Yes, he got paid, but Paul George chose Philadelphia and the Sixers in NBA free agency yes,he,got,paid,but,paul,george,chose,philadelphia,and,the,sixers,in,nba,free,agency,liberty,ballers,front-page,nba-free-agency,76ers-features-profiles

Philadelphia isn’t a place free agents want to come.

Outside of the Eagles, that saying has often rang true. After the Phillies’ golden era ended, the local nine struggled to field a competitive roster. Then, something amazing happened.

With plenty of options and interest from around Major League Baseball, Bryce Harper, the baseball equivalent of LeBron James who was just entering his prime, chose Philadelphia. While it took a couple years and a slew of other changes, Harper has helped make the Phillies a perennial contender and reinvigorated the city’s love of its local ball club.

No pressure, Paul George.

While nobody will expect George to have a Harper-like impact, the nine-time All-Star choosing to join the Sixers is a franchise-altering moment. And none of it would’ve been possible without Daryl Morey having the guts to deploy a bold plan.

This was all set in motion a year ago when James Harden surprisingly opted into his $47.3 million player option and promptly demanded a trade. You might recall things got a bit ugly, with the former MVP calling Morey — who has a commissioned painting of The Beard in his home — a liar. The saga would persist for months until finally the Sixers and Clippers, the only team Harden wanted to go to, came to an agreement.

In that deal, Morey acquired serious draft capital and four players, all on expiring contracts. While Nicolas Batum, Marcus Morris, Sr., KJ Martin and Robert Covington all helped to varying degrees, it was clear that Morey acquired them mostly for the flexibility their pending free agency’s provided. Including P.J. Tucker’s outgoing contract in the trade also proved to be a huge win.

The Sixers rode out the 2023-24 season, banking on Joel Embiid to improve upon his MVP season, Tyrese Maxey to continue his ascension and new head coach Nick Nurse to make his mark. Well, those things did happen early on with the Sixers getting off to a terrific start to the season. Embiid’s meniscus tear put a huge damper on things, but a strong playoff showing against a tough Knicks team provided hope — along with the unfathomable flexibility Morey gave himself this offseason.

Think about the gumption it takes to go into an offseason having just one player on a guaranteed contract. That just doesn’t happen. After the Sixers were eliminated by New York in Game 6, that was the case.

Embiid was the only player on a guaranteed deal for 2024-25. We all knew Maxey was going to get his max extension (he did), but Paul Reed’s contract was no longer guaranteed since the team failed to make the second round (joke’s on you, Danny Ainge). Ricky Council IV (who remains on the roster) and Jeff Dowtin, Jr. (who does not) were also on non-guaranteed contracts.

So, the slate was as clean as it had been since Morey inherited a roster with the ill-fitting Al Horford and Josh Richardson and the volatile Ben Simmons. The Sixers president of basketball operations was ready to build the team he wanted around his two stars in Embiid and Maxey.

But boy, did an awful lot have to go right.

Morey made it clear at his end-of-season presser that he was going star-hunting. Armed with loads of cap space and draft assets, he had the proper ammo, but who would be available? LeBron James? Donovan Mitchell? Jimmy Butler? As free agency crept up, the options seemed to fall off the board — except George.

The Clippers and George could’ve agreed to a four-year max extension at any point. They did not. LA was reportedly hellbent on not giving a fourth year. George was hellbent on getting one. Therein lay the opportunity for Morey to swoop in. After a roller coaster few weeks where it seemed like the Clippers were trying to call his bluff, George knew he had options.

He could’ve opted in, perhaps forcing a trade to the Warriors — though, as we saw in the case of Harden, that process isn’t always so smooth. He could’ve taken the three-year deal to stay home in Palmdale, taking another run at a title with Kawhi Leonard in the Clippers’ brand-new toilet-rich arena. He could’ve joined an up-and-coming Magic team loaded with young talent.

