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June 28, 2024

Sixers free agency primer: Literally everything you need to know

Breaking down all angles of the remainder of the NBA offseason for the Sixers

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Daryl Morey 6.21.24 Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports

What moves are next for Sixers President of Basketball Operations Daryl Morey?

The 2024 NBA Draft has concluded, and the Sixers have just a few days to prepare for the start of free agency, which begins at 6:00 p.m. on Sunday. There are many questions to answer: what does the team's roster look like as things stand now? Which members of the 2023-24 roster are free agents? Which players from other teams might the Sixers trade for or sign? How will all of these transactions work within the confines of the salary cap and the league's brand new collective bargaining agreement?

Sixers President of Basketball Operations Daryl Morey must weigh all of these questions as he surveys an unprecedented environment in the transaction marketplace in hopes of assembling a championship-caliber roster.

Consider this a one-stop-shop for any and all information you could possibly need to know about where the Sixers stand now and what the team has the opportunity to do over the course of the remainder of this offseason. Let's go:

Starting Point

Here is where the Sixers' roster stands entering free agency:

Joel Embiid (remaining contract: $51.4 million in 2024-25, $55.2 million in 2025-26, player option for $59.0 million in 2026-27)

Paul Reed (remaining contract: $7.7 million in 2024-25; non-guaranteed, $8.1 million in 2025-26; non-guaranteed)

Jared McCain (remaining contract: $4.0 million in 2024-25, $4.2 million in 2025-26, team option for $4.4 million in 2026-27, team option for $6.8 million in 2027-28)

• Jeff Dowtin Jr. (remaining contract: team option for $2.1 million in 2024-25; non-guaranteed)

Ricky Council IV (remaining contract: $1.8 million in 2024-25; non-guaranteed, $2.2 million in 2025-26; non-guaranteed, team option for $2.4 million in 2026-27; non-guaranteed)

Adem Bona (unsigned)

Justin Edwards (two-way contract)

David Jones (two-way contract)

Salary Cap terms, explained

Before we dive into the cases for bringing specific players into the fold, we have to get into some of the nitty-gritty salary cap minutiae that will in part determine whatever path the Sixers go down this summer. Let's define a few key terms with the help of my Sixers offseason FAQ from last month: 

A critical component of NBA free agency a team's ability to bring back their own players. Two pivotal concepts here are known as Bird rights and cap holds

"The NBA has a salary cap, but it is not a hard cap like the NFL's. Teams are afforded the opportunity to go over the salary cap, and the vast majority of them end up doing so by the end of the offseason. The biggest reason this happens is because of an essential aspect of free agency: a concept known as Bird rights.

When a team has Bird rights on a player, it means they are allowed to sign them for a certain amount of money without having the requisite cap space. But there are three different levels of Bird rights, which determine how much money a team can offer their free agents. The levels of Bird rights are determined by how long the player has gone without changing teams via free agency (does not apply to players who have been traded). The three types of Bird rights are as follows:

• Non-Bird rights, which are for players who have switched teams via free agency in the last year. These players are allowed to be offered up to 120 percent of their salary from the previous season.

• Early Bird rights, which are for players who have not switched teams via free agency in the last two years. These players are allowed to be offered up to 175 percent of their salary from the previous season.

• Full Bird rights, which are for players who have not switched teams via free agency for at least three years. Once a team owns Full Bird rights on a player, they can offer that player up to the league's maximum salary regardless of their cap space situation.

Cap holds are placeholders of sorts on a team's salary cap sheet while their players are free agents. For as long as a player is unsigned, their cap hold remains on their former team's cap sheet at a number somewhere between 120 and 190 percent of their previous salary (depending on their bird rights status). 

When a team wants to clear cap space during free agency, they must perform what is called "renouncing" the cap holds of their free agents. Once the free agents are renounced, their cap holds are extinguished and the team is able to generate cap space. However, if a team renounces a player's cap hold, they lose whatever level of bird rights they previously had on that player — and it is an irreversible action.

For example, Hield's cap hold this summer is expected to be over $29.7 million, according to He will take up that much money against the Sixers' cap space once the offseason begins, but they can clear it off their books by renouncing him. However, if they do that, they go from having Full Bird rights on Hield — a situation in which they can pay him whatever they want — to not having any bird rights on him at all."

