to think he could play alongside Embiid eventually. With Morris moving in the Hield deal, it wouldn’t be the worst idea to have an extra four behind Tobias Harris.