The first apron would complicate a Dorian Finney-Smith trade for the Sixers with the Nets the,first,apron,would,complicate,a,dorian,finney,smith,trade,for,the,sixers,with,the,nets,liberty,ballers,front-page,nba-free-agency,76ers-analysis,76ers-free-agency-rumors-news,76ers-trade-rumors

Once the Sixers finalize their signing of Paul George, their $60-plus million in cap space will be a thing of the past. Based on current projections—which are fluid at this time of year—they’ll be left with roughly $8.9 million in cap space to spend if they waive Paul Reed while keeping Ricky Council IV on their books. (If they keep KJ Martin’s cap hold to perform some CBA shenanigans, they’d have $8.0 million.)

After the Sixers spend that cap space, sign Tyrese Maxey to his max contract, re-sign Kelly Oubre Jr. (presumably with the room mid-level exception) and fill out their roster with minimum contracts, they’ll be perilously close to the $178.1 million first apron. That’s something to keep in mind while proposing solutions to their current vacancy at power forward.

Brooklyn Nets forward Dorian Finney-Smith gained steam in recent days as a possible Sixers trade target, and Michael Scotto of HoopsHype poured gas on that fire earlier this week. He reported the Sixers have “exploratory interest” in trading for Finney-Smith, although he noted “nothing is considered imminent there.”

The NBA’s new collective bargaining agreement may be the main reason why.

Teams above the first apron can’t acquire more salary than they send out in trades, among other restrictions. The Sixers could be less than $1 million below the apron once they spend the rest of their cap space and fill out their roster with minimum deals from there. That means they’ll need to send out nearly as much salary as they take back in any trade.

Finney-Smith is earning $14.9 million this season. The only players whom the Sixers have under contract other than Embiid are Reed ($7.7 million) and Council ($1.9 million). The math isn’t mathing there.

The Sixers could arrange a sign-and-trade involving Martin, whose $2.1 million cap hold could be key to the rest of their offseason plans. However, Base Year Compensation issues might complicate any effort to move him before Jan. 15 if they give him a short-term balloon deal.

The Sixers’ reported “exploratory interest” in Finney-Smith might have been an inquiry about the Nets’ asking price if they don’t trade him until the deadline. At that point, any of the Sixers’ players who sign contracts this offseason will be eligible to be traded, which opens the door for a potential midseason shakeup.

The hard-cap rules still apply once the season begins, though. If the Sixers take back more salary than they send out in a trade, they’d get hard-capped at the first apron. They’ll still need to send out almost an equivalent amount of salary than they take back in any trade given their proximity to the first apron.

On the bright side, they wouldn’t run into BYC issues with Martin in a midseason deal. If they give him a two-year deal with a non-guaranteed second season—a contract basically designed to be traded—they could aggregate his salary with anyone else’s on the roster to acquire a player earning even more. The Sixers would be hard-capped at the second apron if they did aggregate contracts, but it’d be hard for them to reach that level of spending this year without wildly overpaying Martin (something like $20-plus million per season).

The TL;DR version: If the Sixers are going to acquire another player with an eight-figure contract, it seems far more likely to happen in-season—when they can aggregate the contracts they sign this summer, including multiple minimum deals—than it does over the rest of the offseason.

With cap space drying up around the league, the Sixers might prefer to wait out the market and see if they can find another Oubre-esque steal like they did last summer. If not, they can package some of the deals they sign this offseason for a midseason trade.

Either way, it’s encouraging to hear that the Sixers are sniffing around players such as Finney-Smith, Caleb Martin and Haywood Highsmith. That suggests they’ve correctly identified the glaring hole on their roster and are proactively working to address it.

That just might not happen right away, or even this offseason at all, much to fans’ chagrin. Like clockwork every year, team president Daryl Morey stresses that he’s less concerned with what the roster looks like in October than what it looks like April, May and June. He might be planning on pursing an upgrade at that spot at the trade deadline and doing some early information gathering.