Then there is the process of signing other team's free agents. The method of doing this that is easiest to understand is utilizing cap space — when a team has available money to spend before hitting the league's soft salary cap. But there is another way to add free agents, even when a team has exceeded that salary cap. This can be done through tools known as cap exceptions.

Salary cap exceptions are exactly what they sound like: certain mechanisms with which teams can sign players using cap space they do not actually have. Which exception(s) teams have access to is entirely dependent on their financial situation. For the Sixers' purposes, one pathway seems like the exceedingly likely one.

It has been rumored ever since the team refused to offer James Harden a multi-year contract last summer that the Sixers were plotting to become a "cap space team" in the summer of 2024: they would renounce many of their free agents to maximize their potential room under the salary cap in hopes of acquiring another star-level player. If they do that, they would have access to one salary cap exception in addition to the space they create: the room mid-level exception, which is projected by Spotrac to be worth a hair over $8.0 million in 2024-25. Contracts signed using the room MLE can have a length of up to three seasons.

With that out of the way... let's get to the fun stuff:

Sixers free agents

Nearly the entirety of the 2023-24 Sixers roster is set to hit free agency this summer. The Sixers could choose to bring many of these players back, but they also could opt to craft a new-look roster. Let's run through all of their free agents this summer:

Sixers 'Stay or Go' series

Tobias Harris | Kelly Oubre Jr. | De’Anthony Melton
Nic Batum | Kyle Lowry | Buddy Hield | Cam Payne

Tobias Harris (Full Bird, $49.3 million cap hold): Harris has spent five-plus seasons as a member of the Sixers, and it must stop there. He spent the vast majority of his tenure in Philadelphia dragging his team down on one of the most damaging contracts in league history -- a five-year, $180 million pact that, in the minute it was reported, was obviously going to age poorly. Harris is not always a bad player, he can help teams in certain instances, but it is hard to imagine the Sixers having any interest in bringing him back into the fold after what they endured over the last few years.

Buddy Hield (Full Bird, $28.9 million cap hold): The Sixers added Hield as their major trade deadline acquisition, and after four remarkable games to begin his time with the team, his production and workload continued to decline. Because they have to renounce his large cap hold in order to create significant cap space, it is a bit difficult to imagine him returning right now. The allure remains, however: he is one of the greatest three-point shooters of all time, and there is a reason he was a rumored Sixers target for years predating his arrival in Philadelphia in February.

Nic Batum (Full Bird, $22.2 million cap hold): The question is not as much about whether the Sixers and Batum feel they are the right match -- the fit could not be cleaner -- it is whether Batum will choose to play another NBA season or retire following this summer's Olympics. Batum's versatile defense, quick trigger as a three-point shooter and crafty passing ability made him a favorite of Sixers head coach Nick Nurse after arriving to Philadelphia in November.

Robert Covington (Full Bird, $22.2 million cap hold): Covington returning to Philadelphia, coming over in the Harden trade, was a heartwarming story to be sure. Covington gave the Sixers solid defense over a brief period of time, but missed the last four months or so of the season with a mysterious knee injury that never seemed to heal properly.

De'Anthony Melton (Full Bird, $15.2 million cap hold): Melton has enjoyed two impressive seasons in Philadelphia, but both have been shortened by back injuries -- the exact kind of development that will harm his market as he enters free agency this week. If Melton is deemed a safe bet by medical staffs league-wide, he should earn a massive payday -- perhaps a four-year deal worth in the territory of $20 million on an annual basis. But that is a major "if."

Tyrese Maxey (restricted, Full Bird, $13.0 million cap hold): Maxey is technically a free agent, but he is set to ink a five-year max contract worth nearly $205 million to remain in Philadelphia. It could very well be the first piece of business the Sixers perform that trickles out publicly, but for financial reasons it will be one of the last moves they officially execute. The only question is whether or not Maxey will receive a player option at the end of that deal or if it is a straight five-year contract. Maxey is a full-blown star and is not going anywhere in the near future.

Kyle Lowry (Non-Bird, $3.3 million cap hold): Lowry was a godsend for the Sixers when he signed with the team in the buyout market in February, particularly because of Melton's absence. He quickly became a fixture in Nurse's starting five. The ideal role for Lowry, who will turn 39 years old by the end of the 2024-25 regular season, is as a bench contributor who can fill gaps in the starting lineup on occasion. It feels probable that he finishes his career playing for his hometown team.

