UPDATE: From Liberty Ballers, the Sixers have released all of the training camp invites but not Lavoy Allen. The roster stands at 14.
The Sixers have 13 players under guaranteed contracts, with the assumption that Lavoy Allen’s is unguaranteed. The NBA allows teams to keep 15 players on their rosters at any one given time. So we don’t have any problems there. But with a shortened season, extra players could come in handy. The Sixers can choose to go a lot of ways with those spots. Here’s a few scenarios.
1. Keep everyone with a guaranteed contract, and no one else.
This would leave the Sixers with just the 13 guaranteed players, without Lavoy Allen and Xavier Silas, who would seem to be the leading candidates for the two extra roster spots. While leaving the team thin (and at the roster minimum) it also provides an opportunity of signing someone from another camp that was let go later on. Could also create a run on 10-day contract later in the year for the released players. I doubt this happens though – the Sixers want as little chaos as possible.
2. Keep everyone with a guaranteed contract as well as Xavier Silas or Lavoy Allen.
Silas received playing time in both preseason games, hitting a three in the first and blocking a shot in the closing moments of the second. Silas, at 6’5″ can cover both guard positions defensively, which will be important if injuries hit the backcourt. Only Jrue Holiday and Lou Williams can conceivably cover point guards of the members of the current roster, while Andre Iguodala can fake it for a bit. I consider keeping Silas a safer option than keeping Lavoy Allen, since he would be the fourth on the power forward depth chart. While I’m rooting for Allen as a soon-to-be alumnus of Temple University, he’s skills are redundant on this roster. But because he was drafted by the team, he could stick around.
Odds: 30% (Silas), 20% (Allen)
3. Keep Silas and Allen, along with everyone else.
I would advise against this, as having the roster flexibility could be important later in the season (though if the contracts are not guaranteed I suppose it wouldn’t be an issue, and they could keep both).
4. Buyout Nocioni and keep Silas and/or Allen.
This is actually a fairly intriguing option. Andres Nocioni hasn’t made his contract and playing time situation a distraction, and that’s a credit to his professionalism. But it looks like Craig Brackins may have actually passed him for third on the small forward depth chart, the most clogged area on the team. Noce was terrible last year and received a lot of playing time, but nonetheless was frustrated over his playing time. He may still want a buyout to play over in Europe, where his diminishing physical talents won’t hurt him as much. The Sixers could then keep one or both of Allen and Silas, having 13 or 14 players on the roster.
5. Moving Mo Speights, other things happening.
I think the best time for a Marreese Speights move will be later in the season, once he inevitably gets benched after getting more playing time due to injuries. Memphis is apparently interested in him as a 4/5 with Darrell Arthur’s season-ending injury. But it could happen before the season, with multiple parts coming back to the Sixers and everything being shaken up. For a team relying on chemistry, this is unlikely, but possible due to outside opportunities.