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June 30, 2016

NBA Free Agency Rumors: Sixers linked to Clarkson, DeRozan

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The insanity that is NBA free agency is about to get underway, and the Sixers figure to be major players once 12:01 rolls around. With over $50 million in cap space, president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo will be (in my best Teddy KGB voice…) verryyyy aggressive.

The latest rumored Sixers target is Lakers guard Jordan Clarkson, per USA Today’s Sam Amick:

A second-round pick in 2014, Clarkson averaged 12 points, 3 rebounds, and 3.5 assists per game last season on a bad Lakers team. He also shot 35 percent from three-point range and dates Kendall Jenner, for all of you Kardashian fans out there. 

The main thing to know about Clarkson is that he’s subject to something that is referred to as the “Gilbert Arenas Provision.”

It’s a tough rule to explain, but here goes nothing: The Sixers can only offer Clarkson the mid-level exception ($5.6 million, $5.9 million) for the first two years and then they can go all the way up to a max salary the last two seasons (around $25-26 million). On the Sixers’ cap, the hit every year would just be the average of that total salary every year (about $15.5 million). On the Lakers’ cap, the hit would be the exact salaries each season.

And that is why the Lakers will almost assuredly match: If they can strike it big in free agency next year, having Clarkson on the books for less that $6 million affords them the type of flexibility that normal contracts simply can’t. Assembling a team with Clarkson on that salary would be a steal, if and only if they can land a big fish or two.

So basically, while the Sixers could offer Clarkson a max offer sheet that he might sign, it’s hard to see him ending up anywhere but Los Angeles. Sorry to all of the Kardashian fans in the Delaware Valley.

Toronto South?

It has been assumed that free agent shooting guard DeMar DeRozan will re-sign in Toronto, but’s Chris Haynes reported that he could possibly take a meeting with the man who drafted him:

Toronto has come up in Sixers rumors quite a bit recently. On Thursday, ESPN’s Zach Lowe mentioned in his column that the Raptors are interested in Nerlens Noel as a Bismack Biyombo replacement:

The Raptors will need to move at least one big deal to have any hope of retaining both DeMar DeRozan and Biyombo, and teams will call about DeMarre Carroll. Toronto has already approached Philly about a deal sending out a rotation player -- perhaps Terrence Ross, and other goodies -- in exchange for Nerlens Noel, who could then assume Biyombo's backup center role, according to league sources. The talks haven't gained much traction yet.

Follow Rich on Twitter: @rich_hofmann