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Unfulfilling Offseason for the 76ers

Unfulfilling Offseason for the 76ers

After being eliminated in five games during their second-round playoff series with the Boston Celtics, 76ers coach and interim general manager Brett Brown suggested that the team would be shopping for stars in the offseason.

Brown reasoned that a star would put the Sixer over the top.

So the Sixers went after LeBron James, who chose the Los Angeles Lakers instead. James’ agent met with the Sixers, but he wasn’t at the meeting.

In retrospect, the Sixers and any other team really didn’t have a chance at James, who chose the Los Angeles Lakers, the team that was always the favorite for his services.

Then the Sixers tried to get into the picture with Kawhi Leonard, the disgruntled former San Antonio Spur, who was traded to Toronto.

Paul George, another potential free agent re-signed with Oklahoma City.

In addition, Ersan Ilyasova and Marco Belinelli, two players signed in February, who were major contributors off the bench, signed with Milwaukee and San Antonio respectively.

The Sixers did re-sign their own free agent JJ Redick for one season. Redick was a major addition after averaging a career-high 17.1 points per game for the Sixers.

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They also acquired 10-year NBA veteran Wilson Chandler in a trade with the Denver Nuggets.

The Sixers, with the style they play are looking for three-point shooters and the 6-10 Chandler shot 35.8 percent last season.

Also acquired from Atlanta was center Mike Muscala, who doesn’t appear to be an impact player, especially since the Sixers re-signed center Amir Johnson.

The Sixers also had two first round draft picks. The traded for the rights to 6-4 Texas Tech freshman guard Zhaire Smith, who is considered one of the better athletes in the draft. The Sixers also drafted with the 26thpick Wichita State point guard Landry Shamet.

It would not be a surprise if neither of the rookies saw a lot of playing time.

The Sixers, despite their youth, are primed to contend for the Eastern Conference.

Boston, which has the best depth in the East, is likely going to be considered the favorite, while the addition of Leonard, makes Toronto a viable threat.

Toronto had the best record in the East last year, but was swept by LeBron and the Cavaliers in the second round of the playoffs.

With LeBron out West, the East is as up for grabs as it has been in some time. Cleveland represented the Eastern Conference in the last four NBA finals.

With all-star center Joel Embiid and expected future all-star point guard Ben Simmons leading the way, the Sixers will be major contenders in the East.

Adding a third star would have solidified that status, but this is still a team capable of making a deep run, even without one of its desired off-season stars.

One final move the Sixers could make that would improve the team is sign free agent guard Jamal Crawford. Yes, Crawford is 38, but he is a well-conditioned athlete who is a major force off the bench. He has scored in double figures every year since the 2002-2003 season.

His signing wouldn’t draw the type of publicity that an NBA all-star would, but he could be a player capable of instant offense off the bench, something the Sixers could surely use.

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Author: Marc Narducci

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