4 Key Free Agents Philadelphia needs to consider
On the sixth day of free agency, the Philadelphia 76ers find themselves in unfamiliar territory. The Sixers were unable to lure LeBron James and Paul George to Philadelphia, but there are still key free agents that the team should consider.
Currently, the Eastern Conference is wide open after the departure of James. King James signed a four-year deal with the Los Angeles Lakers. As of now the analyst, critics, and commentators see the Boston Celtics as the clear-cut favorites in the east.
However, as long as the Sixers have Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons on the roster there is no guarantee that Boston wins the east. After missing out on James and George, Philadelphia secured Wilson Chandler in a trade with the Denver Nuggets. Yahoo Sports Shams Charania reported the trade three days ago.
Recently, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Philadelphia signed JJ Redick, Amir Johnson, and Nemanja Bjelica to one-year deals. Despite multiple signings and two missed opportunities this summer the 76ers still have four key free agents that they should consider.
Jamal Crawford (UFA-Player-Option)
Jamal Crawford is coming off of a sub-par season, to say the least. Keep in mind the 38-year-old played on a disgruntled Minnesota Timberwolves team. If Philadelphia signs the former Los Angeles Clipper they could potentially acquire their x-factor off the bench.
Signing the 6-foot-5 guard would provide the team with more bench depth. One thing that the 76ers struggled with during the postseason was consistency from their bench players. Outside of TJ McConnell, Ersan Ilyasova and Marco Belinelli the team lacked depth.
Consequently, Philadelphia lost both Belinelli and Ilyasova to free agency. Adding Crawford makes sense because of the need for more bench depth. Also, Philadelphia would be able to sign the 2000 NBA draft pick to a veteran minimum. Last season, the three-time sixth man of the year averaged 10.3 points, 2.3 assists and 1.2 rebounds per game.
Although Crawford’s scoring average decreased he had to defer to Jimmy Butler, Andrew Wiggins, Karl-Anthony Towns, Jeff Teague and Derrick Rose. Needless to say, the team’s backcourt was a bit overcrowded. Philadelphia should sign the 18-year veteran to add bench depth, instant offense, and leadership.
— Bleacher Report NBA (@BR_NBA) July 2, 2018
Wayne Ellington (UFA)
Wayne Ellington is easily one of the most underrated role players in the NBA. Coming off of the 2017-18 season the North Carolina product averaged 11.2 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1 assists per game while shooting 39.2 percent from three.
The nine-year veteran can add to Philadelphia’s perimeter shooting, defense, and bench depth. Ellington is excellent at moving without the ball and can help space the floor. Signing the 2009 draft pick won’t affect the growth of Ben Simmons. If anything the 30-year-old guard will help Simmons by spacing the floor and finding the open spot on the court.
In addition to spacing the floor, the 6-foot-5 guard has a quick release and can get his shot off from almost anywhere on the court. Ellington will be a great fit for head coach Brett Browns system. Philadelphia should strongly consider signing the former Tarheel.
A interesting FA still available that the Thunder could possibly grab with the available “Tax Payer MLE” is Wayne Ellington. He’s a great off the bench sharpshooter (shot 39.2% from 3) and averaged 11.2 PPG with 26.5 minutes played each game. He fits the need for shooting 3pt FGs pic.twitter.com/3YJED4VC7G
— Thunder Webzone (@TWebzone) July 5, 2018
Jabari Parker (RFA)
Unlike the first two free agents, Jabari Parker is a restricted free agent. However, last season the Milwaukee Bucks made it clear that they would not re-sign the former Duke Blue Devil. Coming into the league Parker received comparisons to Carmelo Anthony.
Due to Milwaukee’s lack of interest in Parker, the Sixers could make an offer and not worry about the Bucks matching it. The only red flag that comes with the 6-foot-8 forward is his health. During his rookie season in 2014, the former Blue Devil tour his ACL in his left knee.
Three years later Parker would suffer another ACL tear in the same knee. One thing to remember is that the small-forward is only 23-years old. Signing the 2014 NBA draft pick wouldn’t be a huge risk considering the fact that the Bucks want to get rid of him for almost anything.
The four-year forward returned from his second ACL injury toward the end of the 2017-18 season. Parker played 31 games in the regular season and averaged 12.6 points 4.9 rebounds and 1.9 assists. Milwaukee finished 44-38 and secured the seventh seed in the east. In the playoffs, the Chicago native averaged 10 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 1.4 assists while playing 23.9 minutes per game.
Philadelphia should consider signing this key free agent because of his age, potential, and ability to create his own offesnse.
— The Crossover (@TheCrossover) June 29, 2018
Isaiah Thomas (UFA)
In the long run, Isaiah Thomas could be a great fit for the Sixers. Obviously, every team who has the left-handed guard on their radar is worried about his hip. Boston may have cost the 5-foot-9 guard any chance of securing a max deal.
Last year, the former Celtic played for two teams. After a long rehab process, the 29-year-old would make his season debut with the Cleveland Cavaliers January 1, 2017. Throughout the league, everyone wanted to see if I.T. could add to the Cavs and help them dethrone the Golden State Warriors.
Unforntualey, Thomas would be traded to the Lakers before the trade deadline. I.T averaged 15.6 points and 5 assists while shooting 38.3 percent from the field. Since Simmons is the primary ball handler this signing could cause some to scratch their heads.
If you think about it Thomas can play off the ball, create his own shot and shoot the three when healthy. After his departure from Cleveland and his rough ending in Los Angeles, the Washington product just wants to find a place to call home.
What better place than the City of Brotherly Love? Philadelphia could add to their backcourt and virtually get a trial run with I.T. for a small fee. The defensive side of the ball wouldn’t be an issue with the length that the team already possesses.
— Magic Report (@MagicFSGN) July 2, 2018
What key free agents do you think the 76ers should sign?
Featured image; Melvin A, Via Flickr.
All stats for this article are from stats.nba.com.
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