Rebuilding team on the rise could steal valued 76ers free agent

The Philadelphia 76ers have made it a priority to re-sign this free agent, but this rebuilding team on the rise could steal him from the team.
76ers, Nick Nurse
76ers, Nick Nurse / Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia 76ers are gearing up for a potential mass exodus with most of their players from this season entering free agency. However, the front office isn’t completely letting go of the rope yet, as the franchise seems intent on exhausting their options to make sure that some of their players return next season.

One player the 76ers strongly prefer to come back to the fold is Nicolas Batum, a key player who will also hit the open market. The veteran himself said before the season that the intends to retire upon the conclusion of the Paris Olympics, but his productive season in Philly has the team wanting him back for another campaign at the very least.

76ers free agent Nicolas Batum could garner interest from the Spurs

Batum would not be an expensive get for anyone, although his terrific play this season despite having his most limited role yet makes him an attractive option for teams looking for a low-usage, two-way rotation piece. But apparently, the Frenchman could also be eyed by teams currently in a rebuild.

In fact, PhillyVoice’s Adam Aaronson has the San Antonio Spurs reckoned as a team that could steal Batum from the 76ers in case he decides to continue lacing it up. While the Victor Wembanyama-led team doesn’t appear to be interested in accelerating its timeline just yet, Batum’s skill set and veteran leadership would definitely come in handy for the league’s youngest roster.

Despite Wembanyama’s promise, there’s a lot of work to do in San Antonio. Even Gregg Popovich couldn’t resolutely solve the team’s lack of consistent playmaking around the phenom this season, thanks in large part to having inexperienced players and only one legitimate point guard on the roster.

While Batum isn’t a point guard by any means, he’s still an eagle-eyed three-point shooter who can throw some nifty passes inside — two wrinkles the Spurs badly need to surround Wembanyama with. Even scarier for the 76ers, San Antonio could theoretically overpay for Batum this offseason — something Philadelphia’s brass would probably prefer to avoid doing in their quest for that third star.

Of course, the 76ers present Batum a much bigger chance at winning his first-ever championship before he walks away from the game. Also working to their favor is the promise of a secure role, as the longtime veteran has become too steady of a hand to just relegate to the bench.

Next. aldama trade. Grade the Trade: 76ers steal underrated big man from West powerhouse. dark