Report: Former Sixer Tony Bradley could be available on buyout market

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PARIS, FRANCE – JANUARY 19: Tony Bradley (Bulls) during the Chicago Bulls game versus the Detroit Pistons NBA Paris game on January 19, 2023, at Accor Hotels Arena in Paris, France. (Photo by JB Autissier Panoramic/Icon Sportswire) ****NO AGENTS—NORTH AND SOUTH AMERICA SALES ONLY****

Former Sixer Tony Bradley could be available on buyout market

The need for a strong backup center for Joel Embiid is a seemingly constant one for the Philadelphia 76ers, and this season is no exception. While both Montrezl Harrell and Paul Reed have held their own, both players have important limitations that could affect them in the playoffs. But a new report suggests that a familiar face may be available on the buyout market soon, and it’s one the Sixers should strongly consider bringing back.

The Bulls could be parting ways with Tony Bradley

According to K.C Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago, the Chicago Bulls may be planning to buy out backup center Tony Bradley in the coming days. The Bulls are reportedly finalizing a deal with the recently bought-out Patrick Beverley and will need to make room for him on their roster. Per Johnson, the team is considering waiving either Bradley and veteran guard Goran Dragic.

Bradley could be a significant upgrade for the playoffs. At 6’10”, Bradley provides solid rebounding ability and rim protection – two areas that primary backup Montrezl Harrell struggles with. What’s more, he proved himself to be a reliable backup in Philadelphia during the 2020 season, particularly during a stretch in March where he started seven games in place of an injured Embiid. In those seven games, he averaged 8 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.4 assists, and 1.2 blocks, providing much-needed defensive stock for the second unit.

If Tony Bradley becomes available and the Sixers choose to pursue him, they would have to in turn waive either Harrell or recent addition Dewayne Dedmon. Harrell has been the primary backup for most of the season, and it’s unlikely that will change. Dedmon offers a height advantage at 7’0”, but in 30 games with the Miami Heat this season he only averaged 3.6 rebounds and 5.7 points.

He’s also been plagued by plantar fasciitis this season, potentially limiting his signature toughness that likely contributed to the Sixers’ quickness in signing him. Yet it wouldn’t be surprising if the team pivoted to Bradley – who is a full eight years younger than Dedmon, is healthy, and is already familiar with the team’s style of play.

Even if Tony Bradley doesn’t become available on the buyout market, it would be worth their while for the Sixers to look into him when he becomes a free agent this offseason. Having played a mere 12 games for Chicago this season, Bradley may be seeking a bigger role – something that the Sixers could provide should he become their primary backup big.

Photo by JB Autissier Panoramic/Icon Sportswire