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The ending to the Philadelphia 76ers 2020-21 season can’t be seen as anything less than disastrous. Boasting the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference Playoffs, Philadelphia choked away Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals at home against the upstart Atlanta Hawks.
Philadelphia now enters an offseason that will be defined by rumors of a potential Ben Simmons trade and the need of front office head Daryl Morey to build a better supporting cast behind Embiid. Here, we check in on the biggest Philadelphia 76ers rumors on one page. Bookmark for continual updates as the underperforming organization enters a franchise-defining offseason.
Philadelphia 76ers rumors: Team shopping Tobias Harris
According to Mitch Lawrence of SeriusXM NBA, Philadelphia is said to be shopping around the league to find suitors high-priced veteran forward Tobias Harris. Thus far, interest in Harris just hasn’t been there.
Harris, 29, was solid for Philadelphia a season ago. He averaged 19.5 points, 6.8 rebounds and 3.5 assists on 51% shooting, including a 39% mark from distance. At issue here is his current five-year, $180 million deal, of which Harris is still owed $112-plus million.
Ben Simmons trade could come later this summer
Suggestions leading up to the 2021 NBA Draft were that the 76ers had overvalued Simmons on the trade market. One particular offer from front office head Daryl Morey stands out. Philadelphia was willing to move Simmons to the Golden State Warriors for Andrew Wiggins, James Wiseman, both 2021 first-round picks and two future first-round picks. The Warriors’ brass turned it down in a laughing manner.
Now that the draft is a thing of the past, there’s an expectation that Philadelphia will wait until later in the summer to move the reigning NBA Defensive Player of the Year finalist. Until then, it’s all about Morey and Co. adding talent to the margins.
Philadelphia 76ers free agent rumors: Replenishing their depth
Danny Green and Dwight Howard are veterans that the 76ers would like to retain in an ideal world. Both are pending free agents and should have rather robust markets. With Philadelphia slated to be well over the salary cap, it’s not yet known whether it’s feasible to re-sign both.
What we do know is that Morey and Co. will have to get to work to build some more depth. They will have the near $6 million taxpayer exception to use, which can be split between multiple players.
Top NBA free agents of 2021
Shake Milton, Tyrese Maxey and Matisse Thybulle are all youngsters who might find into the team’s long-term plans in the backcourt. That leaves the frontcourt as a major target area for Philadelphia.
Using this as a premise, bringing back someone like Andre Iguodala could make a lot of sense for Philadelphia. If Simmons is indeed traded, it would give the 76ers another big body who can handle the rock. Depending on the status of Dwight Howard, free-agent centers Daniel Theis and Hassan Whiteside could also work.
Philadelphia 76ers trade targets
Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, New Orleans Pelicans
Perhaps, the 76ers kick the tires on a blockbuster trade that would net them these two starter-caliber players. A pending restricted free agent, Ball offers much more than Simmons from a shooting perspective as a primary ball-handler. Ingram is a young All-Star wing who still has not hit his ceiling.
A move of this ilk would likely require enticing New Orleans with Harris as well as multiple first-round selections, some pick swaps and at least one of those young guards we mentioned above.
Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers
This might be a pie-in-the-sky thought. But it’s something we would not put past Morey. We have absolutely no idea what the future might hold for Dame in Portland after a fourth playoff exit in five years and following the firing of head coach Terry Stotts.
What we do know is that pretty much every team in the NBA will come calling should Portland put the star guard on the block. Meanwhile, Philadelphia has the assets to make this work. Something akin to Simmons, Maxey, two first-round picks and two pick swaps could be enough to move the needle. Imagine Lillard and Embiid teaming up in Philadelphia. That would be so much fun.
Either way we spin it, the Philadelphia 76ers are in the midst of a franchise-altering summer. It’s going to be intriguing to see how Morey and Co. navigate through it. Don’t expect this same core group to return in 2021-22. That would be the definition of insanity.