The NBA free agency class will be stacked this offseason. While there are more dominant players than usual who seem to be settled into their spot on different teams, there are a number of high profile athletes who will be able to sign anywhere that pays up this summer. The 76ers have a lot of cap space. Certainly, the organization has received a lot of backlash for its approach of tanking, but they now have significant assets, young prospects, and draft picks that should ultimately put them in a position to actually win some games. The 76ers have not been good for quite some time now. Fans are still reminiscing about the days of Andre and Iverson, but now they are left with a team that has been struggling momentously. The 76ers deserve to win now, though. They have given up fan loyalty and all the other aspects of an organization that are good to hope and gamble on the future.
This offseason, they will make an effort to capture some of the best free agents on the market. They don't have any chance at Kevin Durant, but clearly going after him wouldn't be a poor business mistake.
Here are eight Players the 76ers should chase this offseason And 7 they shouldn't.
16 Should Chase: J.J. Redick
Redick would be a good match for the 76ers. He wouldn't be too expensive and the organization could use him as a sharpshooter and veteran mentor to the very young team. Redick averaged 15 PPG and 2.2 RPG with the Clippers and is known as a great teammate. On the 76ers, it would be very beneficial for the young prospects to be able to get advice and veteran leadership from a guy like Redick. Redick has more experience than virtually everyone on the team and could help lead the organization, and the players, in the right career direction.
He is a decent defender and good corner shooter, but he did regress a little bit in the past year. He made just over $7.5 million last year, but the 76ers could surely give him that plus a nice sum.
15 Shouldn't: Nerlens Noel
Noel's situation already didn't work out in Philly; it would be irrational for them to go after him this offseason. Now a free agent, Noel does have a lot of upside. Regardless, he does NOT belong back in a 76ers uniform. The team has enough big men and going after him would just be pointless. Originally, I was angry they got rid of Noel and kept Okafor, but I am content with it at this point.
Noel was pretty unsuccessful this year and averaged under 9 points and under 6 rebounds. He is a solid defender but I feel that is the peak of his game. Look for the Mavericks to resign him for fairly cheap or for another team to pay a little more for his services.
14 Should Chase: Dion Waiters
Waiters would be a fantastic addition for the young 76ers team. He averaged a respectable 15.8 PPG and 4.3 APG this past season, and also appears to be hitting his stride with the Heat. He has a player option this summer and could pursue teams like the 76ers, who would consider paying up for him. Brandon Rosenthal, his agent, has him making just under $3 million, so he will see a big pay raise very soon.
Waiters would fit into the 76ers system and be either a starting guard or a perfect sixth man. Also, he is from the Philadelphia area, so it wouldn't be a change of scene or anything like that for him and his family. Please Dion, come to Philly.
13 Shouldn't: Nikola Mirotic
It wouldn't be rational for the 76ers to go after Nikola. They don't need shooters or big men. The team needs guys who are short and can distribute the ball. They have the down low talent; now, it is time for them to get some players who can accurately get the ball to Embiid and Simmons. Simmons may be able to play a little point, but it would be better to have him at the 2 or 3. Mirotic averaged 10.6 PPG and 5.5 RPG last season. He is a restricted agent but he has been underwhelming and the Bulls may not have a desire to hold onto him. He got paid over $5.5 million, so the 76ers should avoid that price tag as much as they can. That isn't substantial, just he is not worth it for what he has to offer.
12 Should Chase: Patty Mills
Mills is a guard who the 76ers should totally go after. He played very well in San Antonio and was a great asset to the organization. He averaged 9.5 PPG and 3.5 APG this past season, but made the absolute most of his minutes with Pop. He is scrappy and has extremely high energy. He was paid very little in 2016, so I imagine the 76ers could afford him easily, but for a bit more of a cost. Mills would be a good sixth man or role player for the 76ers, and a good player who could relate to the very young roster in Philly.
He is not a veteran, per say, but he has played enough time in the NBA where he could be a good learning source to younger professional basketball players.
11 Shouldn't: Mason Plumlee
Again, the team doesn't need to be going after huge centers. Plumlee is near seven feet and probably wouldn't fit in the Sixers system. He averaged 10.4 PPG, 7.5 RPG, and 3.5 APG this past season. Plumlee has been playing well in the past year and deserves a pay raise. He has been getting paid just above 2 million, but this will soon change. He is a restricted free agent, but it just is not clear as to whether the Denver Nuggets will re-sign him to another year or multiple seasons.
Mark Bartelstein works very hard to get Plumlee the best deals possible, so we shall see as to whether another team will throw him major cash this summer. But he doesn't belong in Philly.
10 Should Chase: Taj Gibson
Gibson would be a fine 76er. He averaged 10.8 PPG and 6.2 RPG with the Thunder this season. He has been a good addition to the Steven Adams down low mix. Gibson is an unrestricted free agent and could help play the forward in Philly. They have tall players, but not a veteran forward like Gibson. Mark Bartelstein works for his clients and will try to get Gibson paid more this summer (of course). He made close to $9 million, but could be in for a raise come summer.
Gibson could make close to $15 million and the 76ers should consider paying him, especially while they have the cap space. He is a great presence and a solid rebounder. Gibson can also play good front court defense.
