In Half 1 of the Mailbag, I addressed a few of the huge image questions going through the Philadelphia 76ers as they enter the offseason.
Immediately we’ll take a look at extra particular eventualities. Which coach can be finest for Tyrese Maxey and Joel Embiid? What free brokers are there if James Harden leaves? After which there are sign-and-trade eventualities and Tobias Harris commerce discuss.
Thanks everybody for the questions.
(Notice: Questions have been edited for brevity and readability.)
Who do you suppose is the perfect coach to proceed to develop Maxey and place Embiid for postseason success? – Dan B.
I am going to begin by admitting that it is unimaginable to know the reply. We’re all simply guessing right here, and so are the choice makers who’ve much more details about teaching candidates than I do. However it’s the foolish season, so let’s have some enjoyable.
I will probably be very to see what Tyrese Maxine might do below Mike D’Antoni’s tutelage. He is overseen two of probably the most dominant level guards ever (Steve Nash in Phoenix, James Harden in Houston), and whilst you cannot count on that stage of top-flight excellence from Maxey, D’Antoni might inject a few of his knowledge into the fourth. – annual guard. D’Antoni will seemingly encourage Maxey, the most effective shooters within the league, to make extra 3s. And if Maxey could be a extra constant pick-and-roll playmaker, D’Antoni has the profile to unlock it. Maxey has already developed properly below the watchful eye of one other teaching candidate, Sam Cassell.
It needs to be stated that Embiid’s postseason woes fall largely on him. He’ll must discover a strategy to keep away from the annual injury-plagued first spherical, and he’ll have to indicate up in crucial video games. However I like the concept of tight finish Nick Nurse serving to Embiid with excessive leverage. Nurse is a inventive, out-of-the-box thinker who can throw an opponent out of rhythm within the rush of a sport when Embiid and the Sixers battle it out.
If Harden leaves, who might realistically be accessible for us to signal with a mid-level exception? – David S.
There are a number of transferring components right here, even after Harden leaves on this hypothetical state of affairs. What is going on on with the Sixers’ different free brokers? Is there a Harden sign-and-trade that might curiosity each the Sixers and probably Houston? And do the Sixers discover a potential commerce for Harris?
Let’s assume the Sixers do not go too loopy and hold Harris for the 2023-24 season. Let’s additionally say they re-sign George Niang, Jalen McDaniels and Paul Reed. If Harden leaves, and a bigger mid-level exception price $12.2 million is the Sixers’ major instrument to switch him, they face an fascinating philosophical query.
Maxey was the ball’s chief by way of the primary 4 months of the 2021-22 season as Daryl Morey awaited the Ben Simmons commerce. As an unproven second-year participant, Maxey did an important job. However even with two extra years of expertise below his belt, Maxey’s flooring imaginative and prescient is a big drop off from Harden’s.
With Maxey penciling in a single level, would the Sixers exit and spend that cash on a degree guard or level guard to make up for the playmaking and shot-making deficits attributable to Harden’s departure? Or will they belief Maxey to run the present and goal an even bigger physique to make the Sixers a extra stable defensive workforce? For all its positives on offense, the backcourt of Harden and Maxey was flamable on the opposite finish.
Miami’s backcourt with Max Struss and Gabe Vincent is price a glance. To begin with, it will be ridiculous if the Sixers used the complete mid-level exception on a Warmth participant for the second 12 months in a row. Strus can be the next precedence goal for my tastes on account of his capability to shoot and maintain off screens. He might get more cash than $12.2 million per 12 months, however since Miami already has loads of cash for subsequent season, it may not damage to supply it.
If the Sixers resolve to go the “greater physique” route, Donte DiVincenzo and Bruce Brown are gamers I would have some curiosity in as properly. Maybe neither participant will present the whole mid-level exception, but when the Sixers transfer on from Harden, I like having two gritty defenders (DeAnthony Melton is the opposite) in a three-guard rotation with Maxey.
Making a shot on the secondary could also be a little bit of an issue if these gamers are signed. Harris and Embiid will probably be necessary in these eventualities. And if he might be had for much less, Seth Curry is somebody the Sixers might additionally flip to as a bench possibility. We all know he is able to pick-and-rolls with Embiid.
Why would the Rockets become involved in a possible sign-and-trade for Harden if they’ve a lot cap house? That looks like a non-starter. – Rick M.
The Rockets are projected to have about $60 million in cap house this season. Regardless of how loopy Harden’s bid will get, they do not want the Sixers’ assist to land him. Within the state of affairs that Harden goes to Houston, the Sixers must entice the Rockets to show that deal right into a sign-and-trade. That is a tall order as a result of the Sixers have few belongings to sweeten the basket. It is unclear what stage of belongings Houston would want to comply with a sign-and-trade.
A couple of years in the past, Boston connected a few second-round picks to Gordon Hayward when he was traded to Charlotte. The transfer created a $28.5 million commerce exception for the Celtics.
The opposite query on this state of affairs is what the Sixers need in return. In the event that they did go this route and signal and commerce Harden to the Rockets, the Sixers would seemingly make a serious commerce exception. That would permit them to usher in one other participant as an alternative of Harden.
In his postseason press convention, Morey indicated that it will be “inventive” if Harden have been to go away. An indication-and-trade is one potential possibility if Houston is compliant and the correct participant is acquired. However to reply your authentic query, the Sixers ought to make that deal for Houston.
What’s Harris’ commerce worth now that he has an expiring contract? Is it sufficiently small to get us a greater participant on a nasty contract however nonetheless has 2-3 years left? – Ian G.
Business worth is at all times a fluid idea. Nonetheless, I consider Harris is extra marketable now than ever. At the least since he signed a five-year, $180 million contract in 2019.
Within the case of Harris, the Sixers’ priorities could decide what occurs to him. If Harden returns to a multi-year deal and the Sixers commerce Harris for a participant signed for multiple season, they are going to be wanting on the following offers on their books for the 2024-25 season: Embiid’s supermax, Harden’s new contract, Maxey’s extension, after which the participant who replaces Harris’ wage slot. The massive 4 offers are prone to be non-starters, particularly with the brand new CBA and restrictive Second Apron rule taking impact.
If Harden walks, possibly such a transfer turns into extra palatable. The Sixers may even weigh the opportunity of creating cap house within the 2024 offseason with what a Harris commerce might web them each subsequent season and transferring ahead. In Harden’s absence, Harris might enhance his function within the offense, as he did when the Sixers have been shorthanded final season. Harris’ Recreation 4 efficiency in Brooklyn definitely wasn’t extraordinary, but it surely wasn’t sudden, both.
Now that Harris’ contract is expiring, there’s an opportunity the Sixers might commerce him for an additional, barely higher participant. However even when that is the case, the commerce has to suit into the Sixers’ monetary plans for the following few seasons.
(Photograph of Maxey and Harden by Jesse D. Garabrant / NBAE by way of Getty Photographs)