The head-scratching offseason for the Philadelphia 76ers continues through the early parts of free agency. It started with a supposed breakup between guard James Harden and President of Basketball Operations Daryl Morey. There might not be a bigger fan in the world of Harden than Morey, so the trade request was both shocking and relieving to many Sixers fans.
There were rumors of high asking prices in trades for forward Tobias Harris, then reports that the Sixers are not interested in trading him. Now, it seems like Philadelphia is trying to stock up on as many men as possible.
What are the Sixers doing with these confusing free-agency moves?
It started when they signed center Mo Bamba to a one-year contract. Then, the Sixers brought back reserve forward Montrezl Harrel on a one-year deal. The assumption was these signings were safety blankets in case they lost forward Paul Reed in free agency, who was a restricted free agent and could agree to a deal with any team.
That did in fact happen as Reed agreed to a three-year, $23 million deal with the Utah Jazz. One day later, the Sixers matched the offer sheet to bring Reed back to Philadelphia. Including Joel Embiid, there are now four big men on the roster in a league that has gotten further away from frontcourt players who struggle to shoot the ball consistently.
With Embiid’s injury history, it’s always smart to have depth in the frontcourt. However, it’s head-scratching to stock up on players with similar skill sets who don’t necessarily fit the modern game.
There is also a possibility that some of the players signed could be used in trade packages to get Harden out of Philadelphia if that does come to fruition. Yet on the surface, these moves do not fit the ideology of Morey, who preached the concept of three-pointers over two-pointers.
With the lack of cap space and tradeable assets, Sixers fans should have expected a tame offseason. What’s taken place so far has me confused about the vision of where the front office wants to take the franchise.