76ers Players Who Need to Boost Free-Agency Value in 2021 Playoffs

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBANational NBA Featured ColumnistMay 13, 2021

76ers Players Who Need to Boost Free-Agency Value in 2021 Playoffs

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    Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press

    When NBA teams win big in the playoffs, everyone shares the success.

    And when they fall on their face, those struggles are shared too.

    That's why there will be more than a championship at stake when the Philadelphia 76ers start their playoff trek. There could be a mountain of money on the line depending on how the postseason treats the following three impending free agents.

Danny Green

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    Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press

    The playoffs have typically been kind to Danny Green.

    The veteran sharpshooter added a third championship ring to his collection last season and made some history in the process. He and then-Los Angeles Lakers teammate LeBron James became the third and fourth players in NBA history to win titles with three teams. Green previously won rings with the Toronto Raptors (2019) and San Antonio Spurs (2014).

    He is back in the championship race again, and if the Sixers add more jewelry to his collection, he could cash in again on that success this summer. Philly has needed his three-ball and entrusted him with his most minutes per game since 2014-15. He has responded by matching his most threes (2.5 per game) and posting his second-best three-point percentage (40.2) over the same stretch.

    His outside shot, defensive versatility and playoff experience are all potential bank-account boosters, but he could still use the lift provided by a net-shredding run through the postseason.

Dwight Howard

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    Michael Wyke/Associated Press

    Dwight Howard was there with Green and James winning a title in L.A. last season. While the big man didn't play as prominent of a role, his defense and interior activity were quietly key ingredients in the Lakers' championship recipe.

    But that didn't help the veteran center in free agency, as Howard picked up a minimum deal with Philly.

    Maybe that's the best he can do at this point. He is 35 and nearing 40,000 regular-season minutes for his career. He has never had the perimeter skills demanded in the modern game, and his free-throw shooting never came around (56.6 percent for his career, 57.7 this season).

    Still, if he supports a championship run for the second straight season, don't win-now teams with voids at the center spot have to take notice? He looks revitalized by his all-energy reserve role, and the eight-time All-Star continues to contribute a relatively great deal to winning (.161 win shares per 48 minutes now, .172 for his career).

Mike Scott

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    Nick Wass/Associated Press

    Mike Scott is a shooting specialist.

    In his younger days, his game had a few other layers to it, but frontcourt floor-spacing has long been his bread and butter. Of all his career field-goal attempts, 43 percent have come from beyond the three-point arc. Since the start of 2019-20—his first full year in Philadelphia—that number is up to 66.4.

    He is interesting when that long ball finds his mark. Stretching the floor as a small-ball big makes everyone's life easier on offense.

    Now, Scott just needs to remind interested teams about that three-point threat. Between 2015-16 and 2018-19, he shot better than 39 percent from three in three of four seasons. He hasn't cleared 37 percent since and is down to 34.0 (and a worrying 36.1 from the field) this year.

    If he can reignite that flame, it can burn bright enough to change the direction of a game. Time a few breakout shooting performances just right, and he could have several suitors in free agency.


    All stats courtesy of NBA.com and Basketball Reference unless otherwise noted.

    Zach Buckley covers the NBA for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter, @ZachBuckleyNBA.