Kelly Oubre Jr. (Non-Bird, $2.0 million cap hold): Oubre quickly became a fan favorite in Philadelphia, making the league regret not giving him much of a market last summer by thriving in several roles on both ends of the floor for the Sixers, ultimately earning a starting job. Oubre should have a competitive market this time around, but it is easy to see why the Sixers would want him back. He should be their biggest priority among all of these players (aside from Maxey, of course).

Cam Payne (Non-Bird, $2.0 million cap hold): Many scratched their heads when the Sixers traded Patrick Beverley to the Milwaukee Bucks in exchange for Payne and a future second-round pick, but it quickly became the team's most successful trade deadline move. Payne gave the Sixers tremendous energy, not to mention a much-needed offensive punch. All parties involved would seemingly be happy if Payne returned to Philadelphia.

KJ Martin (Full Bird, $2.0 million cap hold): Martin was one of the wild cards of the Harden trade; he never saw postseason action for the Sixers but was an innings-eater of sorts during the regular season. His terrific athleticism and impressive strength make him viable at multiple positions defensively -- he is likely a four by trade, but the Sixers occasionally experimented with him as a center. The question remains can he develop enough skill on the offensive end of the floor to have utility there. Martin does not turn 24 until next January, so there is still time for growth.

Mo Bamba (Non-Bird, $2.0 million cap hold): Bamba appeared in 57 games for the Sixers in the regular season, including 17 starts. Nurse opted to start Bamba on most nights when Embiid was out during the former NBA MVP's two-month absence to keep Paul Reed in second-unit lineups. Bamba's shot-blocking ability as a weak-side rim protector and ability to knock down open looks from beyond the arc are his selling points.

Terquavion Smith (restricted, Non-Bird, $1.8 million cap hold): Smith logged 84 total NBA minutes in his rookie season while playing on a two-way contract. His dynamic shot-making gives him the upside of a backup point guard, but he might not have proven enough yet to earn a standard NBA deal. He could return to the Sixers on another two-way deal this summer, and if things break right, compete to have that deal converted to an NBA contract midseason in 2024-25.

MORE: NBA teams who could sign each Sixers free agent

Trade Targets

Let's break down these players into two categories: ones who could be the team's third star and ones who rotation pieces in some capacity — perhaps members of Nurse's starting five, perhaps ones who just help the team accumulate depth.


Jimmy Butler, Miami Heat (remaining contract: $48.7 million in 2024-25, player option for $52.4 million in 2025-26): For as long as Butler has not signed the contract extension which Miami is reportedly not going to offer him right now, trade rumors surrounding for former Sixer will persist. If he does end up available, it is hard to imagine Morey not targeting a player he has long coveted — and Butler's relationship with Embiid only makes it easier to imagine. The big questions: can Butler increase his three-point volume, and how many games is he capable of playing each year at this stage of his career?

Brandon Ingram, New Orleans Pelicans (remaining contract: $36.0 million in 2024-25): Ingram appears to be the most likely to move of any of these players, with New Orleans ready to shake things up. His scoring ability is undeniable, but his fit alongside Embiid as a mid-range specialist is murky. He has upped his three-point volume in recent seasons, but has he done it enough for Morey to feel like he is the missing piece?

Donovan Mitchell, Cleveland Cavaliers (remaining contract: $35.4 million in 2024-25, player option for $37.0 million in 2025-26): Mitchell appears primed to ink a long-term contract extension to remain with the Cavaliers, but if he decides against it, Cleveland lead decision-maker Koby Altman should be on Morey's speed dial. Mitchell is good enough to put the Sixers over the hump and young enough to be worth trading a boatload of draft picks for.

Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks (remaining contract: $43.0 million in 2024-25, $45.9 million in 2025-26, player option for $48.9 million in 2026-27): Young is ball-dominant and a very limited defensive player (despite quietly improving on that end), making him a potentially questionable fit alongside Maxey. But pairing Embiid's gravity and Maxey's shot-making ability with a truly prodigious, all-world kind of passer is appealing.

