June 11, 2018, 1:44 pm
The Philadelphia 76ers had arguably the most entertaining season of any team when considering on and off-the-court events. From trading up to the number one pick in the draft, to the entire Markelle Fultz injury saga, to the massive success of Ben Simmons’ rookie year, to winning 52 games and claiming the third seed in the East and finishing it up with the Bryan Colangelo Twitter saga there was not much more one could ask for from Philly. The Sixers have six, yes six, draft picks in June’s draft and also will have cap space for a max contract if they can get one so the future remains bright. Trust the Process.
What else is there to say about the 76ers season except, “Wow, when does next season start?” Philly burst onto the seen as one of the most exciting and even weird teams in the NBA. With a point guard that is apparently still growing and may hit seven feet eventually, to one of the best centers in the world that undoubtedly has the best social media game in the league to scrappy veterans and multiple off-the-court sagas, Philly gave us everything we wanted from them.
The process-trusters finally got to see the work of Lord Sam Hinkie pay off, despite the league shunning him for exploiting a problem that the league has. Ben Simmons proved that you do not need a jump shot to succeed in the league and that positions are for the olden times. He’s listed as a 6’10” point guard but the Sixers have said he is still growing and right now is about 6’11” with the possibility for 7’0”. Despite his height, he still has fantastic quickness, speed and, most impressively, speed with the ball. Joel Embiid continued to put on a show as he has turned into one of the most dominant forces in the NBA on and off-the-court and made his first All-Star game. The grit and hard work that Brett Brown brings everyday was reflected in his players as the team never seemed to be out of a game no matter the deficit, despite being so young.
The Sixers were last in isolation frequency and were first in passes per game by a wide margin – 343.9 per game compared to the next-most of 328.7 per game by the Hawks. They also were near the tops of the leaderboards in many of the hustle stats, showing off Brett Brown’s style. They were fourth in deflections per game, second in loose balls recovered per game and were in the top-half of charges drawn and shots contested per game. They were also second in assists and adjusted assists per game. Their immense height and length showed off as they led the league in both rebounds and contested rebounds per game.
The Sixers are filled with young, unselfish talent that have no ceiling on how good they can get. They have a great coach that has installed one of the best cultures around the league and still have a lot of future assets that they have to improve their outlook. In just the first full season of play for both Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons they won 52 games and made it to the second round of the playoffs, something not many people could have predicted before the season. It is going to be extremely exciting watching this team continue to grow and there is no doubt it will be entertaining along the way.
Brett Brown finished up his fifth season with Philadelphia with a career best 52-30 record including a 5-5 mark in his first playoff appearance. Brown now stands at a 127-283 record overall, but it is pretty obvious why the record is so bad. Brown was brought in before the first season of the process to institute a culture of hard work and he has succeeded in doing so. After working with the San Antonio Spurs for nine seasons, Brown has been one of the best coaches in the league at getting the most out of his guys, regardless of talent level.
If there was any evidence needed to prove the type of culture Brown holds in Philadelphia, J.J. Redick signed with the team because of how much he respected Brown. Redick proved to be very valuable to the team both on and off the court as a leader. The Sixers had a team filled with young, inexperienced players that knew how to play with poise and composure; a true testament to Brown’s ability as a leader. Brown still has to improve at his in-game rotation decisions as they were very questionable at times. With a big offseason coming up, the Sixers have already extended Brown’s contract and also put him in charge of basketball operations as the team searches for a replacement for Bryan Colangelo.
Brown and the Sixers had an extremely impressive season that was not expected to happen for at least another year. Despite this, the team was expected to beat the Celtics in the second round of the playoffs in just five games. The Sixers should be a force in the East for years to come under Brown as long as their young stars stay healthy.
ADP: 35/29 (ESPN/Yahoo), Total Value: 30/45 (8/9-cat), Per Game Value: 17/31 (8/9-cat), Games Played: 63
Stats: 30.3 MPG 22.9 PTS 1.0 3PT 10.9 REB 3.1 AST 0.6 STL 1.7 BLK 0.484 FG% 0.768 FT%
After finally exploding onto the scene as a rookie in the 2016-17, Embiid became the face of Philadelphia basketball. He was an instant superstar and is quickly becoming a household name while embracing his self-given nickname, ‘The Process.’ Philly rewarded Embiid with a max contract extension in October before the season. After taking a lot of heat for only playing 31 games in three seasons, Embiid showed why he’s considered a superstar in 2017-18.