But on Sunday night/Monday morning, he chose Philadelphia. It’s not hyperbolic to say landing George makes this one of the greatest offseasons in franchise history.

Think about it: the last “big name” free agent to choose the Sixers was current GM Elton Brand — on what was then called the “Philly Max” — way back in 2008, the last time the Phillies won the World Series. Funny enough, the Clippers were also the team Brand left to join the Sixers. Before that, you’d have to go back to 1982, when reigning MVP Moses Malone signed an offer sheet with Philly, forcing the Rockets to match and complete a sign-and-trade.

One of those situations worked out slightly better than the other.

But in this moment, Sixers fans should enjoy it. An executive who’d become maligned in the Delaware Valley took a ballsy path and it worked. A nine-time All-Star, six-time All-NBA performer and four-time All-Defensive Team pick decided the Sixers were his best option. Is George perfect? Of course not. Because no player is. But he is damn good.

As has been chronicled, a contingent of managing partner Josh Harris, Morey, Brand and executive vice president of basketball operations Pete Dinwiddie, who has a relationship with George from when the two were with the Pacers, made the trip to visit George’s L.A. home. Joining them was franchise icon Julius Erving, who brought home the organization’s last championship with Malone back in 1983.

It was not Dr. J but another franchise icon who George was paying homage to that night as he planned to tell the team of his intentions. George was wearing an Allen Iverson t-shirt. Iverson of course was the biggest of cogs on the last Sixers team to get to the NBA Finals in 2001.

Wearing a t-shirt with The Answer on it to give the Sixers his answer. That’s some next-level pandering. Bryce Harper would be proud.

Updated Sixers 2024-25 roster as NBA free agency continues updated,sixers,roster,as,nba,free,agency,continues,liberty,ballers,front-page,nba-free-agency,76ers-free-agency-rumors-news

With the NBA Draft having come and gone as well as free agency now underway, it might be hard to keep up with who is actually on the Philadelphia 76ers roster right now. Not to worry, we have you covered.

Stay up to date with the Sixers roster with this post that we will be updating as things continue to develop and change!

Current Sixers’ standard roster (8 of 15 filled)

Joel Embiid, C

Andre Drummond, C

Paul Reed, PF/C*

Paul George, SF

Kelly Oubre Jr., SF

Ricky Council IV, SF**

Tyrese Maxey, PG

Eric Gordon, SG

Current Sixers’ two-way contracts (2 of 3 filled)

David Jones, SF (undrafted free agent, Memphis)

Justin Edwards, SF (undrafted free agent, Kentucky)

Current unsigned draft picks (2)

Jared McCain, SG (2024 NBA Draft, first round pick)***

Adem Bona, C (2024 NBA Draft, second round pick)****

Current Sixers’ free agents

(Only includes those not yet reportedly signing elsewhere)

Robert Covington, F (UFA)

Buddy Hield, G (UFA)

Kyle Lowry, G (UFA)

KJ Martin, F (UFA)

Cameron Payne, G (UFA)

*Reed’s $7.7 million deal is not guaranteed for 2024-25

**Council’s $1.9 million deal is not guaranteed for 2024-25

***McCain is likely to be given a standard NBA contract for $4.0 for 2024-25

****Bona is likely to be given the final two-way spot, but could also be signed using the second-round exception

2024 NBA free agency: How the Sixers should exploit KJ Martin’s cheap cap hold after landing Paul George nba,free,agency,how,the,sixers,should,exploit,kj,martin,s,cheap,cap,hold,after,landing,paul,george,liberty,ballers,front-page,76ers-analysis,76ers-free-agency-rumors-news

The Sixers made their big free-agent splash overnight Monday, agreeing with Paul George on a four-year, $211.6 million maximum contract. They’ve also agreed to re-sign Kelly Oubre Jr. (two years, $16.3 million), Andre Drummond (two years, “$10-plus million”) and Eric Gordon (one year, $3.3 million veteran minimum), which means they’ve already burned through most of their spending power this offseason.

