Sixers finally ready to shop for free agents

Philadelphia 76ers' Royal Ivey (7) drives against Utah Jazz's Randy Foye (8) in the first quarter. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
Philadelphia 76ers' Royal Ivey (7) drives against Utah Jazz's Randy Foye (8) in the first quarter. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Posted: August 02, 2013

A month into the NBA's free-agency period, the 76ers say they will start making moves. They won't say which players they are targeting.

"We have needs all around," Sixers general manager Sam Hinkie said. "We are going to look for guys who can be a part of our future and have a chance, some guys who can grow with our team."

The Sixers chose to focus on evaluating talent in the Orlando and Las Vegas summer leagues before turning their attention to free agency.

They need a veteran point guard who can back up and mentor first-round pick Michael Carter-Williams. A solid perimeter shooter is another glaring need.

The Sixers could start by bringing back unrestricted free agents Royal Ivey and Damien Wilkins. Though neither player provides the "wow" factor, each would contribute veteran leadership.

A nine-year veteran at point guard, Ivey could be a stabilizer on a young team. He also made a team-best 42 percent of his three-pointers last season.

Wilkins was one of the Sixers' few late-season bright spots in 2012-13. He started the final 21 games and averaged 12.1 points during that stretch. Wilkins also made 16 three-pointers in the last 23 games after making just one in his first 38 appearances.

Among the free agents who could interest the Sixers are small forwards Ronnie Brewer and Luke Babbit, shooting guard Xavier Henry, and center Cole Aldrich.

All four are young players with something to prove.

Brewer, 28, is a solid perimeter defender who has worked on his shooting. He was a reserve last season in Oklahoma City.

Babbit, a 6-foot-9, 225-pounder, is a lot stronger than he looks. The former Portland Trail Blazer, 24, has shown he can create his own shot.

Henry was the 12th overall pick in the 2010 draft, but he struggled in stints with Memphis and New Orleans. The former Kansas standout is only 22.

Aldrich, 24, finished last season in Sacramento, but he is familiar with Hinkie, a former Rockets executive. After spending two seasons in Oklahoma City, Aldrich was traded to Houston in October. The 6-11 center is an excellent shot blocker and rebounder.

"We can be flexible," Hinkie said of free agency. "We have lots of guys that can play several different positions. . . . So we will move guys around if we find people that we think we can feel comfortable with."

Moving swingman Evan Turner to shooting guard and power forward Thaddeus Young to small forward are two options. Turner also could play a reserve role at point guard.

However, there's a chance that Turner or anyone else on the roster could be traded.

"It's a little early now," Hinkie said. "There's a lot of work to do for the team to be filled out. You could see all sorts of things happening."


Contact Keith Pompey @ kpompey@phillynews.com. Follow on Twitter @PompeyOnSixers.

comments powered by Disqus
|
|
|
|
|