After being a huge risk during drafts, Embiid managed to play in 63 games and played up to his preseason value. Embiid was a monster across the board – except turnovers – putting up almost 23 points, almost 11 boards, over three assists and a 3-pointer to go along with solid percentages as well. Embiid will most likely carry the injury tag around with him for the rest of his career, but his output when he plays cannot be denied. During the second half of the season Embiid started playing in back-to-backs and still averaged 30.3 minutes per game for the season.
Embiid played in 63 games and suffered a few minor injuries. Most noticeably, Embiid missed the last eight and a half games due to a fracture in his face and running into teammate Markelle Fultz. On top of that, Embiid dealt with a sore back, sore knee, and some general rest on back-to-backs.
Embiid will carry a heavy price heading into next season but he has already talked about how he wants to be the MVP of the league. His production could be hampered by a superstar coming to town, but if not, Embiid will put up monster numbers again. The only thing holding him back is his health, although he seems to be in good shape to play in all back-to-backs now.
ADP: 50/52 (ESPN/Yahoo), Total Value: 15/27 (8/9-cat), Per Game Value: 31/48 (8/9-cat), Games Played: 81
Stats: 33.7 MPG 15.7 PTS 0.0 3PT 8.1 REB 8.1 AST 1.7 STL 0.8 BLK 0.545 FG% 0.560 FT%
In his “rookie” season, Ben Simmons showed us why he was taken No. 1 overall. His confidence, poise, and ability to run an offense was something rarely seen from a first-year player. Simmons carved up defenses with his height, strength and vision like we’ve never seen before. There were many people doubting Simmons as he missed his entire first season due to a broken foot, but he quickly proved them wrong.
Simmons was grouped together with Joel Embiid on the injury-prone train, but after playing in 81 games, that train has seemed to have left the station. Simmons missed one game due to a sore elbow but played in 33.7 minutes per game in all the others.
The Aussie showed off his rare vision and ability to score with either hand. He is a very good rebounder in traffic but still needs to polish up his finish and overall scoring. It is just unfair that he can be as fast and strong as he is at 6’11” and be playing the point guard position. Even if he never develops a jump shot or an elite scoring game, he has the physical advantage over anyone that will be guarding him and creates matchup nightmares for defenses.
After an incredible rookie campaign and the overall success of the Sixers, it is very possible that Simmons will come into next season as over-ranked. He was already being taken in the fourth or fifth round, but outplayed even that number. It remains to be seen who will be joining the Sixers in the offseason, but that will have a big effect on Simmons’ value. If a ball-dominant player comes to town Simmons will lose a lot of his touches and without an outside shot his offensive game will be very questionable. His rebounding, defensive stats, and field goal percentage should all be fairly repeatable and are all elite numbers for point guards. It is going to be fun watching Simmons grow his game in the future.
ADP: 66/66 (ESPN/Yahoo), Total Value: 24/20 (8/9-cat), Per Game Value: 43/36 (8/9-cat), Games Played: 80
Stats: 31.6 MPG 12.6 PTS 2.5 3PT 5.4 REB 1.9 AST 1.7 STL 0.9 BLK 0.413 FG% 0.852 FT%
Ro-Co was another beneficiary of the Sixers’ surprisingly good season. While he is not a scorer, Covington brings just about everything else to the table. He started off the season hot from the field but still went through his typical hot and cold streaks, though that’s not what he was drafted to provide. His 2.5 3-pointers, 5.4 rebounds, almost 2.0 assists, 1.7 steals, and almost a full block per game is an extremely diverse and rare statline.
There was only one other player in 2017-18 to average more than 2.5 3-pointers, 1.5 steals, 0.8 blocks, and 5.0 rebounds per game. That player’s name? Kevin Durant. How many players did it in the past three seasons? Only 2015-16 Kevin Durant is on the list. If we knock the qualifiers down to 2.0 3-pointers and 1.0 steals per game then the only other seasons that join the list are Covington from 2016-17 and DeMarcus Cousins from 2017-18. He does a lot of good things for a fantasy team, and most of it is not flashy.
