The Philadelphia 76ers are in good shape going into next season after making noise by the trade deadline. It’s no secret that the Sixers are blowing up the team to get there. Now, their chances in bringing in a superstar like LeBron James are pretty good.
They freed themselves of some bad contracts and acquired some rental players. Newly-acquired Sixers Danny Granger, Eric Maynor and Byron Mullens will be unrestricted free agents this summer, so the Sixers will be in good financial standing to compete against free agent destinations like the Miami Heat, New York Knicks and Los Angeles Lakers.
Aside from the three mentioned, the Sixers have some trading pieces in Earl Clark and Henry Sims. Both players have a year left on their contracts. The Sixers can include their cap-friendly salaries along with their stockpile of second-round draft picks for either a future first-round pick or a decent role player. Jason Richardson probably won’t be back next season either. His contract expires at the end of this season.
The Sixers will have one of the lowest payrolls going into next season with $26.8 million. With the NBA salary cap set to drop after this season, the Sixers will have an even better chance of attracting a marquee free agent.
This will be a busy summer for teams looking to sign what is expected to be a deep crop of free agents featuring Granger, James, Carmelo Anthony, Eric Bledsoe and Zach Randolph. This year’s draft is also expected to be deep. Joel Embiid, Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker headline that class.
The Sixers are expected to win the second pick and can immediately take a leap to the top of the league with one of those picks, along with a marquee free agent or two. It’s likely that Granger will return with the Sixers next season, and pairing him with a lottery pick, another big free agent, Michael Carter-Williams and Nerlens Noel will make Philadelphia the favorite to win the title next season.
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