With the help of an article written by the International Business Times, here’s a their list of the top-15 (out of 20) free agents in the 2014 offseason class. In the article on IBT, there’s a player description under each name. Instead of that, I’m going to write how they’d fit with the Philadelphia 76ers, because this is Philly Hoops Talk, of course.
The article says that the Sixers will have $26 million in cap space for the offseason, but with Sam Hinkie in control, I don’t know if it’s fair to lay out a number yet. We never know what he’s doing in there [Will Ferrell voice]. By the way, I still stand by this article, even though he’s not on this list. Still, I think the more probable target is in this article.
ETO = Early-Termination Option
RFA = Restricted Free Agent
UFA = Unrestricted Free Agent
LeBron James, Miami Heat, ETO
The Sixers could have enough cash to offer James a contract. The only problem is that there are 29 other teams in the NBA. He has an ETO, so he has the option to return with the Miami Heat. In my mind, the only way he leaves is if he sees a better opportunity to win a championship elsewhere. He’s already burnt the bridge to Cleveland. Although He’s won two championships with the Heat, something tells me they’d be just as upset if he left unfinished business on the table in Miami. As far as his fit with the Sixers goes, we need a small forward and he’s pretty good at basketball, so I guess it would be a good move.
Chance in Philly: 0.9%
Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks, ETO
Melo is an interesting guy. He will be demanding a max contract and the Sixers have that money, but does Philly really want to spend that kind of coin on a guy who has basically no history of winning (other than with Syracuse)? He needs to have the ball in his hands and the Sixers do lack someone with a pure scoring touch, but someone with that quality could be had for cheaper. Like James, he could return to his respective team for another year.
Chance in Philly: 4.2%
Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat, ETO
Although he is listed as the third best free agent available in this class, he is on the other side of his career; and when I say that, I’m not taking a shot at him. He’s still got game. One thing that needs to be recognized is the fact that Miami’s “big three” all have ETOs, so they can all get together and plan a return for another title run. They all do see each other enough to talk about this kind of stuff. As far as him with the Sixers, I’d much rather hope and pray for Jabari Parker or Andrew Wiggins being the future of the 76ers’ shooting guard position.
Chance in Philly: 0.4%
Chris Bosh, Miami Heat, ETO
Just like I said before, he, being a member of the Heat, has the option to return. If Wade and James both do so, I’d expect him to follow. The only thing that keeps tapping me on the shoulder is what if his ego comes into play and he starts missing his days with the Toronto Raptors, where he was the main man there. Is he sick of being the third option? With the Sixers’ he’d most likely bump Thad to the small forward position or the bench. Bosh and Nerlens Noel would be an interesting duo. He’s be a top scoring option. As far as his chances, they’re pretty slim. Bosh is getting up there in age and honestly, I’d rather see the Sixers draft Noah Vonleh (with the Pelicans pick) and let him grow with our young guys than have Bosh eat up minutes from our youngsters.
Chance in Philly: 2.9%
Zach Randolph, Memphis Grizzlies, Player Option
Randolph is a big body and a demanding presence in the paint, but much like I said in the Chris Bosh statement, I’d much rather see a young guy play that position and grow with Noel and the Sixers. I’ll keep this one short and sweet. I don’t want to see him here. He’s one big contract away from being an overpaid big guy, stuck on a roster.
Chance in Philly: 0.5%
Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas Mavericks, UFA
Dirk is someone I’ve always had respect for. I think he could go down as the best foreign player ever to wear an NBA uniform. But, his tendencies, such as his one-legged fade away jumpers, just wouldn’t mesh well with the Sixers, let alone he’s getting old. He’s an unbelievable player, but with an attempt to not sound like a broken record, not an older, offensive-minded power forward, please.
Chance in Philly: 1.8%
Tim Duncan, San Antonio Spurs, Player Option
If you consider him being from the Virgin Islands as a foreigner, I guess I might take back what I said about Dirk. There’s no way in hell that I see Tim Duncan playing for another team, other than the San Antonio Spurs. I don’t think he’d be able to keep up with the Sixers’ up tempo style. With that said, no chance he ends up in Philly.
Chance in Philly: 0.0%
Luol Deng, Cleveland Cavaliers, UFA
If we brought Deng here, I feel like it would be similar to bringing back a mix of Andre Iguodala and Evan Turner into one person. I’ve always loved his game and I don’t think that he’ll be returning with the Cavaliers. Something tells me that there’s a chance he’ll be returning in Chicago. That’s just my honest opinion. As far as him going to the Sixers, he’d be a good fit, but I think the team is going in a younger direction at the small forward position (i.e. Parker).
Chance in Philly: 3.0%
Greg Monroe, Detroit Pistons, RFA
Of this list so far, Monroe probably has the biggest chance of being signed by the Sixers this offseason. Being alongside Noel for the next handful of years would be a very good look on defense. On offense, I don’t see Monroe as the kind of guy that needs the ball a majority of the time, which is perfect for us. I think we should keep an eye out on him, but of this list, I don’t think he’s the most probable signing.
Chance in Philly: 13.8%
Eric Bledsoe, Phoenix Suns, RFA
This one is easy. Although Bledsoe is a solid player, he’s also a point guard and we already have one of those. I think that point guard is out of the question, regarding anyone, unless they have experience at the two and don’t mind playing offense off the ball. Defense is kind of important too. We lack that this year.
Chance in Philly: 0.6%
Gordon Hayward, Utah Jazz, RFA
Move over Monroe. Of this class, I think the Sixers may pursue Hayward the second hardest, which moves Monroe to number three. Hayward is a hustler, a good role model, a good shooter, and a solid teammate. He would serve a great role for our team, but it all depends on how badly Utah wants to retain him.
Chance in Philly: 14.9%
Pau Gasol, L.A. Lakers, UFA
Sorry caveman, but there’s no way the Sixers go after this hefty Spaniard. If they do, I’ll lose all respect for Hinkie. It would be very hypocritical.
Chance in Philly: 0.0000001%
Lance Stephenson, Indiana Pacers, UFA
I’m not saying to stop reading here, but this is the guy I see Sam Hinkie most likely making an offer to. It reminds me a lot of the acquisition Houston made of James Harden when Hinkie was there. Stephenson is sort of a sneaky guy in this class because he’s not the star of his team, Paul George is. At the time, James Harden wasn’t the star of the Oklahoma City Thunder before he was traded. He wasn’t even the second star, thanks to Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. Stephenson would fit perfectly into the shooting guard position with the Sixers, allowing us to make a move at Parker or Wiggins at small forward to play alongside MCW, Young and Noel. I love the thought of acquiring Lance, Lance lightning pants.
Chance in Philly: 18.9%
Evan Turner, Indiana Pacers, RFA
Chance in Philly: 0.0%
Rudy Gay, Sacramento Kings, Player Option
We have a need at Rudy Gay’s position but he reminds me too much of Iguodala. He seems hesitant to take a game over at times. Also, Andrew Wiggins is around the same type of player Gay is and I’d much rather role the dice and hope to hit the jackpot with the Kansas University stud.
Chance in Philly: 0.8%