The Philadelphia 76ers did a sign and trade with the Miami Heat involving Jimmy Butler. Where do they go from here?
When people saw the news that Jimmy Butler wanted out of Philadelphia, many panicked and for good reason. This news broke right after word got out that JJ Redick was headed to New Orleans. Jimmy Butler, the four time All-Star that did battle with the Toronto Raptors was now gone. The 2019 Sixers’ offseason was destined to be horrible.
Fortunately, it seems like Elton Brand knew this was coming and was well prepared. Right after the Jimmy Butler news broke, two Woj Bombs™ blew up twitter; featuring a sign and trade with Miami to land Josh Richardson and the signing of free agent Al Horford.
Suddenly the grim offseason looked to be somewhat hopeful after all.
So, where do the Sixers go from here? How do you recover from losing a four time All Star and arguably the best player in last year’s postseason?
The Philadelphia 76ers were very fortunate to land Josh Richardson in the wake of Jimmy Butler leaving. Richardson is on arguably the best contract in the entire NBA; making approximately $10 million each year for the next 2 years before a player option. Richardson will be an massive upgrade over JJ Redick on defense, without giving up a ton on offense.
Al Horford isn’t a bad signing at all. Most Sixers fans will know that he is an incredibly frustrating player to go up against. Horford did his fair share of limiting Joel Embiid over the past few years on the Boston Celtics. While he is already 33 years old, Horford will help the team massively over the next few years.
When you look at the “new Sixers” you will find there are no longer any major defensive holes — something that I think Elton Brand has tried to eliminate going forward. All of Simmons, Richardson, Harris, Horford, and Embiid can hold their own defensively. Teams will struggle to find a consistent way to score against this group of players.
The Sixers will be strapped for cash as they look to their bench. Elton Brand will need to be creative here. Kyle O’Quinn on a veteran minimum contract isn’t a bad start. O’Quinn has proven to be a mobile big with a reliable midrange shot. He will definitely help out the Sixers at the backup center spot.
Signing back James Ennis is also a great thing for the team. The Sixers have young defensive studs in Zhaire Smith and Matisse Thybulle; but it won’t hurt to have Ennis available as a veteran wing. The Sixers got him on a bargain.
Going forward look for the team to hand out veteran minimum contracts. Positions of need really fall on the guard spots — mainly a back up point guard. There’s still a ton of talent left at the point guard position; such as Quinn Cook, Trey Burke, Tyus Jones (restricted), and more.
This is the deepest Sixers’ roster we have seen in a long time; on both sides of the ball. The team is a massive improvement over the past few iterations that have lacked two way talent. Brand has done a great job so far, and has lived up to his quote: “It will all make sense soon”.