The end to the 2020 NBA season will be unorthodox to say the least, the season might not even end until sometime around Labor Day. The Sixers will still have an opportunity to pursue a playoff push and hopefully they go far, but they have some obvious holes that will need to be addressed before the start of next season. Some of those holes could be filled by former Sixers.
The Sixers saw many different players over the “Process” years and many are still in the league. Players who would fit either the team’s style, provide leadership, or fill a position of need. From floor-spacers to big men, to backup power forwards, there are a former Sixers for each and every need.
That being said, let’s take a look at five players the Sixers should consider bringing back starting with some honorable mentions:
*The following players are all either too expensive or too too comfortable on their current teams: Jimmy Butler, Jrue Holiday, Nikola Vucevic, JJ Redick, Jerami Grant, Christian Wood, Landry Shamet, Lou Williams, Andre Iguodala, Robert Covington, JaVale McGee, Ersan Ilyasova.
Dewayne Dedmon is exactly the type of center the Sixers need backing up Embiid. A bruising floor-spacer, Dedmon is a unique “jack-of-all-trades” big man who could take some pressure off the Sixers’ star. The issue with Dedmon is his contract. At over $13 million, Dedmon’s contract would be near impossible to trade for unless the Sixers were to unload either Al Horford or much more likely, Josh Richardson.
Everybody’s favorite back-up point guard TJ McConnell would be welcomed back with open arms if the Pacers were interested in moving him. His intensity, leadership, and play-making ability are all traits the Sixers are in need of. The Sixers probably could pry McConnell away from the Pacers as Aaron Holiday continues to grow, but McConnell’s three-point shot is non-existent, which would give the Sixers two point guards who can’t/won’t shoot.
Believe it or not, Thaddeus Young is still in the league. Not only that, but he is a valuable piece that the Sixers would benefit from adding. He is a versatile defender, a hardened leader, and a capable three-point shooter. Like with Dedmon, Young’s issue is his contract. Young will also be making over $13 million next season so unless Richardson is Chicago bound, a reunion is unlikely at this time.
5. Dario Saric
Earlier this month, I wrote about the possibility of a Dario Saric reunion. It makes sense for both sides as Saric hasn’t found the same success since he was traded from Philadelphia and the Sixers are in need of an offensively versatile player like Saric. The Phoenix Suns seem to have no clue what they want but at the same time, have made it clear they view Saric as expendable. A restricted free agent this offseason, Saric is a name to keep an eye on.
4. Justin Holiday
The second best Holiday to play for the 76ers only lasted nine games but he has since grown into a valuable two-way defender. Currently with the Indiana Pacers, Holiday is providing quality minutes for a legitimate playoff team. Shooting over 42% from three this season, Holiday is exactly the type of player the Sixers need coming off the bench. Holiday could essentially play the role of a version of Furkan Korkmaz that can play defense and should be within the Sixers price range come free agency.
3. Nerlens Noel
There are some players Sixers fans won’t consider due to lack of performance. Markelle Fultz, Jahlil Okafor, Michael Carter-Williams, and for many Nerlens Noel. No he did not live up to the expectations placed on him but Noel should be welcome back as he is the type of role player the Sixers now need. An athletic center who can hold down the paint while Embiid takes a breather, Noel is too clean a fit to get hung up on the past. Noel will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason after playing for the OKC Thunder.
2. Marco Belinelli
The city was electric when Marco Belinelli and Ersan Ilyasova joined the Sixers in the middle of the 2017-18 season. His ability to shoot is among the top in the NBA and is sorely missed in Philadelphia. Things haven’t gone exactly as planned in San Antonio for Belinelli but a change of scenery could provide a breath of fresh air for the sniper. An unrestricted free agent this offseason, Belinelli could very well return to Philly for another shot at a title.
1. Richaun Holmes
It might be a bit of a surprise to see Richaun Holmes in the number one slot but it’s for good reason. Like Noel, Holmes is a bouncy center but while Noel is a defensive stud, Holmes is more productive on the offensive side of the court. Brett Brown never seemed to appreciate Holmes but after going the past few seasons without a legitimate backup center (Al Horford doesn’t count), he may be more receptive to the idea.
As great as the addition of Holmes would be, there is an even greater motivation behind it. Richaun Holmes currently plays for the Sacramento Kings, the same Sacramento Kings that Buddy Hield plays for. The Sixers could very well add Holmes into a package should they attempt to trade for Hield. The Sixers might have to give up more compensation but they could convince the Kings that Holmes is merely a throw-in. With or without Hield, Holmes would be a wonderful addition and likely wouldn’t cost much in a trade.
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