When people say that the Philadelphia 76ers had a lackluster offseason, it’s not just about the still-pervasive James Harden ordeal. It also speaks of how the front office’s missed opportunities, be it with re-signing questionable pieces or striking a deal when there are much better alternatives.
One of the more disappointing moves on the 76ers’ end this summer was failing to re-sign Jalen McDaniels, who was traded to the team midway through last season and showed glimpses of his viability as a key player for the team in the following years. It was quite the surprise for many, as the front office clearly viewed more than just a rental when they acquired him from the Hornets during the trade deadline.
Jalen McDaniels reveals how the 76ers lost him in free agency
The reason behind such omission was never explored, but McDaniels himself has finally broken his silence on how it came to be. In an exchange with Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer, the 25-year-old revealed that the reason behind his exit was rather simple — the 76ers simply offered too little to warrant a return to Philly.
"What did the Sixers offer? “It was just like a minimum-type thing,” McDaniels said. “Yeah, I couldn’t do that, you know?"
The 76ers didn’t have much spending power during free agency, but that they were only willing to extend the minimum is quite the brow-raiser. Sure, McDaniels as a key player was more of an “in theory” thing than an actual one due to the rather limited court time he saw last season, but his skillset should have easily prompted the front office to ameliorate their bid.
The older McDaniels may not be as lethal of a stopper as his younger brother in Minnesota, but at 6’9, he is a more than adequate stopper who can cover a lot of ground on the defensive end with his length and athleticism. His opportunistic offense is no slouch either, as he has had success on that end despite low usage on the floor. That archetype is undoubtedly one that the 76ers need right now and in the immediate future.
Anyway, that window has now closed and the Philadelphia 76ers are not flinching just yet considering their manifold options in the forward position. Hopefully, Jalen McDaniels finds a more stable role with the Toronto Raptors where he can showcase and fully realize his two-way upside.