NBA Free Agency: 5 Moves the Philadelphia 76ers Must Make to Bolster Roster
As soon as December 9 comes, NBA general managers will be on the phone 24/7 in order to land their prized free agents, as they only have a week or two to do so.
Unfortunately for the Philadelphia 76ers, though, Rod Thorn and company do not have much wiggle-room in their current cap situation.
Their main goal during the next two weeks is to re-sign Thaddeus Young to a long-term deal. They publicly said that they will match any offer, unless it is ridiculous.
Other than that, the Sixers have a limited amount of money to spend to fill out their roster. However, using the amnesty clause, they could gain a good chunk of money by buying out Andres Nocioni.
That remains to be seen, but there are moves that can and have to be made in order for the Sixers to improve on their 41-41 season last year.
Here are five moves that can be made to improve on last year's first-round playoff exit.
1. Re-Sign Thaddeus Young
Yes, Thaddeus Young is still under Sixers control technically, but it is far from being a sure thing that he remains with the team this upcoming season.
A team making a push for a championship run might overspend on a guy like Thaddeus Young because of his intangibles.
The guy can do everything. He can defend, shoot, dribble, rebound, come off the bench or start—and don't forget, Young is only scratching the surface of what he can become.
He is only 23 years old and entering his fifth season in the NBA.
The Sixers must do everything they can to match any offers that come Thad's way. I know Young isn't even a starter on this team, but he plays starter's minutes.
He is very valuable to this team because of his versatility. And most importantly, just look how much he improved over last season.
Doug Collins found a role for this kid, and he is excelling in it. A change of scenery might hurt his progression and will certainly taint the Sixers' playoff hopes.
2. Re-Sign Spencer Hawes
In my opinion, this is a no-brainer for Rod Thorn.
Spencer Hawes is another restricted free agent and is not going to command a huge contract.
Hawes certainly is not a flashy player, nor is he going to get this team over the hump, but I think a lot of people don't realize how much the team needed him at points during last season.
Hawes was kind of the opposite of Thaddeus Young. He was the starter, but Young really got most of his minutes off the bench.
However, Hawes is a great offensive threat. He can shoot from anywhere and has a decent game down low.
Defensively he is suspect, but that is why he doesn't get the bulk of the minutes.
Regardless, there were games last year when Hawes (yes Spencer Hawes) took over the game and led the Sixers to victory.
One game against NJ stuck out for me (hint: I was at the game). It was in New Jersey, and Spencer Hawes single-handedly wiped out the Nets.
In only 24 minutes, Hawes dropped 18 points, five rebounds, four assists and had two blocks.
I heard fans yelling, "Who the heck is this guy?" "This guy is killing us."
Yup, listen to the fans. Especially when there isn't much on the free-agent market.
Re-sign Spencer Hawes.
3. Insert Evan Turner into the Starting Lineup
OK, I admit this one is kind of a given.
Evan Turner has worked hard enough over the summer and hopefully has earned to overtake Jodie Meeks as the No. 2 guard.
Turner showed flashes of brilliance during the season last year, especially in the playoffs when he was matched up with LeBron James.
The first question you ask, though, is if he and Andre Iguodala can play together. Only one way to find out.
This shortened season might give the Sixers the perfect opportunity to test out how well they play extended minutes with each other.
Iguodala tried playing the No. 2 position a couple years ago and failed miserably at it. Now, after a season of working tirelessly on his shot, Turner is going to attempt to ink a spot in the lineup for himself.
And you know what? I think it is going to work.
Turner may not drop 20 a game, but his shooting will improve, and he is going to have a good season.
4. Sign Michael Redd
I've been wanting the Sixers to jump on Michael Redd ever since last year's trade deadline.
I think he would be a perfect complement to either Iggy or Turner off the bench.
Redd, although he's well past his prime, can still shoot 'em with the best.
The problem has also been health-related, though.
Assuming Redd stays healthy, he can certainly replace Jason Kapono, who was absolutely dreadful for this team.
Redd is a spot shooter that can take you off the dribble as well. And because of his health concerns, he can probably be gotten for pretty cheap.
Low risk, high reward.
5. Sign Leon Powe
Again, not the flashiest move, but the Sixers are cap-strung.
Leon Powe is a decent player and a very capable backup PF/C.
He really hasn't played much and has not gotten serious minutes since he was called upon back in Boston, when injuries played a role in getting him significant playing time.
He proved during that time that he can play good defense and rebound the basketball. That is what the Sixers need from their backup PF.
When Elton Brand needs a breather, Doug Collins will be looking for a guy to control the paint and hold the fort down until Brand comes back in.
Powe can be that guy, and I think he will make this team better defensively than it already is.