Covington’s grit and grind mentality combined with his multi-positional versatility is a perfect fit for this roster. It also helped him earn a contract extension and renegotiation that earned him over $16 million for the 2017-18 season and extends four years for $46.8 million starting in 2018-19. Covington’s exceptional play on the defensive end of the floor also earned him a spot on the All-Defensive First team for the 2017-18 season, his first selection to either All-Defensive team.
Covington played in 80 games this season which helped boost his total value up into the second round. He also played most of the season with an injury to a finger on his left hand that he had surgery on after the Sixers season ended. It was on his non-shooting hand and did not seem to effect his play too much, and he is supposed to be fine for training camp. If the Sixers bring in a superstar this summer it could drastically hurt Covington’s offensive numbers, but the defensive stats and decent rebounding should be there no matter what.
ADP: 70/88 (ESPN/Yahoo), Total Value: 52/58 (8/9-cat), Per Game Value: 72/81 (8/9-cat), Games Played: 78
Stats: 29.6 MPG 14.6 PTS 2.0 3PT 6.6 REB 2.5 AST 0.6 STL 0.2 BLK 0.453 FG% 0.859 FT%
In his second season here in the NBA, “The Homie” impressed with his continued improvement. After playing a bench role for the first half of the 2016-17 season, Saric was unleashed on the post-Ilyasova Sixers. A starting role combined with Joel Embiid hurt launched Saric into being a finalist for Rookie of the Year, and he did not disappoint in his sophomore campaign.
Saric’s main roadblock for becoming a fantasy monster is the usage. As he is generally the third or fourth scoring option, there are just not enough touches to go around. Despite this, he still outperformed his ADP overall, and was right on the nose on a per-game value. It certainly helps that he rejoined the starting lineup early in the year. Saric missed a few games in April due to a sore elbow, but managed to play in 78 games which really boosted his total value into the fifth or sixth round. Saric is a very underrated playmaker and has a very stereotypical European style of play. He’s not the quickest player but his ability to shoot, pass, and dribble and his vision all make him fit in smoothly with the Sixers’ unique offense. He also has the confidence to shoot from wherever he is on the floor and does not back down from a challenge, sometimes that isn’t great for his fantasy production though.
Saric is in line to be the third or fourth scoring option again and will have a hard time improving on his numbers without a major injury to Ben Simmons or Embiid. He is still very young and has shown improvement through his first two seasons which could help bring up his efficiencies. With his minutes most likely to stay at a tick under 30 per game, there are just not enough touches to go around for everyone to produce at a high level. He will most likely be a fairly safe mid-round forward if the Sixers do not bring in any star talent.
ADP: 91/82 (ESPN/Yahoo), Total Value: 405/414 (8/9-cat), Per Game Value: 336/370 (8/9-cat), Games Played: 14
Stats: 18 MPG 7.1 PTS 0 3PT 3.1 REB 3.7 AST 0.7 STL 0.2 BLK 0.405 FG% 0.476 FT%
One of the biggest storylines in the NBA came from a guy that played in just 14 games and only 18 minutes a night. The top pick in the draft last June, Fultz injured his shoulder before the season, and a clear timeline was never given. He had a muscle imbalance – either the front or back of his shoulder was significantly stronger than the other – which is a very rare injury and requires time to heal. He needed to start a new training regimen from square-one to make sure his shoulder was equally strong throughout. As he was going through this, his jump shot was “lost” as he had to “re-learn” how to use his arm now that the strength was different than he was used to.
The Fultz saga briefly ended as he had a surprise return in March that was announced just before the game. Fultz and Ben Simmons did not play together at all due to the lack of shooting for both players, but when Fultz was out there he did look like he belonged on an NBA floor. There was a ton of scrutiny that he took and was deemed a bust before even playing a game in which he was healthy. As a 6’5” guard, Fultz showed off his athleticism, play-making, and confidence. He is very fluid with his movements, has long arms that should help him record steals and blocks, and showed off some of his stylish passing and playmaking. It was a brief time that we got to see Fultz play, but it did instill some confidence.