From here, the Sixers must get creative to round out their roster. KJ Martin might be their best lottery ticket in that regard.

Martin is an unrestricted free agent, but he has a tiny $2.1 million cap hold, and the Sixers have his full Bird rights. They’d slightly cut into their cap space if they kept him on their books instead of an incomplete roster charge ($1.15 million), but having Bird rights on him allows them to re-sign him to anything up to his max salary.

The Sixers could take advantage of that cheap cap hold to both their own benefit and Martin’s. They could keep it on their books, spend the rest of their cap space and then overpay him on a two-year contract with a non-guaranteed second season. They could later look to flip him as salary filler in a midseason trade.

The Indiana Pacers gave Bruce Brown a two-year, $45 million contract last offseason, only to ship him to the Toronto Raptors six months later in the package for Pascal Siakam. The Sixers were reportedly open to emulating that strategy with Klay Thompson and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope this offseason if they struck out on George, according to Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports.

Martin could enable them to do a miniature version of it.

If the Sixers had a specific midseason target in mind, they could do an exact dollar-for-dollar match on Martin’s new contract. That would enable both the Sixers and the other team to trade those contracts in a straight one-for-one deal and not trigger a hard cap. If they were instead just looking to add a tradable contract to their books, they could use the dollar amount of the taxpayer mid-level exception ($5.168 million), room MLE ($7.983 million) or non-taxpayer MLE ($12.822 million) as options.

The Sixers could try to sign-and-trade Martin if they’re looking to fill that void more quickly, although as cap specialist Yossi Gozlan noted, Base Year Compensation rules would complicate that. Only 50 percent of Martin’s new contract would count as outgoing salary, which would make it more difficult for the Sixers or whichever team trades for him to avoid triggering a hard cap at the first apron. They’d be better off signing Martin to a balloon deal and preserving his contract for a midseason trade.

The only downside to this strategy is if the Sixers plan to hard-cap themselves at either apron with another move. They won’t be adding unnecessary salary to their books in that case. Otherwise, there’s no reason not to do this. They’re going to be over the luxury-tax threshold when they fill out their roster either way, so they might as well go deeper into it to increase their midseason flexibility.

Without Martin factored in, the Sixers can still create roughly $9.2 million in remaining cap space even if they keep Ricky Council IV ($1.9 million) but waive Paul Reed’s $7.7 million non-guaranteed contract. If they keep Martin’s cap hold as well, they could still have around $8.3 million in cap space. Based on the prices for Derrick Jones Jr. (three years, $30 million), Naji Marshall (three years, $27 million) Goga Bitadze (three years, $25 million) and Gary Harris (two years, $14 million), that should be able to net them at least one more solid player.

Once the Sixers used the rest of their cap space, they’d use a minimum exception to sign Gordon, officially sign Tyrese Maxey to his five-year, $203.9 million extension (without a player option!) and presumably use the $8.0 million room mid-level exception to sign Oubre. That means George and Drummond are the only two who are going into the Sixers’ cap space.

The Sixers could also take advantage of expanded salary-matching rules and look to flip Reed’s contract for a more expensive salary—they can take back up to $7.5 million more than they send out as long as they stay below the first apron. Staying below the first apron might be a challenge once they finalize Maxey’s new max deal, though. (Keep that in mind regarding any Dorian Finney-Smith trades you cook up over the coming days.)

They’d be better off spending the remainder of their cap space and then signing Martin to a 1+1 balloon deal with the intention of potentially moving him at the trade deadline. Signing him to such a deal would give the Sixers a way to upgrade midseason that they otherwise wouldn’t have. Again, the only risk here is if they hard-cap themselves some other way.

If not, the Sixers owners should be willing to foot a larger tax bill to improve their new Big Three’s chances of winning a championship. There are no more half-measures after signing George. The Sixers are all-in on winning now.

