Sunday, June 26, 2022

Pair of veteran wings listed as possible free agent targets for Sixers

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The Philadelphia 76ers look to the offseason like most of the NBA. After being eliminated by the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, Daryl Morey will now continue to reshuffle the roster in hopes of assembling a contender.

We know Morey is working hard to prepare for the NBA draft, but a free hand is just around the corner. With it still unclear if the Sixers will have their first-round pick, signing players is likely as upgrades are made.

Recently, the folks at Bleacher Report put together a “Free Agent Big Board” of players the Sixers could potentially target in free agency. The roster consisted mostly of veteran wingers who are capable marksmen.

The first name mentioned was Charlotte Hornets forward Cody Martin. After his best season as a professional, a market will certainly form for the 26-year-old. He appeared in 71 games for the Hornets this season and averaged 7.7 PPG, 4.0 RPG and 1.2 SPG while shooting 38.4% from beyond the arc.

The Orlando Magic’s Gary Harris was the other winger to be mentioned as a possible free-agent target for the Sixers this summer. The former first-round pick comes off a season in which he averaged 11.1 PPG, 2.0 RPG and 1.8 APG. Harris also shot 38.4% from three to more than double Martin’s attempts per game.

Whether it’s draft prospects or free agents, the Sixers will likely be in the winger market this summer. With Danny Green’s future still uncertain, it leaves a void in the Sixers’ lineup. More important are wings that can shoot from deep, while Morey and Doc Rivers look to open up the ground to maximize the star duo of Joel Embiid and James Harden.

Neither of these names stands out, but the Sixers are a team looking to upgrade around the edges. They have their core of key players. Now Morey’s main goal is to strengthen the cast around her.

Aside from Green, who is recovering from injury, the only wings in the Sixers roster right now are Matisse Thybulle, Furkan Korkmaz and Isaiah Joe. If they want to compete against the other top teams in the East, this is an area of ​​the roster that needs drastic upgrades.

While Matisse Thybulle is a phenomenal talent on the defensive end, his shortcomings on offense make him a liability for the Sixers at times. He started in 50 games this season and averaged 6.1 PPG while shooting 33% from three.

After the exit interviews, Doc Rivers and Daryl Morey discussed their plan for further development of Thybulle. For them, the goal is that he develops from a “one-way player”. Finding a way to optimize him offensively is key to playing him longer and being a game changer with his defense.

Even if Thybulle does or doesn’t take a step forward, the Sixers will need wings that can make it on either side of the ground. Harris and Martin are capable defenders and have shown they can produce in some form on offense. Only time will tell how Morey plans to build around the MVP-caliber big man and all-star point guard.

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