Fultz still needs to work on his jump shot a lot to be able to play heavy minutes. We saw that he can drive, pass and rebound. His per-36 minute stats were 14.2 points, 7.5 assists, 6.1 rebounds and 1.7 steals. Now if he were to play near 36 minutes per game in 2018-19 he would be a secondary ball handler and would not see the same usage that he saw when he was playing with the backups, so take those stats with a grain of salt. They do show, though, that Fultz can play. If his conditioning and shooting come into the season much improved he could be an extremely special player that is still young. However, it will be very hard to pinpoint what improvements he has made and what his role will be until the season starts, so he will be a risky draft pick.
ADP: 110/116 (ESPN/Yahoo), Total Value: 73/68 (8/9-cat), Per Game Value: 76/70 (8/9-cat), Games Played: 70
Stats: 30.2 MPG 17.1 PTS 2.7 3PT 2.5 REB 3.0 AST 0.5 STL 0.0 BLK 0.459 FG% 0.903 FT%
Redick had a career year in Philadelphia and even proclaimed it to be his favorite year as a pro. His 30.2 minutes per game and 17.1 points per game were his third and first-highest for his career, respectively. Mix in the 17.1 points with 2.7 3-pointers, 3.0 assists, 2.5 rebounds and good percentages and it’s easy to see why Redick played much better than his preseason ranking.
Redick was the floor spacer and veteran presence for the starting lineup. He meshed perfectly with Ben Simmons who could do everything but shoot while Redick showed off his ability to hit any jumpshot no matter how awkwardly his body was angled. Coach Brett Brown gave him freedom to fire at will and from watching Sixers games, sometimes it would seem incredibly stupid why he would take some of the leaning, fall-away shots that he did, but he can knock those down at any time.
Redick had just a one-year deal with Philadelphia and has stated that if the price is right he would like to stay with the Sixers. That will all depend on if the Sixers can bring in a superstar and what Redick believes his price to be. He’ll be entering his age-34 season, his fourteenth in the NBA, and could start to show signs of aging at any time. His age could be used as a positive for fantasy terms as his price could be extremely deflated, which could provide room for value. It remains to be seen how the offseason is going to shake out and it will have a major impact on Redick that could see him be a mid-round selection or a late-round selection. The good thing about Redick is that we know who he is and what he will provide – it is just a matter of if his total numbers will be high enough to justify what his price tag ends up being.
ADP: 118/139 (ESPN/Yahoo), Total Value: 142/124 (8/9-cat), Per Game Value: 141/121 (8/9-cat), Games Played: 69
Stats: 25 MPG 10.8 PTS 1.3 3PT 5.8 REB 1.3 AST 0.8 STL 0.3 BLK 0.451 FG% 0.777 FT%
Ilyasova has been on a wild ride over the past two seasons. In February of 2016 he was traded from Detroit to Orlando. In June of 2016 he was traded from Orlando to Oklahoma City. In November of 2016 he was traded from Oklahoma City to Philadelphia. Then in February of 2017 he was traded from Philadelphia to Atlanta. He then re-signed with Atlanta for one year but was bought out in February of 2018 and was picked up by the Sixers two days later. The best part about Ilyasova though is that he produced consistently no matter where he ended up.
He was brought in in February along with Marco Belinelli as the 76ers needed more shooting off the bench. Ilyasova also brings a veteran mentality that helped the Sixers finish the season scorching hot as they went into the playoffs.
He’s not the most athletic player but there is an argument that he is possibly the craftiest player in the league. He is always near the top of the leaderboard in charges drawn, and just by watching him play you can tell he does all of the little things well. As a free agent this summer, his veteran presence, craftiness, and ability to space the floor will surely draw decent interest by teams, but it is up in the air for where he ends up. It seemed like he enjoyed being in Philadelphia, but retaining Ilyasova will be more towards the bottom of the team’s to-do list.
