Raptors forward OG Anunoby is a player to watch as the Sixers try to remake their roster following the James Harden trade, Michael Scotto of HoopsHype says in a conversation with Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Scotto states that Nick Nurse is a huge fan of Anunoby after coaching him in Toronto, and he would be a good fit with the current roster on both offense and defense. Scotto also points out that the Sixers would have plenty of cap room to re-sign Anunoby when he becomes a free agent next summer.
Sources tell Scotto that Philadelphia may eye a few other trade targets such as Bulls guard Zach LaVine, Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell and Pistons forward Bojan Bogdanovic. He hears the Sixers aren’t interested in pursuing Karl-Anthony Towns to play alongside Joel Embiid because he hasn’t meshed well with Rudy Gobert on the Timberwolves. Bulls swingman DeMar DeRozan would provide scoring punch, but he also brings spacing issues to the offense. Scotto doesn’t believe Philadelphia currently has interest in either Raptors forward Pascal Siakam or Trail Blazers forward Jerami Grant.
Pompey doesn’t see another ball-dominant scorer as an ideal fit because of Tyrese Maxey‘s strong play to open the season. Anunoby’s defense and Bogdanovic’s outside shooting would be more valuable, according to Pompey, and they’re likely to cost less than some of the other hypothetical targets.
Scotto and Pompey offer more on the Sixers:
- The Clippers‘ offer that president of basketball operations Daryl Morey accepted for James Harden was the only legitimate one he received, according to Pompey. He speculates that the organization wanted to unload Harden before he was reintroduced to the team and possibly caused a distraction, and there was concern that L.A.’s interest in Harden might lessen if the team got off to a strong start. Scotto hears that the Knicks called about Harden but never made a serious offer, while the Heat weren’t involved at all.
- The Sixers believe it will take a max contract to keep Maxey in free agency next summer, Scotto hears. The fourth-year guard has excelled as the leader of the offense with Harden sidelined, but Scotto believes the organization has to determine whether he’s best suited as a point guard or shooting guard.
- Embiid is “monitoring the situation” to see if Morey can build a legitimate contender before making any decisions about his future, Pompey states. The Sixers are currently optimistic about keeping him happy, but Pompey warns that another early playoff exit could prompt him to ask for a trade during the offseason.
- The Sixers will be interested in re-signing Tobias Harris, but they can’t give him close to a max contract because of how much they’ll have to pay Maxey and possibly others, Pompey adds. He points out that Philadelphia has Harris’ Bird rights, which will help with his next contract but would eat into the club’s cap room.
- Sources tell Scotto that the Sixers are “intrigued” with Kenyon Martin Jr., who was part of the return from the Clippers in the Harden deal, and may consider re-signing him next summer if he plays well.