Brett Brown’s famous quote that the Sixers were “star hunting” this offseason was a hit on social media.
Well, that was the only place it was a hit.
The offseason has been rather calm for the Philadelphia 76ers, a team coming off a 52-win season and a playoff series win over the Miami Heat. Maybe the Sixers overvalued their collective talent in regards to adding huge pieces.
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LeBron James? Nope. King James chose to leave Cleveland after four years in a second stint and signed with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Paul George? Nope. George decided to re-sign with the Oklahoma City Thunder and remain alongside Russell Westbrook.
Kawhi Leonard? Not yet. It appears as if the San Antonio Spurs are asking a ton in exchange for Leonard. Dario Saric, Robert Covington, Markelle Fultz and a couple of first-round picks seems like too much.
There’s still time to acquire Leonard. For now, it doesn’t appear likely.
The Sixers still have their core of Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, Saric, Covington, Fultz, T.J. McConnell, etc. returning next season.
After missing out on James and George, Philadelphia did re-sign sharpshooter J.J. Redick to a one-year deal worth between $12-13 million. That was a wise move and it had to be done as the Sixers are craving wing shooters.
In addition, the Sixers picked up Wilson Chandler in a trade with the Denver Nuggets. It’s unclear if he’ll be on the opening day roster, but for now, adding Chandler is an understandable move.
The Sixers also re-upped forward Amir Johnson to a one-year deal. The move didn’t shake the transaction wire in the league, even though Johnson is a respected veteran.
Finally, the Sixers added Nemanja Bjelica to a one-year deal for the bargain rate of $4.4 million. He spent the past three seasons with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Bjelica was the EuroLeague Most Valuable Player in 2015 before moving to the NBA and has the ability to knock down long-range shots in bunches.
Add all of these moves up and it’s fairly underwhelming including the players selected in the draft.
If Leonard is ultimately acquired, then the roster will be markedly improved. As of now, it’s tough to tell if the Sixers are any better than the 52-win team of last season.
Bryan Colangelo lost his job because of his ties to multiple Twitter burner accounts, but he added key players last season such as Ersan Ilyasova and Marco Belinelli.
Ilyasova signed a three-year, $21 million deal with the Milwaukee Bucks and Belinelli signed with the San Antonio Spurs for two years and $12 million.
More than that, these two players were veteran leaders on a young Sixers team. During the 16-game winning streak to close the regular season, their leadership was evident on a nightly basis.
In the playoffs, they brought intensity on both ends of the court and showed the young players how it’s done.
They will be missed. That can’t be stated enough.
The talks for Leonard will continue, but whether he becomes a Sixer is another story.
If the Sixers go into the 2018-19 season like they’re currently constructed, look for a repeat of last season – another nice season, possibly a playoff series win.
However, without another star player, they’re not much better.