With his performance this year being slightly worse than his preseason ADP, Ilyasova could potentially be a value next season if the situation is right. We will have to see where he ends up and what his minutes will look like. He did play in a nice 69 games this season and has only played 75 or more just two times in his career. He missed 11 games in October and November due to a left knee strain and left knee bone bruise. An illness and shoulder strain also caused him to miss a combined three games in February, but he did pick up an extra potential game with his team change. The way the schedules of the Hawks and Sixers worked out gave Ilyasova a potential 83 games to play in instead of 82.
ADP: 140/147 (ESPN/Yahoo), Total Value: 276/266 (8/9-cat), Per Game Value: 261/225 (8/9-cat), Games Played: 48
Stats: 15.5 MPG 6.4 PTS 0.0 3PT 4.4 REB 1.2 AST 0.4 STL 0.5 BLK 0.557 FG% 0.660 FT%
Holmes is one of the best hustle and energy guys in the league and it is a shame he has not gotten more playing time. The playing time was vastly affected by his fractured wrist that occurred in early October and caused him to miss the first eight games of the season. Even when he came back, his wrist bothered him a tad and he did not play up to his potential. In 2016-17 he played in almost 21 minutes per game and racked up 5.5 boards, an assist, a block, 0.7 steals, 9.8 points, 55.8% from the field and 70% from the line. He also even made 0.5 3-pointers per game at a 35% clip. Almost all of those numbers fell in 2017-18 season as the Sixers gave Amir Johnson the role of backup center.
Holmes was never able to get in a rhythm this past season and it seemed to have a large impact on his play. He still provides great bounce, energy, rebounding and defense and is capable of shooting threes so he should find more playing time in 2018-19. With Amir Johnson most likely out and Ersan Ilyasova potentially gone too, the backup frontcourt could belong to Holmes in 2018-19. After being a late-round selection last year, there is a good chance you can get Holmes for free coming into next season and if both Johnson and Ilyasova are both gone, Holmes has the potential to reach 25 minutes per game if everything breaks the right way. He needs to be freed.
ADP: 140/145 (ESPN/Yahoo), Total Value: 136/143 (8/9-cat), Per Game Value: 176/177 (8/9-cat), Games Played: 76
Stats: 22.4 MPG 6.2 PTS 0.3 3PT 2.9 REB 3.9 AST 1.2 STL 0.1 BLK 0.497 FG% 0.794 FT%
The true G.O.A.T. as Joel Embiid calls him, McConnell impressed again this season as he continues to get better and grittier with each game he plays. After being a star point guard at the University of Arizona, McConnell went undrafted due to his size and the fact that he was a senior. Ever since the 76ers gave him a chance he has proved to be a perfect fit for Brett Brown’s tough, play-hard style. He lost about four minutes per game with Ben Simmons taking over the starting point guard role, but McConnell has a great ability to run an offense and keep things under control. He never backs down from anyone on defense and always seems to know what the smart play is.
After being selected in the late-rounds of drafts, McConnell’s total value was about right on the nose, while his per-game value dipped just a little. That would be explained by the fewer minutes. Although he is just 6’2” he is an impressive rebounder as he grabbed three boards in just over 22 minutes per game. To go along with that, McConnell racked up almost four assists, 1.2 steals, 6.2 points, 49.7% from the field and a touch under 80% from the free throw line. We also saw McConnell greatly improve his range as his 3-point percentage went from 20.0% to 43.5% with 0.3 makes per game. He did miss a few games due to a shoulder injury in December, but it proved to just be minor.
The Sixers are going to be picking up McConnell’s option for the 2018-19 season, and while he is a fan favorite – and the favorite of many teammates – his playing time is going to be a question again. With Markelle Fultz expected to have a large role with the team, along with potentially bringing in a high-usage player or two in the offseason, McConnell may struggle to play 22 minutes per game again. If there ever is an injury and McConnell is asked to play near-starter minutes, he would immediately jump to potential mid-round value though. The offseason moves that Philly makes will give a clearer view of what McConnell’s playing time could be in 2018-19.
