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June 02, 2023

Sixers' Danuel House Jr. picks up player option for 2023-24

Sixers wing Danuel House Jr. picked up his player option for the 2023-24 season, a team source confirmed to PhillyVoice on Friday morning, putting him on Philadelphia's books for around $4.3 million next season. ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski was the first to report the news.

Signed in the opening minutes of free agency last summer using the bi-annual exception, House picking up his option seemed like a foregone conclusion heading into a new year. It was a down year for House on most fronts — House shot just 33.6 percent from three for the Sixers across 56 appearances, the lowest single-season mark of his career since 2017-18, when he appeared in just 23 games for the Phoenix Suns. The inability to consistently make shots kept him on the fringes of the rotation despite the initial optimism that he could be a two-way contributor.

It's worth wondering how much of those struggles came due to an early James Harden injury and some funky lineups played by the Sixers during the feel-out period early in the season. The Sixers were only slightly below par with House on the floor last season (about -2.2 points per 100 possessions) and they stumbled into some lineups late in the season that offered some defensive steel. In limited action, an athletic 3-5 of House, Jalen McDaniels, and Paul Reed showed flashes as a change-of-pace group. That trio played about 143 possessions together at the end of the season, outscoring opponents by almost 13 points per 100 possessions.

While the more likely outcome for Philadelphia is that House stays in that same fringe rotation spot moving forward, he would appear to be a decent fit for a Nick Nurse team on paper. If bench lineups for the Sixers pick up any of the old Toronto habits next season, House is a sensible choice for gadget lineups on defense, either as part of an aggressive full-court press or as a long and active piece within a zone. Should Nurse give him a real chance to battle for a rotation spot, we will see if House can rekindle some of the old synergy he had with James Harden in Houston. At minimum, I look forward to seeing a few more stepback corner threes.

Having House's money on the books for next season does have a theoretical financial impact on Philadelphia, as they're now only about $13 million under the projected salary cap of $134 million, and that's without factoring in a potential Harden deal. Whether that's relevant is another story, as they will almost certainly operate as an over-the-cap team for signing purposes.

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