The Sixers lack of bench depth was very evident in their second-round loss against the Toronto Raptors. With arguably the strongest free agent class the league has ever seen coming up in just a few weeks, there will be many players that could add tremendous value to the Sixers bench. Assuming they resign Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris, they won’t have much money left to spend but there should still be some players that fit their bill. Let’s take a look at some realistic free agents the Sixers could go after.
2018-19 stats: 10.8 points, 7.5 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 1.1 steals, 1.1 blocks, 49.2 FG%, 38.2 3PT%, 81.4 FT%, 25.1 mpg
Dewayne Dedmon has seriously revamped his game since he played for the Sixers during the 2013-14 season. After coming into the league as a raw prospect, he’s turned himself into a stretch five capable of being a rim deterrent in limited minutes. He can knock down jumpers at a consistent rate and he won’t be a defensive liability like Boban Marjanovic or Greg Monroe.
With a glaring hole at the backup five, the Sixers could use a player like Dedmon to backup Embiid. Plus, his ability to stretch the floor would make him a perfect fit alongside Simmons.
2018-19 stats: 6.5 points, 3.4 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.1 steals, 41.2 FG%, 32.2 3PT%, 69.8 FT%, 25.2 mpg
Cory Joseph would be a great alternative if the Sixers aren’t able to resign TJ McConnell. Like McConnell, Joseph is a scrappy point guard who can lead your second unit efficiently. Not only could he come off the bench when Simmons needs rest but he can also play alongside Simmons, something that McConnell couldn’t do. Joseph’s 2.1 attempts at a 32.2% clip from downtown is more than enough to keep defenses honest. He would be a perfect, low-cost option as a second unit guard for the Sixers.
2018-19 stats: 6.5 points, 3.2 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 0.7 steals, 48.1 FG%, 32 3PT%, 68.2 FT%, 19.3 mpg
David Nwaba is a name you wont hear very often when people mention free agents that their favorite teams should seek. He doesn’t have the flashiest game, the prettiest jumper or the quickest feet. What he does have is the ability to outhustle any player on the floor. Despite his 6’4 stature, Nwaba oftentimes plays much bigger. He isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty or sacrifice his body. A two-way wing like Nwaba would be a seamless fit into the culture that Philadelphia is trying to build.
2018-19 stats: 12.2 points, 2.5 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 0.8 steals, 40 FG%, 37.2 3PT%, 81 FT%, 30.3 mpg
Wesley Matthews bounced between three teams this season and he provided a value player at the two spot who could play defense and hit open shots for all of them. If JJ Redick demands too much on the open market this summer, Matthews could be a nice replacement.
A respected veteran around the league, Matthews would be able to play alongside the Sixers franchise cornerstones with no problems. Although not quite the threat that Redick is coming off of screens, Matthews will still get the job done. His two-way play at the 2-spot would be very welcome on a team that often lacked defense from that position.
2018-19 stats: 10.8 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.6 blocks, 56.6 FG%, 32.4 3PT%, 75.7 FT%, 24.1 mpg
Taj Gibson has been flying under the radar in Minnesota. He’s still the pesky, hard working power forward we all remember from his Chicago Bulls days. He’s a versatile power forward who could slide to the five spot in a small-ball lineup. While his average 3 point percentage may be misleading since he only attempted 0.5 attempts per game, he’s still capable of knocking down the occasional corner 3. Plus, he’s an excellent marksman from the midrange area.
Gibson would give the Sixers more toughness off their bench as well as a player who could shift between the two front court positions. He fits the Philly mold and shouldn’t have any problems fitting right in. Not to mention he’s a former teammate of Jimmy Butler, who the Sixers will court this summer in an attempt to resign him.