As the NBA playoffs role on, some teams are advancing while other team’s seasons are coming to an end. As for the teams who have been eliminated, this means more players have played their final game for their respective team. Now it is time for many of these players to test free agency and see what they can do elsewhere. The Philadelphia 76ers have chosen to not be big buyers in recent years when it comes to free agency. Even though they most likely will do the same thing and try to continue to rebuild through the draft, there are some potential free agents on the market they should be interested in.
1. Luol Deng
The only thing that may turn the Sixers away from trying to sign Luol Deng is that he may ask for too much money. Deng made 14.75 million dollars this past season and likely will ask for more as he hits free agency. In his first nine years in the league, he was a member of the Chicago Bulls where he became a vital part on both offense and defense. He was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers mid-season, where he averaged 14.3 points a game. If the Sixers look to add Deng, he can help them score the ball, especially from three. Not only is he a talented scorer, but he plays tough defense which has been a challenge for the Sixers the past couple of years.
2. Gordon Hayward
Gordon Hayward is a restricted free agent, and may very well stay with the Utah Jazz. However, if the Jazz decide not to re-sign him, he may be of interest to the Sixers. Hayward is coming off of his best season in his four year career as he averaged 16.2 points and 5.1 rebounds a game. Hayward adds a dimension that the Sixers desperately need as he can get to the basket and is an excellent shooter. He has a career field goal percentage of 43.6, not to mention he is six foot eight. He still is a little undersized despite his tall stature, but this is something that could be addressed. Regardless of where he goes this summer, he more than likely will be rewarded with a nice contract.
3. Greg Monroe
Just like Hayward, Monroe is a restricted free agent. If the Sixers have an opportunity to sign him, they definitely should do so. The Sixers have Nerlens Noel who will make his NBA debut next season, but they still need to add more big men. By getting Monroe, they could help eliminate some of the problems they have when it comes to rebounding. In his four years with the Detroit Pistons, he has averaged 14 points and nine rebounds per game. He still has to improve his defensive game as he is not really a shot blocker, but he will continue to develop over time. The Pistons more than likely will want to lock him up long-term, but if they choose not to, the Sixers should try to pursue him.
4. Thabo Sefolosha
Thabo Sefolosha was drafted by the Sixers back in 2006, but never played a game for them as he was traded to the Chicago Bulls on draft night. Sefolosha has had a soild NBA career up until this point as he has spent the majority of his career with the Oklahoma City Thunder. In his time with the Thunder, he certainly has been a key contributor to the team, but his work has been overshadowed by Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. Despite being a starting two guard, offense is not really his game as he only averaged 5.8 points per game for his career and is an average three-point shooter. However, defense is where he excels as he is a great on the ball defender and forces many tough shots. This is a spot the Sixers need to fill as they have made it known they struggle on defense. Adding a player like Sefolosha will be a great addition for them and his defensive mindset can definitely help the younger players on their roster.
5. Jodie Meeks
This may not be a popular choice, but the Sixers may want to consider bringing back Jodie Meeks. After having a solid college career at the University of Kentucky, his game did not really translate to the NBA. In his three years with the Sixers, he showed flashes of his ability, but not enough to keep him around. This past season with the Los Angeles Lakers, he had his best season as a pro. In 77 games, he averaged 15.7 points per game and had a three-point percentage of 40.1. He proved that he is a weapon on offense with his great shooting ability which is another aspect of the game the Sixers are lacking. The one problem with Meeks is that he is not a good defender, so this is something the Sixers will have to consider if they want to try to sign him.
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