Free Agent Targets for the Sixers
The Sixers only have four players under contract for the 2019-20 NBA season: Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, Zhaire Smith, and Jonah Bolden. This means that the Sixers will have to be extremely active in free agency in order to construct a championship-caliber roster around Embiid and Simmons.
Obviously bringing back some of their key contributors from last season will be a top priority for the organization. General manager Elton Brand paid a hefty price to acquire Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris in midseason trades, and the team will be looking to bring both back on long-term, top-dollar deals.
J.J. Redick and Mike Scott is another pair of players that the team will likely look to retain, though in all likelihood not all four will be back with the team.
The Sixers will also likely look to make a run at the top-tier players on the market – guys like Kawhi Leonard, Klay Thompson, and Kemba Walker (especially if they lose out on Butler or Harris), but those players likely already have preferred destinations in mind.
With that in mind, here’s a look at some other potential targets for the Sixers this summer:
Marcus Morris, F: Morris is in the mold of Mike Scott; a guy that could provide the Sixers with some toughness, floor-spacing, and defensive versatility. He can defend multiple positions on the defensive end, and could score from different levels on the offensive end, as he can post up smaller defenders while also providing solid spacing with his ability to knock down the three.
Morris is one of those guys that might get under your skin as an opponent, but that you love to have if he’s on your side, and he could prove to be very valuable if he were signed by the Sixers.
Thaddeus Young, F: An all-around forward, Young was a causality of ‘The Process’, and probably the most unfortunate one, as his skill set and value has always been extremely evident, and the Sixers could have used a player of his ilk this past season.
Young isn’t built to be a top, or second option, but when you have those pieces in place already, as the Sixers do, he’s an ideal complement as he can score without dominating the ball, and doesn’t mind doing the dirty work. Young has a knack for grabbing timely offensive rebounds, or coming up with steals that lead to fast break opportunities, and he has the ability to defend several positons on the defensive end, and in today’s NBA that versatility is very valuable.
Plus, it’s safe to say that Sixers fans would welcome him back with open arms.
Dewayne Dedmon, C: Another former Sixer, Dedman showed flashes of potential during his time with the team in 2014, and his grown into his own since.
Adding a solid, reliable backup center behind Embiid is a top priority for the Sixers this offseason, and Dedmon has proved serviceable. He’s not going to blow anybody away, but he offers solid production on both ends of the ball, and could give the Sixers a solid 20 minutes per game, plus some spot starts when Embiid sits to manage his health.
Enes Kanter, C: Kanter might be a negative on the defensive end, but he can straight produce on offense. Thus, if Kanter was going to see some major minutes in Embiid’s absence, he could at least legitimately help the Sixers on one end of the floor – something that none of Embiid’s replacements could do consistently this past season. Plus, Kanter has shown effort on defense, the instincts just aren’t there, but that can be countered if there’s other solid defenders around him.
Patrick Beverley, G: Beverley seems like a solid fit for Philadelphia just based off on his on-court personality. Gritty. Hard-nosed. He’s the type of guy that Philly fans would rally around easily, as he’s diving into the stands for loose balls and jawing with the other team’s best player.
Beverley is an elite defender and more than capable on the offensive end, and his ability to knock down shots from deep would allow him to play alongside Simmons (in what would be a lock-down backcourt), while also running the offense on his own while Simmons was sidelined.
Danny Green, G: Green has struggled mightily in the postseason, and it’s very possible that his days as a starter in the NBA are behind him. However, he could still be effective in a reserve role, as a three-and-D guy off of the bench; something the Sixers lacked last season.
Green is already familiar with Brett Brown from their days together in San Antonio, and his game would complement both Embiid and Simmons pretty well, on paper at least.
Seth Curry, G: Curry will be a hot commodity this summer because of one essential skill: shooting. Cirry could provide the Sixers (or whoever signs him) with some consistent shooting off of the bench.
When your two best players are a transcendent center that is downright dominant in the paint, and a shooting-adverse, super-athletic slasher, surrounding those two players with shooting is extremely important. Guys like Landry Shamet, Marco Belinelli, and Ersan Ilyasova have excelled playing off of Embiid and Simmons, and Curry would like fare similarly.
Follow Michael Kaskey-Blomain on Twitter @therealmikekb.