The Sixers solidified their backcourt and added a veteran presence in their locker room with three offseason signings, writes Bobby Marks of The Vertical. Entering free agency with $54MM in cap space, the team spent most of it on shooting guard Gerald Henderson and point guards Jerryd Bayless and Sergio Rodriguez. Philadelphia will pay Bayless more than $9.4MM for the upcoming season, along with $9MM for Henderson and $8MM for Rodriguez, giving them the three highest salaries on the roster. Marks adds that the Sixers learned the importance of having a serviceable point guard last season when they started 1-30 before trading for Ish Smith on Christmas Eve.
There’s more this morning out of Philadelphia:
- The Sixers are the only team with 20 players currently under contract, Marks notes in the same story. That’s the league maximum heading into training camp, and it means the team will face some tough decisions in cutting down its roster. Friday’s trade for Tibor Pleiss gives the Sixers 14 players with fully guaranteed contracts, although Pleiss’ deal is only for $3MM, so there has been speculation that Philadelphia may not hold onto him. Pleiss played just 82 minutes in Utah last season, so the Sixers may want to evaluate him in camp before making a decision. Philadelphia has six players with partial or non-guaranteed deals.
- In his rookie season, Jahlil Okafor never found a way to use his one-on-one offensive skills to help his teammates, writes Derek Bodner of PhillyMag.com. In comparing the contributions of Okafor and Nerlens Noel, Bodner also contends that Okafor doesn’t do much on offense when he doesn’t have the ball and that the defensive concerns that haunted him coming into the league were well founded. Bodner believes the Sixers will eventually have to deal either Okafor or Noel, and the drafting of Ben Simmons and the apparent health of Joel Embiid will probably make the decision happen sooner.
- Former Sixers power forward Drew Gordon is close to signing with Rytas Vilnius in Lithuania, tweets international basketball writer David Pick. Gordon, the younger brother of Orlando’s Aaron Gordon, played nine games with Philadelphia in 2014/15.