Some possibilities to flesh out Sixers' roster

Posted: July 03, 2014

THOUGH THE VISION for the 76ers' brass is focused years away, as evidenced by last week's draft from which their top two picks probably won't play for them this season, there still is the responsibility of fielding a team for this coming campaign.

Seven players are on the payroll (Thaddeus Young, Jason Richardson, Nerlens Noel, Michael Carter-Williams, Eric Maynor, Tony Wroten and Arnett Moultrie). Maynor already was bought out, and it wouldn't be surprising if Richardson, who is scheduled to make $6.6 million this season and is coming off major knee surgery, and Moultrie, who is to make $1.1 million but tested positive for marijuana last season and possessed a salty attitude, also are given deals to move on. The team also has options on guard Elliot Williams and center Jarvis Varnado, each for just under $1 million. That leaves them with just under $26 million in salaries. The cap for this season will be about $63 million.

They will have to sign their draft picks, most notably first-rounder Joel Embiid and second-rounder K.J. McDaniels, but will still be way under the salary cap. Free agency started yesterday, so what will the Sixers do with all that money? To avoid penalty, their payroll must be 90 percent of the cap, or about $57 million.

The question is, which way do you go? Do you try to land someone, say a shooting guard, with a decent salary for a long time, knowing full well that Young could come off the books after this season if he opts out? This is also the last year Richardson is under contract, so that's more freedom after this season.

Or will general manager Sam Hinkie and company just look to sign some short-term deals? So let's take a look at some possibilities and some long shots:

Get ready to roll your eyes and laugh in disgust, but bringing back Spencer Hawes might not be a bad idea. It was recently reported that the 7-footer was looking for $8 million a season, which obviously would be too much for the Sixers to shell out. But if you could get him for 3 years at $6 million per, which is what they paid him before trading him last season, it might be worth a look. In Hawes, you get a big man who can step out and hit outside shots consistently. Teaming him with Noel this season would allow Noel to clog the middle offensively, while Hawes steps away, and would enable coach Brett Brown to use Noel in a variety of ways defensively. It's all about the progression of Noel, and perhaps Hawes is the type of player who could help. Also, if Embiid is healthy next season, Hawes is a nice piece off the bench.

The main shortcoming is the lack of a shooting guard to be paired with Carter-Williams. The Sixers could look at Utah shooter Gordon Hayward, but he probably would be looking for the type of money the Sixers most likely wouldn't be ready to part with. He is big, at 6-8, and won't be 25 until March. His shooting has been a little erratic of late (career-low 41.3 percent last season), but he is a legitimate scoring threat, and you could look to make him part of the big plan.

But if there is a favorite to be sought in the shooting department, it has to be Houston's Chandler Parsons. He just completed a contract that paid him under $1 million and obviously will be paid handsomely after averaging 16.6 points last season and making 37 percent of his three-point shots. He will turn 26 in October, so he'd be another the team could look to grow with. The market probably will overpay for him, but the Sixers certainly have a ton of money with which to play.

In Xavier Henry, the Sixers could get a shooting guard who appears to be coming into his own after averaging 10 points with the Lakers last season. He has played on three teams in his four seasons but won't be 24 until March. His shooting is a concern, however, as he has made only 41 percent from the field during his career.

There are others, too. It all depends on which direction Hinkie goes.

More Sixers: Noel impresses in his first workout.

On Twitter: @BobCooney76


comments powered by Disqus