ADP: N/A/N/A (ESPN/Yahoo), Total Value: 111/104 (8/9-cat), Per Game Value: 160/145 (8/9-cat), Games Played: 80
Stats: 24.3 MPG 12.1 PTS 1.8 3PT 1.8 REB 1.8 AST 0.8 STL 0.1 BLK 0.441 FG% 0.907 FT%
Belinelli continued to be one of the more exciting combo guards off the bench. He has a gritty, killer instinct about him that comes in small doses but is extremely helpful to the team and the fans love it. Belinelli started the season in Atlanta and was bought out on February 9. The Sixers picked him up after he cleared waivers and stepped in immediately as a helpful role player off the bench.
The Sixers gave Belinelli freedom to shoot similar to J.J. Redick, and he saw a nice boost in playing time and usage after leaving Atlanta. Belinelli’s stats on Philadelphia alone stood at 13.6 points, 1.6 assists, 1.8 boards, 2.0 3-pointers, 49.5% from the field and 87.0% from the free-throw line. Belinelli also provided the Sixers with another ball handler and shot creator which proved helpful when the offense stalled.
Belinelli is a free agent this summer but at 32 years old and with the appearance of him enjoying his time with the 76ers (who hasn’t enjoyed their time in Philly outside of Nerlens Noel and Jahlil Okafor?) the Sixers may be able to retain him for cheap. Either way, Belinelli was not being drafted coming into the year which proved to be a mistake as he finished with late-round value and even crept up to almost mid-round value with the Sixers. He should be able to provide points, 3-pointers, and good percentages no matter where he ends up for next season.
ADP: N/A/N/A (ESPN/Yahoo), Total Value: 218/268 (8/9-cat), Per Game Value: 197/253 (8/9-cat), Games Played: 74
Stats: 15.8 MPG 4.6 PTS 0.1 3PT 4.4 REB 1.5 AST 0.6 STL 0.5 BLK 0.536 FG% 0.611 FT%
The $11 million man, Johnson was brought into Philadelphia as a veteran locker room presence to mesh with the young roster but ended up playing a significant role. At just under 16 minutes per game, Johnson played in all but eight games and acted as the first frontcourt player off the bench for most of the season, and started 18 games as a fill-in for Joel Embiid.
Johnson was not drafted and was not worthy of ownership outside of deep leagues and on days he was starting. Even as a starter, Johnson average just 20.5 minutes per game which severely hampered his ability to put up meaningful stats.
With his contract being just a one-year deal Johnson is not expected back with the Sixers for 2018-19 unless he takes a minimum salary. They’ll be looking to keep the books clear for a superstar player either this offseason or next, and Johnson will most likely demand more than that minimum. While he does not excite anyone on the floor and frankly was just taking minutes from Richaun Holmes the whole time, Johnson is a good locker room presence and should be able to find a home for 2018-19. However, he will not be on any fantasy radars for 2018-19 as he will probably never find enough minutes to be useful.
ADP: N/A/N/A (ESPN/Yahoo), Total Value: 347/337 (8/9-cat), Per Game Value: 350/333 (8/9-cat), Games Played: 38
Stats: 13.6 MPG 6.2 PTS 0.8 3PT 2.4 REB 0.6 AST 0.3 STL 0.2 BLK 0.43 FG% 0.736 FT%
After coming over from the Dallas Mavericks in the Nerlens Noel trade, Anderson has shown some hard-nosed play, but not in large quantities. He is still young and has the body and skills to defend multiple positions but with the way the Sixers roster is built, Anderson will struggle to play real minutes. Anderson missed 11 games due to an ankle sprain and soreness in February and March, but most of his games missed were DNP-CDs. Anderson is a 14.7 points, 7.0 boards, 1.1 steals, 0.8 blocks and 1.7 3-pointers per-36 minute player, but the problem is his career high for minutes per game is just 16.4. You won’t be drafting Anderson next year unless there is an unforeseen circumstance that opens up playing time.
ADP: N/A/N/A (ESPN/Yahoo), Total Value: 315/324 (8/9-cat), Per Game Value: 274/301 (8/9-cat), Games Played: 39
Stats: 23.7 MPG 7.8 PTS 1.3 3PT 2 REB 1.3 AST 0.5 STL 0.1 BLK 0.416 FG% 0.795 FT%
Bayless was quite possibly the worst acquisition by now-former GM Bryan Colangelo. He signed a three-year, $27 million deal that has him due for $9 million in 2018-19, the final year of the deal. Bayless was brought in as a veteran presence and for his shooting ability but has had a hard time staying on the court and producing. He ended up starting the season due to Markelle Fultz’s injury and was playing decently well until he had a sore wrist that cost him six games, and upon his return he did not see quite as many minutes. Then in late January, Bayless was having more issues with the wrist, he also had it surgically repaired in late-2016, and ended up seeing himself fall out of the rotation after the team brought in Marco Belinelli in early February.
Bayless is a big candidate to be traded this offseason in a salary dump so the team can afford to bring back veterans such as Belinelli and J.J. Redick while also having enough room to sign a max-contract player. Even if Bayless remains on the team, it seems as if he has fully lost his spot in the rotation and will not be much of a factor next season.
What do the Sixers need to do this offseason? Well it could all be summed up in three simple words: trust the process. In actuality though, the Sixers will be in prime position to sign or trade for a superstar this summer. With Amir Johnson and J.J. Redick’s combined $35 million coming off the books along with Jerryd Bayless’ contract potentially being unloaded in a salary dump, the Sixers will be focusing on Paul George, LeBron James, and Kawhi Leonard. The worst thing the Sixers could do this offseason would be to swing and miss on the three main superstars and then get desperate. If they do not get George, James, or Leonard they need to sit tight with what they have. The 2019 free agents could include the likes of Klay Thompson, Jimmy Butler, Khris Middleton, Paul Millsap, and Kawhi Leonard.
The Sixers have six draft picks in June, including two first-rounders. They will look to bring in a day-one impact player with the tenth pick and most likely a 3-and-D role player at 26 if they keep the picks. With four selections in the second round it is not clear exactly what they will do as they can only have so many players. A few international stashes would make sense as well as using them to dump some salary. Whether or not the Sixers can bring in a superstar this offseason, the future is very sunny in Philadelphia.
May 27, 2020, 7:52 pmZach LaVineSG, Chicago Bulls
K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune reported that the Bulls were cleared by the Governor of Illinois and are in talks with city officials to open practice facilities on Friday for voluntary workouts that would follow the NBA guidelines.
The NBA's guidelines currently state that a maximum of four players are allowed in the facility at any given time and there can only be one player per hoop. The Bulls are currently eight games behind the Orlando Magic for the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference. The Bulls may not play again this season given how far behind they are in the standings and the recent reports of proposals to not continue the regular season.
Source: K.C. Johnson on Twitter
May 27, 2020, 7:08 pmLuka DoncicPG-SF, Dallas Mavericks
Marc Stein of the New York Times has reported that the Mavs plan to open their practice facility on Thursday.
This news would make the Mavs the 23rd team to have their facilities open for "voluntary and socially distanced player workouts". Continue to monitor the wire as we should learn more about the potential of the league resuming in early June.
Source: Marc Stein on Twitter
May 26, 2020, 10:07 pmKawhi LeonardSF, Los Angeles Clippers
On Tuesday afternoon, AmicoHoops reported (via Twitter) that an unidentified NBA GM told them the league has seriously discussed resuming the current NBA season on Wednesday, July 22.
Nothing has been officially announced, by any means, and this is the first we've heard of specific target date(s) from anyone. It's looking like the continuation of the season will occur in Orlando at Walt Disney World at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex, which has accommodations for at least some of what the NBA has planned for a resuming activity. As we have relayed numerous times recently, the next week or two seem to be a likely window for some decisions from Adam Silver and Co. at the NBA league office to start to come down. Stay tuned, hoops fans.
Source: AmicoHoops on Twitter
May 26, 2020, 8:47 pmDamian LillardPG, Portland Trail Blazers
Damian Lillard announced on Tuesday evening that, in the event of a continuation of the NBA season, he would not be participating if the Blazers are scheduled to play 'meaningless games' with no shot at making the playoffs.
"If we come back and they're just like, 'We're adding a few games to finish the regular season,' and they're throwing us out there for meaningless games and we don't have a true opportunity to get into the playoffs, I'm going to be with my team because I'm a part of the team. But I'm not going to be participating," Lillard told Yahoo! Sports on Tuesday morning. It's hard to blame him, as it is quite easy to see the potential situation from his point of view. There have been countless scenarios tossed around by the league office during the pandemic period, but nothing is set in stone so far. Lillard, for his part, is only interested in returning to action if there exists a legitimate shot for his Blazers to reach the NBA Finals. Fair enough.
Source: Yahoo! Sports
May 26, 2020, 8:34 pmJoel EmbiidC, Philadelphia Sixers
The Sixers, who have their practice facility located in nearby Camden, NJ, will allow voluntary player workouts at the facility beginning on Wednesday, raising the number of NBA teams who have been able to do so to 22.
The Celtics, Knicks, Bulls, Pistons, Wizards, Mavericks, Spurs and Warriors are the final teams remaining who are unable to return to their practice facilities. The NBA seems to be inching ever so close to, at the very least, announcing a plan for a continuation of the current season. This next week or two should be very eventful on that front.
Source: Marc Stein on Twitter
May 26, 2020, 8:26 pmClint CapelaC, Atlanta Hawks
Hawks GM Travis Schlenk indicated on Tuesday that Clint Capela (right heel, plantar fasciitis) could very well play in the event of an NBA restart.
"Clint [Capela] says he's feeling better, and there's a possibility that we can get him back on the court," Schlenk said in a phone interview with ESPN. "Practicing and playing five games would be valuable to us." Capela has yet to see the floor for the Hawks since he was acquired at the deadline from the Rockets, and one would have to surmise that he would be under a heavy minutes restriction if the league resumes and if the Hawks deem him healthy enough to give it a go. Still two big "ifs," but this is obviously positive news for the Hawks and potentially for fantasy owners who have managed to stash Capela in an injury slot this long.
May 26, 2020, 8:17 pmMohamed BambaC, Orlando Magic
Magic center Mo Bamba said on Tuesday that he's spent the quarantine period bulking up, self-proclaiming that he's put on close to 30 pounds of muscle.
Bamba said of his time off, ""I’ve worked my tail off during this quarantine. This is going to sound weird, but I put on probably about 28 pounds since quarantine (started)." He laughed and added that only about 2.5 percent of the weight he's put on is body fat. Bamba, along with many other NBA players, "can’t wait to get back out there and work" which is a great sign for the Magic and their fans. Jonathan Isaac is becoming more and more of a potential option for the team when/if the season is resumed as the days pass, so his presence would limit Bamba's chances on the offensive end of the floor. The team has yet to decide whether or not they want to play Isaac at all the rest of the season, regardless of the rumblings about a restart from the league office. However, this bulk-up on Bamba's part is nonetheless pretty impressive and is certainly noteworthy.
May 25, 2020, 3:16 pmTerry RozierPG, Charlotte Hornets
The Hornets are the latest team to re-open their facilities, with the Novant Health Training Center set to open up on Tuesday.
With this, there are only eight teams left to open their practice courts back up, though nobody has been able to engage in any sort of team work yet. Individual workouts are better than no workouts, however, and the league appears to be getting its ducks in a row in terms of returning to play. There's still no firm timelines but things do appear to be heading in the right direction.
Source: Charlotte Hornets
May 25, 2020, 3:13 pmJon LeuerPF, Milwaukee Bucks
Jon Leuer has announced his retirement from basketball.
Injuries completely destroyed Leuer's career, as he played in a combined 49 games over the previous two seasons with zero appearances in the 2019-20 campaign. Leuer's high point came with the Suns, where he averaged 8.5 points to go with 5.6 rebounds, 0.6 steals, 0.4 blocks and a 38.2 mark from deep. His eight-year career comes to an end, with Leuer saying that his body simply won't let him play at a high level anymore.
Source: Jon Leuer on Instagram
May 24, 2020, 9:20 pmKyrie IrvingPG, Brooklyn Nets
Following Governor Andrew Cuomo's greenlight from earlier on Sunday, the Nets will reopen their practice facilities on Tuesday.
The team will open its doors to voluntary player workouts. The team's statement went on to elaborate that they would strictly follow NBA and infectious disease expert protocols as they resume activities. It's another small step in the right direction as the NBA continues its climb towards trying to play actual games.
Source: Malika Andrews on Twitter