The Sixers got younger in the draft with 19-year-old Markelle Fultz. Now it's time to add more experience in free agency.
The Sixers will be targeting veterans this offseason. They have two rookies in Fultz and Ben Simmons that will need mentoring. Not to mention Jerryd Bayless is the only player under contract for next season that has played more than five seasons in the NBA.
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"The coaching staff is going to have their challenges again with the young core," Sixers president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo said last week. "Hopefully, it will be made better by adding some veteran presence. Presence not only will be helpful on the court, but off the court as well."
Since the Sixers are not rushing into a max contract situation, veteran free agents could receive offers that look more like two or three year deals with options. That means the price tag could be on the higher end to get an older player to take less years. It's a trade off for contractual security and financial security.
Here's a look at five free agent veterans who could be a fit for the Sixers:
Simply put, Redick fits all of the Sixers' free agent needs, and reportedly they're prepared to "make a hard push" to sign him. Brett Brown has talked about the desire for the "hybrid of both worlds," veterans who can lead a team and shoot.
Redick is a veteran leader with 11 years of NBA experience. He has reached the playoffs in each one of them and will be able to show the younger Sixers the ropes if they earn a postseason berth.
Last season he shot 42.9 percent from three, good for fifth highest in the league. The Sixers need a long-range boost after they finished tied for 24th in the NBA in three-point shooting (34.0 percent). Overall, Redick averaged 15.0 points, 2.2 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 28.2 minutes over 78 games (all as a starter).
Redick will be on the high salary end among the players on this list. And that's fine for the Sixers to shell out more to get him. Shooters have longevity in this league. Redick has missed a total of just 15 games over the last three seasons. Last summer the Sixers were interested in veterans Jamal Crawford and Manu Ginobili and were willing to pay up. Redick, who turned 33 on June 24, is younger than they were.
That's a name we haven't heard in a while since the massive buzz surrounding his opt out from the Raptors. The Sixers' need for Lowry has lessened since they drafted Fultz.
Lowry most likely will be looking for more money and more years than the Sixers want to commit to. That being said, there is no harm in placing a phone call, especially with the lure of a hometown return.
Lowry averaged 22.4 points, 7.0 assists and 4.8 rebounds last season. He has established himself into an All-Star point guard over the past three seasons and has helped his teammates develop on the Raptors.
Will Lowry stay firm on his desire for a ring, or could he be enticed to join a younger team?
The Sixers want shooters and that doesn't have to come from only the backcourt. The 6-foot-10 power forward can stretch the floor and add to the versatile system the Sixers are looking to construct. The Sixers have many options at the four spot, whether that's starting Ben Simmons there instead of point, starting Dario Saric or adding a new starter and moving Saric to a sixth man role.
"I think the stretch four position is something, backing up Dario or starting in front of Dario, whichever it is if we can find someone that's better," Colangelo said at the end of the season. "We've got to probably address that four position. If you look at the depth chart, you've got boxes on different places, there's boxes in different places. That's one area where there's a box."
Ibaka averaged 14.8 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game last season split between the Magic and Raptors. He shot a career-high 39.1 percent from three.
Mills would be a solid veteran addition to the Sixers' bench. He played the last six seasons for the Spurs, which automatically bolsters any NBA resume. Mills is a reliable role player. He averaged 9.5 points, 3.5 assists and 1.8 rebounds in 21.9 games over 80 games (eight starts) last season.
The connections really are key with Mills. He was coached by Brown not only on the Spurs, but the Australian national team, too. Would Mills take less money to play under one of his favorite coaches? Even if the Sixers would have to pay full price, adding a veteran who already is bought in to the coach is key for the locker room.
"I love him. He's one of my all-time favorite coaches," Mills told CSNPhilly.com in February. "I remember how passionate he is. He uses a lot of his time and energy to making sure that whatever he's doing, he gets the most out of it. It's good when you have a leader or a coach that puts everything into it ... I think the word I would use to describe him is ‘genuine.'"
Bringing in Mills also would help fellow Australian Simmons in his first NBA season. The same goes for Jonah Bolden if he plays for the Sixers next season. Having a reminder of home and someone who has made the same transition to the NBA couldn't hurt.
Yes, the Sixers want shooters. It's hard to overlook a hard-nosed defender when they are available, though.
Allen has been named to the All-Defensive First team three times. This past season he was selected to the second team, receiving 17 first-team votes. Over the years his hunger on defense hasn't wavered, and he could instill that mindset into younger teammates.
He averaged 9.1 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.4 assists in his 13th season. Allen missed the Grizzlies postseason run (the first round) with a calf strain.
Allen is the stretch target of this list. He reportedly would like to stay in Memphis and said he's "not trying to break the bank," according to the Commercial Appeal. Still, his fervent passion for defense makes him worth a look.