What’s next for the Sixers offseason?
The Sixers seemed to be frontrunners in the Kawhi Leonard sweepstakes. It was a perfect fit, Philly had the pieces to trade and is settled in the Eastern Conference. Both factors met the San Antonio Spurs trade conditions. After the trade went sour, it appears that the Sixers offseason might be in disarray.
San Antonio decided on a team further north, the Toronto Raptors. The Spurs officially traded Leonard to the north. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the trade included Leonard and Danny Green from the Spurs. Despite acquiring Green in the trade the Raptors were focused on Leonard.
Although the Spurs received Jakob Poeltl and a protected 2019 first round pick, the deal is really about DeMar DeRozan. The Toronto all-star has been the face of the franchise for the past few years.
What’s interesting about the trade is the concept of loyalty. The Raptors are looking to keep Leonard past this season, hoping to re-sign him during the 2019 offseason.
Why would Leonard stay with a franchise that just shipped their star player out? Considering the seven-year Spur has one year left on his contract, couldn’t the Raptors deal him the same way they did DeRozan?
All of this is pretty messy, luckily the Sixers don’t have to deal with any Leonard drama. There a quite a few options left despite Philly losing out on their top trade prospect. If the 76ers want to make a trade or sign a new a player, they have some flexibility.
Bleacher Report tweeted a picture of DeRozan, calling him the ‘lone star’:
Lone star DeMar.
DeRozan is the newest Spur. pic.twitter.com/KNBGoA9Ck8
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) July 18, 2018
No Bjelica? No problem
A couple weeks ago the 76ers decided to take a chance on another shooting big man. Nemanja Bjelica signed a 1-year contract with the hopes he could fill a valuable spot on the bench.
Unfortunately, Bjelica has decided to play in Europe this year, to be closer to home. However, recent NBA rumors indicate he didn’t want to play for Philadelphia. Despite having the perfect scenario to offer the former Timberwolf, he might be signing with the Sacramento Kings.
Philadelphia could use another forward who can spread the floor, however, the team could do without dishonesty. If Bjelica wants to play in Europe he should go for it, but if he just wanted to get out of a contract the 76ers can do without him.
After the front office fiasco with Bryan Colangelo, the team doesn’t need any more divas, on the court and in the front office. The Sixers offseason isn’t a complete mess, although trading the 10th overall pick with Phoenix wasn’t a great start. If the team wants to bounce back and be even better next season they need to act quickly.
Fans are not pleased with Bjelica after breaking his verbal agreement:
— Bleacher Report NBA (@BR_NBA) July 18, 2018
Who’s the best fit to help bring Philly a title?
While the top prospects have been signed, the Sixers offseason isn’t over yet. There are a lot of possible options that could make Philadelphia even better.
The team could use another ball-handler, especially one that can shoot. Jamal Crawford is an unrestricted free agent which means Philadelphia could offer him a veteran minimum. He is 38 years old right now, but he still plays like a young veteran.
Dwyane Wade could also be a spark off the bench for the Sixers. At times, the bench had a hard time getting the ball rolling, especially when wing players couldn’t get their shots to drop. Wade isn’t a consistent scorer anymore, but he has the skill to put up 10 points a night off the bench,
Another fit would have been Marcus Smart who reportedly re-signed with the Boston Celtics. Yahoo Sports Shams Charania reported that the guard signed a 4-year,$52 million contract with Boston.
Smart is a gritty guard, capable of playing offense and defense. Granting all this he is not the best shooter, he can be very streaky which could benefit big 76ers scoring runs. The Oklahoma State product was debatably the best defender left in free agency. (Before re-signing)
If the team give any one of these players a chance, they might find missing out on Leonard wasn’t the worst thing in the world. The Sixers offseason drama would be at an end if they can sign a player that can stretch the floor or handle the ball. Hopefully, they don’t make past mistakes and miss the chance to get a player that could bring the City of Brotherly Love a title.