9 Shouldn't: Ersan Ilyasova
Much like Noel, a Sixers reunion with Ilyasova doesn't make sense. They already are stacked with tall guys, so Ersan's 6-10 height would be un needed. He is an okay player and averaged 13.1 PPG with the Hawks this season, but he is not worth paying what he will probably get this offseason (upwards of $10 million). The 76ers need to try and get other valuable players, but also understand that just because they have new wealth doesn't mean they need to spend it.
The organization should be spending money on people who will make the team better and I am not really sure Ilyasova will do just that. He is an unrestricted free agent, so I could see the Knicks or Hawks signing him.
8 Should Chase: Shaun Livingston
Livingston is an unrestricted free agent this summer. He averaged 5.1 PPG with the Warriors, but let's be honest, Golden State is stacked. On any other team, the guy would be getting much better minutes. The 6-7 guard could be a great contributor for the 76ers. He is lanky and can throw great passes. Livingston does well in the paint and can also post up defenders. Also, he is a great mid range shooter. The 76ers should totally pursue him, even if they have to pay upwards of $7-10 million. He has shown great talent, again, in Golden State. The Warriors probably appreciate his services, but he has to be expendable considering the talent they already have.
7 Shouldn't: Kelly Olynyk
I feel I have repeated this a lot in this article, but Kelly is just another tall dude the 76ers don't need to waste money on. He is near 7-1 and not good enough for them to blow, potentially, $10+ million on. He is a restricted free agent with the Celtics, but it is not very clear as to whether they will secure his contract. Greg Lawrence, like other agents, will look for the best deal for him, but I don't think he will find it for Olynyk in Philly. Sixers fans are not going to be very happy if the organization were to waste money on a mediocre player like Olynyk, especially when they have so much wealth that people want them to spend it on a player actually worthwhile.
6 Should Chase: Derrick Rose
While Rose is very injury prone, the 76ers might be a solid fit for him. Sure, they were the team that got injured and the team that took his #1 seed Bulls down a short while ago, but they might be a good fresh start for him. Rose is an unrestricted free agent and will come with a price. He will be paid well next year, but the 76ers might be able to slide away by paying him a little less. Anyway, he was paid over $20 million last year.
Interestingly enough, he may not necessarily be paid a lot more than that. He is not very durable and struggles to stay healthy. Rose would be a great true point guard for a young 76ers team and a solid mentor for some very young athletes.
5 Shouldn't: Greg Monroe
Monroe plays well in the post and is solid around the rim, but the organization doesn't need to be blowing money on him. He isn't a game changer and many coaches are feeling he is never going to hit his, supposed, full potential. He got paid over $17 million last year, so bet he will get above that next year. Also, Monroe has a player option.
The 76ers would be wasting hard saved money on Monroe, when he probably has little to no interest in spending ANY time on a currently failing team like the 76ers. The 76ers are not a hotspot for players who are in their prime because they usually want to win NOW, though some may just take money over team success.
4 Should Chase: Kyle Korver
After Korver finishes his joy ride with the Cleveland Cavaliers, it will be time for him to return to normalcy. He got paid over $5.5 million and will get paid around that next year. He is an unrestricted free agent and I doubt the Cavaliers will have him for another year, unless he takes even less money. At 36, Korver is a legendary shooter. He has played in Philly before and was loved by fans in The City of Brotherly Love. He would be a veteran presence who could help coach the younger guys and make them better.
Korver would also just be a great role player who could contribute to what he does best: making accurate passes and drilling three pointers from the corner. With Korver, the 76ers could strategize better and have a guy who understands how to win.
3 Shouldn't: Blake Griffin
It is a waste of the 76ers time to chase Blake Griffin. He is a superstar and probably has little to no interest in the idea of playing in Philadelphia. Blake wants to be paid big time this offseason, and I'm sure the 76ers could provide him with a momentous income, but he also wants to succeed with an organization. The 76ers are not in a position to win; therefore, Blake wouldn't want to wait out for them to become good with all the prospects they actually have.
Griffin is also a bit of a drama queen. Clippers fans consider him childish and the organization is a little fed up with his nonsense of being rude to virtually everyone around him. Not a good fit.
2 Should Chase: Rajon Rondo
Rondo played well in the playoffs. This regular season, he averaged a shy 7.8 PPG and 6.7 APG. The thing I really like about Rondo is that he is a true point guard. On the 76ers, Rondo would contribute greatly as being an enabler to 'feed' the younger guys. The team has so much talent, but lacks a true point guard to dish out assists.
Ben Simmons could probably play the guard spot, but it is worth noting that he is nearly 6-11. Rondo is 6-1 and could contribute greatly by passing the ball down low to Okafor, Simmons, and Joel. I would certainly like to see the 76ers go after him, as I consider this to be a realistic possibility.
1 Should Chase: Stephen Curry
Logically, it would make no sense for Curry to choose the 76ers - unless they offered him a boatload of money. Hypothetically, if the 76ers offered Curry a maximum contract and guaranteed extra money, this would obviously be an appealing move for him. The Sixers are desperate, but going after Curry ahead of realistic options wouldn't make sense. Again, this is a hypothetical, because if they were to offer him more than ANY other team, the 76ers would easily be on his mind.
Being a 76ers fan, this is an unfathomable transaction, but it would prove to elevate the franchise to championship aspirations. With all the young talent that the 76ers have, Stephen Curry would make them contenders in the East. He just has it too good in California.