With some creativity, Martin—and his next contract—could help them do just that.

Unless otherwise noted, all stats via, PBPStats, Cleaning the Glass or Basketball Reference. All salary information via Spotrac and salary-cap information via RealGM.

2024 NBA free agency: After landing Paul George, Sixers’ surge to second overall in 2025 title odds nba,free,agency,after,landing,paul,george,sixers,surge,to,second,overall,in,title,odds,liberty,ballers,front-page,nba-free-agency,draftkings,76ers-analysis,76ers-free-agency-rumors-news

In the wee hours of the night here on the East Coast, the Philadelphia 76ers were making it rain. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski dropped the bombshell scoop that Paul George is signing a four-year $212M deal, with a player option for the 2027-2028 season, with the Philadelphia 76ers. Not long after that we learned that All-Star Tyrese Maxey was receiving a max extension and the team was also retaining last season’s stellar minimum level acquisition wing Kelly Oubre, Jr. on a new team-friendly deal. Big Penguin Andre Drummond is back on board, and Morey lands another one of his favorite former Rockets in Eric Gordon too.

Having utilized cap space for the nine-time All-Star George, Philadelphia still has the No. 16 overall pick in the 2024 NBA Draft, sniper Jared McCain, the No. 41 overall pick, Adem Bona, an absolute freak athlete which he proved at the NBA pre-draft combine, plus the 76ers still possess four more future first-round picks to work with, and swaps.

We owe so much of it to our beloved Tyrese:

Tobias Harris is finally gone, landing big money to play for the Detroit Pistons (addition by subtraction?)

And they’ll look to round out the rest of the roster with a bit of remaining cap space before exceeding the cap by fleshing out the rest of the roster with veteran’s minimum deals for ring-chasing stars who can expect a fair amount of playing time — on such a now top-heavy roster.

Per Woj:

“George and his agent, Aaron Mintz of CAA, met in Los Angeles with a 76ers contingent that included owner Josh Harris, president of basketball operations Daryl Morey, general manager Elton Brand and Sixers legend Julius Erving, sources said. The Sixers even brought a front office executive, Peter Dinwiddie, who is a familiar face and friend of George’s from their years together with the Indiana Pacers, sources said.

The meeting came on the heels of months of unsuccessful negotiations between George and the LA Clippers on a deal to stay in his Southern California home.”

Joel Embiid, Tyrese Maxey and the gangs’ odds on Draft Kings were around +1000 back when we thought there was a chance they might sign George.

Then their odds dropped precipitously to +1400 when Shams Charania reported the Sixers’ interest in the six-time All-NBA teamer had “significantly waned.”

It also didn’t help the Sixers’ cause when the New York Knicks traded for Mikal Bridges, and were soon able to retain OG Anunoby.

But by the time many of us woke up Monday morning, odds makers’ opinions of the current NBA hierarchy had shifted dramatically. Daryl Morey’s group has now peaked at +800, pushing the Knicks’ down from +800 to +950, following their loss of Isaiah Hartenstein.

The Boston Celtics have re-signed Derrick White, and even though Kristaps Porzingis is set to miss significant time as he rehabs from surgery, the reigning champs are still given a massive edge, +295.

The Celtics’ implied odds to win the 2024-2025 title are now around 25 percent. Philadelphia’s are near 11 percent. As many of you might remember, Morey said that if you have about a five percent chance it makes sense to cash in your future picks to go for it. Well, if that’s still the case, possessing an implied 11 percent should certainly entice him to keep looking to add firepower.

We’ll see how this plays out because it’s gotta be relatively unprecedented for a team that basically only has a handful of players (e.g. Embiid, Maxey, George, Drummond, Gordon, Oubre, Jr. McCain, Bona) in tow to be favored so heavily. So we’ll pay close attention to what happens with the final few roster spots. One name to watch could be veteran guard Reggie Bullock (pronounced Bull-LOCK which likely helps him lock up opposing guards).

