Rumors are flying all over the place that the Sixers are purposely “tanking” in order to get a top pick in next year’s draft. While it’s impossible to say that for sure before the season has even started, it’s looking like they’re moving along a path of rebuilding. After trading Jrue Holiday, they cleared up a lot of cap space. I thought maybe they’d try to use that to sign a top free agent, but they haven’t done so thus far. In fact, they still have over $21 million in cap space, and they only have nine guys locked in on their roster. While they’re likely to sign three or four rookies to contracts, that should only take up about $5 million in cap space. That still gives them double digit millions to use up if they wish. But it sounds like the only thing on their mind is to dump even more salary.
Trade rumors have also been flying around for pretty much every player on the roster. From Evan Turner to Thad Young to Spencer Hawes, they seem to be looking to trade all of their best players. Why they’re doing this, I don’t really know. Those are three solid players that could really help their team, yet they’re looking to get rid of them for no apparent reason other than to unload their large future cap hits. While each of the three guys will earn over $6.5 million next year, they probably deserve it. They’re the three highest paid players on the roster and are all pretty young. Trading them would just be taking more steps back and furthering the media’s opinion that they’re tanking on purpose.
There’s still a big possibility that they sign a free agent though. Many guys are still out there that could help the team greatly and provide a veteran boost while they look to rebuild around the younger guys. People like Nate Robinson, Gerald Henderson, and C.J. Miles are all relatively cheap players that could join the team for a couple years and help out the rookies. Also, I think they should re-sign Damien Wilkins and make him the starting shooting guard since Jason Richardson is likely a better sixth man option. They traded for SF Royce White from the Rockets, but he seems like a huge problem from the start after last year’s debacle (he’s the guy that refused to fly or play for the Rockets’ D-League team). He never even played a game last year for the Rockets and has frustrating demands with his contract.
If they don’t end up signing anybody else in free agency, they’re going to be a rather empty team full of guys who have never played before and guys who probably want to leave the team. That combination is sure to fail no matter who they have, unless producing a losing season is what they’re looking for…either way, they need to do something. Please, Sixers, just do something so that you can actually succeed with your plan of preparing for the future.