Philadelphia Is Surprisngly Named The Most Attractive NBA Free Agent Destination
The Sixers do not have a long history of attracting great free agents. A lot of fantastic players have worn a Sixers jersey. Allen Iverson, Julius Erving, Moses Malone, Charles Barkley, Wilt Chamberlain, Joel Embiid. But you have to go back to Malone and Dr. J to find any great players who chose to sign here though. The past few decades have not featured many big names in the NBA coming to Philadelphia via free agency. So it may come as a surprise that a recent study found the Sixers to be the most desirable free-agent destination in the NBA.
BetPennsylvania.com compiled data including stadium attendance, tax burden, media market rating, city popularity, winning percentage, and championship odds, to find out what NBA City represented the ideal destination for a player who wants to both make good money, play winning basketball, and see large crowds. And Pennsylvania, specifically Philadelphia, topped the list. Miami came in at number 2, and Boston at number 3.
And there is some validity to some of that. Right now you know you will at least be playing winning basketball with the Sixers. You also know you will be playing in front of big crowds. And compared to some NBA cities, the income tax rate players will face is not as steep. However, there are some NBA Cities, notably Dallas and Miami, with no income tax at all. So I would bet if you asked the players themselves, Miami would rank number one, it it would not be close.
Players Dont Seem to Agree
If Philadelphia really is placed NBA players want to go, someone should tell the players that. Because they do not seem to agree. Damian Lillard is so laser-focused on Miami that he has not even considered the Sixers as a destination. The only moves the Sixers made were for role players like Patrick Beverly and Mo Bamba. And there is not a ton of talk of any other big names seeing the Sixers as their chosen destination. A lot of that is them being hamstrung by their cap situation. But we do not even hear about players wanting to come here.
We all know that Philadelphia is a great place to be. And in other sports, it has been a place free agents want to go to. We see that with both Bryce Harper and Trea Turner wanting to play in Philadelphia. Cliff Lee once chose Philadelphia over New York and Dallas. And for the Eagles, Haason Reddick and James Bradberry recently chose to come here. And then Bradberry took a discount to stay here this past offseason. We saw this past weekend the way Philadelphia fans will embrace their athletes with Trea Turner.
But for various reasons, the Sixers in particular have not been a place free agents want to come. Maybe that will change when they get a new state-of-the-art arena. Whether that is in the planned Center City location, or elsewhere. Players have complained in the past about the state of The Wells Fargo Center’s facilities. The Sixers themselves have listed that as a reason for wanting their own arena. And that is not an aspect this study included in ranking free-agent destinations.
Whatever the reason is so few NBA players choose to come here, hopefully it changes soon. Because as we all know, there are good reasons for players to want to come to Philadelphia. And the Sixers could really use the boost of being a place free agents want to go to.
Here is how NBA Free Agency went this offseason:
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?
You can keep track of everything the Sixers do, as well as the other big news going on in the NBA Free Agency right here.