3 Fringe 76ers players who deserve to return in 2024-25

The Philadelphia 76ers will shoot for the big stars in free agency, but here are three players on the current roster who deserve to return to the team next season.
76ers, Cameron Payne
76ers, Cameron Payne / Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports
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Currently tabbed to have the second-most cap space this offseason, the Philadelphia 76ers are unsurprisingly pegged as the team to beat in the star-hunting race. The crop of free agents this year’s isn’t exactly overflowing with top-notch talent, but nevertheless, the franchise is already eyed by fans and pundits alike as the team likely to have the most ambitious whiteboard.

On a related note though, it bears credence to point out that the 76ers also have a slew of outgoing free agents. After all, while most of those players are unlikely to remain with the team for various reasons, there are some who have compelling selling points to stay in Philly. Here are three players who deserve another season with the franchise in 2024-25.

3 Fringe 76ers players who deserve to return in 2024-25

1. Cameron Payne

The acquisition of Cameron Payne during the trade deadline at the expense of Patrick Beverley, a crowd darling who immediately left off a notable defensive imprint on the team, was initially met with a lot of puzzled faces. After all, the proverbial upgrade didn’t seem like on on first impression, and the former All-Defensive Team guard has been a siege for the 76ers on defense.

Fortunately, Payne quickly proved his doubters wrong. In 29 appearances for the 76ers so far, the 29-year-old has tallied 9.4 points and 3.2 assists per outing despite logging just 19.7 minutes per game. Amid Tyrese Maxey’s repeated injury-related absences and De’Anthony Melton’s prolonged MIAs, Payne has become a steady backcourt cog who can score, facilitate, and capably defend opposing guards.

Thus, it would be a nifty move for Philadelphia to quickly secure his services for the short term. Payne won’t necessarily require a big financial commitment to retain anyway, so it would be quite a shame should the 76ers skip him over and prefer a more expensive backup guard.