It turned out the Sixers came up a mere 63 wins short of landing Kevin Durant when the NBA's free agency period began over the weekend. That was the regular-season difference between the Sixers and the Golden State Warriors, the NBA Finals runner-up which has reportedly lured Durant with a two-year, $54.3 million contract.
Dario Saric, the Croatian power forward drafted by the 76ers in 2014, will be taking a large financial hit if, as reported, he jumps the final year of his contract with a Turkish team and comes to Philadelphia to begin his NBA career.
The 76ers hold the first selection in the NBA draft Thursday, getting their pick of the incoming hoops litter for just the third time in a franchise history that stretches all the way back to the Syracuse Nationals and a draft record that began when Harry Truman was president.
With the exception of whatever comes over the police scanner, the Eagles are entering radio silence for the next six weeks, with new head coach Doug Pederson having maneuvered the team well enough through one phase of a transition that still holds a few hazards.
Bob Ford is an award-winning sports columnist for the Inquirer. He is a four-time Pennsylvania Sportswriter of the Year, as selected by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association. His work has been cited numerous times by Associated Press Sports Editors judges, and he won an Eclipse Award for outstanding coverage of horse racing. Prior to becoming a columnist at the Inquirer, Ford was the 76ers beat writer for six seasons and then a general assignment feature writer with a specialty in Olympic sports. In 1995, he was designated a fellow of the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism. Ford has written sports in the Philadelphia area since 1981, when he served as the Phillies beat writer and later as a general sports columnist for the Delaware County Daily Times.