In the meantime, go back to debating Martin vs. Highsmith, everyone.

Sixers free agency and trade rumor roundup: Warriors pushing for Paul George, Clippers on clock, Brandon Ingram’s price & Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Klay Thompson latest! sixers,free,agency,and,trade,rumor,roundup,warriors,pushing,for,paul,george,clippers,on,clock,brandon,ingram,s,price,kentavious,caldwell,pope,klay,thompson,latest,liberty,ballers,front-page,nba-free-agency,76ers-free-agency-rumors-news,76ers-trade-rumors

The Sixers drafted a guard in Jared McCain in round one.

McCain already seems like a lot of fun, with an infectious personality and drive, reminiscent of the enchanting “he’ll smile dazzlingly while going full Mortal Kombat Kano fatality on you,” Tyrese Maxey.

McCain’s TikTok videos and nail polish all clearly belie a dude with an obvious hypomaniacal drive to perfect his footwork on movement triples. At 20 years old, the Duke product’s shooting form is already flawless, which makes it impossible not to reminisce about another Duke alum and former Sixer in JJ Redick — whose offseason and pregame form-work obsession was simply unmatched for the better part of two decades spanning the Lakers’ new head coach’s college freshman days as a Blue Devil through his final NBA season with the Dallas Mavericks.

In round two of the draft the Sixers selected big man, Adem “The Nigerian-Turkish Terminator” Bona, the hardest competitor in the entire draft (that nickname I cooked up isn’t working so you’d better help us workshop some better ones in the replies section below).

So with Joel Embiid, Maxey and McCain all penciled in, possessing options to retain Paul Reed, Jeff Downtin, Jr. and Ricky Council IV, they’ve got somewhere between 3-6 players in tow as Bona is still unsigned.

At 6 p.m. Eastern Sunday, teams can negotiate with rival free agents. Saturday is the deadline for Paul George, the NBA’s biggest story now, to opt in or out of his $48.7M player option with the Los Angeles Clippers.

What’s going to happen? Let’s get to the latest rumors.

KCP looking more and more likely to join the bell-ringing bunch

Photo by David Berding/Getty Images

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope makes a lot of sense for the Sixers. He is currently what they once hoped Danny Green could be for them.

He’s a multi-time champion who plays stalwart D and knocks down over 40 percent from distance on roughly four tries per battle. He’s willing to dive and get dirty, and doesn’t need the rock to be effective. The price won’t be cheap, but he’s a terrific fit that won’t force Daryl Morey to put all of his eggs in one basket. By signing KCP to a $20-plus million dollar deal, it would still leave room to sign another high-end free agent or two, plus a big-time trade acquisition as well — since the Sixers have over $60M to spend.

Jayson Tatum sure wouldn’t be as thrilled to have to square off against KCP as he would have facing Kyle Lowry or Tyrese Maxey; neither would Jalen Brunson.

It does not sound as if the Nuggets intend to retain the Thomaston, Georgia native’s services:

According to Marc Stein, via recent Substack newsletter:

“Denver’s Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is emerging as one of the focal points of NBA free agency. A difference-maker, league sources say, who suddenly appears more likely than not to switch teams. The Orlando Magic and the Philadelphia 76ers, meanwhile, appear especially well-positioned to capitalize on Caldwell-Pope’s expected availability if they choose. The Nuggets have been unable to come to terms on a contract extension with Caldwell-Pope, who is expected to decline his $15.4 million player option for next season to become a free agent before this season’s marketplace officially opens Sunday at 6 PM ET.”

Stein mentioned that the reigning West champs, the Dallas Mavericks, are also interested in landing the former Georgia Bulldog, but Denver has little interest in helping a team that recently supplanted them in the conference pecking order. Dallas almost certainly doesn’t have the cap space to make a winning KCP bid so they’d need help from the Nuggets via sign-and-trade. That seems farfetched.

With Paul George’s situation in flux, this KCP-to-Philly scenario is beginning to feel more and more realistic by the hour.

