The 2023 NBA preseason is coming to a close this week, and the Philadelphia 76ers have a lot to iron out when it comes to their roster. Not only is the James Harden drama still hanging over their head, but they still need to determine who will make the opening night roster. The Sixers need to cut their roster to 15 spots before their matchup with the Bucks on 10/26. With roster uncertainty, who makes the Sixers roster to start 2023? Take a look below:
The following Sixers are solidified in their spots on the roster: Tyrese Maxey, De’Anthony Melton, Tobias Harris, PJ Tucker, Joel Embiid, Paul Reed, Kelly Oubre Jr, Jaden Springer, Patrick Beverley, and James Harden.
All the players mentioned are either in Nick Nurse’s rotation or, in Springer’s case, fighting for a spot in the rotation. Springer’s play this preseason has been excellent, and all of the work in the offseason is showing through. If there is any coach that would give Springer a chance, it’s going to be Nurse.
Of course, then there’s James Harden, who is currently waiting to be traded—to the Los Angeles Clippers if he had his way. Until a deal is done, Harden will remain on the roster.
Should Be Locks but a Trade Could Change Things
Danuel House Jr. and Furkan Korkmaz should be locks to make the Sixers’ roster, but things could change if a James Harden trade takes place. Korkmaz asked for a trade before last season’s trade deadline, but his request was not fulfilled for the second time in his Sixers career. Korkmaz or House could potentially be included in a trade with Harden for salary-matching purposes, though that could be at any point before the deadline.
On the Bubble
Danny Green has been a pleasant surprise this preseason and training camp. He’s shown he can still hit from distance and be a much-needed floor spacer when called upon. His contract is non-guaranteed, but he looks like he may have played his way off the bubble.
Terquavion Smith is an undrafted rookie who lit up the summer league for the Sixers and is the type of shooter that needs to be on the roster with Joel Embiid. Smith was signed on a two-way deal, but he’s pushing for a roster spot.
Mo Bamba will more than likely make the roster, but his play this preseason has been underwhelming. He will be considered the “third” center behind Paul Reed and play minutes when Embiid doesn’t suit it. Bamba hasn’t played well so far, but he brings another element to the center position for this team. He is a lob threat and can spread the floor, something the Sixers haven’t consistently had behind Embiid.
Destined for Delaware
This group seems destined for the Sixers’ G League affiliate, Delaware Blue Coats, this season. Ricky Council IV has already signed a two-way agreement this summer, and David Duke Jr. and Petrusev will likely join him. Filip Petrusev hasn’t done enough to make a statement for a spot on the roster and will likely play for the Blue Coats, hoping to make an impression for next season.
Missing the Final Cut
Unfortunately, there are those who probably won’t make the roster. Montrezl Harrell is injured and won’t play this season after tearing his ACL and meniscus, so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Sixers try to cut him, although his salary is guaranteed for this season. Javonte Smart and Azuolas Tubelis were added to the offseason roster for training camp bodies and may end up in Delaware as well, with Tubelis on a two-way deal.