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July 07, 2017

What they’re saying: The Sixers were winners in free agency

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NBA free agency isn’t quite done — We might get to the inevitable Kentavious Caldwell-Pope rumors later today — but the Sixers are starting to reap some of the rewards from sitting out free agency and Processing those past years.

Writing about NBA free agency’s winners and losers, ESPN’s Zach Lowe dubbed The Process a winner:

Joel Embiid needs to last, like, half of one season before we anoint Philly the next great dynasty. If that happens next season, the Sixers should compete for a playoff spot. It might be a disappointment if they don't get in. J.J. Redick addresses their biggest need, and the inevitable Jahlil Okafor deal will unclutter the frontcourt. They stayed lean for next summer by refusing to dole out multiyear deals, and that has the rest of the league wondering: What exactly are the Sixers up to?

The Sixers were able to plug some temporary holes (most importantly, the shooting guard who can actually, you know, shoot) while not sacrificing any long-term salary cap flexibility. That’s not bad.

Bryan Colangelo and the front office still should be looking to renegotiate and extend Robert Covington, but once that happens, they can call it an offseason.

Sixers news and coverage at PhillyVoice

1.    GIFs and stuff: Here’s a look at Markelle Fultz showing promise and room for improvement at Sixers summer league.

2.    Twitter Talk: I asked Sixers fans what the most “Process” moment of the past few seasons was. I got a lot of good answers.

3.    Furkan B: In some very good Sixers news, Furkan Korkmaz is now with the team for good.

4.    Podcast: Derek Bodner and I offered all of our spicy J.J. Redick takes (hint: not that spicy).

5.    Deep Impact: Looking at the Sixers depth chart, they might finally have a real, live NBA rotation.

6.    Playoffs? Playoffs: Here's why the Sixers are going to make the playoffs this season.

Other Sixers news, notes and analysis from around the web

Who were best, worst rookies and vets at Utah Summer League? Kevin Pelton, ESPN Insider

Markelle Fultz comes in as the second-best rookie, behind Jayson Tatum:

While he missed at the buzzer with a chance to beat Tatum and the Celtics, Fultz showed during the fourth quarter of Wednesday's game against the host Jazz why the 76ers traded up to take him first overall. Fultz scored 13 of his 23 points in the period, making shots inside (including a three-point play) and out. Turnovers were an issue this week, but Fultz averaged an incredible 29.4 points per 36 minutes.

Ranking all 15 teams in the Eastern Conference, from most to least watchable: Charles Curtis, For The Win

The Sixers come in at third in these rankings, which honestly might be too low:

Surprise! But tell me you’re not excited to see this team take the floor next season: Ben Simmons (making his much-heralded premiere), Markelle Fultz, Dario Saric, Jahlil Okafor and Joel Embiid. Two first-overall selections, two third-overall picks and a 12th choice. And adding J.J. Redick was a great move. TRUST THE PROCESS!!!!!!

The NBA’s Treadmill of Mediocrity: Chris Ryan, The Ringer

Ryan uses the Sixers to illustrate a point that I go back and forth on but ultimately agree with: we’re too hard on solid NBA teams that don’t have a chance to win a title, even if the Sixers just actively avoided the treadmill like no team before them ever has.

Ironically, that’s where the Sixers are going to be this season. While they wait for Fultz to realize that this is not an appropriate pregame meal, and for Embiid to be able to play more than 40 games, and for Simmons to “fix” his jumper (or start shooting it with the correct hand, if you ask Kevin O’Connor), and for Jah Okafor to get traded for cash considerations, there will be some winning, and some losing, and some good nights and bad. The Process has brought Philadelphia back to the party, but the Sixers are still at the back of the buffet line. As a fan, I am ecstatic at the potential, but if I am being completely honest, I am just as excited to witness another few small victories: Allen Iverson stepping over Ty Lue, Iggy’s 3, a January T.J. McConnell game winner over the Knicks …

Timing may be right for Philadelphia 76ers to take next step of the process: Scott Howard-Cooper, NBA.com

Colangelo is already downplaying the Sixers’ playoff expectations. I would suspect this has little to no effect, though:

“I think any talk of playoffs is getting a little ahead of ourselves,” he told NBA.com. “The East is definitely in flux right now and a lot of changes are happening. A lot of changes are happening to this roster and we’re not going to know what we have until we actually play some games, when we get together in the fall and we go through a camp and we start to play live NBA games. We want to take this a step at a time. We want to go about it the right way, with patience and the proper focus, and the focus is on taking that next step forward.”


Follow Rich on Twitter: @rich_hofmann

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