Should the Philadelphia 76ers Sign Barnes or Waiters?

June 1, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors forward Harrison Barnes (40) during NBA Finals media day at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
June 1, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors forward Harrison Barnes (40) during NBA Finals media day at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports /

To Sign, or Not To Sign, that is the question for the Philadelphia 76ers when it comes to Harrison Barnes or Dion Waiters

Now that the NBA Draft is over, its seems like the Philadelphia 76ers and general manager Bryan Colangelo are preparing themselves for a busy free agency period. The 76ers are reportedly zoning in on some big free agents who could bring veteran experience and maturity to the roster including Golden State Warrior’s Harrison Barnes and Oklahoma City Thunder’s Dion Waiters, according to NBA Rumors. If the 76ers do indeed manage to sign Barnes or Waiters, both of whom could demand max contracts, this would signal the notion that Colangelo is preparing the 76ers for a potential playoff run.

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Both Barnes and Waiters are talented athletes who displayed flashes of all-star talent this season, yet may not be the players most 76ers fans are hoping for in max contract players. Barnes, a former top 10 pick by the Warriors, is a 6-foot-8 versatile small forward with decent range yet has not been a consistent scoring threat as of late for the Warriors. During the 2015-16 season, Barnes averaged less than 12 points per game with a field goal percentage just under 47% which may scare some fans away if he is given a max contract by the 76ers. While Barnes would be an immediate starter at the small forward spot, the 76ers might want to invest in another veteran on a short term deal rather than give a max contract to someone who may never live up to the deal.

Like Barnes, Dion Waiters is another player who could interest the 76ers but might demand a huge contract in the process. Waiters, the #4 overall pick by the Cavaliers, was at one point considered an up and coming shooting guard but has yet to live up to the all-star expectations. With a field goal percentage under 40% and averaging less than 10 points per game this season, Waiters seems more like a project player than a player asking for star type money. The Philadelphia native would be an ideal fit for the 76ers and could start right away, yet has not shown a consistent season where he is deserving of a max contract.

With free agency right around the corner, the 76ers have multiple needs to fill and should address those needs by signing veterans to short term contracts rather than go for the home run signing. While the additions of Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid and Dario Saric make the 76ers a talented young team, Colangelo should not rush the process and should instead continue to build through the draft. Even though the 2017 NBA Draft is a year away, the draft potentially has some young guards who could entice the 76ers including Markelle Fultz, Josh Jackson, Malik Monk, De’Aaron Fox and Lonzo Ball. This team is not built to succeed right away and the best option for them might be to wait one more season and draft one or two of these talented guards while building the foundation with Simmons and Embiid.

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While neither Barnes nor Waiters have shown enough to be considered franchise players, they are still talented players who would make the 76ers more relevant and give them a better chance to contend sooner rather than later. If the 76ers and Colangelo believe in Barnes or Waiters skill set and are confident enough in their ability to positively impact the young roster, then the decision to sign either of the players may not be as hard of a decision as some would think.