The former Knick and Maverick is meeting with the Sixers and head coach Nick Nurse should be able to sell some helpful connective vets by offering a key role on a now true title contender.

2024 NBA free agency: Report: Sixers’ De’Anthony Melton to sign one-year deal with Warriors nba,free,agency,report,sixers,de,anthony,melton,to,sign,one,year,deal,with,warriors,liberty,ballers,front-page,nba-free-agency,76ers-news,76ers-free-agency-rumors-news

So that’s another member of last year’s squad that Philadelphia will be moving on from. The Athletic’s Shams Charania has reported that De’Anthony Melton is signing a one-year, $12 million deal with the Golden State Warriors.

This news came minutes after it was reported that Nico Batum will be heading back to the Clippers on a two-year deal.

Going into last season, it looked like Melton’s next contract would be too pricey for the Sixers to keep around. While that still ended up being the case, a lingering back issue did make it seem like a door might have been open for a return to Philly.

Looking at that $12.8 million, it appears the Warriors will use the full non-tax payer mid-level exception to sign Melton.

That’s something that wasn’t an option for the Sixers, given that it looks like they’ve used the room mid-level exception to bring back Kelly Oubre Jr.

So while it’s a bummer that Melton’s back issues caused his Sixers’ tenure to fizzle out, Philadelphia will have to look elsewhere to fill out their backcourt.

2024 NBA free agency: Report: Nicolas Batum will not return to Sixers nba,free,agency,report,nicolas,batum,will,not,return,to,sixers,liberty,ballers,front-page,nba-free-agency,76ers-news,76ers-free-agency-rumors-news

Update, July 1, 2:42 p.m.: Former Sixer Nicolas Batum will reportedly sign with the LA Clippers, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

It sounds like forward Nico Batum will not be returning to the Philadelphia 76ers.

The Athletic’s Houston Rockets’ Insider, Kelly Iko, broke the scoop at the start of free agency. Philadelphia is in a holding pattern as they’re set to meet with Clippers’ unrestricted free agent Paul George. If they’re able to land PG on a $212M max, it would mean the belt starts to get very tight. So does that mean there simply isn’t enough money left over to retain the ideal role player? Are the Rockets swooping in to pay Batum more than the Sixers believe they’ll be able to afford?

Things are still a mystery because I think most Sixers fans expected the team to come to an agreement with Batum, who Joel Embiid specifically, has stated on numerous occasions he loves playing with.

Batum became almost indispensable the moment he joined the Sixers via the James Harden trade. The French native was perhaps the smartest player to ever play alongside Embiid. Batum’s ability to throw entry passes alone was invaluable, not to mention his three-point shooting, hyper versatile defense and ability to get his hands on tons of loose balls. He became a super glue guy for a team that desperately needed one.

We even got a Nico Batum Game in the Sixers’ first ever Play-In Game.

If there was one person who surely pushed for the team to re-sign Batum, it was Embiid. The two had lockers next to each other and there appeared to be an instant bond. Remember, Embiid is fluent in French and also possesses French citizenship.

While Batum was speaking with reporters after the team’s Game 6 loss, Embiid made sure to let the 35-year-old he had to come back for the 2024-25 season. There was some speculation though that Batum could retire after his run with the French national team at the Paris Olympics this summer.

It appears — despite Philly’s best efforts — Batum felt it was the right time to walk away or simply saw a better opportunity elsewhere.

“I could feel the passion of this city for sports, for the Sixers, and I fit right away,” Batum said after the Sixers’ final game. “Those fans … when you get booed, I said, ‘OK, get right. It’s tough right now, so you’ve got to play better.’ Like I said, this city’s not for everybody. They’re happy, I think. I tried my best. … It was fun. I’m sorry, guys, that we couldn’t have a better playoff run. You guys showed up and that was amazing tonight. The support was great.”

