Draft night for the Sixers ended up being more of a trading frenzy than a picking frenzy. The team entered the draft with five picks, but ended up trading three of them and picking just two players. While we'll have to wait until free agency in order to completely see what Elton Brand has planned, the Sixers looked to have missed out on some opportunities to add some young talent on cheap contracts heading into a free agency period that could have them inching close to the luxury tax.

One of the deals that Philadelphia completed during the draft was trading Jonathon Simmons and the No. 42 pick to Washington for cash considerations. More or less, they dealt Simmons and a pick to save $333,333 a year for the next three years.

Kyle Neubeck of PhillyVoice writes about a specific scenario that this move of saving $1 million vs. cutting Simmons outright "only matters if the Sixers lose one of their top free agents this summer." Neubeck also points out that there may be a bigger reason to get that money off the books with regard to being above the luxury tax threshold.

Above the luxury tax threshold is an area called the "apron," which starts a new level of restrictions for teams in the team-building process. 

Those restrictions are as follows:

  1. Teams above the apron are no longer able to use the bi-annual exception to sign players
  2. Teams above the apron have a smaller mid-level exception to use on free agents. For reference, the non-taxpayer MLE in 2018-19 had a starting salary of about $8.6 million, while the taxpayer MLE started at around $5.3 million
  3. Teams above the apron cannot acquire players in sign-and-trade deals
  4. Teams above the apron are not protected the same under the Gilbert Arenas provision 

It is going to take some time to see what this move actually does for the team, if anything, moving forward.

The Sixers acquired Simmons and picks from the Orlando Magic on February 7 for Markelle Fultz. Simmons appeared in 32 games for the Sixers between the regular season and playoffs.

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