This NBA season is officially over but it has left us with more questions than answers in regards to the offseason. For the Sixers, there seem to be a million questions surrounding their pending free agents. Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris are the main focus right now for Sixers fans as they continue to plead for the team to “run it back”.
One question that fans may want to ask has been heavily ignored. What if the Sixers strike out on both Harris and Butler? What then? With rumors swirling about Kyrie joining the Nets and Kevin Durant’s injury, the Atlantic division or the East may not be as easy to run if the front office can’t keep either free agent. Which leads me to my next question, if the Sixers do in fact strike out, then who’s left for them to chase after? Here’s a list of pending free agents that I believe the team should consider:
Green seems like the most obvious option for the Sixers when it comes to potentially replacing J.J. Redick. Danny Green is only 31-years old and is a two time NBA champion and made the NBA All-Defensive team back in 2016. Redick’s shooting ability came with its flaws this season as he became a defensive liability at times and also disappeared in crucial moments. I get it, I understand its not a popular choice to move on from Redick but with Green, the team doesn’t lose much. Green shot for 46% from 3 point range while Redick shot for 44%, feel better now? Also with Redick turning 35 this season, Green could provide some solid years for this young Sixers core.
This might be a long shot but what better way to stick it to the Nets then to sign their former Star player? There are rumors stating that if the Nets sign Irving then Russell can’t be retained. Russel could pair perfect for the Sixers when it comes to having a floor general. He’s proven that he can step up in crucial moments and can add a certain dynamic to Embid and Simmons. Russell did average 21 points per game with 7 assists per game for the Nets this year. He also only missed one game last season, which could prove to be beneficial to this Sixers team when Embid is off the floor. Let’s not overlook the friendship of Russell and Simmons either.
Who better to back up Embid than a former member of “The Process”? The Thunder’s big man could be the backup center that the Sixers have been vying for. The team needs to focus on a back up that can be a defensive anchor for the second unit and more.
This may be my favorite option if the Brown and the Sixers want a center who can stretch the floor. Valanciunas was traded to the Grizzlies midseason from the Raptors for Marc Gasol. He averaged 19.9 points per game, 10.7 rebounds per game after being traded to the Grizzlies. He did have a player option but recently as expected he opted out of it. This move works for many reasons, one being he’s only 27-years old and two being he may not come at a hefty price.
Parker had a bit of a redemption season last year after being traded to the Wizards midseason. He averaged 15 points per game for Washington while pulling down 7.2 rebounds per game. Parker is only 24 years old and can be a necessary piece at the power forward position. He’s aggressive on the floor and very overlooked after his injuries in Milwaukee.
Those are six free agents that I believe the team can really benefit from this offseason. Now there is one move that I feel the Sixers should definitely attempt to make it if Butler and Harris to leave. He’s not a free agent though and he may come at a hefty price but I guarantee it would be worth. Get ready for my wild idea. Wait, should I just save that for another article? No? Ok fine you convinced me. I believe the Sixers need to at least explore this trade idea:
Yes, I said it. I know, I know, it’ll be an expensive trade but the Sixers might have the draft picks to pull it off. Beal is in an unfortunate situation with the Wizards. He has all the potential in the world but he’s stuck in an organization that can’t give him the freedom he needs to be more. Beal is only 25 years old and is coming off a season in which he averaged 25 points per game. He shot for 35% from 3 point range which isn’t amazing but it can definitely improve when he’s surrounded by players like Ben Simmons and Joel Embid. Now what makes this trade risky is his contract, he signed a 5-year deal back in June of 2016 worth about $130 million over 5 years. His average salary is about $25 million a season but the Sixers have the cap room for it. This could be the piece that puts the team over and if big IF, the team retains at least Jimmy Butler, they will have an elite four for years to come.
Bonus free agent
If both Harris and Butler move on, Gay could be the perfect wingman for the team. Gay averaged 13.7 points per game for the Spurs last season while shooting 50% from the field. He also shot 40% from 3-point range last season. He can provide the team with a much-needed spark off the wing whether it’s with his shooting or driving.
Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports