76ers Offseason Gameplan Part 1: Free Agency

Doug Collins and Rod Thorn will have an interesting off season in Philadelphia.

It’s been about three days since the Sixers season came to an end at the hands of the Boston Celtics. The team clearly overachieved this past season. They got off to an impressive 20-9 start. They led the Atlantic Division for the majority of the season. They defeated the number one seed Chicago Bulls and took the Celtics to a seventh game. The day after the final game of the season, Doug Collins said that it was nice to overachieve, but that championship teams don’t overachieve. Collins and GM Rod Thorn will have to get the roster to a point where they do not have to overachieve to reach their goals.

With that said, the Sixers are clearly not satisfied. As an organization, they know changes must be made. There are still, like always, a number of holes to fill and with new ownership, this could be primetime for the Sixers to be aggressive. I waited a few days to write this article simply because I wanted to research free agents, draft prospects and potential trade partners.

The first thing that we’ll consider are free agents. When you look at the Sixers, the need that seemingly pops up every year, is once again there. They need a center. Spencer Hawes has been the team’s starting center for the past two seasons. Hawes may not have been the ideal fit for the Sixers but he showed flashes of real talent and may continue to develop into a very serviceable piece. The Sixers may opt to resign Hawes, but if they choose not to, there are some interesting options that they can consider. The most important thing to consider in terms of free agent options, is if Elton Brand is amnestied, the Sixers could potentially afford almost anyone.

Here are some of the interesting names available at the Center position: Kevin Garnett (UFA), Javale McGee (RFA), Roy Hibbert (RFA), Marcus Camby (UFA), Brook Lopez (RFA), Chris Kaman (UFA), Tim Duncan (UFA). It’s pretty safe to say that you can cross Garnett and Duncan off the list. I think age will perhaps be off putting from the Sixers’ standpoint and I can not imagine the Spurs allowing Duncan to slip away, especially if they win another championship. I also don’t think Sixers fans would satisfy Garnett. Apparently they are too “fair-weathery” for his liking.

Chris Kaman may receive a call from the Sixers this offseason.

I would make two recommendations from this group. One, Chris Kaman. His name has popped up in relation with the Sixers a few times over the last few seasons and now he will be an unrestricted free agent. The 7’0 footer out of Central Michigan, averaged 13 points and seven rebounds per game last season for the Hornets. He was one of the pieces in the deal that sent Chris Paul to the Clippers. Kaman is 30 years old and a solid frame. His numbers last season were not the greatest but they were improvements over the year before. A return to his 2009-2010 campaign would be ideal for the Sixers. He averaged close to a double double with 19 points per game and nine rebounds a night.

Kaman is bonafide, back to the basket big man that Doug Collins could use in his offense  in a similar way to Hawes, in that Kaman also has good hands and can pass the ball. He should not break the bank to acquire considering his numbers and age. He could be a high value acquisition for the right price.

Kaman seems to be the most realistic option, but there is one guy who would really be ideal. That is Roy Hibbert. The Pacers center really made a name for himself this season. He averaged 11 points and 11 boards a night to go along with two blocks. He is an imposing presence in the paint. He is a great shot blocker and rebounder and is developing a nice touch around the basket. The problem is, he is a restricted free agent and there is no reason why Indiana will let him get away. The Sixers would have to put together a ridiculous offer to get Hibbert away from the Pacers. There are essentially three franchise centers in the NBA. They are Dwight Howard, Andrew Bynum, and Hibbert. The funny thing is, out of the three, Hibbert is probably the least likely to change teams next season.

Roy Hibbert may be a long shot, but the Sixers may indeed be interested.

Aside from center, there are other holes the Sixers need to fill as well. A solid backup point guard would be nice. Lou Williams is expected to opt out of his deal, and despite his interest to return, he may be playing elsewhere next season. The team could also used a skilled power forward. If Elton Brand is let go, the team would need to add some depth at the four spot. Thaddeus Young is more of a “tweener” and better suited to come off the bench. Here are some more free agent options that the Sixers may consider: 

  1. Kirk Hinrich PG (UFA)
  2. Delonte West PG/SG (UFA)
  3. Andre Miller PG (UFA)
  4. Darrell Arthur PF (RFA)
  5. Ersan Ilyasova PF (UFA)
  6. Kris Humphries PF (UFA)

    Could Kris Humphries head down the turnpike to play for the Sixers?

  7. Carl Landry PF (UFA)
  8. Ryan Anderson PF (RFA) 
  9. J.J. Hickson PF (RFA)
  10. Raymond Felton PG (UFA)
  11. Jason Thompson PF (RFA)

Stay tuned for Part 2, as I will highlight some of the draft prospects that the Sixers should consider. The team picks 15th overall in round one and will most likely be looking to take a big man. I’ll have some breakdowns and recommendations. Feel free to comment on any player I mentioned in this article to debate me on the merit of the guy, compliment my genius or you can call me an idiot. Your choice.

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