Now that the owners and players have finally reached a tentative agreement, we can get back to actual basketball. And there will be lots of it in the coming months.
The trade market and free agency will open up at the same time as training camp, creating a real logjam of activity. Essentially, an entire offseason of moves and preparation will be crammed into three
Here are five things on the Sixers’ to-do list once things get going:
1. Re-sign Thaddeus.
Thaddeus Young is a restricted free agent, meaning the Sixers will have the right to match any offer sheet. Expect them to do just that, thus retaining a 23-year-old player that they drafted and developed into a major part of their core.
2. Trade Speights.
Marreese Speights slipped into coach Doug Collins’ doghouse last year, averaging just 11.5 minutes per game and not appearing in the final three games of the first-round playoff loss to the Heat. But thanks to his size/touch combo, Speights is one of the few Sixers that will actually garner something on the trade market.
3. The Iguodala factor.
When we last left off, Iguodala was talking in codes about his desire to be a Sixer. The team also listened to trade offers last season. With new ownership now in town, it could be time to start fresh with a new franchise player. Iguodala is perfectly suited to be a sidekick somewhere, but probably not the No. 1 option.
4. Size matters.
First-round pick Nikola Vucevic is a start, but more girth is needed. Spencer Hawes is a restricted free agent and Tony Battie is not a real answer. No, they don’t have the cap space to go after Nene, Marc Gasol, Tyson Chandler, DeAndre Jordan or even Sam Dalembert. But a big body — think Kwame Brown or Reggie Evans — is needed.
5 It’s fan-tastic.
The Sixers went 26-15 at home last year even though they ranked 25th in the league in attendance. Now, the new owners have pledged to slash ticket prices, get rid of “Hip Hop” in favor of a new mascot and re-create the fan experience at games. Will the fans buy in and create an actual home-court advantage?