It’s been a rough season for the Sixers to say the least. Sitting at 8-52 (.133) with the 2015-2016 season winding down, they have positioned themselves quite nicely for the upcoming lottery. That was the plan right? Sam Hinkie came on board a little less than three years ago as the team’s GM with the intention to turn over a new leaf in Philadelphia. This strategy has not really panned out to say the least, but now with the addition of Jerry Colangelo to the front office, it could be the beginning of the end for Hinkie’s unsuccessful tenure in Philly.
One (of the many) negative aspect of Hinkie’s tenure that has left a majority of Sixer fans disgruntled is his lack of movement in free agency. There are really only three times during the year where GMs are active: The draft, the trade deadline, and free agency.
Jahlil Okafor and Nerlens Noel are the only first round draft picks under Hinkie’s reign that have played significant minutes for the Sixers and there were rumors this past trade deadline that the Sixers considered moving Okafor. Then there’s free agency, where Hinkie has been very quiet for two summers now.
Irrelevant moves at the trade deadline the last few years have not made much of an impact which means fans are hoping that the addition of Colangelo will also mean the addition of some talent in Free Agency.
With this summer being a crucial time in the Sixer’s rebuilding process, it is important for the Sixers to make a significant splash in free agency. Stock piling draft picks and clearing cap space have to become assets at some point right? With questions surrounding both Dario Saric and Joel Embiid’s foot, there is still a lot of uncertainty regarding who will lead the Sixers out of this disastrous rebuilding process. How does a team get instant help without having to develop through the draft? The answer is something the Sixers have been avoiding in recent years: Free agency. So with the season winding down and with summer free agency right around the corner, these are the guys the Sixers should keep their eyes on and target this offseason.
The 76ers already have a plethora of young talent in the frontcourt, but what they don’t have and what they need is a distributer and scorer. In comes Conley. The 8-year veteran drafted by Memphis out of Ohio State could be a nice fit for the Sixers. The 6’ 1” point guard averages 15 points per game while dishing out 6 assists and grabbing 3 boards. Look at how successful Conley has been with this Memphis team, a team that is dominated by their talented big men (Zach Randolph and the now injured Marc Gasol). Conley has the Grizzlies in the 5 spot right now in the west but it doesn’t look like they’ll be able to make any noise in the postseason without Gasol. Now compare that to Philadelphia: A young team looking for a veteran leader who can distribute the ball to the big men. Seems like a solid fit. Conley is making a shade under $10 million this season and with the cap increase this offseason, the Sixers can afford to throw a lot more money at him in order to get their coveted point guard.
This 6’ 5” guard out of Florida is a deadly shooter. When he’s on, Beal can hit the 40% mark shooting the 3 ball with ease. After a complete fall off from last seasons Eastern Conference semi-finals appearance, the Wizards are on the outside looking in come playoff time. Sitting at a game under .500 and 1.5 games out of the 8th spot, the Wizards may not be too quick to chase after Beal in free agency. The Sixers have not had a legitamate deep threat in a long time. Beal can be that guy and with his 18 points per game, could really help the Sixers get to the next level.
Next up is the 3 year man out of North Carolina. Barnes has seen an increased role in the past two seasons which has correlated nicely with the Warriors success. However, Barnes may be expecting to get a significant pay raise this offseason. The question is whether or not the Warriors will be willing to match that. Barnes is the 4th scoring option in Golden State but could become a number one or two in Philly along with a very significant pay bump. The rumors of Kevin Durant going to Golden State, although unlikely, would definietly effect whether or not the Warriors try to pursue Barnes this offseason.
While he is not a free agent this summer, the former first round pick by Atlanta could pose as an immediate asset for the Sixers’ backcourt. Schroder has spent his first two seasons backing up Hawks point guard Jeff Teague and it doesn’t look like Teague is going anywhere anytime soon. The German point guard that has been compared to a young Rajon Rondo does not have the best jump shot, but he makes up for it with his defense and hustle. Schroder most likely will want an increase in his minutes and his salary and the Sixers can give him both. Philadelphia attempted to trade for Schroder at this past trade deadline but it was ultimately scrapped. Look for the Sixers to go after him this offseason by trading away one of their many draft picks.
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