Offseason Outlook: Philadelphia 76ers

Guaranteed Contracts


Non-Guaranteed Contracts

Free Agents / Cap Holds

Draft Picks

  • 1st Round (11th overall)
  • 2nd Round (35th overall)
  • 2nd Round (42nd overall)

Cap Outlook

  • Guaranteed Salary: $41,596,841
  • Options: $2,945,901
  • Non-Guaranteed Salary: $788,872
  • Cap Holds: $35,299,429
  • Total: $80,631,043

For teams that have the good fortune of landing a superstar, many years can be spent trying to add complementary pieces around that star, giving him the help he needs to contend for a title. For the 76ers, that process played out in reverse. Prior to last August's trade that sent Andre Iguodala to the Nuggets and Andrew Bynum to Philadelphia, the Sixers' roster was an odd collection of solid but unspectacular pieces with too much positional overlap and not a whole lot of potential to contend. But once Bynum was penciled in to the starting lineup in place of Iguodala, the roster construction made more sense — the complementary pieces were already in place, and now the Sixers had landed the star player needed to lead the team to contention.

Of course, as we all know, that's not quite how Bynum's first, and perhaps only, year in Philadelphia played out. The young center didn't see a single minute of action for the Sixers during the 2012/13 season, with knee injuries potentially costing him tens of millions of dollars in his walk year. Those knee issues also created a giant question mark when it comes to the Sixers' plan for the future. When the club first acquired Bynum, there was talk of locking him up to a long-term contract and letting him be the centerpiece in Philadelphia for years to come. There hasn't been much of that talk lately.

That's not to say it's certain Bynum will be playing elsewhere next season. With his Bird Rights in their pocket, along with first-hand knowledge of his medical records, the Sixers will be in the driver's seat when Bynum hits free agency in July. But the team simply can't offer him a big-money, long-term contract with any confidence, knowing that his knees could be a recurring issue. Even if the Sixers are able to re-sign Bynum at a fair rate on a short-term deal, the club will have to pursue a Plan B, since assuming the former Laker will play 60 or 70 games is unreasonably optimistic for now.

The good news for the Sixers is that in Bynum's absence a couple of those players who had previously been viewed as complementary pieces made great strides in '12/13, particularly in the case of Jrue Holiday, who was a contender for Most Improved Player. With Holiday under contract for four more seasons and the underrated Thaddeus Young under team control for at least two more years (the third is a player option), the Sixers have two nice core pieces in place.

Besides Holiday and Young though, it's unclear whether any of the players currently on the roster is part of the team's long-term plan. Jason Richardson may be around for a couple more seasons simply because his contract will be hard to move, and Kwame Brown is a near-lock to pick up his player option and return for one more year. The Sixers gave up a future first-round pick to nab Arnett Moultrie in last year's draft, so they'll likely be patient with his development. Lavoy Allen and particularly Spencer Hawes provided good production in the frontcourt, but I'm not sure either big man will be playing major minutes for the next contending team in Philadelphia.

The Sixer with the most uncertain future may be Evan Turner, the former second overall pick who was expected to have a breakout year with Iguodala in Denver. Turner did set career-highs in many categories, but that was a result of increased playing time (35.3 MPG, from 26.4) rather than an increase in efficiency. In fact, Turner's FG% (.419) was a career-worst mark, while his 12.1 PER was a step down from 2011/12's figure (12.6).

Heading into the 2013 offseason, Turner will be eligible for a contract extension, meaning it would be the Sixers' time to strike if they still feel like Turner is capable of delivering on his pre-draft potential. Philadelphia appears to have gotten a bargain in Holiday by locking him up prior to his breakout season. Perhaps if management feels Turner is on the same path, the club will make an attempt to extend him this fall, keeping him from hitting the open market. If the Sixers aren't so confident in his development, it'll be a contract year for Turner, who would be eligible for restricted free agency in the summer of 2014.

The question of Bynum's future in Philadelphia looms over all the team's offseason decisions. If the Sixers were to bring him back, there wouldn't be much room to supplement the roster with another impact free agent, though perhaps they could add a mid-level player and a couple smaller pieces. If the club decides to let him walk, there'd be a moderate amount of cap space available, but it wouldn't necessarily need to be used immediately.

