Amid tension, the 76ers could be sneaky favorites to land this All-Star

Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /

Perhaps the only thing that can soften the truth that the Philadelphia 76ers have had a lackluster offseason is the fact that a re-do of that next year should be virtually impossible.

That’s because as constructed, the Sixers stand to open up approximately $66.7 million in cap space in 2024, the fourth-highest among all teams. Aside from that, with Tobias Harris and James Harden’s contracts coming off the books next year, Philly should be a popular trading partner for teams looking to extract maximum value out of their soon-to-be free agents.

In fact, the 76ers could actually be sneaky favorites for this All-Star guard as tensions on a contract extension with his current club loom.

The Philadelphia 76ers could be favorites to land this All-Star guard

Donovan Mitchell, who was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers last year, is reportedly not keen on extending with the franchise. With a player option ahead of the 2025-26 season, the All-Star guard has full control on when to exercise free agency, giving the Cavs a world of pressure to either work with him on a lucrative extension or try to trade him soon to ensure that they get full value for him instead of risking a shaved price for a flight risk.

Where do the 76ers factor in? Well, the team can be an ideal landing spot for Mitchell should the Cavaliers indeed make him available. Not only do the Sixers have the assets to make a deal work, but these outgoing assets (Harris or Harden) in addition to draft capital make a ton of sense as a return package for a Cleveland team in need of financial flexibility to re-sign their core players while still giving them a window to win now.

Alternatively, Philly can retain cap space in 2025 by not going all-in on free agency next season. The front office can maneuver by committing to short-term signings on the interim to still have the spending power to afford a player of Mitchell’s caliber.

After all, a triumvirate of Mitchell, Joel Embiid, and Tyrese Maxey should be a tantalizing force in the Eastern Conference with a bona fide shot at winning the championship.

Hopefully, the dominoes fall the right way for the Philadelphia 76ers to have a chance at snagging Donovan Mitchell. Rival teams like New York and Miami loom and could be other viable options for the All-Star, but both clubs tout lesser raw talent and spending power than the Sixers.