Dejounte Murray, Atlanta Hawks (remaining contract: $25.2 million in 2024-25, $27.2 million in 2025-26, $29.3 million in 2026-27, player option for $31.3 million in 2027-28): Murray might be the Hawks guard who is easier to acquire, though I have long felt as if his box score production overrates his impact on winning. However, he is under contract for at least two more seasons and is entering his age-28 season.

Kevin Durant, Phoenix Suns (remaining contract: $51.1 million in 2024-25, $54.7 million in 2025-26): Durant forcing another trade — this time out of Phoenix — seems unlikely for now, and Suns owner Mat Ishbia took to social media to affirm that Durant is in Phoenix for the long haul. His decline in recent seasons, particularly as a consistent on-ball scorer, is noteworthy. But one of Embiid's longtime favorites playing with the former MVP and Maxey could spell trouble for opposing defenses.

Lauri Markkanen, Utah Jazz (remaining contract: $18.0 million in 2024-25): Markkanen would be my ideal trade target should Mitchell extend in Cleveland, an incredibly versatile forward who does just about everything you could ask a scorer to do at a high level. His efficiency, which is already remarkable, would skyrocket going from the Jazz's go-to option to perhaps the third-highest-usage player on the Sixers. If the Jazz entertain offers for Markkanen, 27, I would be prepared to offer any and all picks while also inking him to a massive extension.

Jerami Grant, Portland Trail Blazers (remaining contract: $29.7 million in 2024-25, $32.0 million in 2025-26, $34.2 million in 2026-27, player option for $36.4 million in 2027-28): Grant made a bet on himself as a high-usage scorer when he left the Denver Nuggets, and while that bet was successful -- he has become a better shot-maker and was paid handsomely for it -- he has not experienced a whole lot of winning since departing Denver. He is unquestionably a very good player who would make the Sixers better, but I hesitate to have interest given the four rather expensive years remaining on his contract.

Rotation Pieces

Malcolm Brogdon, Washington Wizards (remaining contract: $22.5 million in 2024-25): One of the players who put the dagger in the Sixers' heart in 2022-23 with his clutch Game 6 shooting, Brogdon was having a nice year in Portland before injuries derailed his season. That, unfortunately, has become the story of his career. Brogdon would be a great fit with Embiid and Maxey, but it is hard to envision the Sixers relying on another player with an injury history as extensive as his. After being traded to Washington as part of a package that netted Deni Avdija for the Portland Trail Blazers, he could easily be on the move again.

Bojan Bogdanovic, Brooklyn Nets (remaining contract: $19.0 million in 2024-25)Bogdanovic averaged over 20 points per game on excellent efficiency with the Pistons in 2023-24 before his role (understandably) declined following a trade to the Knicks. Is he still capable of putting up that kind of scoring, or is he mostly a spot-up shooter at 35 years old?

Bogdan Bogdanovic, Atlanta Hawks (remaining contract: $17.2 million in 2024-25, $16 million in 2025-26, player option for $16 million in 2026-27): One of the league's foremost three-point snipers, Bogdanovic has routinely made the Sixers suffer in years past. He could give Nurse's offense a dimension it did not really have last season. 

Dorian Finney-Smith, Brooklyn Nets (remaining contract: $14.9 million in 2024-25, player option for $15.3 million in 2025-26): It was a tale of two halves for Finney-Smith in 2023-24: he shot 41.1 percent from beyond the arc in his first 34 games and just 26.4 percent on threes in his last 34 games. At 6-foot-7 and 220 pounds, he is a sturdy wing defender.

Luke Kennard, Memphis Grizzlies (remaining contract: $14.7 million in 2024-25): One of the most underrated long-range shooters in league history, Kennard could potentially be had for little return as a cap casualty in Memphis. He would not give the Sixers as much on-ball scoring as someone like Bogdanovic — and has injury issues of his own — but is truly lights out from three-point territory.

Jordan Clarkson, Utah Jazz (remaining contract: $14.0 million in 2024-25, $14.2 million in 2025-26): A scoring aficionado, Clarkson is coming off a down season from an efficiency standpoint, but has enough cache at this juncture to override poor shooting numbers. 