New head of basketball operations Sam Hinkie comes from a Rockets organization that has been very adept at accumulating assets, managing the cap, and spending its money on the right players. Based on Hinkie's history in Houston, it wouldn't surprise me if he decides to use 2013/14 as a transitional year, perhaps signing free agents to one-year deals while attempting to add draft picks or young talent using the team's non-core trade assets. With Hawes, Turner, Allen, and Brown projected to come off the books in the summer of 2014, rolling their cap space over to an offseason that should feature more talent than '13 in both free agency and the draft could be the Sixers' best move.

Additional notes:

  • Bynum isn't the only unrestricted free agent whose future in Philadelphia is up in the air. Nick Young appears likely to be headed elsewhere after an uninspiring season with the Sixers, and I wouldn't be surprised if Dorell Wright departed as well.
  • While Tony DiLeo was technically the team's general manager last season, head coach Doug Collins reportedly had a significant voice in basketball decisions. With Hinkie in place now, I wouldn't expect the Sixers' new coach to play as large a role in the team's roster decisions, particularly since the club doesn't seem in any rush to make a hire.

Cap footnotes:

  1. Holiday's contract is currently fully non-guaranteed. It becomes guaranteed for $50K if he's not waived by August 15th.
  2. $1,084,293 is the amount of Jenkins' qualifying offer. If the Sixers decide not to tender him a qualifying offer, his cap hold will be $884,293.

Storytellers Contracts and Sham Sports were used in the creation of this post.

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4 thoughts on “Offseason Outlook: Philadelphia 76ers

  1. Rich McIntosh

    Really not sure why you’re so keen on our two worst contributing players in Hawes and Williams. Both should be allowed to walk. Brand may be amnestied, but it’s highly likely he’ll be returning. Turner is not going to be traded. The Iggy trade is decently likely, but at the very least we’re getting a one-for-one All Star deal there. Best case, we get a pick as well. I doubt we go after Jefferson (who is a center anyway) or Gasol, who is aging and regressing. Millsap or Favors is vastly more likely. At any rate, two of the four of Hawes, Williams, Brand and Iguodala will be leaving, as far as I can tell.

    • Rich McIntosh

      Note that while Lou was our leading scorer, he did it while losing us many close games, being the worst defender on our team, making terrible decisions on the court, and shooting an atrocious percentage.

  2. Miami_Adam

    Pau Gasol and Al Jefferson could be targets, but I doubt a one-for-one deal would work in either instance. As the Sixers have found in recent years, Iguodala probably will never be the best player on a title contender, so it’s hard to imagine him drawing that sort of player in a trade.

    I don’t get it. Neither Pau nor Al have ever been the best player on a title contender. Pau has never won a playoff game without some guy named Kobe. Jefferson hasn’t won a playoff game since 2005 with Pierce. On the other hand, Iguodala has been the best player (all due respect to Andre Miller) on the Sixers for 12 playoff wins.

    Andre isn’t only reliable in the playoffs. Since getting drafted in 04-05, he has played (and started!) in 615 of a possible 640 regular season games. That’s 96%. Pau and Al, both reasonably healthy guys, have missed over 3x that many games.

    Andre is 3.5 younger than Pau and 1 year older than Al (but drafted in the same year).
    Andre is due to make $14.7M and $15.9M (player option) over the next 2 yrs then hes a UFA
    Al is due to make $15M next year, then he’s a UFA
    Pau is due to make $19M and $19.3M over the next 2 years, then he’s a UFA

    Lastly, Andre scores best on the eye test. He can guard basically any back court player in the league. He can finish above the rim. He’s mentally tough enough to play in Philly. And he’s still adding/improving his point guard skills. His biggest problem is lacking a great jumper.
    Al is too slow to play very solid interior defense, despite his block totals. He only plays from one spot on the floor on offense.
    Pau is a well-documented finesse player. With no one on the roster to take pressure off of him, I don’t see any reason to think he can even be as good as he’s been next to Bynum.

    I see the benefit of trading Andre for a PF/C like Pau or Al based on team needs, but I very much believe that Andre Iguodala is the best of these 3 players and will be the best going forward. If I were Utah or LAL I’d be really happy to trade either straight up for Iguodala.

    • HoopsRumors

      I actually agree with you on most of your points and worded that paragraph poorly. What I meant was:

      a. The Sixers would probably want more than just Gasol or Jefferson straight-up for Iggy.
      b. Like Iggy, those guys are also players that probably aren’t going to be the best player on a title contender.
      c. If the Sixers want to land someone who COULD be the best player for a title team (ie. someone who’s a little better than a Pau/Jefferson-type player), it’ll probably take more than Iggy to get that done.

      — Luke


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