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July 01, 2017

How the first night of 2017 NBA free agency affects the Sixers

The NBA offseason is still undefeated. We didn’t even make it to midnight before another absolute bomb was dropped (but not from Woj, who couldn’t tweet until 12:00 AM): Paul George is now a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder!

I freaking love the NBA. Like always, there was a bunch of news and rumors on the first night of free agency and here is how the Sixers were affected by all of it.

Redick update

Leading up to free agency, there were countless J.J. Redick rumors that linked the Sixers and the Clippers three-point marksman. And as it turned out, Redick did meet with the Sixers on the opening night of free agency:

Woj reported that Brooklyn, where Redick already owns a pretty sweet penthouse, was more likely willing with offer a two-year deal while Minnesota could go even above that.

How it affects the Sixers: There is a reason that there were a million Sixers rumors involving Redick over the last month. He has the type of shooting and gravity that could juice a Sixers offense ranked dead last in efficiency for far too long. When Brett Brown talked about bringing in veteran shooting, Redick fits the bill perfectly.

That said, it sounds like the Sixers are pretty firm sticking to the one-year strategy that was reported earlier. Minnesota looks like they can offer somewhere in the $15 million range, and they have an incentive to sign someone this summer. Unlike the Sixers, that young core starts getting expensive next season when Andrew Wiggins is up for a new deal. His buddy Joel Embiid is due for a new contract too, but the Sixers have less money on the books.

Henderson waived

In a move that wasn’t all that surprising, the Sixers decided not to pick up Gerald Henderson’s option

"We want to thank Gerald for being the consummate pro that he is and for adding so much to our growing basketball program and culture," Bryan Colangelo said in a statement.

How it affects the Sixers: With the arrival of Furkan Korkmaz, it looks like there are now 13 players likely to be on the Sixers roster next season barring a trade of some sort. The Henderson move sheds $8 million on the cap, and the Sixers now have about $49 million in cap space to play with. That could allow them to go big money with a player like Redick and still have enough money to offer Robert Covington a frontloaded renegotiation and extension.

Amir Johnson

According to the Inquirer’s Keith Pompey, the Sixers are interested in free agent forward Amir Johnson:

The 76ers will make a strong push for free agent Amir Johnson, according to an NBA source. The source said the power forward could very well be in a Sixers’ uniform next season.

How it affects the Sixers: Johnson wouldn’t be the floor-spacer that the Sixers are looking for, but he would bring veteran leadership and some backup insurance in the frontcourt for Joel Embiid, Richaun Holmes, and Jahlil Okafor.

Paul George and Jimmy Butler trades

How they affect the Sixers: Joel Embiid chimed in shortly after the George trade was announced:

Those trades will have little effect on the Sixers’ overall performance next season, but the end result might be a bit different. The two worst Eastern Conference playoff teams took a step out of the postseason and possibly into the tanking race.

And checking in on the Paul Millsap rumors, another East playoff team from last year could be throwing themselves into a full-on rebuild next season:

The East is bad. And because of this, the Sixers have a better chance of making the playoffs and some of their players have a better chance of making the all-star team.

The other major effect here is that the Boston Celtics are pretty close to one of the most disappointing offseasons in a while. After all of the Celtics trade rumors linking Boston with George, Butler, etc., they have the same exact core plus Jayson Tatum:

Boston still has two very valuable ’18 picks, but this was the offseason for them to strike big in free agency. If not, the Celtics roster gets much pricier next summer as Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley, and Marcus Smart are all due pretty big pay raises.

Basically, the C’s better get Gordon Hayward.

No Patty

Patty Mills quickly signed a four-year contract to stay in San Antonio, which wasn’t totally unexpected. But with the signing, a potential fit for the Sixers as a veteran guard who play off the ball and make shots is now off the board:

Follow Rich on Twitter: @rich_hofmann

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