Dennis Schroder, Brooklyn Nets (remaining contract: $13.0 million in 2024-25): Schroder made well over 40 percent of his three-point tries on 5.1 attempts per game in 29 games with Brooklyn last season after being salary dumped by the Toronto Raptors and has developed a reputation as a pest on the defensive end. 

Tre Jones, San Antonio Spurs (remaining contract: $9.1 million in 2024-25): Much like his older brother, Tyus, the Spurs' incumbent starting point guard is a reliable ball-handler who will not blow you away but knows how to run a team. He is not nearly the shooter that Tyus is, though. With the Spurs selecting guard Stephon Castle No. 4 overall on Wednesday night, Jones could be attainable.

Cody Martin, Charlotte Hornets (remaining contract: $8.1 million in 2024-25, $8.6 million in 2025-26): Another NBA brother, Martin is a viable wing on the defensive end of the floor but has yet to make the kind of leap on offense that has catapulted his twin, Caleb.

Trey Lyles, Sacramento Kings (remaining contract: $8.0 million in 2024-25): A prototypical stretch four, Lyles could fit a mold of players who have thrived with Embiid in the past at a reasonable cost. The Kings have some major decisions to make from a financial standpoint this summer, and so there is a chance Lyles could be had.

Jae'Sean Tate, Houston Rockets (remaining contract: $7.0 million in 2024-25): Tate appears to be a non-shooter, which will always put a ceiling on how much a team can rely on him. But he is a great athlete with defensive versatility who has some interesting passing and ball-handling chops.

Ayo Dosunmu, Chicago Bulls (remaining contract: $7.0 million in 2024-25, $7.5 million in 2025-26): One of Chicago's recent success stories, the former second-round pick quickly established himself as a quality rotation point guard. Could Josh Giddey's arrival signal a willingness on the part of the Bulls to move Dosunmu?

Kenrich Williams, Oklahoma City Thunder (remaining contract: $6.6 million in 2024-25, $7.1 million in 2025-26, team option for $7.1 million in 2026-27): A versatile forward, Williams does not need to have a specific role carved out for him; he is capable of fitting into most holes that might exist in a team's frontcourt rotation.

Jevon Carter, Chicago Bulls (remaining contract: $6.5 million in 2024-25, player option for $6.8 million in 2025-26): Another Bulls backup point guard, Carter's signature abilities are his hounding defense and toughness. Carter has outperformed expectations for his three-point shot in his career, but had a down year in 2023-24, making just 32.9 percent of his long-range attempts. 

Dean Wade, Cleveland Cavaliers (remaining contract: $6.1 million in 2024-25, $6.6 million in 2025-26): A much-improved shooter who can play either forward spot, Wade has become a valued part of Cleveland's crowded frontcourt rotation. They might be forced to move somebody eventually, dealing Wade could be the path of least resistance. 

Corey Kispert, Washington Wizards (remaining contract: $5.7 million in 2024-25): A terrific shooter entering his fourth NBA season, Kispert is up for an extension this summer. If the new regime running the Wizards — one that did not draft him to begin with — feels his asking price is too high, he could be a surprise trade candidate. The team already moved a promising young wing, sending Deni Avidja (who himself would have been an enticing target for the Sixers) to the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday night.

Reggie Jackson, Charlotte Hornets (remaining contract: $5.2 million in 2024-25): The Nuggets were forced to salary dump Jackson onto Charlotte on Thursday as they try to cut costs, and surely the Hornets would be willing to move him for little to no cost as they embrace a youth movement.

Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Minnesota Timberwolves (remaining contract: $4.3 million in 2024-25): A crucial part of Minnesota's rise into a defensive juggernaut, Alexnader-Walker will almost certainly not be able to return to Minnesota after next season due to their extreme financial constraints. The Wolves could look to capitalize on his career season by trading him now, rather than likely losing him for nothing next summer.

Seth Curry, Charlotte Hornets (remaining contract: $4.0 million in 2024-25): Curry would not be a regular rotation piece for the Sixers in all likelihood, but it can never hurt to have one of the most accurate three-point shooters in league history available if you need him. Like Jackson, it is unlikely that the rebuilding Hornets value Curry highly.

