While some are off dreaming of asinine hypotheticals, free agency is a much larger issue for Sixers management. Philadelphia is facing a summer in which it could lose Jimmy Butler, Tobias Harris, and JJ Redick. That’s three-fifths of its starting five.
76ers NBA rumors: Is Klay Thompson a perfect fit?
Rumors are already flying around the Philadelphia 76ers and their season hasn’t even been over for two weeks.
The question of Ben Simmons’ fit alongside Joel Embiid has some suggesting that the 76ers should look into trading the All-Star point guard for LeBron James.
Butler ushered in some hysteria from Sixers fans when he thanked Philadelphia fans on Instagram. That could suggest that he’ll be heading elsewhere once free agency starts up on Jul. 1.
Harris, like Butler, will be looking for max money, which could come in at around the $190 million mark over five years.
Add the fact that Joel Embiid is making $146 million and Ben Simmons is due up for a monster extension soon, and it will be difficult for the Sixers to keep everyone.
One would have to figure that Butler and Harris are the priorities compared to Redick. Philadelphia gave up a ton of assets for both players this season and it would be a huge blow if neither stayed.
If the Sixers were to get creative though — especially if Butler leaves — they could also renounce Redick and come away with approximately $30 million in cap space this summer. That should be enough for a max salary contract to ease the loss of Butler.
The perfect candidate for that max salary slot could be Golden State Warriors sharpshooter Klay Thompson, who is reportedly unhappy playing second fiddle to Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant.
The soon-to-be-free-agent had eerily similar three-point shooting numbers compared to Redick during the regular season. Thompson hit 241-of-599 three’s, good for a 40.2-percent mark while Redick was 39.7-percent from downtown (240-of-605).
It was a down season for Thompson, who is one of the most feared three-point shooters in the game after shooting 44-percent from beyond the arc last season. Entering a Sixers offense where he would be the main threat from deep would help stretch the floor for an offense that is looking to find the right pieces to allow Simmons and Embiid to flourish simultaneously.
Getting such a player like Thompson would allow the Sixers to remain as one of the favorites in the Eastern Conference and the invaluable championship experience will only help change the culture at Wells Fargo Center.