Klay Thompson ring that bell brother?

Philadelphia 76ers v Golden State Warriors

Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images

Stein continued:

“[Klay] Thompson is said to be seeking a three-year deal at a minimum. The cap space teams [Philadelphia and Orlando] are believed to prefer shorter contract structures than Thompson covets but can offset that with higher dollar amounts than teams like the Nuggets and Mavericks can muster.”

More on Klay from The Athletic. Sam Amick and Anthony Slater combined to confirm reports that the Sixers have interest in the five-time All-Star and four-time NBA Champion sniper.

Per Amick and Slater:

“A league source said Philadelphia has interest in Thompson. If the Nuggets lose free-agent-to-be Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who has decided to decline his player option and enter the market, a league source said Denver has pegged Thompson as a possible replacement. Caldwell-Pope, as it were, is believed to be a strong possibility for Orlando. There are a handful of other rival teams also in play for Thompson, depending on his price tag.”

So if the Sixers were to sign KCP, that might diminish their ability to acquire Klay, creating scenarios where The Splash Brother lands in Denver (or Orlando). But Philly does sound interested in Thompson as a fallback plan, provided they could get him on a one or two-year deal; even if that short-term deal approached similar totals as the three-year iterations.

“Overpaying” for Klay (or KCP) on purpose, heading into a potential expiring contract by summer of ’25 or ’26 might also keep Philly’s big game-hunting options open since they’d have a solid player on a hefty short-term annual deal — helping to match for the next disgruntled star to seek a trade.

These types of “fallback plans” would also likely leave the Sixers more total spend if they intend to keep Kelly Oubre, Jr., De’Anthony Melton, or Buddy Hield; names expected to command more money than a Kyle Lowry or a Nico Batum.

So if Philadelphia executed a Jimmy Butler blockbuster by February via draft picks and large short term-deals for example, they might still be able to keep a few players on their current roster in addition; something they could probably not do if they sign Paul George outright next week.

And yeah, it’s no secret that Joel Embiid is simply dominant when there’s spacing around him, and who’s to say Thompson can’t thrive in a reduced role, as his catastrophic injuries wane further into the rearview mirror?

Brandon ‘Tiny Dog’ Ingram

New Orleans Pelicans v Philadelphia 76ers

Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

Yahoo Sports’ Jake Fischer, a Liberty Ballers alum, offered the latest on Brandon Ingram — long connected to Philadelphia this offseason as another possible fallback plan.

Per Fischer:

“Ingram has been listed among Philadelphia’s targets this offseason, sources said, somewhere below George, although it’s not exactly clear where Ingram ranks among the Sixers’ proverbial group of wing targets to slot between Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey. In the event George spurns Philadelphia, the Sixers could easily acquire Ingram into their $60-plus million in cap space, but could Philly’s three first-round picks prove enough for Ingram?”

This is the first I’ve heard of a potential price tag discussed regarding Ingram to Philly.

It’s my current understanding that the Sixers can trade up to four first round-picks: 2026 (their own or the HOU/LAC/OKC pick), 2028 (their own or LAC’s), 2029, 2031.

They’d have to put some conditional language on the 2029 and 2031 picks, but there are swaps and possible second-rounders (which still occasionally hold considerable value as evidenced by day two of the 2024 NBA Draft). If Ingram could be had for three future firsts, would the Sixers pony up? If so, they’d still have some draft ammo remaining, as well as another ~$30Mish in cap space to work with. Former Lakers’ BI and KCP to P anyone?

High-stakes PG-13 game of chicken

LA Clippers v Philadelphia 76ers

Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

Alas, no roundup is complete without the deluge of speculation regarding Paul George’s future.

According to Hoops Hype, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst recently offered the following, on a “Brian Windhorst & the Hoop Collective” pod:

“To my mind, there’s only three real options that I know about that Paul George really has. Stay in LA, which I would still put as the highest percentage chance of happening. Stay in LA for similar to what Kawhi got. Opt-in and trade, probably to the Warriors. The Warriors I know are interested in this. Third, sign straight up with the Sixers.”