Troy Brown Jr., Detroit Pistons (remaining contract: $4.0 million in 2024-25): Brown had a solid season for the Los Angeles Lakers in 2022-23, but failed to capitalize on the momentum after signing with Minnesota. He was later sent to the Detroit Pistons (along with our old friend Shake Milton), where he has another year left on his deal. As the Pistons focus on their many rookie scale players, Brown could be attainable.

Free Agent Targets

Now, for the bulkiest section of this primer: more than 50 players — varying in price range — who the Sixers could use some amount of their projected financial flexibility to sign. This group of players will be broken up into four categories: full-blown stars, starting-caliber role players, surefire rotation players and depth pieces.


Paul George: George appears to be the best player in the NBA with a real chance of changing teams this summer. Initially, reports indicated he was the Sixers' top target; suddenly it was reported that they were out on him entirely and now some have speculated that the interest remains. His terrific shooting ability on the wing makes him a picturesque fit with Embiid and Maxey.

LeBron James: James appears extremely unlikely to leave the Lakers especially now that they’ve drafted his son, Bronny James. The Sixers do not have as much hope here as they did in the summer of 2018 — and even then, their hope turned out to be misguided.

DeMar DeRozan: DeRozan has been outstanding during his tenure in Chicago, and in a vacuum deserves to be paid a whole lot of money. But his polarizing style — a noteworthy lack of three-point attempts — makes it harder to figure out where he fits. Philadelphia does not appear to be the ideal landing spot for someone with his skillset, but what if Morey strikes out on all other star-caliber players and DeRozan's market dries up? Don't bet on it, but keep an eye out.


Klay Thompson: One of the single best three-point shooters in NBA history and a four-time champion, Thompson leaving the Golden State Warriors and wearing another team's jersey for the first time seems increasingly likely. The Sixers will always covet shooting around Embiid, of course, and Thompson is as good as it gets from long range in this free agency class. The question is whether or not he provides enough of anything else: his defense, once outstanding, has cratered along with his athleticism. He is not a player who has ever been eager to pass, and his off-the-dribble ability is now quite limited.

D'Angelo Russell: Give Russell credit for leaning into a new identity as a high-volume three-point shooter, that is likely the proper way to maximize his abilities in today's NBA. His ability to survive in postseason action has been routinely questioned, though, and he did himself zero favors during the Lakers' first-round exit at the hands of the Denver Nuggets.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope: A crucial piece of Denver's starting five, Caldwell-Pope might end up donning a new uniform next season as a result of the Nuggets' hellish salary cap standing. He is a reliable defender against most perimeter players, has developed a strong track record as a three-point shooter and can help any contending team. He should have a strong market.

Tyus Jones: Jones appears set on being a team's starting point guard, and his optimal role in Philadelphia would likely be a heavy-minutes sixth man. If that disqualifies the Sixers from courting his services, so be it, but if the Wizards cannot flip the newly-acquired Brogdon, maybe they will be out of the running for Jones as well. The respected veteran is as good as it gets in terms of reliability — both in terms of on-court production and durability — and it is not hard to imagine many contenders asking him to run their second unit lineups.

Royce O'Neale: O'Neale returning to the Phoenix Suns feels like the most likely outcome here, but he provides skills that can be utilized by any contender. His skillset is not entirely dissimilar to that of Batum, though they are different players. 

Caleb Martin: Martin is entering free agency with the chance to capitalize on his excellent stint with the Miami Heat, perhaps pricing out the money-strapped Miami team that helped turn him into a strong role player. It doesn't hurt that Martin puts the fear of god in Celtics fans.

Derrick Jones Jr.: Jones parlayed a veteran's minimum contract into an NBA Finals appearance as a starter for the Dallas Mavericks; he will receive much more than a minimum deal this time around. His outstanding athleticism and defensive versatility make him appealing to any team, especially since he has gone from a non-shooter to almost respectable from beyond the arc.

Malik Beasley: One of the highest-volume three-point shooters in the NBA, Beasley similarly took a veteran's minimum, started for a very good team in the Milwaukee Bucks, and earned a payday this summer. 

Gary Harris: Harris will not blow anybody away with any one skill, but is at least competent at almost everything. He could be a capable fifth starter on a good team, though perhaps a featured bench role might be his ideal landing spot at this point in his career.

