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June 29, 2019

Live updates: The latest Sixers news and rumors heading into NBA free agency

The latest news involves free agent Jimmy Butler meeting with the Rockets, Heat and Sixers

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Just a heads up, but if you're reading this on Sunday, you're actually reading the wrong post. This is our live updates post from Saturday. For Sunday's edition, click here.

NBA free agency doesn't begin until 6 p.m. on Sunday night, but once it does, the news is expected to start pouring in at a rapid pace — in fact, there are already reports that Klay Thompson and the Warriors are expected to announce an extension shortly after free agency opens. 

And, beyond that, there are moves already being made — or, at least, moves that will have a ripple effect throughout the free agent process. 

UPDATE [7:46 p.m.] — In addition to meeting with Rockets and Heat, Jimmy Butler will also meet with the Sixers, per Shams Charania, and has interest from other teams like the Lakers and Nets. 

In other words, buckle up.

UPDATE [6:05 p.m.] — With NBA free agency still 24 hours away, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski is brining the heat early. Within the span of a couple minutes, Woj tweeted out the following:

Obviously, the Jimmy Butler news is of greater interest to the Sixers, with another team now emerging as a potential suitor in a sign-and-trade. Whether there's a real chance that Butler goes to the Heat remains to be seen, as this could also just be a negotiating tactic by Butler's camp in an effort to ensure the Sixers offer him that fifth year. 

Read more from Kyle Neubeck, here.

Of course, there's also this (but I think it's safe to assume this is coming from a Heat team source):

Stay tuned... 

UPDATE [4:58 p.m.] — The Boston Celtics will reportedly sign free agent guard Kemba Walker once free agency opens on Sunday evening. 

That's not great news for Sixers fans, as Walker has torched Philly over the years. In his eight-year NBA career, Walker has average 21.7 points in 27 games against the Sixers, second only to the 22.5 PPG he's averaged against the Suns. And last season, he averaged 37.2 PPG in four meetings with the Sixers. 

Furthermore, there might not have been a worse spot for this Sixer-killer to land, as Philly's Eastern Conference rival now appears to have a legit replacement for Kyrie Irving and are a big man away from being back among the East's elite teams. 


First, on Friday, free agent Darren Collison announced his retirement after a decade in the NBA, despite reports that he was in the market for a $12 million-per-year deal.. Then, a day later, free agent Nikola Mirotic signed with Barcelona, opting to take his talents to the Euroleague rather than seek a lucrative payday in the NBA.

If the Sixers run it back with Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris, these moves won't matter all that much to Philly. But should the Sixers lose one or both of those players, both Collison and Mirotic could've been free agent options for Elton Brand, especially Mirotic. Furthermore, that's two more free agents off the market, meaning two more players that won't be signing elsewhere, and therefore potentially two other teams that could be interested in signing one of the Sixers free agents.

But there's going to be a lot of that in the coming week(s). Because free agency doesn't take place in a vacuum, each move has the potential to impact what the rest of the free agents do. And if the days and weeks leading up to Sunday night's free-for-all are any indication, it's going to be a wild free agency period across the entire NBA.

There are reports of the Rockets looking to complete a sign-and-trade for Jimmy Butler and are trying to acquire the picks necessary to make it happen, while other reports suggest the Sixers could be interested in bringing in Al Horford. The Lakers have opened up space to add another max player, and just today there were reports of Kawhi Leonard and Kevin Durant talking about teaming up in the future. 

And that's just the tip of the iceberg. 

It's going to be a busy free agency period in the NBA, and the Sixers are expected to be heavily involved. In order to keep track of everything, we've decided to bring back our live updates, just like we did for MLB free agency a few months ago. Hopefully, this won't drag on for quite as long.

Either way, we'll have you covered with the latest news and rumors...

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