76ers

Sixers Mailbag: A suddenly crowded backcourt and what's Jahlil Okafor's future?

It’s August so you know what that means: less than two months until the start of NBA training camp. For as many questions as the Sixers addressed in free agency and the draft, there are a lot that still remain. In this mailbag, I'll take a look at a few of those topics. If you don’t see your tweet here, I will be answering more next week. (On that note, big thanks for the huge response to mailbag questions!) 

In the past (as recent as last season), the Sixers had players on the roster who were waived and then, just as quickly, were out of the NBA. That’s not the case with the current team. Each player on the roster has value. If the Sixers were to part ways, it most likely would be done through a trade or, if they were unable to find a trade partner, a buyout. 

Let’s take a look at the two players Nick asked about here (@MWright1313 inquired about Bayless as well). Jerryd Bayless is a solid fit for the second unit. He can play both point and shooting guard, providing versatility off the bench. Bayless, who turns 29 this month, brings veteran experience that will be needed with a backcourt of two rookies in Ben Simmons and Markelle Fultz. He already formed a mentor-type relationship with Simmons last season while they both were rehabbing from injuries.

When it comes to Stauskas, I have said numerous times he boosted his trade value last season. He averaged career-highs in scoring (9.5 points), three-point percentage (36.8), field goal percentage (39.6), rebounds (2.6), and assists (2.4). Stauskas showed he can run the floor as well and he focused on improving his defense. The Sixers are crowded at the two-guard and Stauskas could be sought after by other teams in a trade. 

The Sixers, like every NBA team, look for moves to improve their rosters year-round. That could involve being an additional team to complete a multi-team trade or simply making a small move based on cap space (like last summer when they traded the rights to Chukwudiebere Maduabum to the Cavaliers in exchange for cash considerations and Sasha Kaun, who they waived days later). 

Whether it is the preseason, regular season or offseason, trade questions seem to go back to Jahlil Okafor, as seen here in this tweet. Okafor has been working out this summer and was noticeably slimmer when he attended summer league games in Las Vegas last month. The Sixers’ main goal for Okafor this offseason is improving his health, notably his right knee. 

The team has been transparent about the possibility of trading the big man, which they attempted to do this past February. Since it already is August, the Sixers could benefit from Okafor having a successful training camp to give other teams another look at his improvements. One trade scenario could be trading Okafor early in the regular season like they did with Jerami Grant after two games last October. 

Why do I have the feeling this question isn’t going away anytime soon?