Rotation players

Chris Paul: Paul is expected to be waived by the Golden State Warriors as they avoid granting him a massive guarantee. If so, the future Hall of Fame inductee would have a market among contenders thanks to his extensive track record as a terrific floor general. His juice as a creator for himself is extremely limited at this stage of his career, but his smarts alone will allow him to help just about any team in some capacity.

Talen Horton-Tucker: Horton-Tucker would represent an interesting upside play; he is still only 23 years old and many believe has untapped potential. In Utah he has functioned an inefficient volume shot-taker. Could his shooting numbers rise in a secondary or tertiary role as a backup ball-handler for the Sixers?

Gary Trent Jr.: A former Nurse pupil, Trent is known for his three-point shooting. If Nurse has positive reviews from his time with Trent, he could make sense as the sort of movement shooter that the Sixers have lacked in recent years.

Gordon Hayward: Which player is Hayward: the player who averaged 14.5 points, 4.7 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game in 25 games in Charlotte last season, or the one who did almost nothing of value and fell out of the rotation for Oklahoma City after being acquired by the Thunder at the trade deadline?

Markelle Fultz: It is hard to imagine Fultz returning to Philadelphia given what he went through here, but I suppose crazier things have happened. That Fultz has become a solid NBA player while not being able to shoot and being treated as a non-shooter is a testament to the off-the-charts skill and feel that made him a special draft prospect in 2017.

Monte Morris: Morris landed in Minnesota at the trade deadline but ended up disappointing. He still seems like a solid backup point guard, and could give the Sixers some reliable ball-handling when Maxey is off the floor.

Kyle Anderson: Minnesota's aforementioned financial situation makes an Anderson exit likely, though it is hard to find the perfect fit for a wing who is not much of a shooter but likes to have the ball in his hands.

Taurean Prince: Prince is a big wing — listed at 6-foot-6 and 218 pounds — who can realistically play either forward position. He made just under 40 percent of his three-point tries on noteworthy volume in 2023-24 for the Lakers.

Andre Drummond: The Sixers were apparently very close to reacquiring Drummond at the trade deadline for a collection of second-round picks last February before the Bulls pulled out of talks. A fan favorite during his time in Philadelphia, Drummond is the ultimate agent of chaos.

Patrick Beverley: Beverley appeared upset and shocked when the Sixers traded him for Payne, but it ended up working out for all parties involved: Beverley's minutes would have decreased with the arrival of Lowry, instead he ended up starting by the end of the year for Milwaukee.

Haywood Highsmith: A failed Sixers development project turned successful Heat development project, Highsmith is set to earn his first free agency contract this summer and be paid like a rotation regular on the wing. Like most players in his mold, his value in a given year will largely hinge on his three-point shooting. Last season, Highsmith had career-bests in three-point accuracy (39.6 three-point percentage) and three-point volume (2.9 attempts per game).

Lonnie Walker IV: A native of Reading, PA, Walker has been in search of a long-term home for quite a while now. He has become an interesting microwave scorer of sorts, and at 6-foot-4 and 204 pounds with a massive 6-foot-10 wingspan, he is capable of defending multiple positions.

Naji Marshall: Marshall is coming off a career year for New Orleans in 2023-24 as a sturdy, defense-oriented wing who has improved his future outlook as a three-point shooter.

Joe Ingles: Ingles turns 37 a few weeks before the start of next regular season, but as of now can still knock down threes with the best of them. He also adds pinches of ball-handling and passing that could help the Sixers in many fashions. I get the sense he is someone Embiid would enjoy playing with.

• Spencer Dinwiddie: Dinwiddie played 48 games in Brooklyn and 28 games with the Lakers in 2023-24 and shot below 40 percent from the field with both teams. His days as an effective scorer — even in a featured reserve role — may be over.

Delon Wright: A longtime favorite of mine — and the younger brother of former Sixer Dorell — Wright made an impact for the Miami Heat upon signing with the team via the buyout market last season. Tall and long guards with ball-handling chops and shaky jumpers will always have my heart.

Depth pieces

Doug McDermott: A three-point shooting specialist who is actually a good cutter as well, McDermott would give Nurse the ability to get a bit more creative offensively when he is on the floor.

Cedi Osman: Osman is a 35.9 percent three-point shooter on 4.5 tries per game over the last four years. That, in combination with his strong 6-foot-7, 230-pound frame, makes him a fringe rotation wing at the minimum. Osman played in 72 games for the Spurs last season, but at 29 years old, he may want to head to a team with a better chance of contending in the short-term.