And it’s sounding more and more like the Golden State Warriors could offer PG a max extension worth north of $212M should he opt in by Saturday — then quickly extend him upon trade; as well as the opportunity to remain on the West Coast — something that is reportedly quite important to the Cali native, who has family there.

But the Clippers may not want to take on Andrew Wiggins’ lengthy and exorbitant price tag. That makes Wigz a third-team trade candidate and has the Dubs playing some real hardball with the 2022 champ, apparently barring Maple Jordan from even taking part in the Olympic games, fearing an injury that could derail trade talks.

Still, Stein emphasizes that Steph Curry’s team is basically all-in on landing PG here.

The Golden State Warriors could also choose to guarantee Chris Paul’s $30M 2024-2025 salary and use him as trade bait.

But that doesn’t mean Clips’ owner Steve Ballmer and Team Prez Lawrence Frank have to cooperate in helping a Conference rival.

According to The Athletic’s John Hollinger:

“The cleanest way to do this would be to guarantee Chris Paul and Andrew Wiggins, except that would cap the Clippers at the first apron and make it impossible for them to re-sign James Harden. A simpler pathway would be to cut Paul and aggregate Wiggins, Gary Payton II and Moses Moody; the Warriors can also trade up to two first-round picks and three pick swaps to bait the hook for LA.

However, several other options exist if you prowl deeper in the weeds; for instance, it’s possible to do a Paul-Payton-Moody deal with the Clippers for George, trade Kevon Looney to a third team and get under the apron that way. Even more options exist if a Wiggins side deal emerges. The new complication of the tax apron has made putting together blockbusters a much more tangled, confusing business than it was 12 months ago.”

So the NBA world, Golden State, L.A., Philadelphia, and Orlando, in particular (but who knows what other teams may be lying in wait to pounce) will wait and see what George does next.

His opt in deadline is now a matter of hours away and this thing could be finalized swiftly, or drag on into the season. If the Clippers call PG’s bluff and he does opt out, would they then cave in and offer him a four-year, $200M deal, and then look to shop him between July and February?

Or even just keep him in the fold, new CBA-be-damned if they like how the team looks by Christmas?

Would they just take whatever deal the Warriors come up with in order to avoid a worst-case scenario where they get nothing, George walks, and Frank has to sell Leonard on a cap-space pipe dream by 2026?

We’re watching the clock closely on PG. And we’re starting to get a sense for what fallback plans may be in place for Joel Embiid and co. I’d be lying if I said it’s safe to feel too comfy about any one scenario playing out.

But my gut says the Clippers are smart enough to find some way to get something back for PG here. That helps the Warriors who should probably considered the favorites to land PG if he moves; and that should really limit Morey’s chances of hitting a cap-space homerun here. But still we’re in a holding pattern for good reason.

Does Portland’s Jerami Grant make sense as a Sixers trade target? does,portland,s,jerami,grant,make,sense,as,a,sixers,trade,target,liberty,ballers,front-page,76ers-free-agency-rumors-news,76ers-trade-rumors

Day one of the 2024 NBA Draft is in the books and the Philadelphia 76ers chose Duke’s Jared McCain, No. 16 overall — and no, they did not trade him….yet!

Daryl Morey, known to partake in more than a bit of gamesmanship, has already spoken about the 20-year-old, 6-foot-2 sniper as a player the team hopes is around for a long-time.

And McCain himself sounds like he’s prepared for a fanbase that can be notoriously love-hate: “Obviously [playing at Duke] comes with a lot of hate and a lot of scrutiny wherever you go,” McCain said, “but I think that’s preparing for where I’m at, especially with Philly, so I think I’m ready for it.”

So the Sixers have a couple of players on the roster. Three or four down, just need another 11 or 12 and they’ll be ready to roll.

