ESPN Survey Rates Sixers’ Moves as Some of NBA offseason’s Best
Even with Jimmy Butler leaving the Sixers and heading to South Beach, some in the NBA believe the Philadelphia 76ers have found the right replacements this offseason.
An ESPN survey of 20 coaches, executives and scouts from around the NBA had two rate the Sixers moves as the ones they liked the most this summer.
The Sixers signed Al Horford to a four-year, $109 million deal and added swingman Josh Richardson in a deal involving Jimmy Butler.
From ESPN’s Tim Bontemps:
"With Jimmy walking, to be able to scramble around and get Tobias [Harris], Josh, Horford ... I think they made something out of a tough situation," a Western Conference scout said. "They couldn't bring back both [Butler and Harris]. They weren't good enough."
Now, in the eyes of some, they are.
"I think they've got the most talent," an Eastern Conference assistant coach said. "I think they're huge. I think those guys are going to be better."
Neither is considered a star in the league but both bring defensive mindset to the Sixers and the ability to score. Richardson averaged 16.6 points and 4.1 assists per game last season with the Miami Heat, along with 1.1 steals. Horford is a steady defender, with a crafty arsenal of offensive moves, scoring 13.6 points, grabbing 6.7 rebounds and 4.7 assists per contest.
The Sixers moves received two votes and ranked as one of the best movea of the summer, topped only by the Clippers additions of Paul George and Kahi Leonard and tying with the Utah Jazz and New Orleans Pelicans’ overall offseason.
The Sixers’ signing of Horford was voted on as the most surprising move of the offseason.
"I really thought he'd be a Celtic still," an Eastern Conference executive said.
Eight of the 20 execs picked the Sixers to win the east, with 12 picking the Bucks. Meanwhile, two picked them to win the NBA Title this season with 13 picking the Clippers with the addition of George and Leonard.