Goga Bitadze: Once seemingly on his way out of the league, Bitadze reemerged last season as an important part of Orlando's center rotation amid the absence of Wendell Carter Jr. He would be more than serviceable as the Sixers' third center — a slot more important than that of any other team given the frequency with which Embiid misses games. 

Mason Plumlee: Plumlee is likely nearing the end of his time as a viable NBA center, but can still rebound at a high level and has always been a surprisingly effective passer.

Eric Gordon: A longtime Morey favorite, Gordon spent this past season in Phoenix, where he averaged 11.0 points per game. On a Houston Rockets team then guided by Morey, Gordon was one of the first players to embrace maximizing three-point volume and do so successfully.

Alex Len: Another third string center option should Bamba go elsewhere, Len briefly flirted with becoming a spot-up three-point shooters years ago with the Hawks, but has ditched those goals in recent seasons. Perhaps he could reprise those efforts in Philadelphia.

Marcus Morris Sr.: When Morris came to the Sixers last season in the Harden deal, he was seen as salary filler who would swiftly be rerouted and nothing more. While Morris did end up being moved — once again functioning as salary filler, this time allowing the Sixers to acquire Hield — he did give the Sixers real minutes for a few months. A stretch four who the Sixers liked to experiment with as a small-ball center, Morris ended up finishing the season in Cleveland.

Josh Okogie: An absolutely tenacious defender with extremely suspect offensive skills, how Okogie fits into a contending team's rotation remains a mystery. But his energy is infectious.

Dario Saric: How heartwarming would it be if The Homie returned to the place where his NBA journey started? When the Sixers used Saric as a main piece of the trade package that netted them Butler, he was a starting power forward. Now, he is a full-time center.

Torrey Craig: Craig has always been a respected defensive player on the wing, but had little to no offensive utility. In the last two seasons, however, he has made a combined 39.4 percent of his three-point tries on more than three attempts per game across time in Phoenix and Chicago.

Dennis Smith Jr.: Smith will never live up to the expectations that existed when he was a rumored top-five pick in 2017 — he ultimately went No. 9 overall to the Dallas Mavericks — but he has found his NBA niche as a wonderful defensive player, combining his outlier athleticism and physical tools with tremendous effort.

Aaron Holiday: Holiday — the only one of the three brothers who has yet to play for the Sixers — played in 78 games for the Rockets in 2023-24, albeit as a relatively low-minutes guy. Holiday turns 28 in September and very well may prioritize minutes over the ability to be on a great team.

Oshae Brissett: Part of the championship Celtics' "Stay-Ready Group" in 2023-24, Brissett is a tremendously athletic wing who has at times been used as a small-ball center. Nurse spent time with Brissett when the two were both with the Raptors.

Luke Kornet: Kornet has become a fan favorite in Boston, but he is more than just a positive presence on the bench and in the locker room; Kornet has passing chops and can rebound in bunches.

Jordan McLaughlin: I have always been a fan of McLaughlin despite his inability to carve out a consistent NBA role. He knows what he is doing on the floor despite not having any outlier skills or physical tools.

Lamar Stevens: Stevens, who played his high school ball at Roman Catholic, started last season in Boston before being traded to Memphis and finishing out the year with the Grizzlies. He is a strong wing with defensive ability, but has failed to display enough offensive skill to establish himself as a rotation wing on anything beyond a temporary basis.

Kris Dunn: Once the apple of former Sixers General Manager Bryan Colangelo's eye, Dunn proved to be a disappointment relative to his draft position, but revived his career thanks to his work on the defensive end of the floor.

Bismack Biyombo: Biyombo did not have an NBA contract when the 2023-24 season started, but ended up spending time with Memphis and Oklahoma City as an innings-eater.

In conclusion

This is one of the most important offseasons in recent Sixers history: it has been said in the past and turned out to not be the case, but this may truly be Morey's last real chance at surrounding Embiid and Maxey with the proper pieces to enable the dynamic duo to lead the Sixers to a championship — or at least an Eastern Conference Finals berth.

Buckle up, folks. Things are going to look a whole lot different in just a matter of days.

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