The Sixers will have serious work to do to replace Batum’s production on the court — with a player they hope Embiid will be equally as happy to have on board. If the Sixers whiff on George, there would have been ample spend to retain Batum. So maybe this is a sign that something big is about to happen. Or maybe another team was just quick enough to sneak in before Nico was willing to wait on Philadelphia’s potential offer.

Sixers 2024 NBA free agency tracker: With Paul George in the mix, what’s next? sixers,nba,free,agency,tracker,with,paul,george,in,the,mix,what,s,next,liberty,ballers,front-page,nba-free-agency,76ers-news,76ers-free-agency-rumors-news

As of 6 p.m. ET on June 30, the 2024 free agency period is underway. The Philadelphia 76ers have the opportunity for a pivotal offseason with decent cap space and draft picks at their disposal. The Sixers also have a number of players entering free agency that they will have to make tough decisions on.

In this post, we will keep you updated on Sixers’ signings, the destinations of their free agents, trade rumors and more.

Signing agreements

Paul George

Nine-time All-Star Paul George is set to become a Sixer. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski broke the news at 3:30 AM ET Monday morning that George and the Sixers had reached an agreement on a four-year, $212 million contract.

Tyrese Maxey

The Sixers have agreed in principal to a maximum contract extension for Tyrese Maxey. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported the news just hours after the Sixers reached their agreement with Paul George. Talk about a huge morning.

Andre Drummond

Andre Drummond will return to Philadelphia on a two-year, $10 million deal, a source confirms to Liberty Ballers. Hoops Hype’s Michael Scotto was the first to report the news.

Eric Gordon

The Sixers will sign veteran guard Eric Gordon to a minimum contract, a source confirms to Liberty Ballers.

Sixers’ free agents news

Tobias Harris

After five long seasons, Tobias Harris is no longer a Sixer. As ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports, Harris is set to return to the Detroit Pistons on a two-year, $52 million deal.

Kelly Oubre Jr.

Kelly Oubre Jr. has earned himself a bit of a raise and at least one more season with the Sixers after spending last season in Philadelphia on a veteran minimum. A source confirmed to Liberty Ballers that Oubre will re-sign with the Sixers on a two-year, $16.3 million deal with a player option for 2025-26. The news was first reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Nicolas Batum

The Athletic’s Kelly Iko reported shortly after the opening of free agency that Nicolas Batum would not be returning to Philadelphia.

That being said, there has been no further reports on Batum’s next destination. Early Monday afternoon, Yahoo’s Jake Fischer reported that the San Antonio Spurs were interested in Batum.

Having already signed future Hall of Fame point guard Chris Paul, another veteran the Spurs are targeting in free agency is French forward Nic Batum, sources said, who would join countryman Victor Wembanyama.

Kyle Lowry

Kyle Lowry returning to Philadelphia is still up in the air, Marc Stein reported just before the opening of free agency:

One source close to the process told The Stein Line that a return to Philly is merely one option under consideration and that Lowry is expected to receive external interest from multiple interest once free agency officially beings.

Terquavion Smith

The Sixers will not extend a qualifying offer to Terquavion Smith, a source tells Liberty Ballers. That means the two-way guard becomes an unrestricted free agent.

Other Sixers’ free agents with no reports so far:

  • Robert Covington
  • KJ Martin
  • De’Anthony Melton
  • Mo Bamba
  • Cameron Payne
  • Buddy Hield

Meetings with other free agents

Klay Thompson

Klay Thompson is set to meet with multiple teams early in free agency, including the Sixers, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Reggie Bullock

League veteran Reggie Bullock has been fielding his options after it was reported by The Athletic’s Kelly Iko that the Houston Rockets were unlikely to re-sign him. Iko further reported that Bullock has begun meeting with teams — including the Philadelphia 76ers.