One player whose name has come up is Portland Trailblazers forward Jerami Grant. Ten years ago, Grant was the No. 39 overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. Former Sixers’ President Sam Hinkie took Grant 36 spots after he landed Joel Embiid and 27 spots after selecting Dario Sarić.

On Thursday, before the start of the second day of the draft (where the Sixers are set to pick No. 41) Zach Lowe hosted “The Lowe Post” with fellow ESPN NBA Insider Jonathan Givony.

With the draft’s first round behind them, how will the Sixers fill out what’s nearly a full team’s worth of roster spots?

Lowe speculated about three names in particular in case Los Angeles Clippers’ star Paul George doesn’t end up joining them. Per Lowe:

“[Jimmy Butler may be] going back to Miami, OG Anunoby re-signed with the Knicks, other players that would have been free agents this year never got to free agency, notably Jrue Holiday. Philadelphia is running out of targets for the cap space. And the biggest story now in the NBA will get some clarity on Saturday — I wouldn’t say clarity, some version of clarity. And that’s when Paul George’s deadline is to opt in or opt out of his player option for next year…. I now have officially no feel for what’s gonna happen with Paul George…

Well, I guess his having no idea offers a little more hope they can still sign George than ESPN’s Brian Windhorst offered Wednesday. Notice Windy’s recent use of the past tense, and even tire violence:

So maybe there is still a chance there?

But if not, Lowe continues:

“….And I know Philadelphia is sitting there with this cap space and 25 percent of an NBA roster, sitting there knowing ‘we’ve gotta do something with that space to compete with Boston and now New York, and probably Milwaukee and maybe Indiana, and Cleveland…,the rest of the East. I’m sure they’ve got plans D, E and F. People have whispered Brandon Ingram, people have whispered Jerami Grant, neither of those are as exciting to me as Paul George. I don’t know what the hell is gonna happen here but we’re gonna get some clarity there on Saturday….”

Lowe goes on to mention that the Golden State Warriors will provide some clarity by Friday, when Chris Paul’s $30M salary could become guaranteed, and “obviously” they’ll look to trade the 12-time All-Star. Golden State is connected to George now as well, in the event George opts in and seeks a trade. Lowe says that CP3 decision will impact Klay Thompson’s free agency, and that while Lowe has “given up trying to read the tea leaves” on PG, another option is for the Sixers to look to sign a couple players like a Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, plus a “player X, Y, and Z.”

We’ve discussed Ingram and KCP at length in the past, but we have not heard many (if any) of these Jerami Grant whispers. Grant, now 30 years old, shot over 40 percent from distance, on over five 3PA per game in 117 games with the Blazers since 2022.

He averaged 21 points, 3.5 rebounds, 2.8 assists on 45-40-82 shooting splits. It’s probably pretty tricky to truly evaluate players on 21-win teams (Grant comically coming full circle from his Process days) now up in Oregon. But there has been some sentiment that his defense has slipped in recent years (hovering around 112-114 def. rating in Denver and Detroit, now just 120 Drtg in Portland).

But the Sixers would obviously have to watch the tape to see how much of a 3-and-D player there is here and wonder if he couldn’t slow down names like Jaylen Brown or Jayson Tatum in playoff environments. Grant signed a $160M five-year deal just over a year ago. Many fans interpreted that move as a silly, failed attempt to keep Damian Lillard, now in Milwaukee, happy in Portland.

Grant is set to earn $29.7M in 2024-2025, and his annual raises bring his player option for the 2027-2028 up to $36.4M. Grant will turn 31 just four days before Joel Embiid will, as the two Pisces were born just days apart after swimming in different career directions.

Fun fact-story…. Hinkie drafted Grant then later Bryan Colangelo traded JG to OKC for a future pick. Colangelo quickly used that pick to move up to draft some dude who never came over (for the Sixers) named Anžejs Pasečņiks It was the same year Colangelo traded Hinkie’s bequeathed No. 3 pick and prized Kings’ 2019 pick to Boston for Markelle Fultz. By 2018, when Burnergate broke and Fultz busted, acting GM Elton Brand traded Markelle for the pick that would eventually become Tyrese Maxey. So thank you to Hinkie, Jerami, Elton, and, of course, Mike Muscala.

