How Long Until The Sixers Bring In An Experienced Veteran?


The Philadelphia 76ers have one of the youngest teams that in the NBA. This is a blessing and a curse, in many ways. On one hand, they’re under-developed, and have yet to really show us what they’re going to be. We’ll have to wait a few years for that. On the other hand, a few years down the road the team could feature some of the same guys, but in a more experienced, developed manner.

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18 wins last season can be accredited to a number of things, and to me, one of those things could be the lack of age on the team. Handling losses is difficult for younger players. If they had an older guy mentoring the younger ones, and leading the team, would they have been able to win more games? I would argue yes, they would have been able to win more games.

I strongly believe a veteran is necessary.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I believe these young guys will develop, it’s all going to come with time. But as one Twitter user pointed out, they should be able to sway a veteran free agent in the next few years, if all goes according to plan.

I agree, eventually they will find a veteran that fits their game plan that they will be able to sign. The question has to be asked, how long until they do manage to find that veteran willing to come to Philadelphia?

Signing Gerald Wallace was a good step in the right direction, but let’s be honest, Wallace isn’t the best example of a developed veteran that promotes growth around younger players.

That’s why I pointed to Paul Pierce in my initial Tweet. Of course, the Sixers won’t be getting Pierce. There’s no shot there, as he’s nearing the end of his career, and just recently signed with the Los Angeles Clippers. We can, however, look at what he did with the Washington Wizards last season and appreciate that.

The Wizards are a fairly young team, and Pierce was able to come in, use his veteran experience, and lead the team to a great postseason run. Wallace can’t do that. Pierce has more leadership than Wallace, in my opinion.

Kevin Durant is no ‘aging veteran’ but here at the Sixer Sense we have fooled around with what it would take for him to sign in Philly. Again, not likely, but it just points to the idea that the free agent market can be a tool if utilized correctly.

Why do veterans move around from team to team at the end of their career? Often, it’s a desperation move in order to set themselves up for one last run at a title. The perfect example of this is Pierce joining the Wizards, who were competitors in the Eastern Conference, and were present in the playoffs even before Pierce came.

In other cases, it’s desperation for any sort of job. These players have lost some of their critical basketball skills, and don’t play as well as they used to, are simply looking for a place to play.

These players are similar to Wallace, so the Sixers have no trouble attracting that type of desperation. But contending for a title? They would definitely have issues attracting those players at this point in time.

Let’s take a look at some of the notable veterans that will be free agents in the next few seasons.



For the entire list of impending free agents, head over to RealGM’s list.

This list features a large sum of players, several with different skills, from different positions. All of these players are considered veterans.

I’m not suggesting that the Sixers go after any one of these players. In fact, there’s some on this list I would confidently say that the Sixers have no shot at signing once they’re free agents (Nowitzki, Pierce, Duncan, and Bryant I would confidently rule out).

On the other hand, guys like Kirk Hinrich, Jason Terry, and Matt Barnes are legitimate candidates for the Sixers to go after.

Are the Sixers ready to go after these guys by the time they are free agents? Just three seasons ago, the Washington Wizards didn’t make the playoffs, and only had 29 wins. Lets say the Sixers are able to get to that point this year, a healthy expectation in my opinion.

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Since the Wizards landed Pierce two seasons after that, could we expect them to be ready for a Pierce caliber player in 2018? Under the same timeline as the Wizards, that’s what they’re projected to do.

I don’t think it’s that far fetched to have them set up to grab a veteran to help push them in the playoffs in the summer of 2018. Now, that’s a ways off, so choosing a name from the 2018 list would be difficult. It’s unsure what the Sixers’ needs will be. Additionally, that list will grow, as players who may be free agents again in 2016 and 2017 could sign one or two year deals, making them free agents in 2018.

The current list has some players that definitely would not work as free agent pick ups for the Sixers. Pierce and Duncan will likely retire. Dirk is in that same boat. Paul and Korver will probably still be in the league, but I would hope that the point guard position is filled up for the Sixers by then.

So, can the Sixers be a team swaying big name veterans by 2018? Yes, I believe if all goes according to plan, they could be. Narrowing it down to one player to go after would be much too premature at this point.

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