Heading into free agency, here’s what we know: GM, President and calculator extraordinaire Sam Hinkie is focused on the future.
There will be no long-term contracts given to impact players (see: Al Jefferson, Josh Smith). There will be no short-term expensive contracts given to non-impact players (see: Nick Young, Kwame Brown, and Spencer Hawes). There will be no trades for pricey all-stars (see: David Lee, Luol Deng).
Hinkie will do it his way by acquiring low-risk, medium-reward players — guys who could develop into useful players and/or trade assets.
Below, I’ve listed a few that fit the Hinkie mold.
Note: Once the Jrue Holiday trade is filed to the league office and his contract is subtracted and Nerlens Noel’s is added, the Sixers will have 11 players on the books for about $40 million next season. This cap space will likely be preserved for the future, when the Sixers are actually competitive.
1. Trevor Mbakwe
The Sixers have already added Mbakwe, a former Minnesota Gopher, to their Orlando summer league roster. Mbakwe was ranked as the #36 prospect in the 2013 draft class by Draft Express and has an NBA-ready body, standing at 6-foot-8 and 236 lbs. He could develop into a solid rebounder and athletic defender off the bench.
2. Will Bynum
The Sixers were rumored to be going after the veteran reserve point guard, who would be a great low-cost addition to backup Michael Carter-Williams. He’s both serviceable and cheap, which is precisely what the Sixers are looking for right now.
3. Carlos Delfino
The Houston Rockets released Delfino, along with Aaron Brooks, as they prepare to make an offer to Dwight Howard. Delfino, who only cost Houston $3 million a year, would add a much-needed three-point shooting threat to the team with Dorell Wright likely on the way out. The Argentinian drained 158 threes last year and shot 37.5 percent from beyond the arc.
4. James Southerland
Southerland, a three-year forward out of Syracuse, was also added to the Sixers’ Orlando summer league roster. He’s a shooter — potentially the best one the Sixers could add to their roster this offseason. He’s quick, he’s athletic, and he has a 7’1 wingspan.
5. DeJuan Blair
Nerlens Noel will be out until Christmas, Spencer Hawes could be on the move, and Kwame Brown is, well, useless. The Sixers need to sign some bigs.
Blair is efficient and can contribute at the four and the five. He only cost $1 million in San Antonio and could likely be signed for a similar amount. He’s another solid, low-cost, efficient potential pickup.
There’s a lot more certainty about who they won’t sign, than who they will. That’s the five I got, but there are plenty of others — perhaps players we’ve never even heard of before — that could join the team. Go ahead and speculate in the comments.