There are several teams that are interested in signing Al Horford once free agency begins on Sunday evening, and the Philadelphia 76ers are apparently one of the most enthusiastic.
Horford, who chose not to opt into the final year of his contract with the Boston Celtics, has reportedly received an offer of more than $100 million over four years from at least one team. John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 Phoenix was told the Sixers are that “mystery team.”
Have heard the mystery team that is willing to offer Al Horford over 100 million may very well be the 76ers.
— John Gambadoro (@Gambo987) June 30, 2019
The New Orleans Pelicans are also said to be interested in Horford, which makes sense considering he is a respected veteran who could be a mentor for Zion Williamson and their other young players. Despite his recent social media activity, however, Horford may be too expensive for the Pelicans. The Los Angeles Clippers, Dallas Mavericks and Sacramento Kings have been mentioned as other possibilities.
The 76ers should have plenty of money to spend if they lose Jimmy Butler and/or Tobias Harris in free agency. Spending it on Horford would be a smart move, though the big man is 33 and a four-year deal would take him through his age-36 season.
Kevin Durant should have no problem finding a team to overlook his Achilles injury and sign him to a max contract this summer, but the competition for his services may not be as great as it once was.
The Golden State Warriors are said to be willing to offer Durant a max contract to re-sign with them, and reports have indicated that the New York Knicks will not be deterred, either. We can also add the Brooklyn Nets to that list, but Ric Bucher of Bleacher Report wrote on Monday that sources have told him at least two teams are backing off of their pursuit of Durant.
Those two teams, Bucher says, are the Philadelphia 76ers and LA Clippers. The issue for both is that they feel they are close to contending, and they want to build off their playoff success from last season rather than pay Durant more than $30 million to sit out next year. The Clippers, of course, have made Kawhi Leonard their top target.
ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reported on Friday that the Nets are gaining confidence that they can sign Durant. They are considered the clear frontrunner to land Kyrie Irving, but they may not want him unless another star joins him. Brooklyn would apparently be willing to have Durant be that star, even if he won’t be available at all next season.
The Philadelphia 76ers are faced with the prospect of having to retain both Tobias Harris and Jimmy Butler as free agents this offseason, but they may not even be able to keep either.
Bleacher Report’s Howard Beck said this week on The Full 48 podcast that he has heard chatter that the 76ers may lose both Harris and Butler to free agency, and that the core of the team had “strange dynamics” when matched together.
“I have heard some very strong rumblings this week that the Sixers are gonna lose one—and maybe even both—of Tobias Harris and Jimmy Butler,” Beck said, via Kyle Newport of Bleacher Report. “Take it with all due grains of salt, we’re talking about this still on June 21, but I would not be surprised if Jimmy Butler and/or Tobias Harris go elsewhere. The Sixers just have some strange dynamics with that group.”
Butler will draw huge interest, not just from Philadelphia. The reality is that both will be among the most in-demand players in free agency, and Philadelphia will be facing a major battle to keep them.
The Philadelphia 76ers face a battle to retain top free agent guard Jimmy Butler, but they’re ready to do whatever is necessary to do so.
Butler will decline his player option for next season, according to Chris B. Haynes of Yahoo Sports. The Sixers, however, are “adamant about doing whatever it takes” to keep Butler in the fold.
Butler hitting the open market will prove to be a headache for the 76ers, as he figures to attract multiple max offers. The report lists the Los Angeles Lakers as one interested party. Philadelphia also must balance this with their desire to keep another key free agent in Tobias Harris.
Intentionally or not, Butler has ramped up speculation that he’s already played his last game with the Sixers. He’ll attract lots of interest, and Philadelphia might have a tough time retaining him.
The Sacramento Kings entered Tuesday night’s NBA Draft Lottery with an outside chance at having an old trade blow up in their face more than it already has, but the unlikely scenario that would have haunted them did not play out. And let’s just say they were not exactly humble about it.
In 2015, the Kings made a move to create salary cap space to sign free agents by trading Carl Landry, Jason Thompson, Nik Stauskas and their 2019 first-round pick to the Philadelphia 76ers. The Sixers then traded the pick with top-one protection to the Boston Celtics two years ago to trade up to No. 1 for Markelle Fultz. Had Sacramento’s pick ended up at No. 1 this year, they would have had to send it to Philly. Instead, they landed at No. 14 and the Celtics got the pick.
The 2015 trade is already viewed as a bust for the Kings, as they failed to build a winning team around DeMarcus Cousins and ended up shipping him off, too. That didn’t stop their social media team from trolling the 76ers over not getting the No. 1 overall pick on Tuesday.
— Sacramento Kings (@SacramentoKings) May 15, 2019
How did the Sixers respond? By reminding the Kings that the reason they weren’t eliminated from the playoffs on a Kawhi Leonard buzzer-beater is because they didn’t get there.
Playoffs are like that, you kn- oh… nvm.
— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) May 15, 2019
In summary, the Kings had no chance at landing a first-round pick on Tuesday. However, it would have been a complete shot to the gut if they ended up at No. 1 and had to send the pick to Philly. That would have been yet another reminder of what a disaster their 2015 trade was.
For whatever reason, the Kings and 76ers have a history of trading shots on social media. Sacramento’s latest wasn’t a great look, however, as they were basically bragging about their trade being just bad rather than a potential franchise destroyer.
The Philadelphia 76ers and Brooklyn Nets got into a skirmish during the third quarter of Game 4 of their first-round playoff series on Saturday over a hard foul by Joel Embiid on Jarrett Allen that resulted in the ejection of two players.
Matters began when Embiid swatted at Allen hard as the Nets forward went up for a layup in the third quarter, knocking him to the ground. Jared Dudley did not like the hard foul on his teammate and shoved Embiid. Jimmy Butler didn’t like Dudley shoving Embiid, so he shoved Dudley. Ben Simmons got involved as well and pushed Dudley into the crowd. The two have some beef that has been ongoing throughout the playoff series.
Here’s a look at the incident:
— 69 (@ftbeard_17) April 20, 2019
Embiid was called for a flagrant 1 foul, while Jared Dudley and Jimmy Butler were ejected for escalating the incident.
If the Nets can trade Dudley for Butler, that’s an advantage to them since Butler is one of Philly’s top players. The 76ers lead the first-round playoff series 2-1.
It’s been a testy series between the Brooklyn Nets and Philadelphia 76ers, and that showed no sign of stopping in the leadup up Saturday’s Game 4.
The early flashpoint for this one came via the coaches, as Sixers coach Brett Brown was slow in announcing his starting lineup. That rubbed Nets coach Kenny Atkinson the wrong way, and he essentially said that two could play at that game.
A little agitation from Kenny Atkinson over Brett Brown delaying his lineup announcement:
"We’ve got to figure that one out as a league. Normally I give it 60 at the clock, but I’m not going to do that again. Let’s wait. When they gives theirs, we’ll give ours."
— Stefan Bondy (@SBondyNYDN) April 20, 2019
Brett Brown's response: "It goes both ways." https://t.co/JilXL1aruE
— Stefan Bondy (@SBondyNYDN) April 20, 2019
This is a series that has involved a lot of trash-talking and ongoing subplots of that manner. Now there’s even some tensions between the two coaches. Might we be witnessing the start of a new Eastern Conference rivalry?