Perhaps The Mo Bamba Signing Is A Hint to The Sixers’ Plans
The bad taste that was the end of the Sixers season still lingers for many, and there haven’t been many moves, and certainly none of the substantial size, that would cleanse the pallet. So far they have brought in backup point guard Patrick Beverley and backup center Mo Bamba. Neither of the moves would appear to do anything for the frustrated masses, as the focus still remains on what President Daryl Morey and general manager Elton Brand will ultimately decide what to do with point guard James Harden and swingman Tobias Harris. Harden, of course, opted in for one more year, which immediately started reports that he was looking for a trade to move on from the Sixers. Harris is on the last year of a huge contract, making him a prime candidate for a salary-dump trade.
Whether one or both of those things happen is a debate that may last until training camp in September. Or the organization may decide to simply bring back those two and try to run back a season that saw them eliminated, yet again, in the second round of the playoffs, this time to the Boston Celtics.
But maybe, just maybe, the small moves made by Morey and company will have a bigger impact than we think. Beverley’s role seems to be defined – a backup point guard who is a dogged defender and who should solidify whatever the second unit may look like for new head coach Nick Nurse. His is a game that isn’t defined by numbers, but by the veteran presence that he will provide that is so necessary for a backup unit and his defensive skills can be used for end-of-game stops.
The 7-foot Mamba appears to be just what you want in a backup to Joel Embiid. But don’t the Sixers already have that in Paul Reed? Well, here’s where things could get interesting. Reed, who is a restricted free agent and could be brought back on the cheap, has gained more confidence in the organization with his play this past season in which he averaged 11 minutes a game and brought boundless energy.
So here it is – how about Reed in the starting lineup at the four beside Embiid? It’s not outlandish. Current starter P.J. Tucker is what he is, an above-average defender who is (at best) a limited offensive player whose contribution is a sideline, three-point shooter. The 38-year-old may be better suited bringing his toughness off the bench while Reed tries to find the offensive game that produced 19 points and 35 percent shooting from three when he was the G-League MVP in 2020-21.
So, for now, does a starting lineup of Harden, Tyrese Maxey, Harris, Reed, and Embiid do anything for you? It’s not all that glamorous, but it is different. And after the playoff loss to the Celtics, isn’t that what is wanted? Even if it’s not the big splash move most desire.
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Tracking All The NBA Free Agency News and Moves
NBA Free Agency is always an adventure. Officially “Legal Tampering” begins at 6 pm. But we all know there were talks going on long before then. Every year there are deals suddenly agreed to moments past when teams can officially negotiate. Are we to believe that they negotiated these complicated deals in just a few minutes? It’s why it was ridiculous that the Sixers got penalized multiple second-round picks for “tampering” with James Harden and PJ Tucker. Because everyone tampers.
And we are once again here. And due to the recent Harden news, plus whatever is going on with Tobias Harris, it could be a very interesting free agency for the Sixers. Even if none of the moves they make are technically free agents. It is looking like Harden will be heading to the Clippers. But there is also word the Knicks could be in on him too.
But it is not just the Sixers with a lot of choices to make. Damian Lillard is once again flirting with asking out, though he has not done so yet. Kyrie Irving could be on the move. We already had some big trades with Chris Paul being traded twice and Bradley Beal heading to the Suns. And over this Holiday weekend, there are sure to be many more moves that shake up the NBA.
What are the Sixers going to do? Will they accomplish the dream and land Damian Lillard? Could it be some other star coming back? Or will they get no one of that level back? What about Tobias Harris, could he be moved as he seems to want? And where will all the other big names around the NBA land?