NBA free-agency rumors, Al Horford, Harrison Barnes

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NBA free-agency rumors: Sixers want to run it back

Andrew Porter
June 19, 2019 - 8:43 am
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With NBA free agency set to begin on June 30th and the draft just one day away, the rumors are swirling. Anthony Davis has already been traded to the Lakers. So what's next? 

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Related: 76ers will host Christmas game at Wells Fargo Center

Run it back

When it comes to the Sixers, all signs continue to point toward the team trying their best to, "Run it back," to some degree. According to an Adrian Wojnarowski report via @PHLSixersNation on Twitter, Philadelphia "would like to re-sign Jimmy Butler, Tobias Harris, and JJ Redick rather than pursue any free-agents."

All that is well and good, but...

Rockets targeting Jimmy Butler?

The players have to want to come back. According to Stephen A. Smith, James Harden and Butler have been communicating and Butler will consider Houston. Rockets GM Daryl Morey, in an interview on SportsTalk790, says Houston does not want to trade Chris Paul. In fact, Morey said, "We want to add one more star to this team."

Butler, 29, grew up in the Houston suburb of Tomball and played high school ball at Tomball High School. 

Celtics imploding

Not only does it look extremely likely that Kyrie Irving will leave Boston (he has reportedly "ghosted" them), but now it appears the Celtics could lose their key piece in Al Horford. According to Woj, Horford is "prepared to enter free-agency to find a three or four-year deal elsewhere."

Horford is 33-years-old and this will be his final big contract in the NBA. Last season, he was still very productive averaging 13.6 points, 6.7 rebounds, 4.2 assists while shooting 53.5 FG% / 36.0 3FG% / 82.1 FT%. Shams Charania listed the Sixers as one of Horford's top four potential landing spots

Harrison Barnes

Harrison Barnes is declining his $25.1 million player option with the Kings to become an unrestricted free-agent, per Woj, of course. Barnes is just 27-years-old and has a very similar skillset to Harris. The 6-8 small forward is a double-digit career scorer who shoots 37.5-percent from three and 79.5-percent from the line. Over the last two seasons, like Harris, Barnes has upped his three-point percentage to around the 40-percent mark. 

Barnes won't necessarily be a target for the Sixers, but if they were to lose Harris (and/or Butler), Barnes could be an option as a replacement. The issue is, the Sixers can go over the cap and into the luxury tax if the re-sign their own players like Harris, rather than bring in a free-agent like Barnes. This is likely why Philadelphia prefer to re-sign their own players (see report above). 

Lakers want another max player

The Lakers are reportedly trying to offer contracts up to create $32 million in cap space for a third max player to join Davis and LeBron James. Some rumored options include Kemba Walker, Jimmy Butler, Kawhi Leonard, and Kyrie Irving. The Lakers are already the favorites to win the NBA title right now and adding one of the aforementioned superstars would lock that in for the 2019-20 NBA season. 

This tweet was funny. 

Former Sixers GM Billy King joined the 94WIP Morning Show to discuss the rumors. You can listen to the full conversation below.