The Philadelphia 76ers are looking at a critical offseason after Jimmy Butler expectedly declined his player option and joined Tobias Harris as players set for free agency, and Jordan Brenner of The Athletic explored some of the team's potential paths.
One involved re-signing Harris and pursuing wing depth should Butler leave.
In that scenario, Brenner suggested Philadelphia "would likely try to bring back [JJ] Redick while also pursuing another free agent—sources mentioned Danny Green and Terrence Ross as possibilities."
It may be tough for the Sixers to sign both Harris and Butler.
"My gut tells me it's going to be hard to keep both of them," a Western Conference executive told Brenner. "I thought they were going to let Jimmy go, but he had a great playoff, and they're under a lot of pressure to keep him. I would have said before that they're keeping Tobias for sure, and I still think they want to, but now if they're going to offer Jimmy the max, does Tobias stay? It's a really interesting situation."
Going after someone like Green or Ross to play alongside Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid and Harris would be a much cheaper alternative than inking Butler to a long-term deal.
Green just won a championship with the Toronto Raptors and would provide veteran leadership to a team that has relied on youth in recent seasons. He is also a dangerous shooter (45.5 percent from three this past season) who could take advantage of the spacing created by Embiid on the blocks and Simmons' penetration, much like Redick has done.
Ross would be more of an "instant offense" guy after averaging a career-best 15.1 points per game this past season with the Orlando Magic. And the same spacing logic applies with him (38.3 percent from deep this past season).
Philadelphia is on the short list of title contenders in the Eastern Conference, and Green and Ross are solid contingency plans should Butler sign elsewhere.