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1 Role Player The 76ers Must Pursue With The Extra Cap Space

James Harden #1 (L) and Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers speak during the third quarter against the Milwaukee Bucks at Wells Fargo Center on March 29, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
(Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

 

After two weeks of NBA free agency, the Philadelphia 76ers seem to have a complete roster.

James Harden opted out of his player option, giving Daryl Morey the cap space necessary to make improvements.

P.J. Tucker and Danuel House Jr. were brought in on the mid-level exception and bi-annual exception, respectively.

De’Anthony Melton was acquired in exchange for Danny Green and the 23rd overall pick in this year’s draft.

As it currently stands, the 76ers have 16 players under contract as well as two two-way signings and an Exhibit 10 signee.

Their depth at guard is solid (Harden, Tyrese Maxey, Melton) and is better at forward (Tobias Harris, Tucker, House).

However, they could still use somebody to back up their star center, Joel Embiid.

Andre Drummond was the most capable backup they have had in years last season, but he was included in the trade for Harden.

Even though most available free agents have been signed, there are a few big men left.

 

76ers Already Have In-House Options

Truthfully, the 76ers do not have to sign any backup center.

Paul Reed and Charles Bassey are two young guys on the roster who could fill the role themselves.

Reed is a hyperactive 6-foot-9 power forward who has a non-stop motor.

Bassey is a 6-foot-11 rim-runner who also protects the rim.

Neither player was really given a chance last season after the 76ers brought in DeAndre Jordan.

They may just get that chance this year.

Morey has already gone on record stating they believe Reed and Bassey will both contribute this year.

 

So the 76ers may not even bring in a veteran center.

Jordan was a colossal negative in this past postseason and his minutes should have gone to Reed or Bassey.

If Philly does end up bringing in a backup big, it may only happen if Reed or Bassey fail to step up.

 

Who To Target?

With all that said, the 76ers do fancy themselves title contenders.

They may not want to take the risk of Reed or Bassey not developing in time to contribute come playoff time.

If that is the case, Morey may want to look at Hassan Whiteside.

Whiteside has played on minimum contracts the past two seasons while being the backup center in Sacramento and Utah.

Which is a good thing because the 76ers could only offer the minimum.

Whiteside is no longer the player he was with the Miami Heat.

Across five seasons he averaged 14.1 points, 11.9 rebounds, and 2.4 blocks per game.

He has had success as a backup the past two years, though.

Playing behind Rudy Gobert last season, Whiteside averaged 8.2 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks across 18 minutes per game.

Hassan will not stretch the floor with his shooting, but he is not limited to strictly dunks and layups.

He is also an excellent rebounder and rim protector, two areas the Sixers struggled at with Embiid on the bench.

The 76ers have gotten beaten soundly whenever Embiid sits on the bench for years now.

Whiteside is good enough to at least ensure Philly stays competitive during those minutes.




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