Since free agency began over a week ago, the Sixers have been associated with several scenarios.
First, the team was reportedly interested in Avery Bradley, who has since re-signed with the Celtics. More recently, they were reportedly involved in trade talks with the Rockets about Jeremy Lin and Knicks regarding Amar'e Stoudemire.
When you have the most salary cap space across the NBA's landscape and no immediate intention to win, it is no surprise that teams looking to shed some salary would be interested in talking to you.
One of these moves may happen since the Sixers, thanks to the work of their shrewd general manager, have the salary space to absorb one of these absurd contacts that other GMs haphazardly handed out.
Despite the star-power that used to be associated with names like Lin and Stoudemire, these moves would not be made to improve the Sixers on-court in the upcoming season. In fact, there’s no guanatee that Lin or Stoudemire would even suit up for the Sixers if acquired. No, for Sam Hinkie’s Sixers, any such move would be all about assets; what else the organization can get in return for absorbing such a constricting contract that affords the other organization financial flexibility.
You want us to take on Amare Stoudemire? Sure, throw in Iman Shumpert, your 24-year-old 6’5’’ shooting guard who is dedicated defensively.
Oh, you want to unload Jeremy Lin so you can have space to sign Carmelo Anthony or Chris Bosh? We’ll take him, just throw in your 2015 first-round pick and we’ve got a deal.
At this stage for the Sixers, it is still all about acquiring assets, and building the foundation of the franchise. Nerlens Noel, Joel Embiid, and Michael Carter-Williams are building blocks, and potential franchise cornerstones. In Hollis Thompson, K.J. McDaniels and Jerami Grant the team may have some more bricks for the foundation (no pun on the team’s inability to shoot). Dario Saric is stashed overseas, improving his game until he is ready to come over and contribute to a contender. While the team remains driven to add assets and develop a deep and wide-ranging talent pool, the pieces are falling into place.
Thus, despite all the rumors and scintillating scenarios, expect a quiet summer for the Sixers. Outside of absorbing a large contract for a single season in order to acquire more assets (Stoudemire is owed $23 million this season and Lin is owed close to $15 million; both are off the books after one season), don’t expect the organization to dive deeply into that cap space.
The team’s financial flexibility is one of their biggest assets going forward, and will come in handy a couple seasons down the line when the franchise is looking to add free agents to further true title contention. Hinkie won’t hamstring the 76ers' future by handing out any serious deals the summer before another struggle of a season.
The Sixers will continue to be mentioned as a potential landing spot throughout the free agency frenzy as a result of their copious cap space, and they may take on an unattractive contract in order to add assets. Other than that though, a pretty quiet summer could be expected from the Sixers.