It is year three of “the process” in Philadelphia, which means that it is time to turn the page from asset acquisition, to building a basketball team.
There are many different ways the Sixers could go this off-season with potentially four first round picks and around $61,220,813.00 in cap space according to RealGM. So what I am going to do is outline what I think the Sixers should do this off-season, and no, that does not include signing Kevin Durant.
When you talk about great movies, you talk about The Godfather. When you talk about the Sixers, you talk about the draft. With this draft potentially yielding two top 5 picks and a total of four first rounders, this is where the Sixers must round out a team. I am going with the realistic view of them ending up with three first rounders, since there is aver a 50 percent chance that the Lakers keep their pick. I will also give the Sixers the number one pick, since they have the best odds and the Sacramento Kings’ odds as well by virtue of the pick swap.
As Adam Silver swaggers on over to the podium, he should say, “with the first pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, the Philadelphia 76ers select… Ben Simmons!” I also really like Brandon Ingram but I think Simmons is the better overall prospect and will be tough to pass up. Then with the Heat and Thunder pick, I would like to see them use those picks to move back up into the teens, or draft two back court players in the twenties. The Sixers are really devoid of young guards and I think they will be best suited drafting two of them lat in the first round.
Free agency in the NBA is very tricky to navigate. In any sport, you are going to have to overspend, but the contracts that are given out each year make me cringe. But with $61,220,813.00 in cap space, I would like to see the Sixers spend a little to acquire some young talent that can help make this team more competetive. Remember, with the Kings pick swap and most likely the Lakers top 3 protected pick, the Sixers will be in the lottery again anyway.
Before we can get to the fun part of acquiring new players, you have to make a decision on your current payers that have come to the end of their contracts. Ish Smith, Christian Wood, and Elton Brand will be unrestricted free agents. Kendall Marshall, Hollis Thompson, and TJ McConnell have team options, and Isaiah Canaan is a restricted free agent. I think you have to re-sign Ish Smith, if for nothing else but to be a change-of-pace guard off of the bench. Pick-up Hollis Thompson‘s team option, through three seasons he has shot 40.1 percent, 40.1 percent, and 38 percent from three. I would consider picking up McConnell’s team option just because I think Brett Brown really likes him, but he is not high on my priority list. The others I would not bother re-signing.
Then comes free agency. I know it is unrealistic to think the Sixers will sign Kevin Durant, so I will look for players that I could see suiting up for the Sixers come the 2016-2017 season.
One of those players I would like to see them go after is Jordan Clarkson. Yes, Clarkson is a restricted free agent, but why not try? This guy has shown that he can play in this league and would be a young piece to add.
Another restricted free agent that would be a nice addition is Evan Fournier. I am going to worn you now, DO NOT look his last name up on the internet. Don’t say I didn’t worn you. Fournier had a nice coming out party this year for the Magic, he is a pretty good shooter as he shot 46 percent from the field and 40 percent from three. With the way the Sixers are building, they could use some more good shooters, and until Nik Stauskas can become more consistent from three, the Sixers will need a shooting guard.
An unrestricted shooting guard that will be a good fit for the Sixers is Arron Afflalo. Afflalo is a nice 3 and d player that will provide a veteran presence and help take the scoring load off of the younger guys.
One last player that I would like to see the Sixers offer is Kent Bazemore. He is listed as a small forward for the Hawks, but is listed at 6-5 so I’d imagine that he would be a two guard for the Sixers. He would be a pretty nice 3 and d player to have and the best part is, he is an unrestricted free agent.
Next Year’s Charles Scalies Roster
Based on all of this here, I am going to give you guys the Charles Scalies projected starting lineup for next season, or what I want to see.
PG- Ish Smith
SG- Kent Bazemore
SF- Ben Simmons
PF- Dario Saric
C- Joel Embiid
Then off of the bench you have Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor, Robert Covington, Nik Stauskas, Jerami Grant, and others. This lineup would be a good step in the right direction for a franchise that has not made many strides the past couple of seasons. You have two players that you can build around the next future, along with a couple of other nice pieces. This is something that Sixers fans can get excited about.