The Sixers have plenty of housekeeping to do with just four players on their roster — plus first-round pick Matisse Thybulle — but they may need some outside help as well.
We begin our free agency targets by looking at possible point guard options. With Ben Simmons clearly entrenched in the starting role, we won’t be looking at the big names like Kyrie Irving and D’Angelo Russell.
These five players would fit nicely in a bench role or perhaps starting next to Simmons.
Beverley will become a fan favorite most likely immediately. The 30-year-old guard is a defensive maven whose best skill is getting under his opponents’ skin. In addition to that, Beverley has become an elite three-point shooter. He’s shot nearly 40 percent on over four attempts a game over the last four seasons. Beverley likely won’t come cheap, but if you’re unable to bring back only one — or neither — of Jimmy Butler or Tobias Harris, he’d make a ton of sense. He’s not necessarily a true point guard offensively, but with his ability to shoot, he’d slot in quite nicely next to Simmons.
This one is a little tricky because Brogdon is a restricted free agent and there is no doubt Milwaukee would love to re-sign him. The issue is that the Bucks are dealing with their own cap issues after giving Eric Bledsoe an extension and with starters Khris Middleton and Robin Lopez about to hit the open market. Brogdon is just a complete player. His shooting numbers were elite last season as part of the 50/40/90 club. He can rebound, he can pass, he doesn’t turn the ball over and is a strong defender. He’s the perfect kind of complementary player for the Sixers — if they can afford him — and you’d be taking away from one of your main competitors.
If you look just at Joseph’s numbers, you might wonder why he’s on this list. He’s not much of a scorer and his three-point shooting has been pretty volatile during his NBA career. With that said, he’s an excellent defender. Think about how much the Sixers struggled during the season with scoring guards and in the pick-and-roll. Joseph can be the guy who sticks Kemba Walker, Kyrie Irving and Spencer Dinwiddie. He’s an upgrade over T.J. McConnell defensively and he’ll at least take open looks. Joseph spent his first two seasons in San Antonio while Brett Brown was in charge of player development, so there’s a connection there.
While Burke will likely never live up to his status as a top-10 pick, there’s still an intriguing NBA skill set there. He’s a shot creator, something the Sixers could use, and his three-point shooting has been above average over his last three NBA seasons (37 percent). His size and defense will be a concern, but you’d hope the presence of Simmons could help mitigate that. Burke is still just 26 so there’s also a reasonable chance he improves — especially when surrounded by better players.
Wright is a tier below some of these other names, but he’s interesting. A first-round pick in 2015, Wright spent the first 3 ½ seasons of his career in Toronto before going to Memphis in the Marc Gasol trade. His shooting has been pretty up and down, but he can score thanks to his ability to change speeds. He has great size at 6-foot-5 and is a decent passer and rebounder. Defensively, he’s long and versatile and is active in passing lanes. He’s restricted so Memphis can match offers, but how much do they want to spend on a guard with Ja Morant now in the fold?
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