Stay Or Go?: Sixers Free Agents
Will Furk get the $12 million?
Adam Aaronson, whose legal name is Sixers Adam (@SixersAdam on Twitter), covers the Sixers for The Rights To Ricky Sanchez. He has been legally banned from covering the team in person, and when that ban was set to be lifted, Covid-19 struck. He believes cantaloupe is the best food in existence, and is brought to you by the Official Realtor of The Process, Adam Ksebe.
As the offseason nears, the Sixers have some high-priority decisions to make -- like whether or not they want to trade Ben Simmons -- however, there are also some smaller but important decisions that must be made.
When you have the stars necessary to win a championship -- which the Sixers say they do -- it becomes vital to support those stars with cost-effective role players.
Compared to the roster in 2019-20 that lacked any sort of cohesion, last year’s Sixers roster made much more sense. But there is still a ways to go for President of Basketball Operations Daryl Morey and his staff to construct a championship-caliber roster.
All of this begins with self-reflection. The Sixers were very good last season, but not good enough. Nearly half of the roster will become free agents next month. Who will stay and who will go?
Green’s injury that kept him out for the majority of the Hawks series was a tough pill for the Sixers to swallow -- even if he was not the right man to defend Trae Young, Green was a very valuable two-way player for the Sixers all year.
Despite some volatile ups and downs, Green made the Sixers much better on both ends thanks to his incredibly quick trigger from beyond the arc and reliable defense. He may not be the player he once was, but he can absolutely be a contributor on a championship team.
Here’s what fellow Ricky staff writer Mike O’Connor wrote about Green on June 22:
“Green said in his exit interview earlier today that Doc Rivers told him he expects him back. If I’m the Sixers, I’d work hard to bring Green back, for multiple reasons.
First off, Green had an excellent year and is a strong fit on this roster regardless of what it looks like next year. Second, the Sixers have Green’s bird rights, so they can sign him to a reasonable deal despite being over the cap, whereas they wouldn’t be able to do so on the open market. Third, Green’s contract (assuming that it’s in the $10-15 million range) would be useful to have in the event of a trade.
Green’s leadership, overall play, and likely contract value make re-signing him of utmost importance.”
At this stage of Green’s career, it makes a whole lot of sense for him to stick with a genuine title contender. And the Sixers might need him in the fold in order to be that.
Howard was the Champion of Vibes this season, earning the love of his teammates and the fans. While we can look at something like his rebounding percentage in an attempt to quantify his value to the team, it truly seemed like his biggest asset was the ability to lead.
Howard was a very good backup center during the regular season, but once the playoffs arrived, the environment proved too advanced for Howard. That can change, though: Howard’s most important weakness on last year’s team was his inability to fit with Simmons. If Simmons ends up being dealt, I have zero objections to bringing Dwight back.
If Simmons does stay, though, the Sixers will need a stretch five. What happens with Simmons may ultimately decide what happens with Howard.
After nearly being out of the league and returning overseas after two seasons, Korkmaz has become a reliable offensive player over the last couple of years, providing the Sixers some steady shooting and, eventually, some juice with the ball in his hands.
Still a young player who spent two years on a rookie scale deal and two years on a veteran’s minimum, Korkmaz will likely be seeking a (relatively) major payday this summer.
If the Sixers do indeed bring Furkan back at a higher price, I would understand. Though, as I wrote about last week, I wonder if the Sixers can get a similar level of on-court production with a more efficient use of their money.
If Korkmaz earns a sizeable contract, I think the Sixers would be better off with one of two options: giving Isaiah Joe a shot to earn Korkmaz’s minutes, or finding a shooter in the free agency market who would sign for the veteran’s minimum.
It’s nothing against Korkmaz, but to me, there are better economic decisions possible for the Sixers.
Scott was once one of the team’s only reliable bench players, and he still deserves a ton of credit for what he did in 2019 after being dealt to Philly.
But I think it goes without saying that the ship has sailed here. I wouldn’t be shocked if Scott were back on a minimum deal, but it seems like both sides are ready for a breakup here.
Tolliver never made an imprint on this year’s team, likely a sign that he’s near the end of the road in his NBA career.
Tucker was entrusted with a few defensive possessions during the regular season, but never made it into the actual rotation. However, given his G-League success and obvious athletic tools, it would make sense for the Sixers to bring him back on another two-way deal.
As a brief aside: I’m not sure the Sixers have ever had a better pregame dunker than Tucker. His athleticism and leaping ability are ridiculous.
Clark spent time with three different NBA teams last season, briefly holding a rotation spot in Orlando before quick stops in Denver and Philadelphia.
Clark only stepped on the floor in two games as a Sixer, and there’s not much to indicate he is here to stay
Morey has signed him on two different occasions now, so I wouldn’t be shocked if he’s back. But I would imagine the Sixers can find a better option for a two-way slot.