Trade rumors

Nothing yet on the trade rumor front Sixers-wise. We will keep you posted.

2024 NBA free agency: Veteran wing Reggie Bullock has reportedly met with the Sixers, other teams nba,free,agency,veteran,wing,reggie,bullock,has,reportedly,met,with,the,sixers,other,teams,liberty,ballers,front-page,nba-free-agency,76ers-news,76ers-free-agency-rumors-news

Reggie Bullock is entering his 12th season in the NBA, and he’s looking for a new home.

The Athletic’s Kelly Iko reported on X (formerly Twitter) that the league veteran was unlikely to be re-signed to the Houston Rockets after being brought there in October of 2023.

Bullock has been fielding his options, apparently, with Iko further reporting that Bullock has begun meeting with teams — including the Philadelphia 76ers.

With such a splashy start to the Sixers’ offseason, this obviously wouldn’t be the biggest headline by any measure. A signing for Bullock would almost definitely be on a veteran minimum just to add depth for Philadelphia at the forward position.

Bullock is still regarded as a decent defender. Iko’s characterization of the once 2013 first-round draft pick as a “sharpshooter”, however, may be a bit of an exaggeration at this point in his career. Bullock is coming off a tough season in Houston, posting a career-low 2.2 points per game in just 44 appearances averaging under 10 minutes per outing. He averaged 40.3% from beyond the arc, but on just 1.5 attempts per game. That being said, it is of course a small sample size due to his lack of playing time this past campaign.

Whether he still has the potential to be a sharpshooter is a bit of an unknown at this point.

This would very much be a low-risk signing just to see what’s left in the tank for Bullock if the Sixers decide to take a chance on the veteran.

2024 NBA free agency: Report: Former Sixer Tobias Harris to sign two-year deal with Pistons nba,free,agency,report,former,sixer,tobias,harris,to,sign,two,year,deal,with,pistons,liberty,ballers,front-page,nba-free-agency,nba-rumors-news

If you’re not excited about the Paul George signing because of concerns about how the contract will look a few years down the road, or just because the Philadelphia 76ers have hurt you too many times in the past, let me illustrate how much worse things could be.

Your franchise could owe $65 million to someone not to coach the team.

The team could have won no more than 23 games in any of the past five seasons, but picked no higher than fifth overall in any of the past three drafts.

Your team could have just signed Tobias Harris for two years, $52 million.

Sorry, Detroit Pistons fans.

Of note, the second year is fully guaranteed with no option.

For a long time, Tobias Harris ending up in Detroit was a running joke here at Liberty Ballers and seemed set in stone. But when the franchise parted ways with general manager Troy Weaver at the end of May and hired Trajan Langdon, I really thought that ship sailed. Now, the thinking was, they would assuredly be wiser with the cap space. Langdon even said the right things about using it to take on unwanted contracts to acquire assets. The trade to bring in Tim Hardaway Jr. from Dallas in exchange for three second-round picks seemed like a step in that direction, although if you are high on Quentin Grimes you still may not have liked the trade. Unfortunately for Pistons fans, the Harris connection to Detroit, where he previously played parts of three seasons, remained too strong.

I mean, who was really bidding against Detroit here for Tobias that could offer $26 million per year? Utah’s Danny Ainge is too smart for something like this. At the very least, how do you not make the second year a team option so it could be viewed as essentially a potentially useful, large expiring contract at the trade deadline, should you desire?

To look at the other side for a moment, Harris is a good locker room presence. I’m sure there’s some value in his teaching the young guys how a 401(k) works and starting a book club. He’s also durable, having played in at least 70 games in each of the last nine seasons (excepting the COVID-shortened 2020-21 season). He’ll probably average 18 per game with decent percentages and there will be some analytic showing Tobias is worth the money that Torrel Harris can use for his powerpoint presentation the next time a contract negotiation rolls around.

