The Sixers surprised most people by jumping into the playoffs and grabbing the No. 7 seed after having the No. 2 overall pick last summer. However, how far can this current team go in the all-of-a-sudden stacked Eastern Conference?
The answer is not very far. Philly has to make changes in order to contend in the East. Changes might be harder to come by than most people think because the Sixers are so cap-strung.
The Sixers, if they re-sign Thaddeus Young, will most likely have about $54 million already committed to their 2011-2012 roster, and that does not even include their draft picks. Keep in mind that the salary cap for last season was just over $58 million.
If the Sixers want to improve their team, a trade might be the only way to do so. Here are five bold predictions for the Sixers in the 2011 free-agency period.
If the Sixers do in fact trade Andre Iguodala, they are going to need some help at the three position. Who knows if Evan Turner is ready to play 40 minutes a night?
I have been saying that Rasual Butler would be a perfect fit for the Sixers for awhile now. Butler is an athletic combo guard who can shoot. Sounds like a perfect fit for the Sixers, which need a veteran perimeter player on their roster.
Rod Thorn, bring Butler back home to Philly!
There is no better way to explain Sammy Dalembert's career in Philly than describing it as a roller-coaster ride. Some days, he would look like a budding star, then the next game he would play 10 minutes.
Dalembert was traded away last offseason due to two things: His underachieving play and his ridiculous contract.
The Sixers need a center, or at least a backup, and maybe Doug Collins can get this young player back on track. He helped the rest of the young Sixers, so why not help improve a former one?
Redd is definitely on the back end of his career, but if he can stay healthy and play limited minutes, he can be a weapon for the Sixers.
The Sixers need an outside scoring presence and really have not had a consistent one since Kyle Korver. Redd is a great shooter who can also create for himself.
Glen Davis seems like a stretch I know. The Sixers would have to clear up some cap space in order to sign Big Baby to a multi-year deal.
Davis is someone who can start and thrive right away for Doug Collins. If the Sixers are able to pull this off, they can now contend better with the top half of the Eastern Conference. The X-factor between the Magic and the Sixers was Dwight Howard. With Davis playing down low, the Sixers finally have someone that can try to control him.
Thaddeus Young is a restricted free agent and may not even be back with the team next year. The Sixers organization, however, cannot let Young get away. He was one of the key players that helped Philly make their playoff run.
I see Young returning to the Sixers for not only this year, but well beyond. Young and the Sixers will work out a deal similar to Kyle Korver's deal that the Sixers gave out in 2005. I'm looking at somewhere between $25-to-$30 million for five years.