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June 20, 2017

How the latest NBA Draft and free agency news and rumors affect the Sixers

The NBA season ended and we had about 48 hours of relative peace before the offseason fireworks began. We had something concrete happen in Philly and Boston with the Markelle Fultz trade, but there are major draft and free agency rumors flying around everywhere else.

Here is how those rumors could affect the Sixers:

La La Land

The Sixers-Celtics trade had to share the spotlight last weekend with another major story, Paul George reportedly informing the Indiana Pacers that he plans to leave in free agency next offseason, “preferably for the Lakers.”

George’s preference to go home and play in Los Angeles had been rumored for months now, but according to Adrian Wojnarowski, the 27-year-old swingman officially put the Pacers on the clock.

And in draft rumors, ESPN’s Chad Ford is reporting that the Lakers “have been moving closer and closer” to selecting Lonzo Ball with the second-overall pick. I would agree with that pick. That, and the No. 2 pick from two years ago is now rumored to be on the table:

How it affects the Sixers: Even after the Fultz trade, the Sixers should be very interested in what the Lakers do in 2017-18. The Celtics will get the pick if it falls in the 2-5 range, but the Sixers do have Doncic/Porter protection with the top pick. The rooting interest from the Sixers perspective is simple: hope the Lakers to have the worst record so either the Sixers get the top pick or the Lakers pick conveys and the 2019 Kings pick goes back to being unprotected.

And if the Lakers are trying to pair up Ball with another rookie, it looks like they don’t particularly care about winning this season. This is both smart from the Lakers perspective and also very beneficial for the Sixers and Celtics. From Woj:

The Lakers can create the necessary salary-cap space to sign George next summer and won’t be compelled to make a dramatic offer to Indiana now.

Porzingis out in New York?

Once again according to Woj, Phil Jackson is pondering whether he should trade pretty much the only thing that has gone right during his tenure running basketball operations from the New York Knicks:

New York Knicks president Phil Jackson is weighing the possibility of trading Kristaps Porzingis, an idea that’s inspired a frenzy of suitors across the NBA, league sources told The Vertical.

To that possibility, Jackson had a dinner meeting with Arizona forward Lauri Markkanen on Monday night in New York, league sources told The Vertical. Jackson considers Markkanen, a 7-foot jump-shooting forward, a replacement for Porzingis and is considering selecting him with the team’s No. 8 overall pick in Thursday’s NBA draft.

How it affects the Sixers: I’m not sure it does, as the Sixers now appear to have their Big Three. But man, this is borderline stunning. Porzingis might never be the best player on a title team, but he could definitely be a Top-15 NBA player with the type of game that complements all different types of players.

After the Sixers passed on Porzingis to draft Jahlil Okafor in 2015, Jackson nailed the fourth pick. But everything since then has been about as bad as you can imagine in New York.

Sixers free agents

Well, it didn’t take long for the J.J. Redick to the Sixers rumors to start after the Fultz trade was announced:

And also according to The Vertical, Warriors free agent and former Sixer Andre Iguodala will “seriously consider” leaving the juggernaut this offseason:

Many teams are expected to pursue discussions with Iguodala, including the Warriors, Utah Jazz, Los Angeles Clippers, Chicago Bulls, Minnesota Timberwolves and Atlanta Hawks, league sources said. Among teams around the league, there’s a belief that the value this summer for a two-way wing such as Iguodala could reach $20 million annually.

How it affects the Sixers: If the Sixers are trying to sign Redick in free agency, the hope would be that they could keep the length of the contract short. With the addition of Fultz to the core, the Sixers have such a specific need in free agency. We’ll see what the Sixers think, but Redick does appear fill that need on offense (a Fultz-Redick defensive backcourt could pretty ugly, though).

And Iguodala probably isn’t leaving the Warriors. I just wanted to include that he’s even considering moving on.

Closing the door

It’s not like we needed the great Marc Stein’s confirmation for this bit of information, but yes, the Sixers no longer figure to be in Kyle Lowry free agency rumors. Phew:

Follow Rich on Twitter: @rich_hofmann

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