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2024 NBA free agency: Sixers reportedly ‘in discussion’ with free agent forward Haywood Highsmith nba,free,agency,sixers,reportedly,in,discussion,with,free,agent,forward,haywood,highsmith,liberty,ballers,front-page,nba-free-agency,76ers-free-agency-rumors-news


Free agency rumors are beginning to heat back up! This latest report comes from Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer, who reports that Miami Heat free agent forward Haywood Highsmith is on the Sixers’ radar:

“The Sixers have interest in trading for Brooklyn Nets power forward Dorian Finny-Smith. They’ve also been in discussions with Miami Heat free agent and former Sixer Haywood Highsmith as a free-agent option. Houston Rockets free agent Reggie Bullock could be another option, but maybe for minimum salary.”

Pompey starts off by confirming the Sixers’ interest in Nets Forward Dorian Finny-Smith (first reported by Mike Scotto of HoopsHype). Kelly Iko of the Athletic first reported on Sixers’ interest in Reggie Bullock, but Haywood Highsmith is a new name on the radar.

OG Sixer (and Delaware Blue Coat) fans will remember Highsmith, who had a fascinating journey to get to this point. The Balitmore, Maryland product spent four years playing Division 2 basketball at Wheeling University, later declaring for the NBA Draft, going undrafted and being picked up by the Delaware Blue Coats.

Highsmith eventually played his way into a two-way contract with the Sixers during the 2018-19 season. He was later cut. After spending some more time in the G League, he earned his way onto the Miami Heat roster after several 10-day contracts where he’s been since.

Since his time with the Sixers, Highsmith has developed into a quality 3-and-D player, and has become a regular rotation player for the Heat. This past season, Highsmith averaged career-highs in games played, games started, minutes, field goal percentage, three-point percentage (39.6 percent on 2.9 attempts), assists, steals, blocks and points.

Highsmith’s stats probably don’t scream ‘SIGN HIM’ to most fans, but his advanced analytics do suggest he’s a better player than basic stats can tell. For example:

Highsmith is probably best as a rotation player than a full-time starting four, but on the right contract he makes a lot of sense for what the Sixers need. Speaking of contract, Pompey floated some numbers:

“Highsmith had career earnings of $4.2 million over his three NBA seasons. However, he could demand anywhere from $6 million to $8 million based on his improved play and impact as a role player. The Sixers are scouring for other options, but the 27-year-old Baltimore native could be a fallback option if the Sixers waive Reed.”

This range seems on par for what similar players have fetched in the open market. Numerous reports suggest the Heat are prioritizing re-signing Caleb Martin, which means Highsmith might get priced out as they look to save salary elsewhere.

The Sixers need some defensive-minded forwards around their big three of Tyrese Maxey, Paul George and Joel Embiid. We’ll see if the there’s a path towards the Sixers and Haywood Highsmith reuniting.

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