The Sixers season of star hunting hasn’t exactly gone their way. They’ve missed out on Paul George, Kawhi Leonard and LeBron James. While the team’s efforts to add another top talent to the mix of already budding young stars hasn’t gone well, they’re still one of the best teams in the league and primed for another strong run deep into the postseason.
After losing to the Boston Celtics 4-1 in the playoffs, the team made beefing up their wing defense a priority. George, Leonard and James would’ve brought that and more. However, things don’t always turn out the way you want them to.
After striking out on their star targets, the Sixers had to go to plan B. They decided to bring the band back together. J.J. Redick resigned on a one year deal for roughly $12-13 million dollars and Amir Johnson returned for the veteran minimum. Redick and Johnson were crucial last season for the team, as they provided some much needed veteran leadership.
Not only were the 76ers able to retain those guys, but they also made a trade with the Denver Nuggets that netted them veteran forward Wilson Chandler. Chandler owns career averages of 13.5 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game. He’s 6’8, can knock down the 3 ball and defend with intensity. Having Chandler on the team gives the 76ers another versatile forward, someone who will be able to switch onto different players on the perimeter. He’s no LeBron James, but he’s not a bad acquisition either.
Chandler’s contract is up at the end of next season. So are J.J. Redick and Amir Johnson’s contracts. Once again, the 76ers will be primed with plenty of cap space next summer. Next year’s free agent market is loaded with the likes of Kyrie Irving, Jimmy Butler, Kawhi Leonard and Klay Thompson. It’s a star studded list.
The Sixers will have one of the best cores in the NBA with Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid, Markelle Fultz and Dario Saric holding the reins. They’ll have the financial flexibility to chase whatever star player they’d like. On top of that, they’ll most likely be a top 3 seed in the Eastern Conference once again. What free agent wouldn’t want to be a part of that?
Yes, they whiffed on some of the marquee names this offseason. That doesn’t mean that they’re in trouble. The Sixers have positioned themselves to not only be successful again this season, but to be even more successful the following one. No one should have any doubts about this team moving forward just because they weren’t able to land a big name player. They may not have made any major moves, but that doesn’t mean that they’re not positioned to win now. They’ll run it back in hopes of contending for a championship, with or without another star player.
Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports