5 new Sixers rumors as NBA free-agency nears

Andrew Porter
June 26, 2019 - 8:41 am

NBA free-agency begins on Sunday at 6pm E.T. Yesterday, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski was dropping nuggets all over the place. 

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The Sixers are expected to be big players this summer and have a ton of crucial decisions to make. Here's where they currently stand in the NBA free-agency rumor landscape. 

Jimmy Butler

The Rockets are reportedly trying to acquire Jimmy Butler through a sign and trade with the Sixers. The Rockets do not have the cap space to just sign Butler, they would need to shed the salaries of Eric Gordon ($14M in 2019-20) and Clint Capela ($16M+ over next four seasons) to take on Butler, with Chris Paul and James Harden both making nearly $40 million per season.  

Gordon, 30, makes a lot of sense for Philadelphia and would help them immediately on the offensive end. He's a career 37.4-percent three-point shooter and averaged over 16.0 points per game in each of his last three seasons in Houston. Capela, however, at north of $16 million for the next four seasons doesn't make any sense for the Sixers, as Capela would be overpaid as a backup to Joel Embiid. Sure, Philly needs a backup center to play key minutes in the playoffs, but $16M per season is starter money and a waste for Philly. 

The Sixers are still going to offer Butler the max and pursue him aggressively, per Woj. The issue is, Butler—who is the same age and good friends with James Harden—may want to play for Houston, where he grew up. If Butler forces his way to Houston, could the Sixers get a third team in to take Capela? 

Zach Lowe says it's "very unlikely" Butler opts into his contract for a lower salary, for a sign and trade

Tobias Harris

It certainly sounds like Harris wants to return to Philly, but do the Sixers want to give him max money? Is he worth max money? Probably not. 

Al Horford

Shams Charnia listed the Sixers as one of the top four possibilities for Horford, who appears to be on his way out of Boston. Without Harris, the Sixers could have the exact amount of space—$112 million over four years—needed for Horford. 

TJ McConnell

McConnell is an unrestricted free-agent and will have some suitors this offseason. His wife posted this on Instagram, possibly indicating he will indeed be leaving Philly. 

UPDATE: TJ's wife clarified this was NOT a goodbye post, but then deleted her tweet. 

Terrence Ross

The Sixers will reportedly target Terrence Ross, a no-brainer. I put Ross second on my list of free-agents that should intrigue the Sixers, because he's instant offense, and maybe the most underrated wing scorer in the NBA. 

Ross signed a three-year deal worth $31.5 million with the Toronto Raptors in 2015 and was traded to the Orlando Magic in 2017. Ross, 28, averaged 15.1 points on 38.3 three-point shooting (7.0 attempts per game) in just 26.5 minutes last season, helping Orlando reach the postseason. In the right situation, like Philly, Ross can become a big time scorer. 

If I had to guess, he'll be seeking Eric Gordon-ish money, around $15 million per season—a little bit more than JJ Redick, but Ross would be an upgrade. 

A look at some of the free-agent guards and their situations: