PHILADELPHIA — The trade deadline is over in the NBA and now is the time to begin looking to the buyout market to make any improvements that teams around the league want to make.
One has to figure that the Philadelphia 76ers will be a team to keep an eye on in terms of looking to add somebody to their roster as they still believe they will have a chance to compete for a title. Of course, it all depends on the health of Joel Embiid, but as long as the big fella is out there, the Sixers will always have a chance.
At the moment, the Sixers have been relying on Paul Reed and Mo Bamba to fill in for Embiid. President of Basketball Operations Daryl Morey did state that he was looking for a backup center at the deadline.
“We did go in saying ‘Let’s see if we can shore that up depth-wise’,” Morey said. “Especially, with we have some period with Joel out where depth-wise, we’re a little short. There really were no bigs traded. I was shocked by that. We were aggressive to do that, but they just weren’t available so it didn’t happen. We’re gonna have to continue to be creative.”
When considering that Morey was thinking big man in terms of the deadline, one has to believe that he will look to the buyout market now to find another backup big man option.
“I think there are, obviously, a bunch of players available in the buyout market,” Morey stated. “I think that position has been lighter than others. Look that’s why I mentioned that we’re probably going to have to get creative. We love what Paul and Mo bring, but I mean, obviously, after just one or two teams recently, we’ve probably been the most injured or sick team in the league.”
Morey is correct in that the Sixers have been dealing with a lot as of late. They have had to battle through adversity not only to Embiid, but to the likes of Tyrese Maxey, De’Anthony Melton, and others. That adds to Morey’s buyout market thought process.
“We also would like to bring in another player,” he finished. “I can see us bringing in a player, but I don’t see it as someone you would expect to play a huge role necessarily.”
Either way, the Sixers do have three open roster spots now after the flurry of moves they made at the deadline. Once again, it helps Philadelphia in the flexibility department to have those open spots as Morey looks ahead to the summer and the new league CBA kicking in.
“We like having open roster spots, whether it’s for players who might become available,” Morey continued. “Even signing young players to favorable deals is a smart move, I think, if we can do it. A lot of our moves are for planning in the new CBA environment, which I think is very impactful, and setting ourselves up for those big moves in the future.”
In terms of setting the Sixers up better than other contenders around the league to make a move in the buyout market, Morey feels confident in that respect.
“So these are all these new rules coming in — limits your draft picks, limits your abilities in free agency,” he finished. “All these things are coming. We’re the best set up of any of those teams that are contenders, by a good margin.”
Of the below list, the following teams are over the apron and limited to signing waived/buyout players who made no more than $12.4M this season:
The following teams don't currently have an open roster spot, but have the same restriction as above:
— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) February 9, 2024
From the way Morey is talking, it sounds like the Sixers could make a move rather soon.