But as anyone who watched the Sixers in recent years knows, for every 25-point game Harris has, there will be a few where he’s just out there getting cardio (and not even hard cardio, but the sort of cardio where you’re interested in paying attention to the ball game that’s on the treadmill so you set it to 70 percent speed). Tobias may be able to teach the young guys some good lessons off the court, but he’s teaching them on the court that you can go five years without drawing a charge (officially) or grabbing a contested loose ball (unofficially, but I’m sure there weren’t many), and still get paid.

I hold no personal animosity towards Tobias Harris and I’m sure some of that money will generously go towards worthwhile charitable endeavors. But, I sure am glad to be out of the Tobias Harris business and I’m shocked that another franchise was this eager to sign up for it.

2024 NBA free agency: Report: Tyrese Maxey agrees to 5-year, $203.9 million extension with Sixers nba,free,agency,report,tyrese,maxey,agrees,to,year,million,extension,with,sixers,liberty,ballers,front-page,76ers-news

At 3:30 a.m. ET on Monday, the Sixers agreed to a four-year, $211.6 million max contract with Paul George. Five hours later, they took care of their other biggest piece of offseason business.

With the 2024-25 salary cap officially landing at $140.6 million, Maxey’s starting salary will be $35.1 million. He’ll earn $203.6 million in total over the life of the deal, which notably does not contain a player option, according to Wojnarowski.

Order of operations will be the key here. The Sixers and Maxey have agreed to a deal, but nothing can become binding until July 6. At that point, the Sixers will keep Maxey’s $13.0 million cap hold on their books until they spend the rest of their cap space. They’ll officially have Maxey sign his extension after that.

If Maxey signed his extension right when the July Moratorium expires on July 6, his $13.0 million cap hold would jump up to $35.1 million. That would close off the Sixers’ path to full max cap space, which means they wouldn’t be a realistic landing spot for George anymore. By timing their moves this way, they can now create more than $60 million in cap space, which would leave them with nearly $13 million to spend even after landing George. (That isn’t taking Andre Drummond into account.)

To some extent, it was surprising that the Sixers could get Maxey and his agent, Rich Paul of Klutch Sports, to buy into waiting on an extension in the first place. However, Maxey had an all-time bet-on-yourself season, finishing with a career-high 25.9 points, 6.2 assists, 3.7 rebounds and 3.0 made three-pointers en route to his first All-Star nod and the league’s Most Improved Player award.

Maxey gave himself even more leverage in contract negotiations with his performance against the New York Knicks in the first round of the playoffs. He averaged 29.8 points on 47.8 percent shooting, 6.8 assists, 5.2 rebounds, 3.7 made threes and only 2.2 turnovers in 44.5 minutes (!) per game. His 46-point, nine-assist masterclass in Game 5 both temporarily helped the Sixers stave off their imminent demise and conclusively proved that Maxey isn’t only an 82-game player.

Considering the stratospheric leaps that he’s made since entering the league, it’s easy to forget that Maxey is only 23. The Sixers are locking him up through at least the beginning of his prime, and if he continues upon his current trajectory, his contract will wind up being an outright steal. The NBA’s new national TV contracts should send the salary cap soaring in the coming years, so Maxey will take up a slightly smaller percentage of the cap with each passing season.

To wit: Maxey is set to earn $46.4 million in the final year of his new extension in 2028-29. Beginning in 2025-26, if the cap continues to jump the maximum 10 percent that it can annually, it will break the $200 million barrier in 2028-29. Maxey’s salary would take up only 22.5 percent of the projected cap that season, whereas other stars of his caliber will be earning well north of $60 million annually.

In Maxey, the Sixers now have their present and their future locked up. It’s now on team president Daryl Morey and the rest of the front office to surround Maxey, George and Joel Embiid with a championship-caliber supporting cast.

Unless otherwise noted, all stats via, PBPStats, Cleaning the Glass or Basketball Reference. All salary information via Spotrac and salary-cap information via RealGM.