Grant isn’t a sexy name. He’s substantially overpaid and he’s a stunningly poor rebounder for a player with his size and athleticism.

But when you begin to consider that names like Kentavious Caldwell-Pope may be eyeing their own $25M contracts, maybe this one isn’t regarded as terribly as it was one summer ago?

Another way to sell yourself on a move like this would be to ask questions like the following:

  • How much worse might JG really be than PG? Could that gap narrow over the next four years?
  • How much better if at all is Brandon Ingram? How much cheaper would JG be to obtain?
  • How much better than JG is Mikal Bridges? Mikal posts some pretty comparable statistics, and yet the Nova stud fetched the Nets an even larger haul from the Knicks than they once got for Kevin Durant. Could Grant be an “arbitrage Mikal,” who allows you to save or even add picks, still leaving another ~$30M in salary?
  • Who else could you pair with JG with this summer that you couldn’t if you splurge on names like PG, OG or BI? Could a Grant-KCP duo, while retaining the picks, be better than BI acquired via some of those draft picks?
  • Would the Blazers offer flippable assets or even another helpful player in order to get that salary off their books?

How am I doing? Am I selling too hard? Whose idea was it that cap space and the thought of playing with Embiid and Maxey under Nick Nurse was going to lure stars to Philly anyway?

All food for thought, and again, this is just whispers. But I can tell you this…. if Grant returns to Philly, the Process coming full circle bits will be lit. And we’ll be forced to once again revisit how far the Colangelo takeover set this team back.

Report: New Orleans Pelicans contacted Sixers to discuss a Brandon Ingram trade report,new,orleans,pelicans,contacted,sixers,to,discuss,a,brandon,ingram,trade,liberty,ballers,front-page,76ers-news,76ers-trade-rumors,nba-rumors-news

The Sixers’ offseason flexibility has had them tied to numerous big names — Paul George, LeBron James and Jimmy Butler. Along with these stars, Brandon Ingram was linked as a potential trade option if they were to strike out in free agency. We now have news that the New Orleans Pelicans have reached out to the Sixers regarding Ingram.

The Athletic’s Kelly Iko had the latest scoop on Ingram, along with other Houston-centric storylines in his latest draft notebook:

“…New Orleans’ Brandon Ingram was mentioned as a player seen in a lower tier than Mitchell and in recent days, rumors have swirled about the Pelicans dangling Ingram in trade talks and in one iteration, a hypothetical Ingram-for-Alperen Şengün swap was mentioned, but the Rockets have no interest, team sources said. League sources said New Orleans also contacted the Philadelphia 76ers concerning a possible Ingram trade.”

Recent rumors and reports out of NOLA have suggested that extension talks with Ingram are at a complete standstill, so it makes sense that they’re making calls ahead of next week’s draft. We can get a feel for what the current ask might be if they suggested a straight up swap for Houston’s Alperen Sengun, a rising star who was in the conversation for Most Improved Player this season.

While NOLA’s preference might be getting back a contributor, it’s unlikely that’ll be the case if the Sixers agree to an Ingram deal. An Ingram-Philly trade framework would likely revolve around draft capital, as the Sixers can offer up to five first-round draft picks on draft night.

The current ask isn’t monstrous for a former All-Star such as Ingram, and it’s likely to drop until an actual deal takes place. Around the NBA, teams are looking to shed salary, not add it. Not only is Ingram’s salary large now, but his future team will also need to work out an extension, as he’ll be an unrestricted free agent after next season — another factor that could cause the ask to drop even further. Whether you’re an Ingram fan or not, the appeal of adding him becomes even more intriguing if you’re able to do it for a low price.

It seems like the Paul George smoke has intensified over the past few days, and this Ingram news will only add speculation to what should be a busy offseason for the Sixers.