What happened to the Sixers this offseason?
Towards the end of the season, Philly was in a perfect position to land star free agents. After receiving the 10th overall pick in the draft it seemed like the team didn’t need to bring in anybody else.
Last year the team lacked a third scorer behind Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. The draft would have been the perfect way to remedy that. Although Philadelphia took ‘three and D’ player Mikal Bridges in the draft, they quickly traded him away to Phoenix.
This was the worst move the team could possibly make. Signing Wilson Chandler might have solved some of what Bridges could bring to the court, however, he is a huge question mark after taking a dip in scoring last season.
Chandler is already making a splash in the community:
While Settling In, @WilsonChandler Shows Commitment Off Court.
— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) August 1, 2018
Water under the bridge?
Although nobody can say for certain how Bridges might produce since he hasn’t played a minute in the NBA yet. The Villanova sharpshooter was a beast for Phoenix in the NBA Summer League. He shot a ridiculous 43.8 percent from three-point range in five games this summer.
Chandler, on the other hand, slumped entirely. During the 2016-17 season, he averaged nearly 16 points per game on 46.1 percent shooting from the field. Last season he barely put up 10 points a game although his three-point shooting did improve a small amount.
For how unpredictable the former Nugget can be at times, it is surprising the team passed up on Bridges. Being from Philly, many expected the team to stick with the Villanova Wildcat. What’s better than drafting a local product to be an emerging star on the team?
Cleveland struck gold when they drafted local talent, LeBron James. Regardless of Bridges talent compared to James, he is still a lottery pick and one hell of a shooter.
Losing the Villanova sharpshooter could be detrimental for the team with a lack of star free agents left on the table, only time will tell. For now, fans will have to get excited for the athletic beast that is Zhaire Smith, the player Phoenix agreed to swap with Philly for Bridges.
Following the draft, NBA analyst Skip Bayless tweeted out that he didn’t really ‘get’ the trade:
Too bad about Mikal Bridges not going to the Sixers, where his mom works. Don't really get this trade for Zhaire Smith.
— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) June 22, 2018
Is Korver the longest shot of possible star free agents?
According to NBC Sports Philadelphia, long time Philly sharpshooter Kyle Korver may be returning home. The former Sixer spent five seasons with the team.
Although it was early on in his career, fans can still remember how lethal the current Cavalier was when he had some rhythm going. In his best season with Philly, Korver averaged 43 percent from behind the arc.
It would be an interesting pickup for the team, especially since they just resigned J.J. Redick to a 1-year deal. Redick plays a lot like Korver, silky smooth jumper without the ability to create his own shot. Does the team really need another player like this?
When teams start to take away his driving lanes, the usual kick out pass for Simmons to a three-point shooter is off the table. Instead, players like Redick were forced to create their own shots off the dribble, which they do not excel at.
If the team were to sign Korver, first they would have to clear an entire roster spot and some money. Second, Philly would have to cross their fingers and hope another off-the-ball sharpshooter can produce the points needed to take pressure off of Simmons.
Korver’s return would be welcomed by fans, despite not being one of star free agents the team sought after.
Fans took to Twitter to show support for Korver returning to the team:
The Sixers should bring back Kyle Korver and this look pic.twitter.com/egBJvm0ied
— Dan Volpone (@dan_volpone) July 9, 2018
Don’t forget about Joe!
Joe Johnson is also a player who could fill the role Philly needs. Although he hasn’t produced like he did in Atlanta or Brooklyn, he can still provide points off the bench. Johnson isn’t a pure shooter but he is a scorer, and somebody who can create his own shot.
If Johnson gets hot off the bench, teams will have another scorer to worry about, which would take some of the scoring burden off Simmons and Embiid.
Philly should look to fill the holes in their offense, rather than amassing draft picks or going for star free agents. They have the stars, now the City of Brotherly Love just needs the right players to compliment them.
Featured Image: Erik Drost via Flickr
All stats via Basketball-reference.com
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