What else do Daryl Morey and the Sixers have in store?
We review the main questions for the team leading into free agency:
What have the Sixers done so far?
- Trading Al Horford, the 34th pick in Wednesday’s draft, a lightly protected 2025 first-round pick and the rights to Vasilije Micic to the Thunder for Danny Green and Terrance Ferguson.
- Traded Josh Richardson and the 36th pick in Wednesday’s draft to the Mavericks for Seth Curry.
- Selected Tyrese Maxey with the 21st pick.
- Selected Isaiah Joe with the 49th pick.
- Selected Paul Reed with the 58th pick.
- Waived Norvel Pelle.
- Waiving Marial Shayok
- Signing Dakota Mathias to a two-way contract, according to The Athletic’s Derek Bodner.
How does free agency work this year?
The trade moratorium was lifted Monday, which is why we’ve seen so much action over the past week. Players and teams have also been making decisions on options during that time.
Negotiations with free agents are officially allowed to start at 6 p.m. EST on Friday night, and free agents can sign contracts beginning at 12:01 p.m. EST on Sunday. Everything’s condensed this offseason, with training camps set to open on Dec. 1 and the season supposed to tip off on Dec. 22.
What do the Sixers need?
As of now, excluding the second-rounders drafted Wednesday and two-way deals, the following Sixers are either under contract or will be when everything’s finalized:
- Ben Simmons
- Joel Embiid
- Tobias Harris
- Danny Green
- Seth Curry
- Terrance Ferguson
- Matisse Thybulle
- Shake Milton
- Furkan Korkmaz
- Zhaire Smith
- Tyrese Maxey
“(Doc Rivers) is extremely comfortable, as am I, with what we have,” Morey said early Thursday morning. “Obviously there’s free agency coming, so there are going to be some additions there. But we love the starting group. We go multiple players deep behind them. We feel very good where we’re at. Obviously our job is to always look for opportunities, but we feel very good about where we’re at right now.”
There’s no conventional backup center on the team after the decisions to trade Horford and waive Pelle. Morey’s priority in backing up Embiid is “optionality.” He also likes the idea of non-Embiid lineups that revolve around Simmons and include plenty of surrounding speed and shooting. Simmons as a small-ball five might be another possibility in some situations. Reed, a prospect Morey thinks is “super underrated,” factors into the discussion, as well.
Aron Baynes, Willie Caulie-Stein and Nerlens Noel were a few of the free-agent big men we named in our story looking at this situation. The Inquirer’s Keith Pompey reported Thursday night that there’s a “real chance” Noel could return where his NBA career began.
What can they do?
We expect veteran minimum contracts to be a tool the Sixers use. DeMarre Carroll, Austin Rivers and Marco Belinelli were among the 10 top potential options we listed for the Sixers. Ersan Ilyasova, who was waived by the Bucks, is also a player to consider.
The taxpayer mid-level is another salary cap exception on the table for the Sixers. D.J. Augustin, Bryn Forbes and Langston Galloway were on our list of 10 potential targets. JaMychal Green declined his $5 million option and is worth having on the radar. He shot 39.3 percent from three-point range over 87 games as a Clipper and has served as a small-ball center for Doc Rivers. The mid-level exception can be used to sign multiple players.
It appears most likely the Sixers will depend on the two categories described above, though Morey shed a lot of salary Wednesday, which will provide the Sixers greater flexibility in future seasons. Morey's known to be creative, too, so perhaps he'll spring a surprise or two this year.