The Philadelphia 76ers watched as emotional leader Jimmy Butler departed this summer, but the team’s general manager has players in mind to fill the void.
GM Elton Brand revealed that he is expecting guard Ben Simmons and newly re-signed forward Tobias Harris to step up and fill the leadership void both on and off the court.
“We are making those bets on those perimeter players,” Brand told ESPN’s Tim Bontemps on Friday. “Of course we’re going to bet on Joel [Embiid] when it’s time to bet on him.
“But I envision they will. I envision them stepping up, for sure, and rising to the occasion when it is crunch time, for sure.”
Butler was looked towards to take the big shots in close games, and he did so successfully in his brief time with Philadelphia. His departure leaves no obvious option for the Sixers in that regard, but there’s a clear confidence that Simmons and Harris can do it, or at least an expectation.
Jimmy Butler officially left the Philadelphia 76ers for the Miami Heat on Saturday, and the Sixers sent him packing with a rather hilarious flub.
As has become customary for departing superstars, the Sixers’ official Twitter account posted an image wishing Butler farewell in his new home. There was only one problem: they messed up his last name.
Amazingly, the tweet stayed up for roughly a half hour amid a lot of derision before the team finally deleted it.
First the Sixers wouldn’t give Butler a max deal, now this. In seriousness, it’s a simple mistake to make, and typos happen to everyone. This was just a bad time for one to happen, and one would think that someone would have spotted it before it went up for everyone else to spot instead.
The Philadelphia 76ers were unable to bring back Jimmy Butler on a max contract this offseason, but they have wasted no time cutting an equally massive check for another one of their players.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the Sixers have offered Ben Simmons a five-year, $170 million max extension, and Simmons is expected to accept once details are sorted out.
Philadelphia has offered a five-year, $168M maximum contract extension to Ben Simmons and the Sixers and agent Rich Paul are expected to work through the details toward an eventual agreement, league sources tell ESPN.
Simmons is currently playing on a four-year, $26.6 million rookie contract and is scheduled to become a restricted free agent following next season. The former No. 1 overall pick averaged 16.9 points, 8.8 rebounds and 7.7 assists per game last year.
The 76ers are now committed to Simmons and Joel Embiid as their core for years to come, with Embiid currently signed through the 2022-2023 season. They also added Al Horford to their frontcourt this week, and they could be the favorites in the Eastern Conference depending upon where Kawhi Leonard ends up.
Harris actually saves the 76ers a bit of money in taking this deal, as he could have made $190 million.
Harris was a key part of the Sixers last season after being acquired in a midseason deal with the Los Angeles Clippers. He averaged 18.2 points per game during the regular season after the trade.
The 76ers’ chances of retaining their other star free agent, Jimmy Butler, are less clear. That’s a lot of money to invest in Harris, and reports indicate that Butler may be looking elsewhere. Still, keeping one of the two is huge, and ensures that Philadelphia can remain an Eastern Conference contender next season.
NBA teams were lining up to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to acquire new players when free agency opened on Sunday, and the Philadelphia 76ers are also putting time aside to take care of one of their own.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Sixers have begun discussing a contract extension with Ben Simmons and his agent, Rich Paul.
The 76ers have started discussions with agent Rich Paul on a contract extension for All-Star guard Ben Simmons, league sources tell ESPN.
Simmons is currently playing on a four-year, $26.6 million rookie contract and is scheduled to become an restricted free agent following next season. The former No. 1 overall pick averaged 16.9 points, 8.8 rebounds and 7.7 assists per game last year. The 76ers signing him to a max contract is a matter of when, not if.
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.
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.