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May 09, 2017

Sixers Mailbag: What is the ideal free agency strategy?

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Now only a week away from the NBA Draft Lottery, I realize that I haven’t done a Sixers mailbag in a long time. Let’s change that today and try to hit these questions as quickly as possible. As always, thanks to everyone who submitted a question.

With the lottery still yet to happen, I’ll go: Markelle Fultz, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, Robert Covington, Ben Simmons, and Joel Embiid in the starting lineup and Dario Saric, Jonathan Isaac, and Richaun Holmes off the bench.

I’m all for some veteran leadership, but the Sixers might simply have too many young dudes who deserve to play.

That one isn’t as clear-cut as 1 and 4/5. Still, give me two, Utah.

My initial answer would be no, but that might not matter as much when the opponent is averaging 83 points per game. If JoJo is healthy, there aren’t a lot of combinations that won’t work.

That’s the thing about how informed Sixers and just general NBA fans are today. When I give people Joe Ingles and Patty Mills as “under-the-radar” free-agent targets that could fit well, everyone already very much has those guys on their radar.

But yeah, I’ll say the Aussies who make threes as sort of cheaper options that could be good fits.

This will be interesting to see play out: What is the “right free agent” that Bryan Colangelo was talking about last month? The Sixers already have Jerryd Bayless on the books at $9 million per for a couple of years, so do they want to add additional long-term money to more “non-star” players?

My guess is that the Sixers are out of the “taking contracts for picks” business, considering that they should want to utilize their cap space at some point before the team starts becoming expensive in a few years.

As impressive as T.J. has been the past few years, TLC should get playing time over him, especially with Ben Simmons in the fold. The same goes for Sauce.

It would be intriguing to see how Brett Brown handled a situation of TLC vs. Bayless considering that the team made a decent commitment to the latter in free agency. I think TLC showed enough potential this year that he should be getting at least some minutes regardless of what happens in the draft. I like his skill set, but he needs more seasoning.

If Korkmaz comes over too, well, we’ll get to that when it happens.

Let’s get these exact calculations right…… 23 percent.

As someone who can appreciate DeMar DeRozan fitting his old-school game into the modern NBA, I would hope Colangelo sees that the ball dominant wing who can’t shoot won’t exactly fit with this group.

Sure, consolidating all of those second-round picks seems like a worthwhile strategy regardless of what happens at the top of the draft. Jawun Evans and Harry Giles (just for the potential and the terrible “The Sixers drafted another injured guy!” jokes) are a couple of guys who I wouldn’t mind taking fliers on.

Just pick the best players! There will be prospects like Jonathan Isaac and Frank Ntilikina available who would fit what the Sixers are doing really well.

As much as the Lakers pick and draft lottery matter and will make everyone nervous, I really think the downside here is a lot easier to swallow than the prospect of picking Ben Simmons vs. Kris Dunn.

OK, I believe we have in fact reached the limit. Good work everyone.


Follow Rich on Twitter: @rich_hofmann

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